Skip To Content
Fast Forward

Peter Stuyvesant Statue Should Go Too, Israeli Group Says

An Israeli legal NGO is calling on New York City to remove statues honoring Peter Stuyvesant, the 17th century Dutch ruler of the colony of New Amsterdam.

The head of Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Center, Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, told the New York Post that Stuyvesant was an “extreme racist” who targeted Jews.

Various writers have slammed Darshan-Leitner’s attack on Stuyvesant as “boneheaded” and “ridiculous”.

In an op-ed in the Forward yesterday, leading Jewish studies scholar Jonathan Sarna noted that while Stuyvesant did attempt to exclude Jews from New Amsterdam, he was also the city’s most successful early leader. Stuyvesant eventually did allow Jews to join the colony, and lived alongside them even after he fell from power.

Questions have also been raised about whether Grant’s Tomb should be torn down over Ulysses S. Grant’s effort expel Jews from portions of the South during the Civil War.

“The cases of Stuyvesant and Grant serve to remind us that human lives are complicated, that everyone makes mistakes, and that truly great leaders learn from those mistakes and improve their ways,” Sarna wrote.

Contact Josh Nathan-Kazis at [email protected] or on Twitter, @joshnathankazis.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning journalism this Passover. 

In this age of misinformation, our work is needed like never before. We report on the news that matters most to American Jews, driven by truth, not ideology.

At a time when newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall. That means for the first time in our 126-year history, Forward journalism is free to everyone, everywhere. With an ongoing war, rising antisemitism, and a flood of disinformation that may affect the upcoming election, we believe that free and open access to Jewish journalism is imperative.

Readers like you make it all possible. Right now, we’re in the middle of our Passover Pledge Drive and we need 500 people to step up and make a gift to sustain our trustworthy, independent journalism. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Our Goal: 500 gifts during our Passover Pledge Drive!

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.