One of the many wonderful principles taught at Princeton says that our words and deeds should align — and be in the service of humanity. Misalignment constitutes carelessness at best, hypocrisy at worst. We should be concerned that our University’s president has lapsed into such misalignment in his February “President’s Page.”

The letter was explicitly claiming to be about “mutual respect” and “free inquiry,” but the first concept seems to be applied selectively, expressing much more respect on one side of the war in Gaza than the other. In the column, a reprinting of a December letter to Rep. Mikie Sherrill (N.J.), the president said the University would “sponsor better speech,” “state our values,” and “support our students,” all “in a way that is even-handed and fair to all identities and viewpoints.” Elsewhere, he called Hamas’ attack on Oct. 7 “abominable terrorist acts” of which he “issued an unequivocal condemnation,” yet he says nothing about the massive slaughter of Palestinians. As of the end of December, the month of his letter to Sherrill, more than 22,000 Palestinians had reportedly been killed, according to UNICEF, many of which were civilian children and women. The Hamas attacks — putting aside for the moment the decades of context that make them understandable but not excusable — indeed should be condemned. But so, too, should the disproportionate and indiscriminate Israeli attacks on Gaza.

Eisgruber leaves alert readers wondering. I expect the president of our beloved University to do better, and usually he has. But not this time.

Peter J. Greenhill ’81
Honolulu, Hawaii