HARTFORD, Conn. – Some U.S. colleges are pulling students from overseas study programs in Israel as the Gaza war rages, raising concerns that schools may be overreacting.
Colleges say security was the top worry. They cite advisories about hazardous travel from the U.S. State Department and from insurance companies that cover students there.
The University of Massachusetts Amherst, Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, and other schools left when flights were temporarily halted to Tel Aviv's airport in July. School officials said they were concerned that students and staff in summer programs could have been stranded. UMass Amherst and New York University have called off their fall programs.
Jonathan Sarna is president of the Association for Jewish Studies. He questions whether universities overreacted. He notes that most of Israel was protected by a sophisticated anti-missile system and military superiority over Hamas.
He says schools should act on reality, not perceptions in the media.