Compared to the horror that descended upon Israel earlier this month, the controversies over pro-Palestinian speech at universities might seem like a tempest in a teapot. But the storm holds important lessons for how we conduct public dialogue, and not only on campus.

Immediately after the initial terror attack by Hamas, a coalition of 30 Harvard student groups rushed to issue a statement that, unless we torture its words, blamed everything on Israel. Prominent alums reacted with understandable outrage.

But a lot of them seemed less angry at the students than at the university itself for not rushing out its own statement supporting Israel and condemning the students’ statement. Former Harvard President Larry Summers, for example, said the institution’s silence left him "sickened.” (Summers is a paid contributor to Bloomberg TV.)