Stephen C. Petzold | COC Must Stand Against Terrorism

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

At Wednesday’s board of trustees’ meeting, the leadership at College of the Canyons will have an opportunity to join over 100 other United States colleges and universities by signing the statement, “We Stand Together with Israel Against Hamas.”

The statement itself is direct, simple and elegant. It clearly identifies Israel as the victim of violence during the Oct. 7 massacre, while expressing concern for Palestinians who suffer under the cruel rule of Hamas in Gaza.

Here is the wording of the statement as published as an advertisement in the Wall Street Journal on Oct. 28-29, page A5:

“We are horrified and sickened by the brutality and inhumanity of Hamas. Murdering innocent civilians including babies and children, raping women, and taking the elderly as hostages are not the actions of political disagreement but the actions of hate and terrorism. The basis of all universities is a pursuit of truth, and it is times like this that require moral clarity. Like the fight against ISIS, the fight against Hamas is a fight against evil. We, the presidents and chancellors of universities and colleges across the United States of America and the world, stand with Israel and the Palestinians who suffer under Hamas’ cruel rule in Gaza and with all people of moral conscience.”

Israel is a liberal democracy, threatened and attacked by dangerous enemies that surround them — Hamas (Gaza), the Palestinian Authority (West Bank) and Hezbollah (Lebanon). These terrorist organizations and others are funded by oil revenue accruing to Iran.

This past weekend I read the some of the Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement, aka Hamas, published in 1988. Sentence No. 2 reads, “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it (The Martyr, Imam Hassan al Banna of blessed memory).”

The choice of sides for the chancellor and the board of trustees is sharp and distinct. They should side without equivocation with Israel in its war with Hamas.

I urge the board of trustees to instruct Chancellor Dianne G. Van Hook to sign the statement put forth for consideration by Universities United Against Terrorism when they take action Wednesday evening on item 6.3.

Complete information for public review is available at the website,

If you are like-minded, you may attend the meeting to provide public comment, or contact the five trustees at their shared email address, [email protected].

Stephen C. Petzold

Santa Clarita

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