In Response to: War & Words

The article “War and Words” was superb. 

But in the third paragraph we read pro-Palestinian students chanted in Arabic “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!” while later in the article is the claim by Rabbi Eitan Webb that the chant in Arabic is “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be Arab.” Which is it? It would certainly be nice to know.

Regarding the planned Nov. 6 discussion and the sparse attendance, people at Princeton (students, faculty, administrators) not attending educational gatherings because they don’t represent their preconceived perspectives is appalling. The issue is not trivial; it involves life and death for at least tens of thousands now and over decades into the future potentially. Can’t people see this? Are we going to continue this hostility and life/death environment forever or, as Western Europe leaders chose to do after millions died in World War II, settle the contentious issues and live peacefully together? Have we, supposedly among the most intellectual individuals, grown so accustomed to not exploring what might differ from our thinking and so short-sighted in thinking? Are we accustomed to just believing what we have been raised on? Is this related to the influence of social media that use algorithms to feed users what they already think, thereby reinforcing existing biases and excluding anything foreign to those? If so, these are major problems the University should address as part of educating our young people to be responsible citizens. The question posed by a student in the audience was indeed superb.

Edward Diener ’61
Vienna, Va.