The authors of “Students Gather to Mourn After Violence in Israel, Gaza” (On the Campus, November issue) should be congratulated on finding a new way to describe a terrorist attack on peaceful women, children, and the elderly in Israel Oct. 7. To call it a “surprise attack” turns a barbarous act into a military action like Pearl Harbor or Operation Barbarossa.

Calling what Hamas committed by any other name than terrorism is absurd. But then, this sort of journalism puts PAW in the mainstream of Orwellian speech that is found in our leading newspapers and magazines. Even the quote from President Christopher Eisgruber ’83 does not mention the word “terrorism,” although he did call it a terrorist attack in his full statement [7].

You can be sympathetic to Palestinians caught in the horrors of war without engaging in ludicrous denial about how that war started. Then again, you might recall the fate of those who launch “surprise attacks” against determined opponents.