Professor Price, if Israel were to lay down its arms today, as you suggest, end the blockade of Gaza, and completely withdraw from the West Bank, there would be genocide against the Jewish people. On the other hand, if Hamas were to give up terrorism and stop targeting civilians, there might soon be a Palestinian State living aside the Jewish State in peace and security.
Price’s article, entitled “Renounce, Divest, and Sanction Israel” fails to even once mention the culprits responsible for the escalation of this summer’s terrible conflit – Hamas. As a pro-peace student, I stand with Palestinians in mourning their loved ones. I do not however believe in moral equivalency – especially when Dr. Price fails to acknowledge Israel’s very basic right to exist.
To merely blame Israel for displacing Palestinians in the 1940s is an insult to historical accuracy. Dr. Price drastically oversimplifies a complex history by inserting a biased, and one-sided account which casually disregards Arab nations, who during their war waged against the newly established Jewish State in 1948, ruthlessly uprooted Arab residents from their homes.
Hamas, the Palestinian elected political and military force ruling over Gaza is an internationally recognized terrorist organization. This summer alone, Hamas launched over thirty-five-hundred rockets at Israeli civilian populations, admitted to kidnapping and murdering in cold blood three teenage students – one of whom is an American citizen, and is currently holding hostage the bodily remains of Israeli soldiers. Does Associate Professor Price condemn this?
Over the course of this summer’s conflict, Hamas declined to sign more than ten cease-fire proposals with Israel. It launched strikes from inside hospitals, schools, homes, and other civilian populations, in hopes of drawing deadly Israeli fire – their terroristic use of human shields has been thoroughly documented. At the same time, Hamas took Palestinian civilians to the streets, murdered them in public executions, and paraded their maimed bodies through the roads of Gaza in a ghoulish exhibition of terror. Where is the outrage? Does Associate Professor Price condemn this?
With its entire population forced to bomb shelters, Israel, continued to open border crossings with Gaza in order to allow treatment of injured Palestinians in Israeli hospitals, and to permit the delivery of hundreds of trucks worth of humanitarian goods including food, water, and medicine. Associate Professor Price does not want you to hear that Hamas is responsible for the death of Palestinian children, or that they use international funds for the building of terror tunnels in which their own operatives hid, while failing to construct shelters for its own people. Professor Price ignores each and every one of these facts, while unfairly claiming Israel to be a “racist”, and “morally reprehensible” nation.
Furthermore, Dr. Price calls for academic censorship, and encourages Binghamton University to divest, boycott and sanction Israel both financially and intellectually. As a member of an open-minded university committed to academic freedom, I welcome you to look at the Middle East with a critical eye. However, we cannot accept faculty members, or any members of our community for that matter, who attempt to undermine the academic freedom of this institution. We should never divest academically – it hampers our right to intellectual growth. “BDS” is an unhelpful and destructive effort that works against the prospect of peace, and inhibits the development of the Palestinian economy as well. Even Palestinian Authority President Abbas, during his trip to South Africa for Nelson Mandel’s memorial service last December, expressed his deep opposition to the BDS program that Professor Price advocates.
I ask my teachers and fellow students here at Binghamton; will you stand on the side of a perverted and twisted death cult that places innocent children alongside missiles to be killed as human shields, or will you stand with Israel and the Palestinian people, in a yearning for peace, security, and a normal life for themselves and their children?
–Meir Berkman is a undeclared junior