Volume 93, Issue 101

Friday, April 7, 2000


A big (sarcastic) thank you for letter

Feeling of discrimination excruciating

Xenophobia hurts Jewish groups

Writer on mark, editorial misguided

American inputs his two cents

Misinformed opinions enlightened

Was letter written as complaint or question?

Israeli flag instills pride

A poem on profs

We need study day

Was letter written as complaint or question?

Re: "Racy Western" April 4

To the Editor:

I wasn't born in Canada, but I still hold this country in high regard. I have attempted to decipher Ms. Wong and Mr. Black's letter to see if it was written as a complaint, or as a question.

If it is the latter, I would be glad to offer some explanations and maybe even a few apologies for their complaints. However, if it was the former – a statement expressing views without really looking for an explanation – then I think Wong and Black are no better than those they seem to be irritated by.

I find it hard to believe that the two of you really made an effort to inquire about what transpired, before you decided to write such an open-ended and possibly misinterpreted, offensive letter.

Firstly, I am not a member of Alpha Epsilon Pi or Pi Lambda Phi, however I am a Jew. I cannot and will not speak on behalf of the aforementioned fraternities, but I am well aware of their policy to accept all those who are interested in joining – regardless of their religious denomination.

AEPi currently has several non-Jewish members and is officially recognized as a Jewish fraternity – its constitution officially promotes a Jewish life for its members.

I myself am a member of a fraternity on campus and to be quite honest, as a Jew, I would feel much more comfortable with Judaic symbols and rituals as opposed to the ancient Greek symbols. I am aware of many individuals, whether, Muslim, Christian, or Jewish – who feel somewhat uncomfortable by the underlying foundations present in Greek life.

The question of nationality versus religion must be asked in order to fully understand Judaism – something I think it is fair to say Black and Wong failed to do before writing their letter. I am not a Rabbinical scholar, however I think Judaism is both a nationality and a religion. Judaism will always be a religious identity, it has been that way for 5,000 years.

However, as a result of endless persecution and wandering for the past 3,000 years, Jews are scattered throughout the world. South Africa, Australia, Eastern Europe, Russia, Ethiopia, the United States and Canada all lay claim to large Jewish populations – known as the Diaspora Jews. Most Jews in the Diaspora have a patriotic interest in the developments of the state of Israel – thus, the notion of Judaism also being a nationality.

Regarding the Western Debating Society, their table was situated beside the Jewish Student's Union's table. There was no affiliation between the WDS and the Israeli flag hanging beside it.

I hope that I have helped to clear up some obvious misconceptions which were in your letter. If I have not, I encourage you to ask questions before you so boldly write what I see as derogatory and inflammatory statements.

David Skok
Political Science III

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