Case for divestment from Israel compelling; Israel very
similar to apartheid South Africa

To the Daily:

In response to Michael Kieval (Coverage of Said event biased,
SAFE ‘wants to destroy Israel,’
10/21/03), I’d like to point
out that the decades-old conflict does not revolve around Kieval,
Students Allied for Freedom and Equality or Joseph Massad,
professor of intellectual history at Columbia University. To
misrepresent Massad, who is widely respected in his field even
among some Israeli academic circles, in order to launch attacks on
SAFE is a hollow attempt to avoid at all costs substantively
discussing the actual conflict between the Israelis and
Palestinians. Equally, Kieval’s support of a Palestinian state is
precious, but again, Kieval’s opinion is not at issue here.

Moreover, it would be beneficial to the student body at large if
opponents of divestment did not simply throw negative labels at it,
but actually explained what is wrong with the campaign. There have
been compelling arguments made that would strongly indicate that
Israel’s rule over the Palestinians is reminiscent of South African
apartheid. That South African anti-apartheid heroes, from Nelson
Mandela to Ronnie Kasrils, have remarked on this parallel is also
compelling. Even Archbishop Desmond Tutu has actively supported the
global divestment campaign from Israel.

A few weeks ago, former Israeli Knesset Speaker Avraham Burg
chastised the Israeli structure arguing, “We cannot keep a
Palestinian majority under an Israeli boot and at the same time
think ourselves the only democracy in the Middle East.” This to me
appears to be the central point of discussion, and would give
credence to the principles underlying the divestment campaign.

Fatima Makhzoum

Engineering sophomore

Daily should give equal coverage to Christian groups and
events like UWorship

To the Daily:

I found the article on Islamic conversions published in the
Daily, Islam converts speak on how they found religion,
(10/22/03) to be very interesting and intriguing. Actually, I think
the Daily should further explore the topic of spirituality in
greater depth. Not only because it is politically relevant, but
also because it hits the core of many students on campus.

Many students arrive on campus with deep spiritual questions
that have yet to be fully explored. For example, on Oct. 26, there
will be a gathering of many campus Christian groups at the Power
Center called UWorship. Having been to this event before, I know
that it is a time where many Christians are strengthened in their
Christian identity on campus. I believe UWorship has been covered
in the past by the Daily, but from a different angle and with less
attention than the recent article on Islam. The University has a
rich heritage deeply rooted in Christianity. I think it would be
powerful to explore those roots and let students know some of the
foundations this University was built upon. If the Daily is open to
that, I would love to help in any way. Other religions, too, are
slowly finding their way on campus. It would be great to educate
the University community on the different worldviews of our student
population.

Jimmy Roh

Alum

 

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