A Statement Made

by Jessica Goldberg | 5/22/02 5:00am

To the Editor:

It has been published on May 15 ("Hillel votes to take pro-Israel stance") that I voted against Hillel's advertisement in The Dartmouth: "Wherever we stand, we stand with Israel." Those who know me will know the following to be true: wherever my feet may stand, my sentiments stand wholly for Israel, for its right to exist peacefully, for its continuance as the homeland of the Jewish people, for its beauty as a nation both in spirit and in aesthetic. In this way, I agree on a personal level with the statement that Hillel will make.

However, my agreement with the statement is merely personal, and based on my own interpretation. Such a statement will be perceived in whichever way its reader chooses. I feel that in publishing this statement, Dartmouth Hillel, the only organization in the Upper Valley that represents a student Jewish community, has made a risky decision that could potentially be threatening to both inter- and intragroup relations on campus. The fear, turmoil, and sometimes anger in which both Israelis and Palestinians have been living will not be assuaged by bold statements and ambiguously eager slogans.

This said, and the decision to publish the statement already democratically made, I am left with my faith in Hillel members and in the Dartmouth community to react thoughtfully and responsibly to this statement. I would like to think that this energized statement will be followed up by a more informative and thought-provoking expression of support for Israel. I sincerely hope that all of the positive and none of the negative potential of this decision will be realized, and that it will instead spur discussion, awareness and compassion.