I arrived at Princeton in the fall of 1961. There were no women in the class. There was one African-American in the class. There were no noticeable Palestinians in the class. The classmates I met certainly could not be called left leaning as the recent article states about the current University status.
Yet as I read about Princeton after 10/7, one issue remains constant — antisemitism. Then it was the good old right-wing antisemitism that led to swastikas appearing on my desk and being told by a classmate that his father always called FDR, not in a flattering way, Franklin Delano Rosenfeld. I was also told by a club mate that I was “the nicest Jewish boy he ever met.”
All this was clearly not as frightening as what Jews face on campus today. Prior to applying, I was told Princeton was antisemitic, expected something untoward would occur, and attended anyway. After all, I entered but a few years after the notorious Dirty Bicker year. I guess I saw facing antisemitism as a rite of passage.
Princeton may be faring better now than Columbia, and I hope that continues. I just want to put in perspective the through line from today’s Princeton and the one in which I lived over 60 years ago.