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College Campuses Become a Hotbed for Views on the Israel-Palestine War By Aarya Patil, 16

Current Affairs Op-Ed Feature Report

On Monday, Lawrence H. Summers, the former Harvard President, and Treasury Secretary denounced Harvard for failing to condemn the pro-Palestine letter sent by the Harvard Palestine Solidarity Groups saying on X, formally known as Twitter that the student coalition group, “has allowed Harvard to appear at best neutral towards acts of terror against the Jewish state of Israel,”.

The Harvard letter stated, “the Israeli regime is entirely responsible for all unfolding violence,” which implied that Harvard is indifferent towards the violence afflicted on Israel. Harvard faced serious criticism for its actions from Jewish Student Groups, but this was not the only college. Colleges like The University of Arizona, the University of California, and Georgetown University are suffering a backlash from students for condoning the actions of student coalition groups that were pro-Palestine or pro-Israel. Colleges are in a tight spot as they become a hotbed for self-expression as tensions rise between pro-Palestine and pro-Israel student coalition groups.

“We’ve received many calls for assistance in dealing with threats and intimidation. Schools across the country are vilifying Palestinians, and elected officials are setting up the stage for hate crimes against Arabs,” said Abed Ayoub, the national executive director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.

As a result of this commotion on campus, Jewish and Muslim students are reluctant to publicly discuss their faith as tensions between the pro-Palestine and pro-Israel groups on college campuses have risen. College campuses that were once a ‘safe environment’ for students to self-express have now led students to be hesitant to open up about their views and culture.

NBC News quoted Ari Kolb, the president of Rutgers University’s Hillel saying “I wear a kippa as a Jewish garment, and today was the first time that I ever questioned whether or not I should go out wearing one just to go to class,” in response to the tensions on campus.

Correspondingly those using their self-expression rights also faced repercussions for doing so. At New York University, the President of the school’s student bar association lost a job offer after making comments in an online newsletter that stated "I will not condemn Palestinian resistance,".

The coalition groups claim that they seek for the war to end as quickly as possible as they do not condone the actions of violence being inflicted on Israel or the Palestinian public as one member from the Palestinian Solidarity Committee at Indiana U said to the Daily Student, “We don’t represent Hamas, and we don’t condone the actions of Hamas,” and “It is a tragic event, and we hope things deescalate as soon as they can,”.

Colleges brace for the wave of student expression brought about by student alliance groups expressing their opinions in response to the violence of the Israel-Palestine War. The Jewish student organization President, Jacob Miller expresses his concern to NBC News saying “Never in my life have I seen tension like this,”.

Aarya Patil

Junior Correspondent


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