Massad’s lecture was ‘insulting’ and unrealistic

To the Daily:

It’s people like Joseph Massad who are the reason that there is
no peace in the Middle East (Profs address Arab-Israeli
conflict, honor Edward Said
, 10/17/03). If Students Allied for
Freedom and Equality wanted to provide a “better understanding” of
the conflict, it failed miserably. Mossad tastelessly and
tactlessly spent his entire lecture attempting to undermine the
legitimacy of Israel and of the Jewish people. His comparison of
Zionism to Nazism and racism was insulting. The applause received
for his comments showed that there are still those around who
prefer the unrealistic option of getting rid of Israel over peace.
I, as a Zionist (and according to Massad a racist, anti-Semite and
Nazi), have accepted the right of the Palestinians to have their
own country. It’s time that people in Massad’s camp recognize
Israel’s right to exist as well. The Palestinians aren’t going
anywhere and neither are the Israelis. Next time you want to
promote understanding, stop using immature and uneducated
comparisons, stop trying to undermine the other side’s existence
and accept reality. Only when we eradicate these methods can we
take the first step on the path to peace.

Josh Berman

LSA sophomore

Coverage of Said event biased; SAFE ‘wants to destroy
Israel’

To the Daily:

Although I am sure that the reporter meant to cover Students
Allied for Freedom and Equality’s Edward Said lecture fairly
(Profs address Arab-Israeli conflict, honor Edward Said,
10/17/03), the article is so one sided as to be worthy of a
state-run Arab press. First, Arrine summarizes the tripe that
Joseph Massad spewed, then pretends to offer a balanced approach
through the Daily’s time-honored tradition of asking the biased
crowd that attended whether it found the propaganda-fest
useful.

From what I could gather from the publicity ex ante (and the
“coverage” ex post), Massad’s message is: Shame on the Jews, who
were persecuted, that they now persecute. Fair enough, but how is
this “an effort to promote discussion and debate?” The lecture’s
true purpose was to jump start the moribund (and hateful)
divestment campaign. By diverting attention from Palestinian
suicide bombers and toward alleged press bias and the suspect
suggestion that the more Americans know about the conflict, the
more they will identify with the Palestinian side, SAFE hopes to
avoid two key points: first, that Palestinian terrorists are
deliberately slaughtering Israeli civilians, while Israel is
targeting terrorists (with unfortunate collateral casualties); and
second, that Massad’s point, if it has any merit, should be
directed at the Palestinians, who have been killed and forced from
their homes and now try to do the same to others.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is tragic and complicated.
People on both sides, especially Palestinians, are suffering. SAFE
contributes to the problem by spreading lies and dissimilation, but
SAFE has a right to lie all it wants; the Daily should know better.
SAFE doesn’t want a real discussion of the conflict – it wants to
destroy Israel. The Daily should want a real discussion, but only
time will tell.

Michael Kieval

Law School

Bush should work to improve U.S.-Arab relations

To the Daily:

In all fairness to Slava Goldstein, his letter to the editor
(Reader would rather be bigot than sensitive, dead,
10/17/03) is brutally honest. It is also, unfortunately, based on a
misunderstanding of facts. Take Iraq, the most obvious of examples.
How many Americans were killed by Iraq in the past decade? Now
compare that number to the number killed in the past year in the
invasion and occupation against Iraq. And all those deaths in the
past year are supposed to be justified by the “threat” Saddam and
his regime posed to homeland security? We now know that the weapons
of mass destruction never existed and that the evidence for them
was fabricated. And now there is the occupation. Rather than Iraqis
cheering in the streets, there are daily attacks on our troops. Yet
the message to President Bush remains unclear. He continues to ask
for an increased presence to crack down on the terrorists, the ones
that were non-existent before intervention in the region.

Leaving all sensitivities and prejudices behind and thinking
logically, it is obvious that you do not deal with a people backed
into a corner by pushing them further. Would detaining those with a
“Middle Eastern complexion” or taking away the rights of Muslims
make for a safer atmosphere? Would it help American and Arab
relations? If you do not want to take my word for it, ask any
Japanese American about World War II.

Carmel Salhi

LSA junior

Chair, Students Allied for Freedom and Equality

Discrimination against Arabs, Muslims
unconstitutional

To the Daily:

As I read the letter from Slava Goldstein (Reader would
rather be bigot than sensitive, dead
, 10/17/03) I was both
shocked and appalled at Goldstein’s attempt to rationalize and
promote racist discrimination against Arabs and Muslims. The
message of his letter was that if Arabs and Muslims were to suffer
under Nazi treatment it would acceptable because under his dark
logic they would deserve it. Rather than place the blame on those
that promote hate and bigotry, he feels that all American Muslims
are guilty of crimes that they have never committed. Maybe in
countries like Israel and Turkey it can be perfectly legal to
discriminate against citizens due to their ethnicity or religion,
but the U.S. Constitution clearly states that these types of
actions are illegal.

Also, if we were to look at the current record of these
unconstitutional policies, we would see that there have been no
improvements in the safety of Americans. Reports are constantly
concluding that Americans are no safer now then they were before
Sept. 11. There is absolutely no proof that this discrimination
against Arabs and Muslims has in any way prevented a terrorist
attack, so even supporters of the government’s discrimination of
Arabs and Muslims can’t even argue the effectiveness of these
policies. Americans have a legitimate desire in wanting to protect
themselves from terrorist attacks, the problem lies in the way the
Bush administration is going about doing this. Starting offensive
wars to destroy non-existent weapons of mass destruction and
bending the Constitution to mistreat innocent people will not stop
terrorism, if anything it may even promote more of it.

Mohammed Elghoul

LSA junior

Vice chair, Students Allied for Freedom and Equality

Photo of Sigma Chi house appears to be inaccurate

To the Daily:

It is a very sad time for the thousands of University Sigma Chi
alumni like myself who have such fond memories of the brotherhood
and the house, which by the way, is the oldest standing structure
in the country built specifically for the purposes of housing a
fraternity. To its members, the Sigma Chi house is the physical
embodiment of life-long friendships, lessons learned, and the
University itself.

In recent years, the alumni brotherhood worked tirelessly to
improve the house structurally and as a positive force on campus.
There were constant efforts to work with current members to instill
a a sense of personal responsibility and integrity in matters
relating to Sigma Chi and the principles it embodies.
Unfortunately, those efforts did not pay off.

Many of the alumni who saw the on-line story (Sigma Chi
vacates residence in light of hazing incident
, 10/17/03)
couldn’t help but be suspicious of the photo with the beer can so
prominently displayed in the foreground. We would appreciate the
Daily publicly vouching for the integrity of the photo; was the
beer can placed there for effect? Was a beer can found in a less
conspicuous place and moved for effect?

We all would appreciate a response.

Brian Yost

Alum

Editor’s Note: There was no tampering with the photograph in
question by Daily Photo Editor Seth Lower.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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