The Context of Hamas Apologists’ Call for Context

November 05, 2023 1 min read

Peter Berkowitz
RealClear Politics

Strategists close to the front seek to understand the constellation of circumstances and ideas that give rise to war. So too must responsible commentators far from danger assess the adversaries’ rival claims. The need to grasp a war’s wider frame goes for Hamas’ 10/7 massacres and Israel’s exercise of its right of self-defense.

No shortage of Hamas apologists insist that the jihadists’ mass atrocities perpetrated against civilians in southern Israel and their indiscriminate rocket attacks extending to much of central Israel must be placed in context. But the apologists don’t provide a reliable account of Hamas’ motives, ideas, goals, and conduct; a reasonable summary of Israel’s response; or a scrupulous overview of the Israeli-Arab conflict, not least Islamist enmity toward the Jewish state. Instead, Hamas apologists suppress facts, invent narratives, and repackage outlandish neo-Marxist talking points.

On Oct. 22, 69 professors and 595 students and alumni published in The Daily Princetonian an open letter “in solidarity with Gaza” addressed to university president Christopher Eisgruber. The professors, students, and alumni wrote “to express our unequivocal outrage over the tragic loss of Israeli and Palestinian lives during the past week” but suggested that Israel acting in self-defense was worse than Hamas jihadists butchering civilians. While declining to describe Hamas’ documented atrocities, they accused Israel of engaging in “the targeting of civilians by the relentless bombing of hospitals, homes, roads, schools, universities, and infrastructures of survival in the Gaza Strip” while imposing “unchecked collective punishment.”

Click here for link to full article

Leave a comment


Also in Princeton Free Speech News & Commentary

Guest Essay in PAW: We’re Calling on Princeton to Do More to Fight Antisemitism on Campus

November 30, 2023 1 min read

Jacob Katz '23, Leon Skornicki '06
Princeton Alumni Weekly

Excerpt: As PAW has compellingly demonstrated in recent articles, Hamas’ barbarous attacks on Israeli citizens hit close to home for many Princetonians. But the attacks’ aftermath has reached us all. Skyrocketing antisemitism has reverberated around the globe, and sure enough, it made its way through Fitz Randolph Gate. Following two student-led pro-Intifada rallies, concerned students reached out to alumni about unchecked antisemitism on campus.

As alumni, we want current students to guide campus discourse. We had our turn, and now it is theirs. But as Princeton occupies a prominent place in both our personal identities and our national conversation, we have reason to make our voices heard when something is awry. And when exasperated students turn to us and other alumni for help, something is awry.
Read More
Can the Coming Crisis Revitalize our Republic? Thoughts on “Struggles of an Optimist,” a talk by Mitch Daniels ‘71

November 27, 2023 3 min read

By Khoa Sands ‘26


The idea of decline has always held a certain allure to historians and politicians alike. The high prophet of this declinism was Oswald Spengler, whose 1918 book The Decline of the West has become a motivating treatise for the American New Right. For these modern-day doomsayers, the United States is predestined to ruin, beset by internal crises of spiritedness and domestic politics as well as external threats of rising challengers to the US-led world order. These concerns are not unfounded – a revanchist China will be the largest geopolitical crisis of the twenty-first century and any casual observer of American politics can attest to the sorry state of domestic politics in America today.

Read More
On institutional neutrality and double-standards

November 21, 2023 1 min read

Matthew Wilson, Daily Princetonian

 Excerpt: As I write this essay, the despicable poison of Jew-hatred has taken a firm hold at so many college campuses, Princeton included. Here at Princeton, activists proudly chant “Intifada” and demand the complete eradication of the world’s only Jewish state; elsewhere, from CornellHarvard, and the University of Pennsylvania to Ohio State and Cooper Union, frightening (and sometimes violent and illegal) exhibitions of anti-Jewish attitudes abound.

For the most part, university responses to these shameful displays have been tepid and restrained. these same universities, despite being so reticent to speak out now, have a prolonged public history of weighing in on a wide array of hotly contested and politically controversial topics. At Princeton, for instance, recent years have seen official statements issued deploring Supreme Court rulings on abortion and affirmative actioncondemning a jury verdict, and attacking a professor for his political views. On Hamas’s terrorist attacks? No official statements.

Read More