In Response to: Divestment Debate

I’m glad there is a robust anti-divestment movement at Princeton. I’m disappointed at the number of students who signed the BDS petition, but I’m angry that 76 “tenured faculty members” signed it.

I don’t understand how any rational person thinks that if Israel left the West Bank (as it left Gaza), peace would follow. The Palestinians are further away than ever from discussing proposals Israel could accept or its only real ally could honorably ask them to accept. Here’s a topic to ponder: Can a people lose their right of self-determination when the only definition they have of that right is to completely replace another people?

Germany and Japan lost their right to self-determination when they embarked on unprovoked, ruthless wars of conquest. If they had not radically reformed themselves under the enlightened rule of their conquerors, they might never have regained sovereignty, let alone the prosperity and stability that followed fundamental changes in their mindset and social structure.

In a political sense, the same model should apply to the Palestinians preceding any further talk of statehood.

It is amazing that 76 professors at my university have let themselves become enemies of the only democracy in the Middle East. Support for a Palestinian state — given the behavior of Hamas and the PLO, an educational system steeped in conscienceless hatred, and public-opinion poll results among the Palestinians — accomplishes nothing except to incentivize terrorism and genocide against the very existence of Israel, not to mention the threat to the national security of our own country. Shame on such willful ignorance.

Ron Thompson ’64