Vandy law prof threatens to shut down pro-Israel event, claims country is ‘destroying’ America
The former dean of the Vanderbilt Law School, Professor Edward Rubin, threatened to shut down a pro-Israel demonstration as he is an American and not part of the “international Jewish conspiracy,” according to an email obtained by Campus Reform.
In the email, sent to Laurie Cardoza-Moore, president of Proclaiming Justice to the Nations (PJTN), a pro-Israel Christian organization, Rubin attacked Republicans and Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu, who he accused of opposing everything Rubin believes in when it comes to human rights, environmental issues, and social justice.
“As a strongly Jewish-identified American, and the son-in-law of an Auschwitz survivor, I want to let you know that I have become an opponent of Israel,” Rubin wrote in the email provided to Campus Reform.
“I have always regarded Israel as important, but I am not a member of an international Jewish conspiracy; I am an American,” Rubin also said. “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 specializes in administrative law, constitutional law, and legal theory.
Cardoza-Moore said she received the email on Feb., 15 after announcing the rally in a private email to PJTN supporters. The 2015 International Christian Prayer and Action Event for Israel was held on Feb., 23 in Nashville. The event was held during the National Religious Broadcasters’ (NRB) annual International Christian Media Convention.
“I find it disturbing that Professor Rubin is using his position with a private university to wield influence with the Nashville mayor,” Cardoza-Moore said in a statement. “An effort to shut down any rally should be of great concern to the integrity of the university that employs him and should, at the very least, be of great concern for that same university to employ a ‘Constitutional’ professor who is trying to suppress an individual’s Constitutional rights.”
Vanderbilt Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Dr. Susan Wente distanced the university from Rubin’s remarks in an email to Campus Reform. Wente said his comments were not an endorsed Vanderbilt “statement or position.”
“However, we do respect Mr. Rubin’s right under the First Amendment to convey his views,” Wente told Campus Reform, adding that the private university is “firmly committed to an inclusive, safe and welcoming environment.”
Cardoza-Moore told Campus Reform that she was “flabbergasted” by Rubin’s outrage and attempt to stop the annual rally. She also believes that the university should fire the professor, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
“Dr. Wente never condemned his email, or his use of his Vanderbilt University email address,” Cardoza-Moore told Campus Reform. “I don’t care if it’s on a personal level, you don’t use a private university email address. For him to try to use his position at a prestigious university, to try and shut this rally down, is outrageous.”
“Here you [have parents] spending $50,000 - $60,000 on their [children’s] education, and you have a constitutional law scholar who isn’t willing to allow another individual to have their right to disagree with him.”
Vanderbilt’s College Republicans chapter told Campus Reform that its members were “disheartened” by Rubin’s comments and extended their “full support to Laurie Cardoza-Moore and Proclaiming Justice to the Nations.”
“I think it’s horrible that a person could express such statements. I’m Jewish, and I’ve always thought that support for Israel is a cornerstone of our foreign policy and involvement in the Middle East,” John Ridley, a Vanderbilt junior told Campus Reform. “For someone to come out against the Jewish people and Israel, for me personally, I find that deeply offensive.”
“I think he is entitled to whatever opinion he wants, but just because you don’t support something doesn’t mean you should try to stop others from their free expression of support,” Kayley Romick, a sophomore at the university, told Campus Reform.
Rubin did not respond to a request for comment from Campus Reform. Vanderbilt staff have told Campus Reform that he will not be doing any interviews or issuing any statements.
Cardoza-Moore said that neither she nor PJTN have received any communication from Vanderbilt as of Sunday evening.
Rubin has previously served as a consultant to the People’s Republic of China on administrative law and to the Russian Federation on payments law, according to his faculty bio. He joined Vanderbilt Law School as dean and the first John Wade–Kent Syverud Professor of Law in July 2005, serving a four-year term that ended in June 2009.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @CRDees