Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday April 24, 2003
If Palestinians taught to hate, Israelis are teachers
I would like to respond to yesterday's advertisement on page 20 printed by the group "campustruth." The purpose of the ad appears to be to turn public opinion against the Palestinian struggle for freedom by presenting a fact out of context. It is true that many Palestinian children admire those who sacrifice themselves in the hope of freeing their people from the oppressive Israeli occupation. Supporters of Israel's aggressive tactics like to say that Palestinian children are educated from birth to be terrorists. Studies of the Palestinian school system have found no evidence of this, however I still believe it is true.
It takes very little knowledge to be a terrorist. What it does take is motivation, something that Israel readily provides. Under the Israeli occupation, Palestinian children are not permitted to go to school. They are rarely permitted to play outdoors, and if they come too close to the Israeli gunmen or tanks while retrieving a lost soccer ball, then they will be arrested and imprisoned for hours or even days (true story).
But even more horrid than the restrictions on their own lives are the injustices the Palestinian children must watch their relatives bear. Palestinians live in poverty because Israeli troops will not permit them to hold regular jobs. Twenty-four hour a day curfews are not uncommon, and violators are rewarded with death. During the hot summer nights, Palestinians must remain indoors. Anyone who dares to step out onto their front porch for a cigarette or to calm a crying baby is shot (both of these scenarios occurred).
Palestinian children are indeed educated in terrorism. They are taught to hate all Israelis, and embedded with a strong desire to murder them. This obligatory education is provided free of charge by the Israeli government with financial backing from the United States ($3 billion per year). In addition to being a serious waste of our tax dollars, the actions of the Israeli government are violations of both human rights and international law. Until this school of hatred lets out permanently, the terrorism will continue.
electrical engineering senior
Campustruth covering up the truth ÷ who are they?
We should all be suspicious of expensive ads placed in newspapers like yesterday's Wildcat that promote hate yet fail to tell us who is actually paying for them or promoting such hateful messages. No one is
surprised to see an ad that is unabashedly pro-Israel preach hate about Palestinians. For anyone who buys into such propaganda, please ask yourself, if those who paid for this ad really know the "truth" about this conflict, why do they publicize their truths on a Web site that suspiciously fails to show who runs it or pays for it?
I don't have the money to pay for a fancy ad, but I am not afraid to say that we are all being duped when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is time for those who continue to fuel hatred and violence in this conflict to be held accountable. If you want to publicize hate and contribute to more suffering for Israelis and Palestinians, than please tell us who you are.
president, Alliance for Peace and Justice in the Middle East
Near Eastern studies graduate student
Final day for racism can't come without whites' help
This is in response to Steve Campbell's column on Monday concerning the role of education ending racism. I agree in the fundamental belief that education is pivotal in addressing racism in America, but it is clearly not the only solution to rid our country of racism. Mr. Campbell states that it is classroom jeering from ignorant children that makes "many black kids grow up with built-up hostility and anger." This fact and perhaps the socioeconomic disparities that are prevalent within our society is enough to piss anybody off. Black kids grow up in a free country of "justice and liberty" that sends them to run-down schools with no books, to a school that has no money for teachers because the funds are dried up by suburban school districts and working minimum wage jobs with no health care to help fund the fat cat CEO's vacation. The fact remains that our nation has become the wealthiest and most powerful country in the world from the exploits of all people of color (and poor white people). And to show our appreciation, the Bush administration wants to abolish affirmative action, and Bush wants to help the poor by relieving them of the their dividend tax obligations on their investment portfolio. Please! How about we invade other countries and continue to ignore our own domestic responsibilities? It's no wonder that angry blacks are upset with a little more than finger-pointing and name-calling during recess.
Mr. Campbell also suggested in his column that "the responsibility for educating the ignorant adults of America must lie on the shoulders of black Americans." It is the responsibility of white America to listen to these voices and be willing to sacrifice their own luxuries for the betterment of the community. The black community has been speaking out against racism since they were chained to the boat. The public outcries for change from the likes of David Walker, Vescey, Robeson, Malcolm and Martin Luther King Jr. all ended in tragedy. It sounds like someone is resisting change. So the responsibility falls on the shoulders of the white America that must actually be willing to change.
And for those who think that our school is free of racism; I have a professor who was recently released and re-employed only because outside academic officials are unhappy with the University of Arizona's lack of diversity. It is a blessing that outside forces are pressuring the university to diversify its students, faculty and employees.
Jason J. Tamani
Military members defend democracy, fight for you
It's interesting to see how time and experience shape our perceptions of life from black and white to varying shades of gray. In no better way is this exemplified than the attitude presented by Daniel Greenspan in yesterday's letter, "Soldiers who freely enlisted are means of executing war." Because he feels free to state his opinion, he validates the main ideal upon which I served a career in the military. Unfortunately, his attitude highlights the hidden danger that complacency breeds in those relying on others to make the sacrifice the former freely chooses not to do while enjoying the benefits thereof.
Members of the military serve in both times of war and peace, and their initial and annual training includes both the laws of armed conflict and the importance of obeying lawful orders. Basically, the laws of armed conflict are rules all lawful combatants must abide by to ensure or lessen the impact of war on the civilian population; likewise, they stress the value of humane conduct meant for and expected by all people regardless of their status. Understandably, this seems in stark contrast to the horror of war that people do die leading to the importance of only obeying lawful orders. Following guidance contrary to societal mores or ethics is strictly forbidden by all service members, and they have an obligation to refuse to take part in and to prevent or stop any such action. Typical punishment for violation of these rules set down by Congress are terms of hard labor in a federal penitentiary during peacetime or possibly execution during wartime.
While military members are not mindless automatons, they function as an integral part of national policy. Because of the lessons learned throughout history, they are in a subservient role to our civilian leadership upon whom we all entrust the responsibility of deciding national policy. Military members help elect these lawmakers, place the same trust in these elected representatives of the American people and pledge their allegiance not to these officials but to support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America ... and to hold true allegiance to the same. Bottom line: This means they ultimately work for you and strive to ensure your freedom and way of life. I wish Mr. Greenspan luck as he progresses through life and hope and challenge him to continue to enjoy living in a democratic society.
optical sciences graduate student