I want to clarify some of my opinions, that I feel were misrepresented in “Safe Hillel has campus group’s back” (WJW, March 27). I want to start by saying that I do feel comfortable in my Hillel. I have been actively involved in Hillel and Israel activity on campus since my freshman year of college. I am so fortunate to attend a school with such a vibrant Jewish community and pro-Israel community. However, after various conversations with peers, I have reached the conclusion that often, “more right-wing” views are seen as “taboo” or not as generally accepted and welcomed among the campus community. In that sense, I do not always feels comfortable voicing my opinion in Hillel. However, that is not to say that UMD Hillel is not “pro-Israel.”
I think that in general, college campuses tend to identify as more liberal. I view myself as supporting many liberal perspectives, views and movements. However, I find that “less liberal” viewpoints on Israel are not as welcome and endorsed among the Hillel community. Whether or not people may feel this way, students feel less inclined to share their views, in fear of being perceived as close-minded, right-wing fanatics. I think it is important that all opinions regarding Israel, as long as they have Israel’s best interest in mind, should be welcomed, discussed, and encouraged in Hillels.