The road to peace starts at home
To the Editor:
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has escalated to gruesome
new levels in the past decade. We have become so immune to
it that upon hearing about the death of yet another Israeli
soldier or the killing of Palestinian children, we are hardly
shocked. Many have tried to implement a solution to resolve
this conflict, while others with hidden agendas have just added
fuel to the fire.
The solution I propose is not George W. Bush’s “road
map,” but rather an internal solution. It is a solution
that will take time and dedication by those directly and indirectly
involved. I am neither Palestinian nor Israeli, but as a human
being, I can empathize with both sides and their desire to
suppress this ongoing carnage — enough blood has been
The recent fiasco that has been taking place on Western’s
campus by certain clubs is repulsive. If we cannot develop
an understanding and compassion for one another here in a peaceful
surrounding, how can we ever expect to solve the crisis in
the Middle East? Propagating hate towards a particular religion
or ethnic group in justification of portraying your side of
the issue is unacceptable.
The way we perceive and treat one another reflects our true
intentions and motivations. We need to empathize with one another
and open our eyes so that we may stand and speak against brutality
and oppression. Change comes from within and once true peace
and understanding resides in our hearts, it will have a ripple
I am not suggesting that one sit idly by if oppression or
violence is taking place. Speak up against it, but do not fail
to look at why it is taking place. If you sincerely want to
resolve this issue, then make it a priority to listen to the
other side with the intention to resolve, rather than listening
only to defend your views and state that you are right and
they are wrong.
If I have offended anyone or any particular group or club,
it has been done unknowingly because my intention is not to
offend or demean anyone. I, like many others, only want to
see peace come to this Holy Land.
Sociology/Religious Studies III
Israeli wall unfortunate but needed
Re: “Panel looks at the pain of the Mid-East conflict,” Jan.
To the Editor:
It is a tragedy when any human life is lost. Unfortunately,
the organizers of the event at which Rachel Corrie’s
parents spoke don’t seem to recognize the loss of life
of completely innocent Israelis in coffee shops, night clubs
and university cafeterias.
This event was content on offering a message that the fence
Israel has constructed to defend its citizens from murder is,
in their misinformed opinion, constructed for the sole purpose
of “dehumanizing Palestinians.” The reality these
organizers neglect is that the sole purpose for the fence is
to protect the right to life.
The single most important human right is the right to life — be
it Rachel Corrie’s life or another child coming home
from school on a bus. The choice is as follows: slow down buses
to check for explosive devices designed for murder or allow
them to carry such devices uninhibited to the neighbourhoods,
playgrounds and shopping malls to be used as intended.
With a situation as delicate as the Middle East conflict,
it is important to acknowledge the views of both sides. The
speakers from Tuesdays’s lecture failed to do so, as
they did not recognize that Israel’s actions, whose sole
purpose is the protection of its citizens, are a direct result
of terrorism. These security measures, as unfortunate as they
may be, are necessary in order to protect the welfare of all
citizens of Israel.
Political Science II
Re: “Zut alors!” Jan. 29, 2004
To the Editor:
Why is France so stupid? Why is it that a liberal democratic
state has taken it upon itself to dictate how one’s
religion may be practiced? France wants crosses, hijabs and
kippots out of the classroom, thinking that the way to separate
religion and state is by eliminating religion. Wrong. The
two are not mutually exclusive.
The way I understand separation of religion and state is as
follows: everyone has their own beliefs, but we don’t
want one (or any) religion influencing or dictating how our
political system is run. This makes sense, seeing as a democracy
wants to best represent what’s good for everybody, regardless
of their religion. The acceptance of religion as sacred to
the individual is a cornerstone of democratic ideology.
In Canada, we can come to school and wear whatever we want.
I am not, nor should I be, intimidated by anyone’s religious
apparel (unless it clashes). Ideally, I shouldn’t even
notice it; I should care more for the person than what book
he prays from. In that way, we can live and prosper together.
One final example: Sept. 11. The hijackers like Mo’ Atta
were not crazy Osamas from the Afghan mountains; they were
middle-class, European dwellers alienated from their state.
If France wants to set an example for the world, it will recognize
that their citizens, regardless of religious belief, are important
to the success of the nation as a whole and must be respected
The idea of separation of religion and state is not to eliminate
religion from the state, but to eliminate religion as a barrier
in the psyche of those who inhabit the state.
Political Science I
Spoke becomes a joke
To the Editor:
It is unfortunate that the popularity of The Spoke has declined
so much over the past year.
One of the main reasons for this decline is that The Spoke
no longer offers students incentives to go, such as the dollar
beers they had last year on Monday nights. While the on-campus
bars used to be a favourite among students, we need to be persuaded
to come back. I really think The Spoke can gain back its popularity
(even without the re-introduction of Wet/Dry) by providing
us with reasons to go.
With the termination of the Wet/Dry program, these bars no
longer have to worry about underage students drinking, and
therefore, deals that were previously in use at The Spoke can