Jargon can't disguise the real issue
Us Speak Honestly About Brutality," Sept. 24
To the Editor:
An open discourse is necessary to arrive at any truth. It is obvious that Douglass Drozdow-St.Christian's political opinions are skewed ("Many Palestinians, in despair and anger and deep resolve, have responded with the only weapons they feel they have."). While I support his right to express his ideas, even if I do not agree with them, I found Drozdow-St. Christian's response to criticism to be particularly frustrating.
One student, David Kates, argued that the language used in a discussion must be diplomatic and rational. The professor's response to Mr. Kates was glib and condescending. In his letter, Drozdow-St. Christian simply dismisses his opponent's criticism, accusing Mr. Kates of using "standard rhetoric" in order to "obscure and disguise the real historical roots of the Palestinian problem." It is here that the professor misses the point: by assuming that Mr. Kates was defending Israel (an opinion that was never articulated), he works from a premise that is in opposition to that which he merely supposes his opponent to have.
I find it disturbing that the professor claims to be in favour of peace, yet only accepts the legitimacy of one side of the argument. That he accuses Mr. Kates of using a standardized rhetoric, when it appears Drozdow-St. Christian himself employs smoke and mirrors (and obscure poetry) to disguise his opinions as fact, is hypocritical. That he implies Mr. Kates and others of the same opinion are not in favour of peace simply because they do not swallow his particular brand of jargon is insulting.