Commend students for courage


To the Editor:

I thank you for your article about the students from Martha’s Vineyard who have observed and participated in campus protests calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. It should be emphasized that this student protest movement is overwhelmingly peaceful. The violence that has taken place has been on the part of the police and counterprotestors, such as those who attacked the encampment at UCLA on April 30.

Expressions of anti-Semitism on the part of the antigenocide protestors are exceedingly rare — unless one defines criticism of the Israeli government as anti-Semitic. This conflation of opposition to genocide with anti-Semitism is absurd and disingenuous.

Genocide is not a religion. The protestors are opposed not to Jews or Judaism, but to genocide. It further bears noting that a large number of the protestors themselves are Jewish, many of them observant. That’s why so many Passover Seders were held at student encampments around the country.

There are two historic struggles currently taking place. One is to stop the Israeli military’s commission of crimes against humanity; the other is in defense of the democratic right to free speech, and in opposition to the lie that any criticism of the actions of the Israeli state is anti-Semitic. The students are the target of a vicious propaganda campaign that seeks to portray them as supporters of Hamas and terrorism. One has only to listen to what they are actually saying to see that such accusations against them are slanderous.

These student protestors are to be commended and thanked for their courage.


David Mintz
Oak Bluffs