LETTER TO THE EDITOR | The Encampment is a Repeat of History

To the Editor: 

Re: “Students Stage Pro-Palestine Encampment on the Arts Quad” (news, April 25)

35 years ago I was involved in another divestment movement at Cornell — that of divesting from South Africa’s Apartheid regime. It was my first experience of political activism, and much of what is happening now appears to be repeating what happened then albeit with an added element of racial/ethnic tension. We built a shantytown on the Main Quad, held protests in front of various buildings, invaded the President’s office and disrupted a Board of Trustees meeting. Did it influence Cornell’s investment policy? To this day, I do not know.

Cornell Celebrates Annual Israel Week

This upcoming week, from May 1 to May 7, Cornell will celebrate its annual Israel Week, run by Cornell Hillel. The week will focus on Israeli culture and traditions, with events ranging from a book fair to a food market, Tel Aviv Bar Night to Israel Shabbat and so much more. 

There has never been a more critical time for Israel Week. Presently, an encampment stands on the Arts Quad, where only a few days ago protestors chanted together, “There is only one solution, intifada revolution” and “globalize the intifada.” This “intifada” they mention is referring to the First and Second Intifada, two Palestinian uprisings which resulted in the deaths of thousands of Israeli and Palestinian civilians. Calls for another intifada revolution are calls for violence against Israel and those who support Israel’s right to exist. Calls to “globalize” the intifada are worse.