Letter: Amherst College Call to Action

In this letter, a group of college faculty members call on the community to take action against the escalating violence in the Gaza strip.

Correction: An earlier version of this article’s blurb said that the signatories called for “an end to U.S. support of Israel’s presence in the region,” wrongly implying that they do not support Israel’s right to exist. The wording has been updated to better reflect their intentions. Updated on Oct. 25 at 10:48 a.m.

We, the undersigned members of the Amherst College faculty, have watched in horror and with profound grief the escalating violence in Israel and the Gaza Strip. We abhor the violence that Hamas has inflicted on people in Israel. We also recognize that the actions of Hamas cannot be understood outside of the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and especially Israel's decades-long violent and illegal occupation of Palestinian territory.  

The loss of any life is a tragedy, and we stand united for safety, justice, equality, and freedom for all people. As such, we stand united against the Israeli government's ongoing siege of and bombardment of Gaza, which with United States support has resulted in massive death, displacement, and destruction. Two million Palestinians, nearly half of them children, are being collectively punished as schools and hospitals are bombed and as residents are denied access to food, drinking water, electricity, and fuel. We call on the members of the college community, and especially its leadership, to use all the means at its disposal to demand the Israeli government end its violent siege against Palestinians and allow immediate movement of humanitarian aid to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

  • We call on President Elliott to use his platform to urge the Massachusetts congressional delegation to call for an immediate ceasefire.
  • We call on the college community to use all the means at its disposal to demand that the U.S. government cease military and other forms of support for the Israeli government's occupation of Palestinian territories and to critically examine any activities that are complicit with such aid.
  • We call on all members of our campus community to join us in affirming our commitment to a robust and respectful intellectual culture where critical conversations about Israel and Palestine are possible. We have been troubled to hear from students, faculty, and staff that many of our community members have felt afraid to openly discuss this issue. We aim for this letter to encourage more open conversations about this issue inside and outside of the classroom.

This call could not be more urgent. This is not a time to be silent and, as such, we call on the college to reaffirm its commitment to the right of students, faculty, and staff to express their views free from intimidation, harassment, and threats to livelihood and safety.

Join us in raising our voices for justice.


Nusrat Chowdhury

Chris Dole

Hannah Holleman

Pooja Rangan

Ashwin Ravikumar

Jared Loggins

Katrina Karkazis

Sony Coráñez Bolton

Alicia Christoff

Krupa Shandilya

Judy Frank

Vanessa Fong

Deborah Gewertz

Michaela Brangan

Lisa Brooks

Lauren Leydon-Hardy

Jagu Jagannathan

Ron Lembo

Ted Melillo

Peter Lobdell

Jeffers Engelhardt

Jonas Rosenbrück

Niko Vicario

Rafeeq Hasan

Ludmila Ferrari

Alexander George

Hannah Hunter-Parker

Christopher Grobe

Cheikh Thiam

Nica Siegel

Jeeyon Jeong

Sonya Clark

Paul Schroeder Rodríguez

Geoff Sanborn

Niek Janssen

Heidi Gilpin

Aneeka Henderson

Carol Bailey

Mia de los Reyes

Victor Guevara

Monica Ringer

Angela Wheeler

Allen Hart

Jessica Reyes

Gilbert Wermeling

Jason Robinson

Editor’s Note: The above signatories do not necessarily represent every faculty member who supports this statement. The Student will continue updating the list as more faculty sign on. Last updated Oct. 30 at 7:22 p.m.