Let market decide which stores should be able to stay

To the Daily:

I feel that your recent editorial, Starbukization of A2 (05/12/03), is a sincere but incorrect assessment of the situation. First off, if it is true that local stores support local activities at a greater rate than chain stores do, then surely that is a good thing. However, that really should not be the main issue here. Your editorial speaks of local stores as if they were some sacred thing to be protected and that we somehow are much better off if local stores are still around. The truth is that if local stores truly made us better off than chain stores, local stores would not need protection. Consumers will generally shop at the store that makes them the best off. Your editorial mentioned that “commericially operated stores may be easier on the average student’s wallet,” and that chain stores are “drawing in customers with low prices and more selection.” This would imply that consumers are actually better off shopping at a chain store because consumers can buy more for less and choose from a larger selection. You suggest that the local government needs to step in to save local stores, but that is not the will of the citizens. The citizens have spoken with their wallets, and they have said they prefer chain stores. If the government were to step in and somehow subsidize local stores, the government would only be stealing from its citizens and giving the money to a group that cannot earn the money on its own. The reason why local stores cannot earn this money on their own is because they do not serve the needs of their customers as well as the chain stores. Instead of keeping local businesses open, a better course of action is to let the market decide. This way, those stores that make us better off survive, and those stores that do not, fail.

Dan Krawiec

LSA junior

Letter ignores Israel’s human rights record

To the Daily:

David Livshiz’ latest letter (History of Israel taken out of context, 5/19/03) in itself only furthers Ari Paul’s argument against the “Blue Block” or aggregate of Israel’s supporters on campus. Aside from resorting to faulty logic, by obfuscating historical facts, he paints a fantastic picture of Israel that fundamentally contradicts the reality of the state’s nature.

In it, he argues that because other present-day states, upon their founding centuries ago, had previous inhabitants, Israel is excused in expelling – less than 60 years ago – and excluding to this day, indigenous non-Jews from her borders. This is a dangerous standard to set, essentially giving the green light to any nation to expel inhabitants of land it conquers and illustrates the flawed “two wrongs make a right” logic of the “Blue Block.”

Today, bodies such as the United Nations exist to ensure that states do not engage in the criminal practice of dispossession and expulsion (as it did in Kosovo, for example). In fact, Israel’s admission to the U.N. was contingent upon its acceptance of U.N. Resolution 194, which demanded that it allow the Palestinian refugees their natural right to return to their homes. Israel accepted this to become an “internationally recognized state,” as Livshiz maintains, but to this day has not implemented the resolution. Why? If Israel permits the Palestinians whom it expelled to return, then it would lose its coveted Jewish majority, which allows it to enforce “ethnic supremacy” over the land, as Paul correctly points out.

Livshiz’ counterargument claims that anyone of any religious background is eligible for Israeli citizenship. Perhaps then he should impart this knowledge to the millions of Palestinian refugees who, to this day, carry the deeds to their land, the keys to their homes and unfulfilled dreams of returning to live in peace. This would be futile, however, as Israel explicitly bans Palestinian refugees, denying citizenship to even those Palestinians who marry Israeli citizens (See Israel’s 2002 Family Reunification Law).

The reality is that the intended beneficiaries of rights under Israeli law (such as immigration or return for indigenous Palestinians) are members of the ruling ethno-religious subgroup. Some have begun calling this “Israeli ethnocracy” while others, including concerned Israelis themselves, refer to it as apartheid.

Carmel Salhi

LSA junior

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