Read the survey carefully

The JTA story about the Hillel survey about college selection (“Most Jewish parents say Oct. 7 has affected their child’s college selection, Hillel survey finds”) is, I believe, an example of presenting the reality as we would like it to be (that Jews are no longer applying to colleges that have not handled anti-Israel sentiments well), rather than acknowledging how it actually might be. Now, whenever one reads an article about a survey, the first thing to do is read the actual survey. (To find it, google “hillel survey colleges antisemitism 2024” or some similar combination of key terms.) Articles always cherry-pick the parts that back up the position that the article would like to be true.

Granted, the community reading the Jewish Standard and the New Jersey Jewish News represents a range of readers with a range of colleges that they are concerned about. However, if reading the article gives the impression that people interested in the Ivies, such as Penn and Columbia, are suddenly reconsidering, based on how those colleges have handled anti-Israel expressions, I would caution to first look carefully at the survey. Many more of the respondents were considering public colleges than private colleges (with almost none considering Yeshiva University), so those responses are not relevant to the Ivy League colleges. Additionally, categories like events “impacting how they choose”’ are very poorly defined. I don’t think it necessarily means that students with the scores, extracurricular activities etc. to get into Columbia and the like are suddenly reconsidering. I think an equally plausible read is that someone who has several comparable choices with realistic chances to be accepted to each might now leave out a choice that is seen as more anti-Israel.

I do not have hard evidence that Jewish interest in the Ivy League colleges is the same as it always was, and I am not categorically saying that it is, but the survey should not be quoted to prove otherwise.

Yaakov Blau

Our reader thinks we support Hamas

Everyone is their own expert. Your publication grants difference of opinion in letters to the editor as you must receive thousands of pro-Israel comments so it helps to throw one in now and then. Politically you support rallies for Hamas which buys into your main readership. Thank goodness we have your newspaper to create bittersweet laughter every Friday. Look forward to the ‘entertaining (not informative) articles.

Stanley Osur

How to defeat Hamas

Chiara Nappi, author of “What to do now?” (Letters, April 5) stated that “Howard J. Cohn’s letter of March 29 requires a serious rebuttal…” Where is it?

Hamas was formed in December 1987 at the beginning of the first intifada and its Covenant adopted, August 18, 1988, dedicated to the destruction of Israel.

Israel left Gaza in 2005, hoping that by leaving the area and a vibrant infrastructure, the Palestinian Arabs will be able to form viable economic conditions for their populations. In 2006 elections were held that put Hamas in power in Gaza and in 2007, Hamas through armed force, removed Fatah and Palestinian Authority members from any power they still had in the Gaza Strip.

The allowance of Qatari transfers of millions of dollars through Tel Aviv Airport every month beginning in 2018, for “humanitarian aid,” was done in the hopes that the economic benefits to the population would turn them away from their aggressive actions. It didn’t and has not worked. A complete, 180% turn in the mindset of the Palestinian Arabs is necessary before a true peace can occur.

The solution as written by Chiara Nappi is, “(i)n fact, the only way to destroy Hamas is to live in peace with the Palestinians, implementing a two-state solution that offers dignity to the Palestinians and security to Israel.” Sounds great, but is unreal as long as “From the river to the sea …” is the calling card of the Arabs and their allies. Successful and lasting results of negotiations can only take place between parties who respect and are willing to observe and carry through their signed agreements.

The leaders of Hamas have stated that October 7 will occur time after time, after time, until victory is established and the Zionist entity no longer exists. We should take them at their word, they must be eliminated.

Just part of “the rest of the story.”

Howard J. Cohn
New Milford

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