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Facing backlash, NYU Indigenous studies director condemns Hamas attack


Tuck signed a letter condemning Israel’s ‘settler colonialism, apartheid, and occupation’

Eve Tuck, a professor recently hired by NYU to head an Indigenous studies center opening on campus Jan. 1, 2024, appeared to walk back her condemnation of Israel in recent comments regarding its war against Hamas.

Tuck (pictured) was an associate professor of critical race and Indigenous studies in the department of social justice education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto, according to her faculty bio.

She supervised “students who engage Indigenous theories and research, and who take up settler colonialism, antiblackness, the politics of research, and/or theories of change.”

Her bio also stated she is “Unangax̂ and is an enrolled member of the Aleut Community of St. Paul Island, Alaska.”

The College Fix emailed Tuck to ask whether she supports the Jewish state or believes Israel has a right to defend itself. It has not received a response.

In a statement posted to NYU’s website Nov. 7, Tuck said that she “condemn[s] Hamas’ terrorist attack on Israel, and the taking of hostages, whose safe and swift return [she] fervently wish[es] for.”

“I have taught at universities for over a decade and a half,” she wrote. “I welcome students bringing a range of views into the classroom; it’s vital to the teaching and learning process. I have always believed my role in the classroom to be one of helping students develop their thinking skills, not telling them what to think.”

In an Oct. 9 news release, NYU Interim Provost Georgina Dopico stated the university will launch a Center for Indigenous Studies with Tuck to serve as its founding director.

The center will “help integrate Indigenous ways of knowing into the curriculum” and “make NYU a prominent center in the field of Indigenous Studies,” according to the release.

“Beginning January 1, 2024, [Tuck] will hold a joint appointment at the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development and at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study.”

Tuck’s statements regarding Israel appeared to qualify public statements she made condemning the nation for violence in Gaza, following public criticism.

Tuck was one of more than one hundred to sign a letter published Oct. 26 on the Israel-Hamas War Oct. 26 titled “Indigenous Solidarity with Palestine,” which condemned violence in Gaza and attributed the ongoing conflict to “75 years of Israeli settler colonial dispossession, 56 years of military occupation, and 16 years of an open-air prison for 2.2 million people, half of whom are children.”

“The atrocities of the Israeli apartheid regime in Palestine are relentless, illegal under international law, and consistent with settler-colonial projects globally,” according to the letter.

“It has been heartbreaking and unsurprising to see the colonial powers in Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe line up behind this genocide,” it stated. “Israeli settler colonialism, apartheid, and occupation are only possible because of international support.”

The letter also demanded “an end to all foreign military aid from the United States and Canada to Israel,” the boycott of Israel and “all institutions complicit in Israeli apartheid and settler colonialism,” and a recognition “that Zionism is a form of racism and a colonial ideology that does not represent the views of all Jewish people throughout the world.”

The Fix emailed NYU Senior Vice President for Public Affairs and Strategic Communications John Beckman for comment but has not received a response.

The New York Post in Nov. quoted Elliot Bross, a board member of NYU’s Stern School of Business, as saying he is “appalled that [Tuck]’s hiring continued in the middle of this toxic atmosphere.”

“I call for the NYU to terminate her contract immediately,” Bross told the Post.

Tuck’s appointment comes in the wake of ongoing investigations into antisemitism at elite colleges and universities.

At a congressional hearing Tuesday, New York Congresswoman Elise Stefanik questioned the presidents of Harvard, MIT and the University of Pennsylvania on antisemitic rhetoric on campus, The Fix previously reported. Each president said demanding the “genocide of Jews” does not always violate school policies against “bullying and harassment.”

MORE: ‘I stand with Israel’: Harvard newspaper editor bucks peers, defends Zionism

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to clarify questions sent to NYU spokesman John Beckman.

IMAGE: EveTuck.com

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About the Author
Max Rosenberg --Tulane University