To the Editor,

Regarding your coverage of the protests and conflicts on Beineke Plaza, I note that you refer to one set of students as “Pro-Divestment” and the other as “Pro-Israel.” “Divestment” refers ostensibly to stopping Yale’s investments in arms manufacture. In reality, the call is to stop military support of Israel. This may indeed be a legitimate and beneficial goal, but it should be stated as such. Shipments of weapons to Ukraine, after all, have been ongoing for two years now, and I assume the “Pro-Divestment” protests do not refer to Ukraine. Disingenuousness in politics is to be expected, but it is the responsibility of journalists to detect and identify it. What do the protesters on either side in fact want? A ceasefire in Gaza? Change of leadership in Israel (and Palestine)? Serious planning and negotiation for a just settlement to this decades-long history of enmity, injustice and hatred? A settlement that might include mutual recognition and genuine sovereignty for both Jews and Palestinians? Or would it be the destruction of Israel? Or the eviction of Palestinians and the establishment of an enlarged Jewish state?  It’s hard to know what anyone really wants, or what they would want if they stopped using simplistic and misleading slogans.

JAMES BERGER is a senior lecturer in the American Studies and English departments. Contact him at