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A Vanderbilt law professor is facing backlash from the pro-Israel community after launching a campaign to shut down a rally supporting the Jewish state and opposing global terrorism, according to emails obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
The rally, scheduled to take place this weekend in Nashville, is being organized by Proclaiming Justice to the Nations (PJTN), a pro-Israel organization that fights anti-Semitism.
After the group sent out an announcement about the event, Vanderbilt law professor Edward Rubin responded with a scathing email to rally organizers letting them know that he is an “an opponent of Israel” and “not a member of an international Jewish conspiracy,” according to a copy of the message sent by Rubin from his official Vanderbilt address.
In the message, Rubin lashes out at Israel and vows to shut down the pro-Israel rally by contacting the local mayor’s office.
“I want to let you know that I have become an opponent of Israel,” Rubin writes. “The reason is that Israel's Prime Minister has chosen to inject himself into American politics as a supporter of the Republican Party and a lackey of [billionaire] Sheldon Adelson.”
“He is thus acting in opposition to everything I believe in: social justice, environmental protection, and basic human rights,” says Rubin, who describes himself in the message as “a strongly Jewish-identified American, and the son-in-law of an Auschwitz survivor.”
“I have always regarded Israel as important, but I am not a member of an international Jewish conspiracy: I am an American. Israel is trying to destroy my country, I no longer care about its welfare. I am a law professor, and I will contact the Mayor's Office on Monday to see if there is any way that your demonstration can be prevented."
Rubin’s letter sparked outrage in the local Christian and Jewish communities and has prompted Vanderbilt to publicly distance itself from the professor.
“The message from Mr. Rubin to Ms. Cardoza-Moore is not an endorsed Vanderbilt statement or position,” Susan Wente, the school’s provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, said in a statement provided to the Free Beacon.
“However, we do respect Mr. Rubin’s right under the First Amendment to convey his views,” Wente added. “Importantly, please also do not infer that the views of any one person reflect those of all in the Vanderbilt community. We are firmly committed to an inclusive, safe, and welcoming environment.”
Laurie Cardoza-Moore, PJTN’s president, said she was “stunned” to receive Rubin’s email.
“It came as a shock,” Cardoza-Moore told the Free Beacon. “It was absolutely absurd and I let him know it’s pathetic and an insult to not only the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, but the other five million people slaughtered as well.”
“I have a right to not only voice my opinion, but freely assemble in this country,” she said. “For a law professor, a constitutional law professor, to threaten to try and shut down my rally that is the height of hypocrisy. It’s unbelievable.”
Cardoza-Moore said Vanderbuilt should ask Rubin to resign.
“He has no right teaching future law students, constitutional law, or any law for that matter,” she said.
Rubin did not respond to an email and phone message seeking further explanation of his comments.