Letters to the editor
Published: Thursday, January 22, 2009
Updated: Tuesday, January 18, 2011 15:01
Gaza Awareness Week
As many of you may or may not know, last week was Gaza Awareness week, as covered in "Students condemn violence in Gaza" on Jan. 15. This was a valiant attempt on the part of a handful of students to bring to light the brutality with which 2009 arrived. While we were counting down to the new year, a Palestinian on the other side of the world was counting how many of his neighbors, friends, and family had just been annihilated by the latest Israeli bombing run.
Israel's actions are nothing new. They have a long and bloody history of cruelty towards the Palestinians. It is a cruelty that David Ben-Gurion, the first Prime Minister of Israel, acknowledged when he said, "If I were an Arab leader, I would never sign an agreement with Israel. It is normal. We have taken their country."
The Palestinians have long since been abandoned by the international community. They have been herded into what are effectively huge concentration camps. They are treated as second-class citizens in their own land. Their legal elections were disregarded. They are regularly massacred by their neighbor. Their very identity is being threatened by looming settlements and tanks. It's no wonder they have opted for resistance. Prime Minister of Israel Ehud Olmert himself said he would join a resistance group if he was a Palestinian. Why would anyone expect the Palestinians to do otherwise? However, there is one major difference between this massacre and Israel's previous incursions. They have not been able to control the media reports flowing out of Gaza. Al-Jazeera, The Independent, Twitter, dozens of bloggers and regular people are all covering the event from inside Gaza.
Israel's actions have a direct impact on you and me. Our blind support for Israel has inflamed the passions of a billion people in the global community. Every dead Palestinian is a new recruiting tool for groups that want to hurt us. Hamas is just a resistance group with a significant secular base. They pose no real military threat to anyone. However, Al-Qaida itself has taken up the Palestinian cause as its own, and there is no argument that our one-sided relationship with Israel was a big part of why 9/11 happened.
I urge all of you to read something by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees special investigator Richard Falk, Hamas Minister Bassem Naeem, The Guardian's Robert Fisk and even Al-Jazeera English. Go outside the traditional media. I am not asking you to agree with me. I want you to know the whole story before you form an opinion. And I most assuredly do not want to walk by someone saying "Is Gaza in Darfur?" on a campus of people as socially aware as we are.
Accounting and English '10
On Linkin Park
Mr. Fedder's opinion article last issue, "Linkin Park: worst band ever?" on Jan. 15. was arguably the worst I've seen in my years at Santa Clara. While there have been some questionable ones in the past, at least most of those had some actual evidence backing up their viewpoints. Mr. Fedder's opinion seems to be steeped in his own musical elitism and arbitrary definitions of "coolness."
I'll admit, I've never knowingly heard a Linkin Park song. But I don't need to have heard one to recognize that "I don't know why you suck" et al. is a valid argument only on a second grade playground, that "coolness" has nothing to do with whether the vibrations in the air are pleasing or not, that societal popularity is what decides what is cool, and that arbitrary declarations such as "techno is not artistic" don't actually constitute support for an opinion. As for that whole techno business, if Mr. Fedder had actually done any research on the subject, he would realize that anime, being Japanese, is actually more closely associated with Japanese rock and pop than techno.
There were a few legitimate points (cheap instruments, off-key singer, repetitive lyrics), but they were completely washed away by the tide of almost palpable musical elitism. I was under the impression that to see print in a legitimate publication, opinions actually had to be supported in some way. Perhaps an article that reflects The Santa Clara's standards of journalistic integrity would have been a better choice.