Letter to the Editor: Response to PantherNOW Editorial from Director of Hillel at FIU

Jon Warech, executive director of Hillel at FIU, introduces a vigil for Israel on Oct. 9 | Julian Davis, PantherNOW

Jon Warech | Executive Director, Hillel at FIU

I am disappointed to see your editorial board condemn President Jessell’s statement regarding the terrorist attack in Israel. It is absolutely the responsibility of university presidents to speak out against heinous acts like these.

There are not two sides to evil. The acts of Hamas affect both Israelis and Palestinians. FIU speaking out against Hamas isn’t choosing sides in a conflict, it’s condemning terrorism. When has 1500+ innocent people at a concert or in villages, who are raped, beheaded and tortured before killed, been met with the response of ‘but let’s hear from the other side’? When has a nation been forced to defend itself for defending itself after an attack of this nature? When has cutting off electricity been seen as more of a crime than holding 200 people hostage? This all stems from deep-rooted antisemitism where instead of valuing Jewish life, people choose to victim blame the innocent. Israel didn’t deserve this. Hamas are not freedom fighters. This isn’t the result of a conflict. And if you can’t stand up and say that without qualifying it with whataboutisms then you are doing a disservice to all humans.

What’s happening in Gaza is not genocide or apartheid. It’s a terrorist organization who instead of building a stable community, opted to sacrifice its people and use them as human shields in the name of hate. Read the Hamas charter. Their goal is to kill Jews, not to create a Palestinian democratic state. You don’t think Jessell should speak out against that? 

Explain to me how you print the line: “However, only condemning the terrorist attacks on Israel by Hamas does not reflect the values of FIU as an international university.” ONLY condemning the terrorist attacks? As if what they did comes with some sort of an excuse?

Shame on you. This group condemnation of the President’s statement AND your decision to run the story of our ceremony with a rebuttal from another student organization instead of letting that meaningful program stand on its own, is proof that you aren’t purveyors of peace, but apologists for terrorism. When has an article about a vigil been met with a rebuttal? Did you do that after any school shooting vigil? How dare you do that here. You think you are standing up for students and human rights? You are doing the exact opposite, and even worse, it’s bad journalism.

The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of the PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.

Want to write a letter to the editor? You can respond to this letter or write your own. Email fiusmeditor@gmail.com with a piece under 400 words. Text is edited for length, not for grammar, spelling or clarity.

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