Letter in support of our colleagues in NARST


Here is the letter:

Dear NARST colleagues,

We are writing to support our friends and colleagues who wrote to respond in strong terms to NARST’s “In Memoriam” message on this listserv on Oct 18, 2023. Our colleagues are grieving the murder of a member of the NARST community, Yasmin Zohar, and her family (her two daughters, her father, and her husband), and of Dr. Marcel Frailich Kaplon and the kidnapping of Dr. Hagit Rafaeli Mishkin by Hamas more than two weeks ago.

We recognize that NARST members reflect a range of perspectives on the Israeli government and military response to the Oct 7 terrorist attack and on the sociopolitical context in which it occurred. We welcome these varied perspectives as members of the thriving, pluralist, international organization that is NARST. However, we believe that it is essential not to mince words and to clearly assign blame for what occurred and by whose actions. Context matters, but some things are simply wrong, and what Hamas did to Yasmin Zohar, Dr. Marcel Frailich Kaplon, Dr. Hagit Rafaeli Mishkin and other Israeli civilians in this attack is unarguably wrong and inhumane. Our colleagues are grieving and need our support, not our silence. We view NARST’s October 18, 2023 email (despite its intentions) as grossly insensitive, and we sincerely empathize with our Israeli colleagues’ strong reaction.

Recognizing what Hamas did and continues to do, does not abdicate our understanding of the broader sociopolitical context. We lament the killing and suffering of innocent civilians both in Israel and Gaza and pray for peace. Still, as an organization that connects friends and colleagues around the world, now and going forward, we can and must do more to demonstrate our understanding and support amid an unimaginable horror.


Valarie Akerson, Indiana University
Todd Campbell, University of Connecticut
Charlene M. Czerniak, University of Toledo
Elizabeth A. Davis, University of Michigan
Robert R. Geier, Michigan State University
Imogen R. Herrick, University of Kansas
Li Ke, University of Nevada, Reno
Joe Krajcik, Michigan State University
Marcus Kubsch, Freie Universität Berlin
Richard L. Lamb, East Carolina University
Doug Lombardi, University of Maryland
Stefanie Marshall, Michigan State University
Knut Neumann, Leibniz-Institute for Science and Mathematics Education
Jeffrey Nordine, University of Iowa
Brian Reiser, Northwestern University
Joshua Rosenberg, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Christina Schwarz, Michigan State University
Samuel Severance, Northern Arizona University
David Treagust, Curtin University, Perth
Tina Vo, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Xiaoming Zhai, University of Georgia