In Response to: Alumni Letter on Antisemitism [6]

Antisemitism is abhorrent, as is Islamophobia. The latter term was promulgated by my friend, Princeton’s former professor Akbar Ahmed; along with a rabbi. I worry that cynical efforts to silence critics of Israel by accusing them of being antisemites until proven otherwise may paradoxically increase antisemitism, as Jews and gentiles alike learn more about concealed truths concerning Israel’s long history of threatening, imprisoning, expelling, and killing the Palestinians.

In the shocking Israeli documentary The Gatekeepers, all the living former directors of Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security service, admitted that longstanding Israeli mistreatment of the Palestinians has simply created more terrorists. And we’ve learned Benjamin Netanyahu has long tolerated Hamas (which most Palestinians detest, and which will not collaborate with the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank) so as to undermine a two-state solution.

Yes, we absolutely need to condemn Hamas terrorism. But that doesn’t mean Israel is innocent. As the late Palestinian scholar Edward Said ’57 remarked of his people, “We’re the victims of the victims,” alluding, of course, to the Holocaust.