In Response to: On Free Speech

I welcome President Eisgruber’s commitment to free speech, and he is correct to point out that such freedom can result in a feeling of offense in any of us.

I say that “Jews are routinely killing and injuring Palestinians,” and I believe that, if such a statement were made publicly by some people, including members of Congress, there would be many accusations of antisemitism, with lives cancelled.

But I say also, “Jews are routinely killing Palestinians, with unaccountability.” 

For this claim, I offer the following statement by B’tselem, a human rights organization in Israel:

“Accountability for human rights violations is crucial to justice and the rule of law. Israel shirks this responsibility when it comes to its actions in the Occupied Territories, instead putting in place systems which do no more than offer the semblance of law enforcement, in both criminal and civil law. Those responsible go unpunished and victims are denied compensation, apart from rare exceptions that merely serve to reinforce the illusion of a functioning law enforcement system. Not only does the lack of deterrence and oversight enable human rights abuse, it also facilitates the continuation of the occupation itself.” 

I propose that this unaccountability is in part due to the fact that similar statements as mine above are greatly suppressed in many public arenas. 

As Eisgruber notes, a “free exchange of ideas is essential to the pursuit of truth.”  In my view, if enough of us were allowed to speak freely about the plight of the Palestinians under Jewish occupation and about the reasons for the U.S. government’s unconditional support for the Israeli Jews, we would very quickly get to the roots on why Jews are routinely killing and injuring Palestinians without accountability.

Thomas Tonon *71
Princeton Junction, N.J.