Volume 93, Issue 88

Thursday, March 16, 2000


Protest was silent, but misguided

Education not material commodity


Cold as ice

Protest was silent, but misguided

Re: "ASA, MSA protest atrium celebration" March 10

To the Editor:
Last Thursday I was one of many on hand in the University Community Centre to witness the events surrounding the JSU's cultural display.

It seemed to me that the ensuing protest of the event highlighted the source of some of the underlying political tensions between these groups – namely the failure of such groups to distinguish between nationalism and the celebration of one's cultural heritage.

I was dismayed by former ASA president Khaled Irani's statement in Friday's Gazette. He is quoted as wanting to generate criticism of the "political issues going on in their government." Similarly, Belal Tassi is quoted in the protesters' defense, saying that it was directed against the state of Israel, not the JSU.

I wonder if it has ever occurred to these two that practically all JSU members are Canadian citizens, born and raised. What's more, is that "their government," as Irani put it, is not in Israel but rather on Parliament Hill.

Last Thursday's episode in the UCC was no more appropriate a forum for political activism against Israel than other certain Jewish heritage events protested or disrupted in the past. The political protest was not only misdirected but I think motivated by resentment and a desire to disturb a peaceful, non-political event.

If this never-ending friction is to be reduced, it must begin with those who are young enough to look beyond petty differences. And this involves being politically responsible as well as being politically active. The apparent refusal of these groups to let go of ancient hatreds is discouraging indeed. My hopes for the peace process remain grim.

Adam McNeill
Media, Information and Technoculture II

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