The Yale Daily News, the campus newspaper of Yale University, has come under criticism for censoring a pro-Israel columnist’s article by removing statements deemed “unsubstantiated claims.” The controversy surrounds an October 12 column written by sophomore Sahar Tartak, titled “Is Yalies4Palestine a hate group?” In her column, Tartak criticized Yalies4Palestine, a student group on campus, for posting messages on Instagram that blamed Israel for a Hamas massacre that occurred on October 7, where over 1,400 Israelis were killed.
The massacre took place during a music festival near the Israel-Gaza border when Hamas terrorists used paragliders and pickup trucks to attack the area. Tartak accused Yalies4Palestine of blaming Israel for the violence and even celebrating the resistance’s success. The group expressed its full support for the Palestinian people’s right to resist colonization and return to their land, dismissing nonviolent acts of resistance as ineffective.
However, Yalies4Palestine’s statements have raised concerns and criticism. Israeli authorities have reported gruesome details of the attack, including the recovery of beheaded bodies of babies killed by Hamas gunmen who invaded towns along the frontier with Gaza. A note found on the body of a Hamas terrorist encouraged the jihadists to remove the heads, hearts, and livers of their Israeli victims. These allegations have been met with skepticism.
The Yale Daily News ran an editor’s note on October 25, stating that Tartak’s column had been edited to remove the “unsubstantiated claims” about Hamas raping women and beheading men. The decision to remove these claims has led to a backlash from some who argue that it amounts to censorship of a pro-Israel perspective.
Tartak, who is also the editor-in-chief of the rival campus newspaper Yale Free Press, expressed her frustration on social media over the Yale Daily News’ correction. Her post was accompanied by a comment from Yale Professor Nicholas Christakis, who questioned whether the claims of hostage-taking, murder of children, burning people alive, and parading nude captive women were “unsubstantiated.”
Video: my friend singing “Am Yisrael Chai” (the people of Israel live) in the middle of an anti-Israel rally where @Yale students chanted “resistance is justified” in clear reference to Hamas. Let’s call this justification of murdering Jews for what it was: a Hitler Youth event. pic.twitter.com/eo2i39JXza
— Sahar Tartak🇮🇱 (@sahar_tartak) October 26, 2023
— Pull the Fire Alarm !!! (@signpost365) October 31, 2023
At the end of a column by @sahar_tartak, editors at @yaledailynews affixed a “correction,” saying claims that Hamas raped women and beheaded men are “unsubstantiated.” @Yale’s student newspaper is running cover for Hamas. https://t.co/NPIrIXcdqf pic.twitter.com/6YopEnG50X
— Zach Kessel (@zach_kessel) October 30, 2023