Official Statement from The Spectator

The Spectator’s official response to criticism surrounding “Black and White: The Withheld History of Palestine and Israel.”

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In Volume 114 Issue 10, The Spectator published a piece, “Black and White: The Withheld History of Palestine and Israel,” in the Opinions section. The article was written anonymously, and it received backlash from members in the Stuyvesant community and readers beyond. We maintain that our decision to publish the article was a protection of free speech, and falls in line with The Spectator’s goal as a journalistic enterprise—to transmit the opinions of Stuyvesant’s students and allow for respectful discussion of those ideas. 

The Spectator does not hold biases in its Israel-Hamas coverage. “Black and White: The Withheld History of Palestine and Israel” was an Opinions article, written by a Stuyvesant student outside of the Editorial Board. Content from the Opinions Department is not subject to the same standards for showing nuance and maintaining a neutral language required of other articles. The Spectator’s Opinions articles in the past have contained controversial content and language considered to be inflammatory. Its contents do not reflect the opinions of the Editorial Board, nor do they reflect Stuyvesant High School’s classrooms and teaching.

The Spectator has published 11 articles since October 7 covering various aspects of the Israel-Hamas War and the implications of the conflict on the Stuyvesant community. These include News coverage of the beginning of the war as well as its history, an anonymous Features article telling the story of the war’s breakout from an Israeli perspective, and a plethora of opinions articles written from both perspectives—covering a breadth of topics including antisemitism, misinformation, human connections, and grief. The full catalog of The Spectator’s Israel-Palestine coverage can be found on, or by scanning the QR code below this statement.  

Of these pieces published before “Black and White,” two were anonymous. The decision to withhold one’s name when publishing is permitted by The Spectator to allow for freedom of expression while ensuring the safety of writers. Current political tensions have created an unsafe environment for students to share their opinions, and many have felt that doing so would put them at risk of being personally targeted.

Should The Spectator have chosen not to publish the article, it would have censored a critical student voice. It was published on the basis that its opinion was not hate speech, and therefore did not violate The Spectator’s charter. The article’s opinion is representative of a Stuyvesant student’s voice on the conflict, and as such, we chose to preserve it. 

At the same time, we acknowledge that there were factual inaccuracies present in the article. The author claimed that “thousands of Ethiopian Jews immigrating to Israel were sterilized without consent,” which stems from a 2013 Haaretz article that has since been debunked. The author also stated that Hamas does not use Gazan hospitals, which contradicts the evidence examined by The New York Times showing Hamas using Al-Shifa hospital for shelter and weapon storage. That information has since been corrected in the online edition of the article. We apologize for any harm that this potentially dangerous misinformation may have caused and will strive for stronger fact-checking in the future.

The Spectator invites readers to respond to articles through Letters to the Editor in order to hold a more substantial and open discussion on the content of any article. We would like to remind you that The Spectator stands not only as a newspaper but as a forum for communication for the Stuyvesant community. As such, if you disagree with the content of “Black and White: The Withheld History of Palestine and Israel,” we implore you to write a Letter to the Editor and send it to

As always, we remind you to be kind and empathetic amidst these tragedies. Be mindful of those who have been personally affected and use your voice considerately. The war between Israel and Hamas has seen a loss of more than 30,000 lives to date, the overwhelming majority of which have been civilians. While the unfolding of the war has led to greater debates on the past, present, and future of Israel and Palestine, we ask that you hold these conversations deliberately and respectfully, and that you remain adequately informed on this developing conflict.