Volume 95, Issue 94

Wednesday, April 3, 2002
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MSA continues the Middle East conflict debate

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MSA continues the Middle East conflict debate

Re: "JSU formal response to El-Hourani," Mar. 27

To the Editor:

It is obvious that both sides are at fault for aggravating this conflict. Yasser Arafat has practiced two-faced diplomacy for decades and it is tragic that innocent civilians are being killed in Israel.

However, it must also be recognized that the Israeli government has perpetrated countless injustices on the Palestinian people, the most significant of which being the illegal occupation of their land, the denial of their basic human rights and the reckless killing of innocent Palestinian civilians.

Advocating Ariel Sharon as a player for peace is ludicrous. This alleged war criminal masterminded the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 – resulting in the deaths of 17,000 civilians – and was found indirectly responsible, by an Israeli commission, for the Sabra and Shatila massacres that led to his resignation as defense minister.

Now, as prime minister, he has added 34 new illegal settlements, which clearly demonstrates a refusal to rightfully return the occupied territories. The only way to solve the Middle East conflict is to address its root cause.

Israel today is the only country in the world to be charged as an illegal occupier; end the illegal occupation and you will end resistance. We encourage the Jewish Students' Union to follow the many peaceful Israeli organizations like 'Peace Now' and B'Tselem.

These organizations call for the dismantling of illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied territories as the first step to peace and to support the Israeli reservists who openly say "we will no longer fight for the purpose of occupying, deporting, destroying, blockading, killing, starving and humiliating an entire people" in the occupied territories.

The Muslim Students' Association realizes that many students are overwhelmed by the endless discussion on the Middle East conflict. The situation seems too complex and the animosity so great that a solution seems nowhere in sight.

Despite this, we encourage students to broadly research this subject for themselves and keep optimistic in the search for peace and justice in the Middle East.

Khurram Khan

MSA President

Medicine II

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