Gaza - Other Voices

Other Voices from the MIT Community

Other members of the MIT community have also expressed viewpoints about the events at MIT regarding the Gaza conflict, and several are different from the those of the MIT administration.

The November/December 2023 edition of the MIT Faculty Newsletter ran several pieces on the Gaza conflict and the tensions on MIT’s campus:

  • Five MIT professors published an editorial supporting the pro-Palestinian protesters in Building 7 and questioning the manner in which MIT’s time, place, and manner regulations were promulgated and enforced.. The authors of the editorial were Prof. Sally Haslanger (Ford Professor of Philosophy and Women’s and Gender Studies, previously the head of the MIT School of Humanities, Arts and Social Science), Prof. Jonathan King (Professor Emeritus of Biology), Prof. Ceasar McDowell (Professor of Practice of Civic Design and Associate Head of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning), Prof. Nasser Rabbat (Aga Khan Professor in the MIT Department of Architecture), and Prof. Balakrishnan Rajagopal (Associate Professor in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning).

  • The MIT Israel Alliance published an editorial supporting Israel in the current conflict and decrying antisemitic statements and actions on the MIT campus. While not explicitly calling for speech suppression of Palestinian supporters, the editorial asserted that MIT was not doing enough to assure the physical safety of Jews and Israeli supporters on campus.

  • Over 100 members of the MIT faculty and staff wrote an open letter to President Kornbluth protesting MIT’s suppression of the Palestinian supporters and claiming the response to pro-Palestinian demonstrations on and off campus was biased.

  • Professor Michel DeGraff expressed his support for the Palestinian cause, as well as for the student demonstrators facing discipline related to the Building 7 protests.

The MIT Doctoral Program in History, Anthropology, and Science, Technology, and Society (HASTS) published an editorial in The Tech on November 30, 2023, supporting the Palestinians in the Middle East conflict and the right of Palestinian supporters to engage in disruptive demonstrations on campus. The editorial also protested MIT’s use of the campus police to prevent a teach-in that had been planned for November 10, 2023.

On November 19, 2023, an organization published an open letter of general support for the Palestinians in the current conflict and specifically opposing the MIT administration’s enforcement of time place and manner restrictions on demonstrations. Perhaps in an attempt to trade on MFSA’s name and reputation, this organization’s website is titled The website lists over 590 signatories, and although many of them are anonymously represented by initials, many of them do not appear to be MIT degree-holders despite the site’s reference to being an alumni organization.

The day after President Kornbluth's testimony before a Congressional Subcommittee on December 5th, an MIT graduate student, Talia Khan, made a statement before the same Subcommittee that there is an atmosphere of anti-semitism on the MIT campus. She gave several examples to support her assertion that Jewish and Israeli faculty, students and staff no longer feel safe at MIT. Here is the video and the transcript of her statement.

In the wake of the events on campus, President Kornbluth's testimony, and other actions (or inactions) by the MIT administration, Jewish alumni of MIT have organized to advocate against anti-semitism at the Institute.

  • One organization is the Jewish MIT Alumni Committee, which has written an open letter to the MIT Corporation, the MIT President, and the MIT Faculty Chair.

  • A separate group, the MIT Jewish Alumni Association (MIT JAA) have also sent an open letter to MIT to urge concrete actions to protect Jewish members of the MIT community, combat antisemitism on campus, and restore MIT's reputation for academic excellence. On March 12, 2024, this group sent another open letter to President Kornbluth decrying specific examples of anti-semitism that are still continuing in the MIT community.