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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Distaste for GPSA decision doesn’t justify paranoia

Editor,

I am writing this in response to Elisheva H. Levin’s letter titled “GPSA has no right to dictate foreign policy.”

There are several premises in her letter that are simply wrong, starting with the idea that students (as represented by GPSA) are somehow dictating foreign policy. Contrary to the statements made by Ms. Levin, the resolution does not “meddle in foreign policy;” it certainly does not dictate what Israel does, nor what the United States, for that matter, does with its money.

The resolution is appropriate to the role of the GPSA, which exists to give students a say in their institution and its practices. Whether or not the GPSA accurately represents all UNM graduate students in every decision is another matter.

Another questionable premise by Ms. Levin states “The resolution comes from student organizations that are financed by countries that are apartheid states.”

She is accusing UNM student groups of being funded by foreign governments. Which “apartheid states” is she referring to? She fails to provide any evidence to support her statement.

Ms. Levin is disturbed that her student fees are going to the GPSA, which she feels does not represent her. Well, I am upset that my tax dollars go directly to fund the genocidal policies of the Israeli government.

That brings me to her last premise, that Israel does not violate human rights. I believed the same thing myself for many years. However, the atrocities of the Israeli military in the occupied territories are real and well-documented. Despite coming from a Zionist family, who taught me to deny Israel’s human rights violations, eventually I learned to think for myself. I hope that Ms. Levin takes the opportunity to do the same.

Shoshana Handel

UNM Staff