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Saturday, May 14, 2005

Jewish Stanford pro-peace freshman gets lesson in Muslim racism

A letter to the Stanford newspaper shows the beginnings of a real education.
I am a Jew. I support human rights for the Palestinian people and do not agree with some things Prime Minister Sharon is doing. I have never hurt a Palestinian, and as a Jew I am saddened that the issue at hand during the Nakbah Day event was devalued to simply another racist message.

I stood in there in horror Tuesday as people stared at my 'I love Israel, I want Peace, I am a Zionist' shirt and as speeches were given decrying what the 'Jews are doing.' I don't know if the Stanford Muslims actually hate the Jews or if it was simply an act of ignorance, but I was scared about the message being conveyed to the community.

I also was shaken up by the propaganda shown at the event. The speakers rallied the crowd against former Prime Minister Golda Meir for her famous quote 'Palestinians don't exist,” but carefully avoided the fact that neither the Palestinian Liberation Organization nor any of the surrounding Arab countries recognize the state of Israel at all.

The propaganda did not stop there. The next speaker vilified Israel through an undated Mahatma Gandhi quote questioning Israel's legitimacy to exist. ('It is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs. What is going on in Palestine today cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct.') However, this quote is from 1938, well before the Holocaust made it clear that Jews were homeless. I was stunned that such an out of context and outdated quote would be used to inform Stanford students.

Don't get me wrong: the Palestinians have very real human rights complaints, but those complaints were lost in the racism of Nakbah Day.