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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Monday, April 15, 2024

Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

I was deeply disturbed reading Professor Emeritus Gary Leupp’s recent letter to the Daily. It is astounding that a professor of history could either be so ignorant to the real and legitimate fears of Jewish students on campus, or so callous that he does not care.

Leupp claims that a shadowy “section of donors and alumni” — itself a veiled allusion to antisemitic tropes — are acting to suppress manifestations of “support for the Palestinian people violently resisting occupation,” fulminating against classifying it as hate speech. Leupp obscures what that means by alloying it with euphemisms like “liberation” and “opposing settler colonialism. He does not address what those protests are supporting: the butchering of Jews, men and women, children and elderly, soldiers and civilians. It is the celebration of the death of innocent Jews that Leupp so fiercely resists calling hate speech.

Leupp clearly does not understand how terrifying it is as a Jewish student to see your classmates and (former) friends praise vicious terrorist attacks that have targeted your family and friends. At the same time that Tufts Students for Justice in Palestine posted stories on Instagram praising Palestinian resistance, I was frantically checking in with those family and friends, hoping that they had not been massacred or kidnapped. I am very fortunate that they did not suffer that. I cannot say the same for some of the family and friends of my Jewish peers.

Leupp calls letters like mine “desperate efforts to change the subject from five million people living in abject misery to people whose need to ‘feel respected and welcome’ gives them special license to avoid exposure to reality.” What kind of person believes that the Tufts Jewish community’s desire to live on a campus that does not cheer Jewish death is an attention grab? Obviously, someone whose voice has no place on our campus.

Asher Berlin

Class of 2025