When Palestinian resistance includes burning children alive, according to ZAKA volunteers interviewed by Reuters, it leads Jewish and Israeli students to wonder about our own safety on college campuses.
Just one example at UNC: I can no longer study Hebrew, the language of my people, in person due to safety concerns held by my Israeli professor.
While this doesn’t compare to the atrocities Israelis have experienced in the past few weeks, the fact that events taking place on the other side of the world make Jews in America feel unsafe is horrifying.
My peers claim to prioritize human rights, yet justify the actions of a terrorist organization that states in its charter that its mission is to rid the world of Jews. Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005, and Hamas has governed the Strip since 2007. Hamas’s leaders live “in luxury," as accused by some officials, while Gazans live in abject poverty.
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency said in 2009 that Hamas stole humanitarian aid intended for Gazans. Hamas uses hospitals, mosques and other civilian infrastructure, according to NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Intelligence, making them legitimate military targets.
This letter is not for those of you who have already made up your minds. There’s nothing I can say to convince you otherwise. This letter is for those of you who are unsure, those of you who have seen people talking about Israel and Palestine in the past few weeks and don’t understand why. This war may be taking place in the Middle East, but Jews are affected everywhere. Many of us know someone who lost someone on Oct. 7. I’ve found that support for organizations like SJP makes many Jewish students feel unsafe and that we are in a hostile environment.
I’m not asking you to support Israel, but I am asking you to care about your Jewish peers. Research events in context before speaking up. Understand the implications of using weighted terms like “settler-colonialism.” Learn why anti-Israel rhetoric is harmful to Jews.
And please, condemn terrorist organizations for committing acts of terrorism.
— Alana Goldman, UNC class of 2024
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