I read the article “Students Launch Israel Divestment Campaign” in the April issue with concern and cautious optimism.

The surge of anti-Israeli sentiment that has impacted universities throughout the nation has not left Princeton untouched. We are experiencing a generational divide in which those born in this century have (through no fault of their own) insufficient understanding of horrors experienced by millions of Jews in the Holocaust, homelessness of the survivors, and the United Nations decision in 1947 to establish the State of Israel. The wisdom of that decision can be retrospectively questioned, but the U.S. commitment to defend it is deeply rooted.

President Eisgruber ’83 and the administration have managed the student divestment campaign successfully, allowing freedom of expression, but also insisting upon a comprehensive perspective. Princeton, with its long-established strength in Near Eastern studies, may have a novel opportunity to bridge the educational gap for the 21st century generation, at Princeton, and even elsewhere, by assisting universities in need of wise and empathetic instruction regarding the ongoing plight of Israel and its neighbors. The need is urgent and educational in nature. No doubt the bright minds of the younger generation are capable of understanding Israel’s dilemma, once provided with sufficient balanced expert guidance.

This potential initiative could constitute a tall order for a carefully selected faculty task force, but the potential benefit is major.

As in previous times, Princeton has an opportunity to reconfirm its leadership role in the nation’s service.

Steve Smith ’59
Towson, Md.