Photo Credit: Twitter

Steven Thrasher

C/O Office of the Dean
Medill School of Journalism and Media


Northwestern University

1845 Sheridan Road
Fisk Hall, Suite 211
Evanston, IL 60208-2101

Dear Dr. Thrasher

Congratulations on receiving your doctorate in American studies from NYU’s Department of Social and Cultural Analysis.

Your convocation speech included your statement that Israel is an apartheid state. How that relates to your doctorate in American studies and the convocation is puzzling, but it does reveal where you are and where you are reveals a woeful lack of knowledge about Israel and apartheid.

Apartheid in South Africa forbade marriage between Blacks and whites. No such law exists in Israel. In Israel there are many marriages between Jews and Arabs.

Apartheid in South Africa forced black students to study trades and domestic skills. In Israel, Arabs serve as heads of departments, are skilled researchers, doctors, nurses and scientists.

South Africa’s justice system oppressed the black population in contrast with Israel where the Supreme Court that includes Arab judges often rules in favor of Arab litigants. This would have been unthinkable in apartheid South Africa.

I hope that you will study the situation in the Middle East not from the eyes of organizations committed to bringing down Israel, but from real scholars. Isn’t that what education is all about? Your doctorate has no meaning if you turn your back on objectivity.

Sincerely yours,

Lawrence C. Shapiro,