SAFE event presented an alternative path to peace

To the Daily:

Speakers Omar Halawa and Basher Tarabieh presented an alternative vision to peace between Israelis and Palestinians at the Students Allied for Freedom and Equality’s Palestinian Real World event this past Monday night. Their views were clearly motivated by a desire to build a more egalitarian and democratic world. While according to polls, the majority of people on both sides of the conflict prefer a two-state over a one-state solution, it was exciting to hear their ideas. As a Jewish-American peace activist, I have spent much time working on issues related to the conflict, both in Israel and in the United States. I know many people who have suffered because of the conflict. Still, I feel it is important to focus on common ground and signs of hope. I’ve seen Jews and Arabs playing hacky sack in the center of Tel-Aviv, enjoyed coffee from hospitable strangers while lost in Majdal Krum and witnessed Naomi Chazon and Yasir Abid Rabo share a joke. I’m ready for peace. I want to thank the participants and planners for a great event. The Union of Progressive Zionists supports a just, two-state solution to the conflict. We also welcome and work to foster discussion on all paths to peace.

Ilan Brandvain

LSA senior

The letter writer is a co-chair of the Union of Progressive Zionists.


Our rights are being stripped by people with independent agendas

To the Daily:

 I wholeheartedly agree with the Daily’s position that our basic freedoms are in jeopardy (The first freedom, 02/01/2005), but along with the conclusion that apathy and ignorance are root causes, I would like to add bias from our educators and politicians.

It is in a politician’s best interest to take power whenever the opportunity presents itself. Thus, we have the Patriot Act — a definite attack on our right to assemble, to speak and to privacy. The McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Act attacks our right to speak freely. It is in the citizens’ best interest to be ever vigilant against these attacks. Be very wary when fear, like that coming after Sept. 11, rears its head in our society.

A couple of years ago, my daughter was in a high school civics class. They spent less than a week covering the Constitution. I had her read to me, from the text book, the amendments to the Constitution.  At the Second Amendment, the book stated, “The right of the states to form militias.” Not only are the educators editing the Constitution, they are interpreting its meaning to fit their own prejudices! Whose interest is being served here? 

I expressed my concerns to the teacher and his reaction was to blink at me like a toad in a rainstorm. Was this from ignorance? Was it from bias? Neither is acceptable.

Our rights are special and unique. It is our duty to protect them from the likes of George W. Bush, John Kerry or whoever thinks they know best how to live our lives.

Earl Milton

The letter writer is a University employee.

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