EDITORIAL & OPINIONS
Debate over Finkelstein speech
To the Editor:
Imagine a speaker coming to a university setting that has
been outspoken on the issues of Sep. 11, a horrifying, but
unfortunately, a very real and tragic event that took the lives
of so many. Imagine this speaker was not only unsympathetic
towards the victims and their families of 9/11 but also claimed
the United States used 9/11 to further their plight and gain
sympathy and political favour from others. Imagine he said
the only reason the U.S is pursuing the perpetrators is to
improve their economy and had nothing to do with the thousands
of people that lost family and friends to the hands of terror.
Would this speaker be allowed on campus? I don't think so.
But, for no good reason, the department of anthropology and
political science are sponsoring Dr. Norman Finkelstein, author
of the book "The Holocaust Industry." The thesis in his book
is that Jews have exploited their experiences in the Holocaust
to gain political leverage, steal reparation money from Swiss
banks and wrongly justify the need for the existence of a Jewish
How can these two departments be so irresponsible? How could
they let this anti-Semite spew his views on impressionable
students? The lesson Jewish people spread is six million Jews
were killed by the hands of Hitler. No one, let alone enough
to fill a small country, should experience the terrors the
Jewish people have. Jewish people won't let the memories of
the Holocaust rest because Jews won't let it happen again.
To use the legacy of the dead in vain is un-Jewish.
Dr. Finkelstein may be a doctor, but he is no Jew. I hope
this message can outweigh Finkelstein's; we should all try
to prevent tragedies.
To the Editor:
Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights UWO organized an event
to increase support for Palestinian human rights at Western.
Norman Finkelstein, a prominent academic, addressed the underlying
causes of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and as a corollary,
the humanity of the Palestinians.
Finkelstein, while a Palestinian sympathizer, is not as accused,
a "self-hating Jew." He stands up to those who think debunking
myths about Israel is itself contemptuous toward Israelis.
He proves acknowledging Palestinian equality and not equating
us with terrorists does not mean you are anti-Semitic or anti-Israeli.
A recurring comment was that his "simplistic narrative" allocated
blame exclusively upon the Israeli state. Reducing the conflict
to the recent emergence of suicide bombers ignores that Israel
has continued to uphold an exclusive "secular Jewish" (according
to Daniel Pipes) ideology. Finkelstein highlighted the transfer
and expulsion of Palestinians and their denial of basic rights
as the main point of conflict.
This outdated process of colonialism occurs with the United
States vetoing and Canada abstaining from UN Security Council
and General Assembly Resolutions. Twenty-thousand+ Israelis
and multiple more Palestinians killed and millions displaced
- do we Palestinians not matter as well?
At the lecture, a paternalistic flyer was circulated positing
that Palestinians need Israelis, because we are inept at ruling
ourselves. Later on, a Jewish student turned and screamed at
me, without provocation, "You f$%ing pig." To that student,
it's your right to express yourself, but seeing Palestinians
or anyone else as racially inferior is an unhealthy attitude
for all. The world is a much sweeter place without that kind
Overall the event was a success and we sincerely thank ALL
Randa B. Mouammar
SPHR Campaigns Director
Faculty of Law, LL.B. II
Sororities have to beat the Rush
Re: "Sister Act 3: the Rush," Sep. 26, 2003
To the Editor:
It's great to see a fresh look at sorority life at Western.
People will watch movies like Legally Blonde and make incorrect
assumptions about sororities. I found that Rush began as a
fun experience that bolstered my dragging confidence. I believe,
however, an important thing Ms. Somayajula left out of her
article was that although the intention of Rush is for a rushee
to "drop" a house at the end of a session day, the sororities
can also "drop" the rushee.
This is sometimes done in a very impersonal way, by listing
for the rushee the houses they are "invited back to." The reasons
for dropping a rushee are not given, leaving her to analyze
and re-analyze what she could have done wrong to make the sisters
of the house want to drop her.
This snag must be fixed, if only for the sanity of the rushee
and for the house to avoid being seen as following a stereotype.
At the end of Rush, a house can then decide to "make a bid" or
not. If you don't want someone in your house, don't make a
bid, but at least let the rushee keep her dignity by not making
her stand out during the Rush process. If this were changed,
Rush would be described as one the best opportunities for a
feeling of belonging.