Daniel Gold
Always concerned with the affairs of the middle east

An Open Letter to ‘Professor John Cheney-Lippold’


Professor John Cheney-Lippold recently refused to give a Jewish Student, Abby Ingber of Michigan University, a recommendation letter when he learned the student would be attending school in Israel.

I presume that you would call yourself an educated man and yet you are either enabling anti-semitism or are you are an anti-semite. So, as you can imagine I find that that presumption of education and your behavior stand at odds.

I know not your knowledge of Israel but I can certainly say you do not know Jewish history.

We have been chased from stem to stern around this world. From our homeland, from places of residence in the Middle East (My mother who was born in Lebanon included), Russia, Europe. When in need, doors of the world were closed to us and we have had no choices but to act violently to preserve our lives. This is something for which we are endlessly criticized and condescended to by the colonial powers of the world including those of the Arab world because theirs was a conquest of the middle east as well. Surely, you lament that history. Those days, are meant to be for the past we’re told by the talking heads and professors alike an yet here we are.

It’s remarkable that people like you are always silent when the Kurds are threatened, or the Yazidis or any number of other groups who’ve been terrorized by majorities. You would probably call yourself a progressive, You would claim to stand for people’s rights and yet talk out of both sides of your mouth while you deny the indigeneity of my people and bend yourself in knots to make the Palestinian claim of all of the land a real one.

Arabs who call themselves Palestinians have rights. The ones in Syria have rights. The ones in Lebanon have rights and the ones in the West Bank and the ones in Gaza. They have a right to a leadership that has not run them ragged into the dirt in thirst for the murder of Jews for 70 years in favor of pride over peace. They are owed leaders who aren’t dedicated to theft and terrorism and they are owed a civil society that is pro-peace, not anti-Israel as mantra- Rather not an anti-state.

In contrast, what is something that Arabs have that Jews do not. I have news for you sir. Arabs have 99% of the land in the middle east. Jews who were forced from Arab countries who were murdered repeatedly under Arab rule and were chased from their lands lost land 5 times the size of the Israel and they have ample opportunity to patriate Palestinians who live in Syria and Lebanon and elsewhere properly instead of keeping them as second class citizens.

  1. May I send you a letter appealing to the Arab league for compensation for this lost property?
  2. Will you sign it?
  3. Will you refuse to sign letters of recommendation for Arab students because their states participated in the expulsion of Jews from their countries?
  4. Will you refuse to sign a letter of recommendation for a Turkish student because Turkey has terrorized and murdered the Kurds?
  5. Will you refuse to sign a recommendation letter for a Turkish student because of the Armenian Genocide?
  6. Will you refuse to sign a letter of recommendation for an American because of the American treatment of Native Americans?
  7. Will you refuse to sign a letter of recommendation for a Chinese student because of the Chinese government’s treatment of the citizens of Tibet?
  8. Will you refuse to sign a letter of recommendation for a Pakistani student because of the Pakistani government’s treatment of the Baloch people?
  9. Will you refuse to sign a letter of recommendation for a Lebanese student who’s government consistently refuses to provide Palestinians with Lebanese citizenship and who are banned from holding certain jobs.
  10. Will you refuse to sign a letter of recommendation for a Mexican student because of the Mexican government’s treatment of indigenous Mexicans?
  11. Will you refuse to sign a letter of recommendation for a White student because of America’s treatment of African Americans?
  12. Will you refuse to sign a letter of recommendation for an Indian student? After all, They only struck down their anti-gay law this month. Interestingly enough, they also experienced partition. Partition caused the death of 2 million, millions more refugees and Pakistan and India still fight over Kashmir. Of course, There is no protest of this partition by colonial powers.
  13. Will you refuse to sign a letter of recommendation for any nation-state? Or only the one of those uppity Jews who have the gall to demand one for their own safety, historical adjudication and one of the only indigenous stories of justice this world has known.

I should add that the above examples are not an attempt to compare Israel to any of these horrible acts because while Israel is not innocent, Its history and it’s acts of self-defense are largely justified in reference not only to present-day acts of violence against Israel and the Jewish people but also in historical context of the crimes committed against Jews in the Middle East, In Europe, Russia. Wherever they have been diaspora.

If that was not enough, in the partition of BRITISH MANDATE PALESTINE Arabs received 75% of that mandate which became Transjordan and what is now commonly known as Jordan.

  1. Do you recognize the borders of all the Arab states including Jordan which were sliced up by the colonial powers?
  2. Or do you only have problems with the borders of the Jewish state and Jews which has fought more wars for survival in this last century than most great powers?
  3. Do you support Jewish self determination in the face of unrelenting discrimination and murder in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world?
  4. Do you acknowledge that all of Jewish history relates to this place and that this is why it is our home?

I have asked many questions. I don’t assume that I will get answers. I don’t assume you care. I don’t assume that peace can be found with people like you who exhibit such ignorance. Prove me wrong.

I ask these questions because I can’t possibly imagine that with your knowledge of all of the above that you would refuse to sign a letter of recommendation for a Jew because she wants to study in Israel. If you can’t see our side of the story , which I believe we’ve earned the right to, that is for people to listen to our story and at least try and put in a good faith effort at knowing our history and not just the bastardization of our history that’s told in the classrooms of the regressive left.

I demand an apology on behalf of this student, who you so actively discriminated against, on her behalf and on behalf of my community. I demand a public effort for you to learn our story. I would demand your firing as an example as with many other issues that have lingered in our society too long. Antisemitism is one of them. I would offer an outstretched hand but it is not for me to offer. It is your hand which should be outstretched. For otherwise, I state. Et Tu Brute.

About the Author
Daniel Gold Lives in Ottawa Canada where he works as a professional in digital marketing. He's Jewish and has always felt a deep connection to Israel and has great love for his family which lives in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, California and Canada. On the Gold side of his family, he can trace his roots back to the region to the 17th century. His mother was born in Lebanon one of 3 children. Carole Gold use to tell Daniel stories of growing up in Beirut, where she used to play, where she used to go to the beach with her friends, where she worked at a television studio. What it was like to live as an unmarried woman alone in an apartment block being starred at by the doorman in the 1960s. Clearly, a woman of ill repute to be on her own. What it was like to hear people in the streets yelling death to the Jews after the 67 war. What it was like suddenly finding herself uninvited from her friends' parties because she was a Jew. What it was like for the men who worked for her at the Television station ache because she had a position of authority as a woman. What it was like for her to flee and come to Israel through Turkey when it was no longer safe in Lebanon. Daniel's father grew up in Winnipeg the child of parents from the Russian/ Polish border who came to Canada looking for a better life which it became for Daniel's father in defiance of the typical antisemitism of the day.
Related Topics
Related Posts