Reflecting on Tuesday
Palestinians unfairly being typecast as supporting attacks
To the Daily:
One cannot express enough horror and disbelief at the events that we have been witnessing over the past 48 hours. However, I would like to warn of the repercussions of irresponsible journalism in the case of the unfolding tragedy in the United States. Reporting on the fact that some Palestinians may have been celebrating the attacks on the U.S. is not representative and very dangerous. It will only fuel the backlash and attacks that Arab-Americans are sure to face and have already been facing in the U.S.
I live in East Jerusalem and have friends throughout the West Bank who reported quiet. For the most part Palestinian are glued to their television sets like the rest of the world. There were a few Palestinian youngsters in the streets and that”s what the media has chosen to focus on. I do not doubt that some Palestinians, who see American support for Israel as the main cause of their continued suffering and oppression would feel like the United States was getting a dose of her own medicine. But without attempting to explain the oppressed mentality that would drive a human being to celebrate such a human tragedy is not fair. Myself and other American citizen friends here in the Occupied Palestinian Territories have been receiving numerous phone calls from Palestinians concerned about our families and friends, and expressing their shock, condemnation and condolences. Whereas my mother in Michigan reported a verbal attack at her workplace and my sisters in University are afraid of the looks that they have been receiving from their fellow classmates.
Please be more careful with your reporting. I ask that you cease referring to Palestinians celebrating. It is not relevant. It is not representative and it is most irresponsible.
My prayers are with the victims, their families and all my fellow Americans during this most difficult time.
The letter writer is a U.S. citizen living in Jerusalem.
Tragedy hits home for many “U” students
To the Daily:
Many of us, from New York especially, will soon learn of someone that was killed, or hopefully of someone that escaped narrowly. To those of us who already have, my deepest and most sincere condolences. I lost an old karate partner who has known me since diapers. My friend”s cousin was late for work that day and was opening the door to one of the towers as the plane struck.
In his case, it was better late than “never.” Even those of us from the northern suburbs and cities on Long Island will soon hear of tragedies whom we know of only as family of that girl we were friends with in grade school.
For those of us who call Manhattan or D.C. home, we responded as if our homes were tresspassed, our families violated and our possessions destroyed. For those of us who don”t live in those two cities, I sense the general reaction will be almost as equally passionate, whether in grief or in anger. This makes me very proud, and I find my grief has to share my heart with something that could very well be patriotism.
Waking up the day after this cowardly terrorist act, I had a reaction similar to the morning of Sept. 11 I cried. Trying to understand what moves a man to unabashed tears, I realized that this is the first time our generation has banded together for a patriotic cause. We were really too young to remember the Gulf War, or maybe the only way that war penetrated our homes was through the television set. All I know is American blood has been spilled on American soil, and while it may be my backyard that runs red, it filled my eyes with tears and my heart with pride to see the bonding of my generation Americans at the Diag Vigil Tuesday night. I now understand my tears do not taste simply like tears of sorrow They are symbols of a patriotic strength, confidence and fearlessness I never knew existed.
Harassment of Arab, Muslims students must end
To the Daily:
It has been brought to our attention that in response to Tuesday”s tragic terrorist attacks, Muslim and Arab students have been harassed and subject to threatening remarks.
As of right now, we do not know the perpetrators of these heinous acts and ask the community not to jump to conclusions. We urge everyone to keep an open mind and not to lash out at students who neither condone nor were in any way involved with these terrorists attacks.
Furthermore, we urge students and community members to stand together against all forms of terrorism. All citizens of the world deserve freedom from fear. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families on this tragic day.
Bukstein is chair of IMPAC and vice-chair of the Hillel Governing Board. Katz is chair of the Hillel Governing Board. Livshiz and Rollinger are co-chairs of the American Movement for Israel. Menchik is chair of the Hamagshimim Israel Fellowship.