The Daily Pennsylvanian is a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.


Guest columnist Rebecca Stein responds to Tulia Falleti's editorial addressing the billboard trucks on campus.

Credit: Chenyao Liu

Dear Tulia,

It saddens me that you chose the return of the billboards as the focus of your concern related to the encampment on College Green. You state that they are part of an external, political campaign against higher education, but I see them as a comfort that I am not alone here at Penn.

Since the encampment has gone up, I spend every lunch break in counterprotest. I have my lunch outside the library where I work, with my Bring Them Home Now T-shirt and an Israeli flag. I am there to show Jewish students that they are not alone and to remind the community that the history of the Jewish people is complex, that words matter, and that shouting slogans does not move us to a peaceful resolution; neither at Penn, nor in the Middle East.

You write that the students participating in the encampment are “brilliant and caring.” But I beg to differ: If they were caring, they would not shout “intifada revolution.” They would ask me about my personal experience during the intifada and about my friend’s father, who spent his last 15 years as a quadriplegic after a suicide attack carried out during the first intifada.

The student that held up a sign reading “Zionism is racism” is not brilliant. Judaism is both a faith and a nationhood. But it is not a race. There are plenty of Jews of every race living in Israel. These brilliant students would do better listening more and shouting less.

And finally, you write that “we are a city of Brotherly Love.” But this too seems off. A mother asked me, “Why are you standing here all alone? There are a thousand Jewish students on campus. Why are they not standing with you?” I asked her why only the Jewish students are required to stand up for the hostages and for the right of Jews for nationhood. In a city of brotherly love, you should all be out there in support of your Jewish and Israeli students, faculty, and staff members when they feel so alone.

Stop by and listen; stop by and talk.

REBECCA STEIN is the co-executive director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning and Innovation. Her email is