Letters To The Editor

Letter to the Editor: A Response to the Anti-Israel Activities at BC

To the Readers of The Heights:

It is fitting that this letter addressing the current atmosphere on campus should be written during the holiday of Passover. This is a time when Jews around the world celebrate Freedom as exemplified by the Exodus from Egypt, where we were slaves. This is a time when, for hundreds of years, the “blood libel” (claims that Jews kill Christian children and use their blood to make matzah) has been used to justify anti-Jewish violence.

We, the undersigned, are distressed by the loss of innocent life in Gaza and dismayed by some of the actions of the Netanyahu government. However, much of the blame for the human carnage must be placed on the terrorist organization Hamas, which is both the elected civil government of Gaza and its army. On Oct. 7, 2023, Hamas invaded Israel, and brutally murdered approximately 1,200 people, including young people—many peace activists—who were attending a music concert, as well as children, the elderly, and non-Israelis. Hamas then kidnapped more than 240 hostages back to Gaza, many of whom are still there, dead or alive. Israelis are not the only victims of Hamas. Hamas videotaped the beheading of a Thai worker with a garden hoe and sent the video to Thailand to warn others against coming to work in Israel. Hamas uses the Gazan population as human shields and conceals its war-making infrastructure in tunnels beneath mosques, hospitals, and apartment buildings. Hamas also is a source of insidious propaganda that is widespread and not being questioned critically on American campuses.

These facts were ignored in the April 3 public lecture by a history professor, at which dissenting views were not allowed. They were also ignored at the April 25 rally, although we commend the student organizers for maintaining a civil tone. While the founding of the modern state of Israel did involve a civil war and the displacement of Palestinians from their homes and the displacement of an even larger number of Jews from Arab countries, it is beyond the scope of this letter to discuss and debate the competing claims to this land.

Finally, one Boston College student at the rally claimed that, based on a BC staff member’s service in the Israel Defense Forces, BC was “hiring war criminals.” By extension, this labels almost all Jewish Israelis (including many BC faculty, staff, and students) as war criminals, since serving in the IDF is a requirement for most Jews growing up in Israel. Once again, a variant of the blood libel rears its ugly head. We wish to support our Israeli students and colleagues at BC and other universities against this slanderous and ignorant rhetoric.

The undersigned are open to honest debate and disagreements, and we seek peace in our homes, on our campus, and in the Middle East.


Henry Braun, Lynch School

Edward Chazen, Business Law & Society

Solomon Friedberg, Math Department

Joshua Greene, Math Department

Charles Hoffman, Biology Department

Edith Hotchkiss, Finance Department

Dan Kirschner, Emeritus Professor

Janet Kolodner, Formative Education

Rabbi Ruth Langer, Theology Department

Alan Marcus, Finance Department

Rachel M. Reisman, University Counseling Services

Jacob Samuelson, Law Library

David Vanderhooft, Theology Department

Marina Vasilyeva, Counseling, Developmental & Educational Psychology

Ren Mirollo, Math Department

Update (April 30, 2024, 11:36 a.m.): This letter was updated from a previous version to add Ren Mirollo as a signatory.

April 28, 2024

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