Feeling “Unsafe”@MIT

Rachel Bandler,

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Rachel Bandler
Rachel Bandler is currently an MD/PhD student at the NYU School of Medicine. In 2013 she graduated from MIT, having studied Chemistry, Biology, and Political Science. During that time she served as President of the pro-Israel student group MIT Students for Israel (MITSI). At MIT, Rachel also served as a StandWithUs Emerson Fellow, CAMERA Fellow, AIPAC campus liaison, and wrote as a staff opinion columnist for the MIT newspaper, The Tech. In addition to The Tech, she has also published articles about Israel in The Jerusalem Post and The Scarsdale Daily Voice....

Yesterday, students across America celebrated Israel’s Independence Day on their college campuses. When a pro-Israel group at MIT, Friends of Israel (FOI), announced that they were sponsoring a carnival in honor of Israel’s 67th birthday, the Palestine@MIT group wrote in an open letter that they felt “unsafe,” and wanted the Undergraduate Association (UA) to revoke their sponsorship of the Israel event.

It is hard for me to see how a carnival is making the Palestine@MIT group and their sympathizers feel “unsafe,” unless cupcakes are somehow dangerous…

Instead, Palestine@MIT is using emotional buzzwords to try and silence an opinion they disagree with – the creation and celebration of Israel – because it is harder to disagree with someone when they use emotional, sympathy-evoking words. After all, how could any decent person blame someone for feeling unsafe, scared, or hurt?

These tactics are not unique to MIT. Recently, a professor at Connecticut College was falsely accused of racism by one of his students after he criticized Hamas on his Facebook page. The student claimed that because of this professor and his alleged racism “it becomes increasingly hard to feel safe as a Muslim.”

Sound familiar?

Seems like there is a new trend emerging.

In the end, the UA rejected Palestine@MIT’s call to revoke their sponsorship of the Israel carnival. I am very grateful they made the right decision. It is absurd for a college to reject sponsoring an event just because there is a chance they will offend someone – oh, sorry, make them feel “unsafe.” By that logic, no college could sponsor a July 4th event because it might offend the British…c’mon, everyone knows July 4th was the “forced British exodus!”