The response to the model wall erected on Paresky lawn has proven quite interesting. A freshman, motivated by concerns that the demonstration overstepped its critique of the Israel state from reasonable observations to outright antisemitism, has penned his own rebuttal. Most importantly the student has allowed others to sign the letter in a show of solidarity.
The current signers cover a surprising amount of diversity. Some are Jews; some are Asians; some are Catholic; some are atheists; some are conservatives; others are progressive. About the only thing common among the signers is their status as either freshman or sophomores, but there are professors and seniors signers as well.
I know many of the signers, and I know that they aren’t apologists for everything Israel does. It’s a genuine display of solidarity against what they perceive to be antisemitism. While I’m not signing it, the significant presence of people willing to open themselves to possible backlash supporting a controversial position is a comforting thing, to me. It shows that there is still some intellectual diversity left in this campus.
Access the letter here, and please spread it. Whether you agree or disagree with its position, the community of Williams College ought to know that this wall has two different sides.