Dear President Starr,
We are the Jüdische Stimme für gerechten Frieden in Nahost (Jewish Voice for a just peace in the Middle East), a group of Jews including Israelis who live in Germany and support a just peace in Israel/Palestine.
We were dismayed to hear of your decision to suspend and possibly dismiss Professor Marc Ellis from his teaching post. By all the testimonies of those who have attended his classes, he encourages analytical thought and stands in a long Jewish tradition of independent thinking and discourse. He is much loved by his students, both past and present, and admired by many eminent scholars in his own and in related fields.
Your decision is therefore subject to suspicion of being politically motivated, which would stand in direct conflict with the aims of a university.
Moreover, by opposing and possible severing the opportunity for a rabbi to encourage critical thought about the situation in the Middle East, you run the risk of being accused yourself of antisemitism.
We urge you to rethink your position and to re-instate Professor Ellis, whose inspiration can only help to bring about a real solution in this troubled region.
Jüdische Stimme für gerechten Frieden in Nahost
(Jewish Voice for a just Peace in the Middle East) Germany
Haus der Demokratie und Menschenrechte
Greifswalder Str. 4
D- 10405 Berlin