In response to the Daily’s recent editorial about the forum co-sponsored by the American Movement for Israel and Students Allied for Freedom and Equality (Extending the olive branch, 11/20/2008), I’d like to commend the two student groups for working together in order to foster dialogue and growth. I take issue, however, with the Daily’s contention that University students “should be able to set aside whatever differences they have, regardless of how sensitive the topic at hand, and appreciate the diversity on campus.”

The main distinction that must be drawn between these two student groups can be found on their Maize Pages. If AMI’s mission statement is carried out, there is room for an autonomous Palestinian state living peacefully and in cooperation with her neighbors in the Middle East. Alternately, if SAFE’s mission statement is carried out, there would be no more Israel. A return to 1967 borders, accompanied by the “right of return” of Palestinian refugees (from 1948) would immediately destroy the Jewish character of the state, and thus the state itself, since it was created as a Jewish state.

It is very difficult to “set aside differences and appreciate diversity on campus,” as the Daily suggests, when the group you’re meant to dialogue with is calling for policies that will lead to your nation’s destruction. I encourage both groups to continue talking, but only with the understanding that Israel need not justify its existence. Until this understanding is granted, no true dialogue can take place, and such “diversity” is not to be appreciated or such “differences” set aside. Only once Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state is recognized can true dialogue be possible as it relates to policies and future actions and the Daily’s vision of fruitful debate can be fulfilled.

Daniel Horwitz
Law School

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