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Wednesday, May 29, 2024
The Observer

20240425, Evening with Fr. Jenkins, Gray Nocjar, Palestine Protest-4.jpg

Open letter to Father Jenkins on connections to Israel

Dear Father Jenkins, 

We, the students, faculty and staff of Notre Dame, trust this email finds you in good health well, and is received warmly. 

Today marks the 221st day of the harrowing onslaught, marking a period of horrific killings, systematic ethnic persecution and widespread displacement of countless innocent Palestinian children, women and men. The genocide has prevailed, without a stutter, in the face of world leaders calling for a ceasefire, the flow of humanitarian aid to enter Gaza and justice for the Palestinian people. As the President of Notre Dame, you are among the responsive world leaders who called for a ceasefire. Among U.S. leaders, you bravely stood alone on Feb. 9, 2024, demanding “an end to the violence and death in Gaza” along with an “immediate and permanent ceasefire.” We, the students, faculty and staff of Notre Dame, unequivocally appreciate and thank you for these words. However, as you know, the situation in Gaza continues to deteriorate with over 34,138 civilians murdered and many more buried under the rubbles of what was once their homes. 

We, the students, faculty and staff of Notre Dame, call for your support; as our mentor, leader and inspiration. We call for you, to enact the very Catholic principles rooted in honesty, justice and compassion when it comes to supporting the Palestinian people. Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Boeing, Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics have been complicit in supplying arms to the Israeli army, directly profiting from genocide and mass murder. Our hope is that Notre Dame is not associated with these companies through investments, funding or support in any way. We seek transparency; your voice breaking silence with a declarative account of Notre Dame’s stance concerning investments or affiliations with these entities. 

At the core of our mission is the absolute extermination of injustice; our form of achieving this mission is through protests. This is why today, the 25th of April 2024, we will peacefully and respectfully protest through a prayer service, poetry and chants of justice from 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. We in no way intend to harm anyone on campus, rather we intend to bring about awareness of the ongoing slaughter of Palestinians, along with the mission that Notre Dame releases a clear investment portfolio with regards to the aforementioned companies, the reassessment of relationships with Israeli institutions that provide legal and ethical support to the ongoing genocide and finally, our right to protest to be respected. 

We, the students, faculty and staff of Notre Dame, hope you take this message well; coming from a place of love for all of humanity and respecting our core catholic principles of justice. 

With heartfelt urgency, 

231 members of the community affiliated with Notre Dame

April 25

Editor’s Note: This letter was written and sent to University President Fr. John Jenkins before the protests on campus last Thursday.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.