Volume 96, Issue 81
Wednesday, March 5, 2003

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Syrian funding complex

Re: "Syrian issue is unique," Feb. 20

To the Editor:

For Hage-Hassan to lambaste Israel's human rights record while defending Syria on the same grounds is both laughable and blatantly one-sided; that she would champion Hezbollah, in particular, is greatly disturbing.

At its core, Hezbollah is a jihadist organization, seeking no less than the destruction of Israel. Funded by Syria and Iran, "the party of God" (as it terms itself) even has its own TV network, Al Manar, which makes no claim to objectivity and actively encourages Palestinians to become suicide bombers. The organization then rewards these murderers by providing money to their families, and holding them up to the local culture as heroes.

If Hage-Hassan actually believes the mission statement printed on Hezbollah's Web site, she is either a na•ve simpleton or just willfully ignorant of the more blatant realities of the situation in the Middle East. Philanthropic endeavours are as irrelevant to Hezbollah's greater objectives as soup kitchens were to Al Capone's intentions in 1930s Chicago.

Anyone who supports Hezbollah, whether through monetary contributions or kind words in a newspaper, is an opponent of peace and a promoter of hatred, plain and simple. Rationalizations to the contrary only work to misinform students at Western, who may be unaware of the polarities in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Mark Jonah Behar
MIT/English Honours IV

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