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The Dartmouth
June 21, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Letter to the Editor: Response from the Parent of a Jewish Student

The protests on the Green and the aims of these students were antisemitic and hurtful.

Re: Police arrest 90 individuals at pro-Palestinian protest

I watched the events of May 1 unfold from afar — some of them through the Instagram Live videoed by The Dartmouth. I have also followed along with the student response to the events and while I do not wish any ill will on any student who was arrested, it is equally true that these arrests should have been expected. 

Authorities notified the protesters that if they left the Green they would not be arrested, but the protesters chose to ignore their warnings. In the end, law enforcement was forced to act in order to keep the situation from escalating as it has across the country. 

Every protester should have considered the possibility of their getting arrested and thought critically about why they were protesting. It’s one thing to be concerned about the humanitarian crisis affecting Gaza but quite another to protest the legitimacy of Israel and its actions while refusing to condemn a terrorist organization whose charter is the destruction of Israel. I have no sympathy for that. 

Protesters were also reported to have chanted inflammatory rhetoric like “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” “When people are occupied, resistance is justified,” “Long live the Intifada” and “We will take what we can.” All of these aggressive and antisemitic slogans were chanted at last week’s protest, and many protesters wore — and continue to wear —  keffiyehs, scarves that have now become associated with Palestinian resistance. The combination of these choices by student protesters feels less like peaceful protesting and more like antisemitism.

While being arrested was likely unpleasant and unfamiliar, the complaints about zip ties being too tight or having to wait an hour to be processed ring hollow when hostages, including Americans, have been held by Hamas for more than seven months. These protesters have shown little sympathy for them. This is more evidence that the protest was not about human suffering — it was about antisemitism.

In addition, misguided protests on the subject of divestment continue. These students are supposed to be the brightest of their age, yet they don’t seem to understand Investing 101. What’s the disconnect? The truth of the matter is that divestment by universities has minimal influence over corporate behavior and represents little more than a moral victory. For the most part, it’s not even the students’ money going to support the school but instead those of parents and alumni — entitled and privileged is how it reads. 

The Jewish alumni who just wrote in solidarity with those arrested are objectifying Jewish students instead of listening and supporting them. They do not speak for all Jewish alumni, including my husband, who is a member of the Class of 1989. 

Considering the treatment I have had to personally endure — on public forums like the Dartmouth College Parents Facebook page — from the parents of some of the protesting students, I think it has become common to specifically censure the parents of Jewish students. Free speech has been used as a rallying cry — except when it is time to protect Jewish students. Enough.

Kim Abramson is the parent of a Jewish member of the Class of 2026. Letters to the Editor represent the views of their author(s), which are not necessarily those of The Dartmouth.