LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Cornell’s Administration Was Justified in Criticizing Chants

Re: Everything That Happened on Day Four of the Encampment (news, April 29)

Cornell’s Administration was justified in calling out and criticizing chants on campus of “There is only one solution: Intifada Revolution!”  It was distressing to read the didactic and overly semantic excuses that certain faculty (letters, April 29) and a follow-up story (news, April 30) offered as cover for those violent taunts.  If our campus echoed with encouraging chants about the “Klan,” the outrage rightly would rain down from all quarters, and justifications based on the supposedly neutral meaning of the word would be cast aside.  Everyone knows what it means to call for “intifada” as the “solution” to the Arab-Israeli conflict: It refers to the spate of murders of Israeli civilians.  It was no simple “shaking off” and it certainly is not the solution.

While we defend the right of people to engage in protected speech, community members should call out offensive conduct —inside and outside the current encampment.  Those saying hateful things, and those providing hollow cover for hate, are deserving of condemnation.

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