Hanink, Honkala get it right; anti-war movement should be about end to war

To the Daily:

While not personally holding strong feelings on the impending war in Iraq, I applaud the recent opinions expressed by the editorial staff of the Daily. I am at present a fence-sitter, like I assume many are on campus, but still interested in the debate surrounding the issue.

I share the sentiments expressed in Johanna Hanink’s critique No room for Israel in campus left (01/27/03) of the efforts of some in our campus activist community to link their views on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict to the anti-war efforts.

In a similar vein, John Honkala’s criticism of the recent ANSWER-led rally in Washington D.C. (Mall rats, strollers and the answer I needed, 01/24/03) points out the alienating force of the rally’s leaders’ “personal and sometimes venomous rhetoric” on everything from the actual focus of the rally (organizing against the war) to promotion of a Palestinian state or the personal characteristics of our president.

Both arguments point out the alienating force of tying too many issues together. If the organizers of the anti-war movement hope to attract the fence-sitters like myself, they should focus their rhetoric on the war and not their personal and numerous other pet issues. They send a muddled, ineffective and potentially off-putting message to their intended audience.

Ben Julian

LSA senior

Campus left’s ‘anti-Israel’ stance counter-productive

To the Daily:

As someone who has been involved in the Arab-Israeli conflict on this campus over the past several years, I could not be more proud of Johanna Hanink’s column yesterday, No room for Israel in campus left, (01/27/03).

Those on this campus that have aligned themselves with the Palestinian cause can be appropriately labeled “anti-Israel” more than they can be “pro-Palestinian.” I have seen several protests, sit-ins, rallies … and for what? Have any of these functions been in support of the Palestinian people? Absolutely not; they have been in support of the destruction of Israel. Likewise, the leaders of this movement neglect to acknowledge that there even is another side to the conflict, and as Hanink said, believe it is more important to be in the news or on the internet than to genuinely help the Palestinians.

The Arabs have a rich, genuine culture and past. To the activist “left,” I ask you: Why tarnish such a beautiful history and malign it into an “anti” movement?

Brad Sugar

Orthodox Minyan Chair

LSA sophomore

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