Letters to the Editor

Published April 29, 2002

Pro-Israel shirts exacerbate divisions in 'U' community

To the Daily:

I have long felt that public sentiments concerning the issue of Mid-East violence on this campus have been extremely polarized. Given that we are students of a University that draws from both large American Jewish and American Muslim communities, this is not surprising. Nonetheless, I cannot help but feel as though the public gesture of the "We Stand With Israel" t-shirt does more to polarize this already uneasy situation than it does to open up the venues available to us for productive dialogue and action.

I believe that if the organizers true commitment were to peace and understanding, they would not have gone so far out of their way to promote exactly the kind of blind nationalism that has allowed terrorist leaders such as Ariel Sharon and Yasser Arafat to dominate the fate of land that belongs only partially to their people.

I would have expected much more from a community that has so openly committed itself to the tenets of ethnic diversity. Were the organizers to reconsider their actions I imagine that they would find that all they have done is further deepened the already enormous rift that exists between Jewish and Palestinian students on this campus.

Anthony Rosenthal

LSA freshman

SCI for more than "hippies" and the "heavily drugged"

To the Daily:

I am writing in response to Brette Billow's review "Hip String Cheese Incident rocks Hill," (4/17/02). First of all, I feel that Billow focused on the audience at the concert instead of the music, what a review of a concert should really be about. Billow basically implied that in order to have enjoyed String Cheese Incident's concert, one had to be high and a "hippie."

I definitely disagree, as I doubt Billow would consider me a "hippie." While I may exhibit some "hippie" characteristics, I have never done any illegal drugs and I don't have dreadlocks. This was also my first incident so I know the String Cheese Incident's music, but have not been a fan for very long.

Despite the fact that I wasn't "heavily drugged," I greatly enjoyed the String Cheese Incident concert and feel that Billow did not give them due credit. Personally, I felt that the second set was much better than the first, with the sweet falsetto harmonies of the reggae influenced song, "Shakin' the Tree" and a great live version of "Up the Canyon." I was very surprised that Billow did not mention the incredible encore of "How Sweet it Is," which I believe surpassed the version done by the Jerry Garcia Band (though it is hard to compare live music and recordings).

I also feel that Billow did a disservice to String Cheese Incident's latest album, "Outside and Inside." While I agree that String Cheese Incident is best live, "Outside and Inside" both does an excellent job of capturing the feeling of a jam session, while it also has the ability to be sung along to and is packaged into eleven great tracks.

So for those who may have been put off of String Cheese Incident by Billow's review, I can attest to the fact that String Cheese Incident can be enjoyed by more than the "heavily drugged" and those he labels as "hippies."

Emily Hilliard LSA freshman

Honest evaluations needed in Middle East debate

To the Daily:

Although, as usual, I find much with which to disagree in Amer G. Zahr's column, "Honesty in the Question of Palestine," (4/15/02), his honest criticism of the Palestinian leadership is welcome and deserves to be answered with honesty by supporters of Israel.

While Israel's moral legitimacy and right to self-defense are unassailable, support for Israel should never translate into unquestioning support for every policy of whatever government wields a majority in the Knesset. Zahr writes eloquently about the harm the occupation has done to the Palestinians. As a Zionist, I would add that the occupation undermines Israelis' physical security, jeopardizes Israel's political security, and - tragically - threatens the Jewish people's moral security.

American Jews and all friends of Israel should support the current U.S. peace effort, the ultimate goal of which should be an end to the occupation, independence and freedom for Palestinians, security and recognition for Israel.

Joshua Brook

Law school