Thursday, September 29, 2011

USC Student replies to CODOH letter to Daily Trojan

Sat, 24 Sep 2011

Dear Mr. Rucker,

Re: The Trojan protects you from what?

I support intellectual inquiry and healthy debate. But though you claim to be making the case for both, I don't see you using either. To discuss the unfortunate plight of Palestinians in Israel (who despite their mistreatment, generally live in better conditions than Palestinians in Arab-majority countries) is reasonable. But to dismiss the suffering and/or brutal murder of millions of innocent Jews through central and eastern Europe is derangement.

The ADL / Hillel manual for action is not a Zionist script to stifle free speech, as you may make it out to be. It's a simple defense against hate speech, such as yours; against overgeneralized, misinformed statements that people like you make with your "minimalist" ads. I am especially disgusted by your following comments:

1."invader in an area previously populated by Muslim Arabs" - are you saying that Jews never lived in Israel, for example, in the time of the Bible? And regardless, Muslim Arabs are still allowed to live, to earn a living, to vote, and to serve in elected positions in Israel.

2. "upon which Israel excuses not only the bloody process by which it established itself in Palestine"- do you mean the UN Mandate establishing the State of Israel? Or the 1948 War in which Israel was attacked by 3 countries simultaneously? Or is that history also fabricated.

3. "under the guns of its American-supplied military supremacy"- if you're lamenting the unfortunate circumstance in which a country under constant threat from extremist terrorists has to have soldiers providing security at shopping malls, I agree with you on that. And yes, Israel receives financial support from America. As do scores of other countries; probably most of the developing world, in fact, receives direct or indirect support from America. Israel also provides America with technological innovation. Ever read Startup Nation?

4. "the plight of Palestinians displaced (or slaughtered) by the Zionist project in Israel"- again, Palestinians are allowed to live in Israel. And, yes, there are bound to be unintended casualties when fighting against terrorists that use civilians for protection. Israel tries to minimize such casualties. In fact, Israel's ratio of civilians killed to armed enemies killed is the envy of American generals in Iraq for its lowness. Again, if there weren't terrorists attacking Israel, then the Israeli army could completely avoid killing civilians.

5. "soil of Palestine"- I understand that by using this name for a strip of land bounded by Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, and the Mediterranean Sea, you are trying to establish that the land belongs to Palestinians. I agree that they have a right to live there. They have a right to economic opportunity there. They have more there than they have available in most Arab countries. But Jews have a right to live there, too. To deny the latter fact is as cruel and inhumane as to deny the former.

6. "Their schooling... force of arms."- are you lamenting that young people are prejudiced against Nazis? That does not require any schooling. A heart and a history book are sufficient for that. Even if you can't have the former, you should try to access the latter.Prejudice against Germans is inappropriate. For the most part, as is true for most peoples, they are respectable. But prejudice against Nazis is actually support for human rights, for equal opportunity, and against discrimination.

7."Steven Spielberg's monument to retributive hatred"- I dare you to find a single scrap related to the Shoah Foundation that promotes retribution or hate. On the contrary, the Shoah Foundation states as its goal "to overcome prejudice, intolerance, and bigotry through visual history testimonies." It is a shame that you have so obviously not watched any of their videos, which cover not only Jewish suffering, but the suffering of others, such as a survivor of Rwandan genocide, too.

An attack on ADL and Hillel is one thing. But I cannot stand the casual dismissal of the suffering of my friends' grandparents. It is indicative of uneducated and misinformed hate, which you are very good at displaying. Your flippant remark about sending the young off to war equally displays ignorance in your over-generalization of a situation that is already unfortunate. The less wealthy in our society are more likely to end up dodging bullets in foreign countries. That is a tragedy. But that is not related to the main thrust of your ignorant remarks about the Holocaust, so I'd rather not venture into that discussion.

I hope this gives you and Mr. Bradley Smith pause before the next time you try to spread your hate.


Dmitry Galkin

Master of Planning, 2012

University of Southern California

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