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Letter: The dehumanization of Palestinians is inappropriate

To the Editor:

In a March 7 op-ed, Jacob Gelman ’25 called the students walking out of Jonathan Greenblatt’s talk misguided and claimed that their actions shut down any possibility of discussion. Such a stance is not only wrong but dehumanizing, as it labels any dissent against an ongoing genocide as intolerant. The walkout by many students during Greenblatt’s talk was, by every measure, appropriate and did not impede on the “intellectual diversity and freedom of thought” the author highlighted. 

The ADL’s stance that anti-Zionism is antisemitism legitimizes Palestinian suffering by characterizing their views on occupation as “antisemitic” and thus dangerous. Moreover, the poll that Gelman cited on the views of Americans toward Israel does not take into account more recent developments since 2021. It is also worth noting that there are other Israeli scholars beside Benny Morris who shed light on Israel's founding through ethnic cleansing. Furthermore, Morris does not deny the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in 1948, instead claiming that it was incomplete. He wrote that had Ben-Gurion “carried out a full expulsion — rather than a partial one — he would have stabilized the State of Israel for generations.” We should consider this stance in historical context. Those who opposed apartheid in South Africa would never have entertained someone who characterized the positions of Black South Africans as being driven by hatred alone.

There cannot be a productive debate with an organization that entirely marks Palestinian experiences as antisemitic, silencing their grievances. It was this delegitimization of Palestinians that resulted in the over 30,000 killed in Gaza and most likely the shooting of a Brown student


Aboud Ashhab ’25


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