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Letters to the Editor 10/7

Halloween Horror Nights is overrated

The review published Monday about Halloween Horror Nights, in my opinion, was far too pleasant. Unlike the author of the well-written article, I did have to pay close to $50 and that did not include anything extra that I purchased while inside the park. This was my first year present, and as a first-timer I was especially disappointed. Like Hernandez said, the lines were extensive, the haunted houses were not terrifying and the ticket price was less then pleasing. So for all the Oracle readers who are contemplating attending, spend your hard earned money somewhere else. I wish I had.

Kristen Leyshock is a sophomore, undecided.

A democracy built on discrimination

Last week, a professor at USF lectured his class on middle eastern politics and stated clearly that Israel was the only real democracy in the region. I would like to respond to this statement by further elaborating on Israel’s democracy.

To be fair, we should not blame the professor for his comments and prejudices. After all, this is clearly the mundane response. Our media, politicians, video games, not to mention military-funded political “science” departments, teach us the same ideas. Yet the fact that propaganda reaches our classrooms–our last resort to unfiltered education and intellectualism–is very scary.

While the professor missed some fundamental details about this democracy of Israel that herded Palestinians from the occupied territories into reservations with some increasingly remarkable similarities to South Africa under apartheid. He didn’t bother to describe the foundation of Israeli democracy built exclusively on the self-described Jewish State. Under the Law of Return and the Absentee Property, as well as subsequent amendments, every Jew in the world is legally entitled to become a citizen of the State of Israel. However, millions of Palestinians, exiled as a consequence of the 1948-49 and 1967 wars, are denied both the right of citizenship and the right to return to their homeland.

Although Israel has certain democratic features, it is essentially an apartheid state. This is definitely a familiar picture: the United States had features of a democracy when millions of blacks were slaves and the Indians were being exterminated. Of course, Israeli society is committed to certain democratic values like individual rights, elections in which all adult citizens can vote, and an independent court system. Just from these values alone, certain supporters of Israel have managed to persuade the world that Israel is deep down a true democracy. But Israeli society is also extremely racist, and its racist laws and actions determine the character of the society more efficiently than its democratic values do. Because of this racism, its democratic features are constantly being questioned and put under pressure.

Until the Israeli democracy takes action toward reform to a true democracy unconditionally and impartial to its citizens, I do not believe it is deserving enough to be praiseworthy. While we criticize the former South African racist regimes, I find it rather ironic that we support a government who is guilty of the same crimes.

Juomana Saad is a freshman majoring in mass communications.

Boycott Novak for irresponsibility

During times of heightened national security, everyone in America has to make sacrifices. Soldiers sacrifice their lives. Children have already sacrificed their brave mother and fathers, who have perished in Afghanistan and Iraq, in order for us in the States to feel more secure. To a lesser extent millions of Americans have endured long lines while under going much needed upgrades in security check points at our airports. It is shocking that Americans seem so apathetic towards the blatant disregard that Rob Novak has recently displayed toward our national security. He admits that he was asked by the CIA not to use the name of ambassador Joseph Wilson’s wife. He claims that the CIA wasn’t forceful enough in their opposition to his using her name in the column. This is absurd. I would think that “no” would be enough. He now acts, almost arrogantly saying that he has no fault in possibly endangering the lives of many. I don’t care how long he has been writing syndicated columns. His blatant disregard for the national security of the United States is appalling. I think his sacrifice could simply have been to forget about advancing his party’s line and refrain from using her name in the column. I don’t think that this little sacrifice compares to the ultimate sacrifice many have more for this country.

I would suggest that everyone ask the newspapers in which Mr. Novak is syndicated to stop using his articles. This is the little sacrifice we can all do as our part in keeping this great nation safe. It’s obvious that Mr. Novak can’t be trusted to keep sensitive information out of the public eye.

Michael Scholl is a senior majoring in chemical engineering.