I was saddened but not surprised to read about the launch of the Israel Divestment Campaign. Causes and activism inevitably follow the fashion; even Princeton cannot stand against the tide. If everyone is doing it, it must be right.

I don’t like Israel’s right-wing government either. But I would ask students, faculty and administrators to consider what they hope to achieve by disinvesting. When Jewish businesses around the world are defaced with swastikas; when Jewish students on American campuses feel it necessary to hide their skullcaps and Stars of David for fears of personal safety; when rape and acts of terror are celebrated as “resistance”: What are you really protesting — or saying? From my distance of over 45 years from campus life, and lifetime residence in New York City with its large Jewish population, I don’t see meaningful criticism of a democratic ally in a dangerous part of the world. Instead, I see growing waves of the chronic and universal antisemitism that looks for any excuse to erupt.

As a popular meme on social media has it: A Zionist Jew and an Anti-Zionist Jew walk into a bar. The bartender says, “We don’t serve Jews.”

And as British Jewish comedian and author (“Jews Don’t Count”) David Baddiel has said, the fact that he is an atheist would have made no difference to the Nazis. He’d be shot or sent to the gas chamber regardless of his personal beliefs, simply for the fact of being ethnically Jewish. The past months, if they have taught us anything, have shown that anti-Zionism is often simply the acceptable face of antisemitism.

Here in the U.S., we see how hard it is to elect reasonable leaders, how difficult to change our Constitution with its antiquated Electoral College and activist Supreme Court. Israel is fighting the same kind of internal battle. Rather than divest, why not invest more political and cooperative energy into working for a long-term solution for peace?

Ann Herendeen ’77