Letters to the Editor 4/17

Britain deserves blame for Israeli conflict

I believe that it is time Israel and Palestine put aside their differences and face the real culprit behind their problems. It is time to blame Britain. God did not give the land to the Jews; Britain did. Which also means that they took it from the people living there, the Palestinians. After World War II, the League of Nations carved out of Turkey, no pun intended, a piece of land they could ship all of the Jews who were liberated from the camps. Can you really blame the Jews for going?

Moving to a foreign land had to be better than living next to the same guy who gassed all your friends and families. So, the Jews showed up to the British settlement where some very unhappy locals were told to leave. Can you blame the Arabs for being mad over losing their homes? Uprooting your life because some foreigner tells you to leave and having to sit back and watch some other foreigner take your land would piss anyone off. What did Britain do? Nothing. It left. It was the dominating force in the region. After all, it made the locals leave and brought in the new foreigners, and it left without even trying to solve the problem. Much like a child who threw a match into a can of gasoline will leave to be somewhere else when the garage burns down.

So, now the Israelis and Palestinians are pissed because they have all gotten burned. In my humble opinion, they should quit fighting each other and blame Britain. After all, it’s neither the gasoline’s nor the match’s fault the garage burned down – it’s the child’s.

Preston Hill is a sophomore majoring in anthropology.

Palestinians do not have legitimate claim to land

I have seen many letters lately regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and have felt compelled to respond due to the lack of knowledge that is shown in many of the letters, as well as outright disregard for the facts at hand.

Fact #1: Jews have a historical and Biblical claim to the land of Israel. There is historical and archeological evidence that the Jews have occupied the land for millennia, whereas the Palestinians have no such historical claim on the land. Historically, the West Bank was won by the Jews in the war of 1967. Biblically, God gave the land of Israel to the Jews.

Fact #2: Historically, there were no such people as the Palestinians. The Palestinians are Arab immigrants who have claimed the West Bank and all of Israel as their own after the rebirth of the nation of Israel in 1948.

Fact #3: Arafat is a terrorist. He speaks to the world of peace but continually stirs up hatred and conflict against the Israelis. There is mounting evidence, even videos that show Arafat’s evil hatred of Israel. Even President Bush has admitted to Arafat’s untrustworthiness. Arafat has one goal: the total destruction of Israel.

Fact #4: Israel is a David against the Goliath Arab nations. Israel has few if any true supporters. The tiny state of Israel is surrounded by massive Arab states that nearly all have the same disdain for Israel.

It is hypocritical and reckless of the United States not to support Israel’s fight against terrorism. In their shoes, we would probably act even more severely. Would the United States give away Texas if Mexicans claimed that land as theirs and used terrorism against it? That is the position that Israel is in, and yet the United States pressures Israel to allow for a Palestinian state.

A Palestinian state would be suicide for Israel. A Palestinian state would be just a Trojan horse to topple the Israeli government. The tragedy is that the Palestinians are a political football that the Arab nations are using to destroy Israel.

May God bless America and Israel, our friend.

Joel Merritt is a sophomore majoring in computer science.

Inaccurate information needs clarification

I would like to take this opportunity to clarify a few things that occurred last week on campus regarding the Hillel Jewish Student Center.

First, we approached John Loftus in January to speak as part of our Holocaust Awareness Week. In February, he confirmed that he would speak about his book, The Secret War Against The Jews.

His book does in fact deal with the Nazis’ plan to exterminate Jews and some of the early opportunities that the United States and its allies had to end the persecution of the Jews. Mr. Loftus did not file his lawsuit against Professor Al-Arian until the middle of March.

We were not surprised that he mentioned the Al-Arian issue, but we were surprised by the extent of his remarks on that issue instead of the Holocaust.

Mr. Loftus did discuss the “Golden Age” of Judaism and Islam, when both religions had a very close relationship, and he also closed his remarks with the fact that racism hurts everyone. He stressed the importance of Jewish students and Muslim students coming together to learn about each others’ traditions and histories.

In Thursday’s Oracle, there was an article about the “new Holocaust.” There was inaccurate information, as well as inaccurate quotes.

The Holocaust perpetrated by the Nazis and their collaborators was the systematic destruction of six million Jews and five million blacks, homosexuals, gypsies and political opponents. The goal of the Nazis was the complete extermination of the Jewish people.If Israel was seeking to exterminate the Palestinians as the “new Holocaust” information explained, why in 2000, did then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak offer Yasser Arafat all of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem?

The deal called for Israeli departure of 99 percent of the Jewish settlements in those areas, with Israel giving an equal amount of land in return for those settlements that Israel would not depart from. The current intifada began immediately after Arafat rejected that offer.

In the past several days, Israel has pulled out of more than 24 Palestinian towns. Their mission is not to occupy the territory, and it is not to kill innocent civilians. Their mission is to seek out those terrorist cells that have wreaked havoc on innocent Israeli citizens. More than 100 Israelis died as a result of suicide bombers during the month of March.

Every time Israel makes an effort to create peace, another suicide bomber is given his or her orders. We witnessed that just a few days ago when Israel pulled out of Kalkilya and Tulkarim, and then a suicide bomber killed eight Israelis in Haifa.

Israel has a history of giving up land for true, lasting peace. In 1979, Israel signed a peace agreement with Egypt and a few years ago with Jordan. Israel is willing to have a lasting peace with their Palestinian neighbors. Is Chairman Arafat willing to make peace with a country that he has sought to exterminate for almost 40 years?

The one quote that Grace Agostin did get correct is that loss of life on either side is a tragedy.

Nicky Spivak is executive director for Hillel’s Jewish Student Center.

‘Holocaust’ not a term to be used lightly, improperly

After reading the headlines in Thursday’s Oracle, I felt somewhat dismayed that the term “new Holocaust” graced the front page.

While I agree that the Palestinian people are being marginalized by the profound injustices that they face combating the Israeli army, it by no means constitutes a holocaust. Moreover, it is a gross misappropriation of the term.

For those who may be unaware, the Jewish diaspora had been persecuted and hunted down no matter where they were for nearly 2,000 years.

From their utter decimation during the Jewish revolts of the 1st and 2nd century CE, to the Rhineland massacres during the Crusades, to the persecution reaching its zenith during the Holocaust, Jews had no one to turn to, and nowhere to call home. During the Holocaust, which was by far the worst mass executed pogrom (six million Jews perished), the Jewish people suffered horribly.

From being brought to slave labor camps to be worked to death, to being selected and sent immediately to the gas chambers, the Jews had no one who would hear their plea; the world had turned its eyes and ears from the Jews’ pain, as if to disavow the Jews’ very existence.

Is it really fair to equate what is going on in modern Israel as a “new” Holocaust? I think not. In Nazi Europe, the Jews had been targeted for a systematic genocide, of which the SS troops were nothing more than cogs in the bureaucratic machine that only knew how to manufacture one product: corpses.

The SS troops had no remorse for the killing as they were removed from the process psychologically and felt that they were doing humanity a “favor” by ridding the world at large of a Jewish presence. However, in Israel, attacks on the Palestinians have not been systematic nor on a mass scale.

Furthermore, hundreds of Israeli soldiers have protested against their orders because they felt the orders were morally corrupt.

Here is the crux of the situation: Both parties have a right to that land. To the Israelis, use of brute force and killing innocent civilians is not going to gain any popular sentiment among the global community, and the use of said force should be discontinued immediately. To the Palestinians, while the suffering of your people is an atrocity, it is not a holocaust.

No one should weigh one’s suffering against that of another; it is horrible enough when one person suffers. We should all strive to move beyond events such as the Holocaust, for it will ultimately serve as a reminder of the evil that humanity is capable of; rather, both parties should work assiduously to produce a mutual reconciliation and prove to the rest of the world that amity can still exist between people with different religious beliefs.

Ryan Haczynski is a senior majoring in religious studies.

Israel-Palestine situation needs subjectivity

The Thursday article titled “Victims of a ‘new’ Holocaust” really bothered me after reading it. I am neither Israeli nor Palestinian, but something I am getting very sick of is the one-sided opinions going around.

First of all, how can this be compared to the Holocaust? Was that not something going on because Hitler wanted to exterminate the race in the name of “purity of society?”

It was not about land; it was not about religion. This conflict, on the other hand, is. If Canada’s government was not controlling groups who kept attacking the United States, wouldn’t it be expected that the United States would do something?

I am not condoning innocent bloodshed on either side; both sides have things they are wrong about, and both have things they are right about. Where is the subjective view from a Palestinian? From an Israeli? I would like to hear more of those opinions.

What happened to walking a day in the other person’s shoes? In this type of situation, people are only doing what’s right in their own eyes. Everyone has a slight difference of opinion of what is right, so who is really right? I just want some subjectivity.

Christina Franchi is a junior majoring in sociology.