Volume 91, Issue 69

Friday, January 30, 1998

cheque please


Protesting the protest

Re: Peaceful opinions, Jan.29 and Questions about the Israel Day protest, Jan.29

To the Editor:
Obviously, the authors of yesterday's opinion articles failed to take the time to actually attend Israel Day, see the protest or read the literature that was handed out. The text DID make light of the Holocaust. It DID vilify the Flag of Israel (Not to mention the fact that this propaganda was plastered on a STOLEN copy of a USC-sponsored advertisement for JSU's Israel Day). Had yesterday's authors been present at the event, they would not have erroneously condemned it as "political." The display made no mention of the events surrounding the formation of the state of Israel, rather it focused solely on the country's education, culture and humanitarian missions.

The protestor's supporters justify his actions by claiming they were a mere condemnation of human rights abuses. If the protestor was truly interested in human rights issues, he should have portrayed a more balanced picture of the conflict in the Middle East. Even before Israel declared statehood in 1948, Jews living in the area suffered at the hands of the Arab majority. During WWII, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin Al-Husseini, met with Hitler to discuss the transfer of Jews under his jurisdiction into Nazi death camps. In 1948, 650,000 Jews were either massacred or expelled from Arab countries, leaving behind land five times the size of today's Israel.

Israel, the Middle East's only democratic nation, is situated in a very dangerous neighbourhood. Considering the persistent threat of its annihilation, it demonstrates considerable restraint. What other country in the world would sit idly by as Iraq rained scud missiles on it during the Gulf War? Israel (as any other free nation) has a right and duty to defend the security of its Muslim, Christian and Jewish inhabitants. This occasionally warrants the bulldozing of a terrorist's home in order to deter further attacks on Israeli citizens. It is hard for us living in Canada, to imagine the fear Israeli men, women and children have upon riding the public buses. The fear that their bus will be the next one targeted for a suicide bombing.

Mark Zelunka
Economics III
Michael Bloom
Biology III

To Contact The Opinions Department: gazoped@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998