Mock Israeli checkpoint is criticized and lauded

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Re: “UC hill protest”
Apr. 4, 2007

To the Editor
I find it totally heinous that these “activists” were allowed to continue spreading their message of hatred and anti-semitism on university grounds.

These “activists” chose the second day of Passover to demonstrate, knowing full well a significant number of Western’s Jewish population wouldn’t attend school that day and would thus pose no threat to their demonstration. I’m disgusted with the demonstration and with campus police for not stopping it completely.

I understand living in Canada gives people the right to freedom of speech; however, this freedom doesn’t extend to hate messages. Demonstrations of this kind lead to larger, more violent demonstrations " look at what happened at York, McMaster and Concordia! I hope Western doesn’t experience the same thing in the coming years because that would truly be horrible, not only for Western students but for London’s entire Jewish population.

The “activists” are lucky more of Western’s Jewish population wasn’t on campus to oppose Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR) and its atrocious demonstration.
"Rebecca Clift
Hons. English IV
Ed. note: The protest wasn’t officially organized by SPHR.

To the Editor:
I was very happy to see students participate in the mock Israeli checkpoint last week. It encourages students to be aware of the human rights violations occuring around the world. I was discouraged to read how “intimidat[ion]” and the “reality of terror” was affecting Israel On Campus President Didi Nishlis. What I think Nishlis was unfamiliar with was that, if you put a group of people under illegal occupation, the reality is numerous things can happen. The mock checkpoint reflects Palestinians’ everyday reality. It’s not fair for anyone to live in fear, no matter who you are or where you live, and it’s extremely unfair for people forced into situations by illegal means.
"Matthew Brown
History III

To the Editor:
I was disappointed by the anti-Israel blockade at the top of UC hill last Tuesday. I worked at a coral reef reserve in Eilat, Israel this summer and travelled in the surrounding area. Want to know why the blockade on the stretch of highway leading out of Israel is so handy-dandy? No stolen cars get further than the city limits. Want to know what a Dutch couple was worried about when my friend and I hitched a ride from them before we went through a blockade? If we had drugs.

Not once while travelling on public buses, in cars or by foot did I witness any “brutality” at these checkpoints. I was never treated less than professionally and honestly, the primary concerns of Israel checkpoint workers are screening for bombs and keeping traffic flowing. If you think there are bad drivers in Canada, you ain’t seen nothing.

Demonstrations pointing fingers at cultural groups aren’t constructive. Both the Israeli and Palestinian sides have just reasons for their concerns. With the current state of affairs, neither is blameless. It’s unfortunate those interested in raising awareness about the situation continue doing so in a manner promoting hate and insensitivity. Case in point: an anti-Israeli demonstration during Passover, a Jewish holiday celebrating freedom. Pick a better day or, better yet, work in conjunction with the pro-Israeli groups on campus to work toward peace.
"Sarah Hurowitz
Kinesiology IV

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