On Nov. 8, a Letter to the Editor titled “On recent events in Israel and Palestine” was published in The Wellesley News. Written by Jewish students across class years, all of whom remained anonymous, the piece did a disservice to the already faltering Zionist campaign. The piece gets off to a rough start with the following sentences: “We condemn the atrocities committed by Hamas against Israelis. We denounce the violence against civilian Palestinians.”
Notice something strange there? Who is condemned? Who committed atrocities against whom? Only Hamas. Contrastingly, the invisible boogey-man that commits violence against civilian Palestinians only gets “denounced.” Not condemned.
But this villain isn’t invisible, nor is it a boogeyman. It is the State of Israel. And pro-Palestinian students on this campus are sick and tired of vague references to Palestinian suffering when they are accompanied by the intentional omission of the perpetrator of said suffering. And make no mistake: Palestinians are suffering significantly more than Israelis. Over 20,000 Palestinians have been slaughtered as a result of Israeli attacks since Oct. 7, and many consider this an underestimate, with inevitable deaths from starvation and lack of supplies contributing to a greater death toll.
The writers of this piece also add in this painfully unaware statement: “Many of our campus siblings failed to condemn the violent, inhumane acts committed by Hamas.” Yet, the writers themselves did not condemn Israel’s actions.
Why is it only pro-Palestinians who have to condemn? Why is it only Muslims who have to condemn? Brown people, who have to condemn? Arabs who have to condemn? Why is it only the indigenous side — the side without white, colonial superpowers behind it — that is consistently put into a submissive position of needing to condemn whenever they enter a discourse about their oppression? The writers of that Letter to the Editor did not condemn Israel. The only reason any Wellesley student is hesitant to condemn Hamas is because 99.99% of the time, they are speaking with somebody who demands condemnation but cannot condemn Israel themselves. Their hypocrisy does not go unnoticed. For an entire paragraph, they detail all of the supposed ways in which Hamas has wronged the Palestinian population, claiming that their taxes “crippled” the Palestinians. These writers had the audacity to condemn Hamas for not building “supportive infrastructure,” like hospitals and mosques, in Gaza. Hey geniuses: Israel would have bombed that infrastructure! That’s precisely what they’re doing now.
Alongside this hypocrisy is a negligent hastiness in labeling anything that contradicts their position “antisemitic.” They state, “Zionism, an essential tenet of Judaism, is the belief that Jews have the right to self-determination and statehood in their ancestral homeland of Israel. Denying Jews this right is antisemitic.” This statement claims that anyone who is pro-Palestine is antisemitic. Following this logic, all 20,000+ slaughtered Palestinians, thousands of whom are children, are bigoted anti-Semites because they denied Israeli Jews the right to take their land and homes and murder them with impunity. But you know what is most ironic? Arabs are semites. The writers are willing to label anything as antisemitic except the murder of over 20,000 Arabs, who are, by definition, semites.
“We wish more of our siblings would have expressed their support by condemning the terrorism perpetrated by Hamas against Israeli civilians.” You did not condemn Israel. You are not in a position to ask your siblings to condemn anything when you have failed to do so.
“We hope you will join us in condemning acts of terrorism and hatred in all forms.” You have not condemned acts of terrorism and hatred in all forms. You are attempting to pull the wool over everybody’s eyes and make them think you are just because you claim you are. It is, in fact, YOUR silence that speaks volumes.