Volume 91, Issue 68

Thursday, January 29, 1998



Questions about the Israel Day protest

Re: No place on campus, Jan.27

To the Editor:
I see that Michael Bloom is complaining about how the democratic process was abused by the "Israel Day" protestor. Again, I seem to understand his point, but there are some questions I would like to ask him:

1. What does the Holocaust have to do with this issue? I agree the Holocaust was a very, very terrible event and that should be the opinion of any human being with an ounce of compassion. But as far as I understand the events that happened so far, the Israel Day protestor's posters seem to be concerned about HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES IN ISRAEL. Had that protestor distributed materials involving the Holocaust? I would like to know the answer.

2. Second, is protesting Israel's ACTIONS anti-Semitic? Has protesting South Africa in the times of Apartheid been looked upon as anti-White, or anti-anything? Had the materials that the Israel Day protestor distributed been anti-Semitic? I am not anti-Semitic and I don't believe in anti-Semitism, but I would like to see the answer on this point.

3. Third, Michael seems to imply that some (or even a lot) of Muslim and Arab students are closed-minded about the positive contributions that Israel has done to the world. When I saw the poster that said the Israeli Army has helped many families in Bosnia (including Muslim families) I was, admittedly, mildly surprised, but I don't say it was impossible. But, I also see the Israel Army as the same army that has blown up Palestinian homes without warrant, closed down mosques and arrested children as young as six years old. What justification can be found for such actions?

4. Lastly, I know that Islam Awareness Week should not have any protests in it. It is a non-political event. In the same manner the Israel-Day protest would have not been appropriate for, say, a Judaism Awareness Week, or any celebration that rotates around the Judaic faith. But the day in which the protest occurred was Israel's birthday and that did not seem like a purely non-political celebration (unless you can prove to me otherwise. Admittedly, that is a little inconceivable). Islam Awareness Week is a purely religious celebration and it does not even have an ounce of politics in it, so why bring up Islam Awareness Week altogether?

Asser Hassanain
Computer Science IV

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Copyright The Gazette 1998