Zahr’s rhetoric can only lead to retrenched hatred

To the Daily:

I feel I must respond to a quote in the Nov. 14, 2002 article Activists urge reappraisal of Middle East Conflict (11/14/02). In this article, Amer Zahr, a prominent figure on campus, is quoted as saying “Violent resistance is probably the only way to effect change in Israeli policy. Colonial societies never give up land for benevolent reasons … either economic necessity or violent resistance forces them out. The most likely way to end occupation is to make the Israeli people suffer enough so that they begin to question the need for continuing the occupation.” This is the exact mentality that leads to the conflict in Israel.

I am not saying that I support all of Israel’s actions concerning Palestine, nor am I advocating against the Palestinians’ right to violently defend themselves. I just recognize two things.

1) Israel has a well trained and potent military force. If the Palestinians were to step up the violence in their resistance the conflict would soon be over, and the result would be a lot of dead Palestinians. One must remember that the Israelis rarely show constraint in military action against the Palestinians and if the conflict were stepped up, there would be no difference.

2) Even though they would eventually be defeated, the Palestinians do have every right to resist oppression violently. Zahr says however that “The most likely way to end the occupation is to make the Israeli people suffer…” A resistance focused on purposely making the enemy suffer rather than defending yourself is no longer rightful violent resistance, nor a fighting for freedom. This action is called “terrorism” and should not be condoned, by anybody.

Thomas Park Ambrose

LSA senior

The Daily gets it right on proposed I-75 expansion

To the Daily:

Kudos for the editorial Highway to nowhere (11/12/02) on road expansion, sprawl and congestion. These everyday issues are not the gut-wrenching, visceral ones that normally excite or even interest students and it was a pleasant surprise to read such a thoughtful considered piece. As you elegantly stated, the endless addition of road capacity will temporarily contain but never solve the problem of traffic congestion. Until we have more walkable and bikable communities, Mixed-use zoning and good public transit, we are doomed to greater and greater automobile dependency, which already runs to over 10 trips/household/day in suburbia. until we have gasoline and land prices that reflect true costs, the market will continue to send the wrong message to consumers and developers respectively. And until we have citizens that understand and act on this knowledge, we will not have the herculean resolve it will take to reverse auto-dependent sprawl, perhaps the largest and most unspoken national project since World War II.

Douglas S. Kelbaugh

Dean and Professor

Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning

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