Dec 142008
 
Authors: Shirit Stern

Mr. Bezek, nobody disagrees with Mahatma Gandhi.

It is critical to abandon terrorism and other forms of violence in order to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and benefit both parties. Violence and terrorism must be stopped on all accounts, and concessions must be made, such as stopping the harboring of internationally-recognized terrorist organizations.

Both Arabs and Jews have inhabited the area now known as Israel for centuries, dating back to biblical times. The Jews have lived in the area for more than 4,000 years.

It is unjust to deprive any people of their land, and thus in 1947 the United Nations proposed a partition plan to divide the land mass into two countries, one for the Palestinians and one for the Jews. Perhaps this plan would have been along the lines of Gandhi’s proposition of “generosity” shown from both sides to each other.

It is absurd to propose that the Palestinians are the only ones suffering from this conflict. It is also beyond my comprehension that you argue a solution resulting only in one nation for the Palestinians.

What, then, would become of the Jews? Even our own country’s foreign policy is aimed at solving the solution to benefit both peoples.

It is also incorrect, as Mr. Bezek did, to combine Palestinians and Arabs into the same demographic group. This is not entirely the case.

In the modern state of Israel, Arab citizens and Jewish citizens entail the same rights: the right to vote, to send their kids to school, and to live freely in the only democratic country in the Middle East. There are thriving Arab communities within Israel, and currently twelve Israeli Arab members sit on the Knesset, Israel’s parliament and main governing body.

Bezek addresses the crime and unemployment for the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza strip. It is the objective of both the State of Israel and the international community to increase the independence of the Palestinians in governing their own territories to eventually create an independent state.

According to Reuters, President Bush said that a state “would be an opportunity to end the suffering that takes place in the Palestinian territories.”

Israel is reducing its support and initiatives in the West Bank and Gaza and providing the opportunity for the Palestinian Authority to govern these areas itself. An independent country needs to provide for its own people; thus the conditions in the territories cannot be blamed on Israel alone, but largely on the governance of the Palestinian Authority.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but in representing our student newspaper at CSU, it is critical to be well informed on the issues. To cite a small, known pro-Palestinian organization provides biased information and a basis for unsound journalism.

Yes, the Remember These Children organization advocates against the deaths of Palestinian children, which I agree is a horrible occurrence and should not happen. However, no child should be subjected to such horrors, including the murders of Israeli children walking to school.

Objective news sources cite the countless deaths of Israeli citizens, which is not justified either. Hopefully President-elect Barack Obama will continue to push for the much-needed peace process to result in a workable solution in the future.

As a graduating senior, I am appreciative of the opportunity to voice our opinions as students of CSU. However, I am also appalled at the amount of anti-Israel articles that have been published in the Collegian during my years here.

My hope for the students continuing on is that you will look at issues fairly, from both sides, and open your ears to broaden your knowledge on a subject. Do not just take what your professors say as gold; question everything.

Write in to the Collegian, and do not let an anti-Israel article hold value without being contested. We need to find a compromise that will benefit both peoples, Mr. Bezek. Even Mahatma Gandhi would agree to that.

Shirit Stern is a senior animal science major, president of Cultural and Historical Awareness of Israel and vice-President of the Chabad Jewish Student Organization. Mike Foxman, a senior construction management major, Ethyn Feldman, a freshman electrical engineering major, and Ben Sunshine, a freshman communication studies major contributed to this column. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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