I can't call myself a defender of Israel per se because they have done a number of illiberal things in their country that tick me off. However, I can say that for all the problems they may have, their response to a neighboring country dropping rockets on its citizens is FAR more restrained than would be the response of, say, the US. If Mexico were dropping rockets into El Paso, Mexico would be a smoking hole in the ground. We still maintain a stricter economic embargo on Cuba, which has never done a thing to us, than Israel does on Gaza.
I pay attention to the Amherst College community since my son enrolled there. I thought this was a pretty powerful article by an Amherst student who has taken a leave of absence to join the IDF. Given my understanding of how Eastern liberal arts faculty think about Israel and Palestine, one should think of this as a voice in the wilderness.