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You are here News Human Rights Opinion: I’m a Jewish student at Yale. Here’s what everyone is getting wrong about the protests

Opinion: I’m a Jewish student at Yale. Here’s what everyone is getting wrong about the protests

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Yale student Jewish protesterLast week, I sat in Yale University’s Beinecke Plaza leading around 50 classmates in nigunim — wordless melodies from the Jewish Hasidic tradition — and other Jewish songs and prayers. As is typical when I sing nigunim, I went home that day feeling spiritually rejuvenated, but, unlike usual, most of those singing with me that day were not Jewish.

That’s because both Jewish and non-Jewish students, inspired by anti-Apartheid protests in Beinecke Plaza decades earlier, had gathered for a week-long sit-in to demand that Yale divest the portion of its endowment invested in the stocks of military contractors, which make the weapons Israel is currently using in its war with Hamas in Gaza. The students were protesting under the Occupy Beinecke coalition, which includes Yale Jews for Ceasefire, a group of Jewish students dedicated to fighting for a ceasefire in Gaza as well as sustainable peace and equality within the region.

In light of student arrests Monday morning — along with similar arrests at Columbia last week — campus clashes and concerns around antisemitism are once again in the news.

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