Volume 92, Issue 1

Friday, May 15, 1998

empty pockets


Peace Day rebut

Re: Reasons for conflict, April 2

To the Editor:

I am writing to express my disgust at the letter written by Arab Students' Association president, Taymoor Marmarchi. First and foremost, the behavior displayed by the Jewish Students Union during "50 Years of Dispossession" was no more rude than some of the vilifying things displayed by the ASA during the event. The accusation that "peace is not really in [our] hearts" is ridiculous and unfounded – who cancelled Peace Day to begin with?

Furthermore, the JSU was not "fighting for [the ASA's] space in the UCC," we were simply asking for a table to promote peace. Perhaps if we were given that chance, we wouldn't have had to be "rude and loud."

To point out an error, Mark Zelunka is not just the roommate of the JSU political chair. He is the political co-chair. It is unresearched declarative statements like this that lead to conflict.

The issue over the space-booking conflict arose from the fact that the ASA, with the knowledge of the USC, rebooked the space that the ASA and JSU had booked together. What's more is that the JSU was not informed until after the fact.

The JSU is upset about the sneaky and conniving practices of the USC and that is why the JSU feels that the USC is to blame. The JSU only asks that the USC be fair and sound in its policy. Every voice has a right to be heard and it is the responsibility of the USC to ensure that this right is protected.

The JSU does not wish to censor or mute the ASA – they too have the right to tell their side of the story. I can tell you for a fact that most, if not all members of the JSU, are VERY interested in peace. That is why we were thrilled about the idea of a Peace Day and extremely disappointed when the ASA backed out.

I would also like to address Taymoor's comments about the film that was shown during Israel Day. This film depicted bodies of Jewish Holocaust victims being thrown into fire pits. It was a tale of fact and it was a statement against the Nazi Party, not the Arab people. The video that was shut-off during the ASA's program was presumptious and one-sided.

I think it is important that everyone know that much of the material displayed during the ASA event was hateful and dehumanizing of Jews. Furthermore, the ASA continually referred to "Jews" as the oppressors of Arabs. I resent being stereotyped in that manner.

The ASA should have referred to the specific group they were discussing, namely the Israeli Government. When we talk about the Palestinian Authority, we refer to the PA and not the Arab people as a whole. We do not generalize and expect the same courtesy from others.

I have never lived in Israel, and therefore I cannot say what is or is not "the truth." But I do know that if we ever want peace, it must be achieved through calm and productive discussion. Mudslinging, insults and hate mongering only serve as obstacles to the peace process. I honestly look forward to seeing the day when Jews and Arabs can live together in Israel and hope that irrational attitudes are eliminated, so that we can work together. A Peace Day would have been a step in the right direction. It's too bad that the ASA did not feel the same.

Jordan Cares

JSU Executive 98-99

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Copyright The Gazette 1998