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Friday, November 28, 2014

Israel divestment issue shrill on both sides

Editor,

If I were to wonder why this publication gives voice to people who are as far out of touch with reality as your most recent letter regarding GPSA’s divestment decision, would I be taking political discourse on this campus too seriously?

Whatever one thinks about the Mideast, the notion that “GPSA exists to give students a say in their institution and its practices” is a laughable platitude. If Israel and Palestine are as high on GPSA’s list of priorities as the divestment resolution reflects while the Board of Governors is busy raising fees, then GPSA has just publicly proclaimed its irrelevance.

But in a global economy as intricately entangled as the one we’re living in, the premise that UNM is involved with private enterprises that have business interests in human rights abusing countries other than Israel should not be controversial.

What goes beyond controversial into the realm of outright falsehood is Ms. Handel’s characterization of Israel’s offenses as “genocidal.”

My God, I hate to draw this card twice in one year in the letters column of the Daily Lobo, but I served in the Israeli army and was appalled by enough of what I saw over there from both sides without any of it rising to the level of genocide. And nowhere in Elisheva Levin’s nearly as shrill letter was it claimed that “Israel does not violate human rights.”

But then, apparently Ms. Handel’s purpose in accusing Israel (whose guilt in certain areas is ample and can be pointed out without resorting to slanderous hyperbole) of being “genocidal” is to telegraph moral superiority: “Despite coming from a Zionist family who taught me to deny Israel’s human rights violations, eventually I learned to think for myself.”

No, you didn’t: you were merely taken in hook, line and sinker by the most cartoonish, least nuanced arguments of the opposite side of the debate. And why bring your family into this?

For christsake, do these people have personalities or opinions about any other issues? Do they do anything for a living, or just brainwash the living crap out of children all damn day?

If Ms. Handel’s family is so horrid, she really ought to consider divesting from them.

Aaron Cress

UNM student