Students wrong to treat minister with disrespect

When I read Wednesday’s paper (Minister draws critical crowd to Diag, 09/24/2008), I was shocked at the inability of some students to approach Jed Smock in an academic and tolerant way. In fact, I was embarrassed for our campus.

From day one of Orientation, Wolverines are taught that cultural differences are to be accepted and that the discussion of controversial topics should be respectful and academic in nature. Those students highlighted in Wednesday’s article far from achieved these ideals. Intentionally screaming out the opposite of Smock’s ideas to drown him out and prevent others from listening to him is reminiscent of elementary school bullying. Referring to his message as nothing but a funny joke is not only disrespectful but also an undeveloped argument.

I’m not suggesting that Smock’s beliefs are right or wrong. I’m simply saying that students should have handled their disagreements with intelligence and respect. In the end, the real representatives of the University are those briefly mentioned students who stood quietly around Smock, discussing and debating their viewpoints.

Jacqueline Zillioux
LSA sophomore

IDEA’s choice to bring Eldad to campus offensive

I feel insulted that a student organization at the University would invite a hatemonger like Aryeh Eldad solely because he’s a member of the Knesset. I question Israel Initiating Dialogue, Education and Advocacy’s commitment to promoting a dialogue of peace between Arab and Jewish students when it allows racist comments to be thrown around and then later admits that Eldad had “convincing arguments.” How can Eldad as an Israeli describe all Arabs as seeking sanctity in death? Who made him a scholar on Islam, or Arabic culture for that matter?

As an Arab, I believe that the Jews deserve a state, considering all the suffering that they have endured over the years. However, the Palestinians should not have to pay the price. Just as President George W. Bush has done in Iraq, the Israeli government has used terrorism as an excuse to bulldoze more than 18,000 Palestinian homes since 1967, according to the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, and arrest more than 10,000 Palestinians, according to Israel’s Prison Authority.

Just look at the facts. According to the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, nearly 5,000 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli security forces since 2000. Compare that to the roughly 1,000 Israeli civilians and security forces killed by Palestinians in the same time.

There is no reason to point fingers, because both sides share the blame. I just hope that students on this campus, as future leaders of the United States, seek solutions to this 60-year-old conflict. I can only look optimistically to the future in the hope that the Middle East can have peace. I can only ask IDEA to stop inviting speakers who support a war in Iran or a “clash of civilizations” and instead bring speakers who are optimistic about the Middle East as well.

Malik Mossa-Basha
LSA senior

Satellite campuses receive much-deserved attention

I was very excited to read the Daily’s recent article finally acknowledging the changes taking place on the University’s satellite campuses (Enrollment at U-M Flint, Dearborn at all-time high, 09/16/2008). I spend half of my week in Ann Arbor and the other half attending classes in Flint, and I am always surprised how little talk there is in Ann Arbor about the satellite campuses.

I understand that Ann Arbor offers many things that the others don’t, but it is also lacking in certain disciplines. I am a criminal justice major in Flint, which is not offered here, so I would simply like to remind people that there are other reasons to attend the University’s campuses in Flint or Dearborn.

Overall, I’m just pleased that Flint’s large strides made the frontpage of the Daily. In the last year, the campus has been changing quickly, and it is certainly noticeable. I see that the newspaper has taken notice, but maybe the Athletic Department should do the same and give priority seating at the football games back to the students at the Flint and Dearborn campuses.

Andrea Garber
University of Michigan-Flint junior

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