I am grateful for your informative coverage in the June issue concerning political protests at Princeton. Is it deja vu all over again?

I was a graduate philosophy/classics student at Princeton from 1966 to 1971 during a time of considerable campus unrest over Vietnam and a locally heightened awareness of racial oppression. Until the draft lottery was introduced in 1969, my draft status was 1A, so that on any day I might be called upon to serve or resist.

The hardest part of that experience was my increasing disillusion with the United States government’s campaign of lies and deception, which would eventually fully come to light with the Pentagon Papers. My hitherto faith in our elected leaders and the military vanished. And I met personally with returning vets who described in detail their gruesome killing of innocent villagers: women, children, elderly men.

Losing my naïveté was traumatic for me. And same can be said today for those Princeton students who have faithfully supported the government of Israel with an unquestioned faith in Zionism.

Education is the salve that can heal the wounds of disillusionment and betrayal. Scholars at Princeton and elsewhere have shifted the narrative of the Zionist story with unsettling revealed truths about the Nakba (النكبة) and consequential Palestinian apartheid.

These truths can be traumatic to acquire and recognize. And as happened with Vietnam, their discovery can lead to righteous indignation, the cheapest of emotions during political upheavals.

Now is the time to speak with compassion to those who are losing their faith in Zionism. Now is also the time for patience with those who still want to believe in the political legitimacy of a religious homeland.

During the protests over Vietnam there was too much yelling and too few reasoned conversations. Loving, mutual concern is more illuminating than hateful speech.

David Glidden *71
Riverside, Calif.