President Eisgruber ’83 stated very well in PAW’s April issue (President’s Page) the case for diverse guest speakers like the young poet-journalist Mohammed El-Kurd who spoke in February about the plight of Palestinians. Eisgruber decried the narrow acrimony voiced in Fox News reviews and on social media. On the facing page was a pertinent letter by Princeton alumnus Michael Goldstein ’78. It is particularly distressing that Michael surpasses the sensationalist media by presuming that El-Kurd not only hates all Jews — many no doubt in the audience packing 10 McCosh Hall — rather than specifically Zionists and West Bank settlers, but also that El-Kurd “would like to exterminate” him and his two Princeton alumni sons.
It’s a pity that neither Michael nor I was present in the hall to experience the tone of the discussion as well as to hear El-Kurd’s complete presentation. I hope that faculty of sociology, religion, poetry, and psychology will publicly speak (a panel?) on alternatives to Michael’s fearful yet arrogant response to media reports. I hope that Michael and others such as campus Zionists will gain experiences that may empathetically challenge their insulated convictions.