Letters to the Editor

Palpable bias
It should be noted that Ahmad Maaty’s article (“Reexaming a ‘beneficial relationship,'” March 3, p.4) attributes a quote to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon that was entirely fabricated by a pro-Hamas American group called the Islamic Association for Palestine, IAP. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Hamas, it is an Islamic fundamentalist group on the State Department’s list of terrorist organizations that’s stated objective is to eradicate Israel and replace it with a Palestinian state.

The quote, conveniently included at the tail end of Maaty’s article, claimed that Sharon told his cabinet not to buckle under American pressure because Jewish people control America. Upon researching the quote through the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America it was found that the quote was entirely made up by the IAP and attributed to an Israeli radio broadcast that never took place.

This is the moment when anyone who reads their school newspaper should realize they have been lied to. And not a small lie. A student with an obvious bias about one of the world’s biggest political conflicts has tried to sway your opinion, not with fact, but rather by inciting your anger toward Israel and toward Jewish people by citing a fictitious quote attributed to the chief executive of a foreign nation.
-Adam Chandler, junior, member of Student Alliance for Israel

Anti-war in Egypt
Monday hundreds of American University in Cairo students called for solidarity against the war on Iraq during a university-wide teach-in featuring student speakers and documentaries on Iraq and Palestine. The university administration canceled afternoon classes between 12 and 1:15 p.m. to respect the student initiative. Despite a heavy police presence outside the university, students raised their voices to demonstrate that “an American-led war in Iraq will bring disastrous consequences for our region and the world at large,” stated a petition circulated at the all-day event. The student protesters challenged stereotypes of the Arab anti-war movement as simplistic anger towards America by the so-called “Arab street.” Speaking Arabic and English, the students expressed an educated and complex understanding of international politics with an emphasis on human rights.

“The Bush-Blair mantra claims that the war in Iraq will bring peace and security to our region and democracy to the Iraqis. However, it is abundantly clear by now that the motives of this war have to do with geo-strategic priorities and the monopoly of energy sources,” the students said. “We, the people, must raise our voices and let it be known that if and when the war is waged, it is neither in our name nor in our interest.”
-Sara Ibrahim, Graduate student, American University in Cairo, Egypt

Goodbye to a legend
Last Thursday was a difficult day for me. Snow was in the weather forecast. I had packed away my snow boots earlier in the week and thought that winter was finally behind us. As I was lacing up my boots on Thursday morning, I heard the news. Mr. (Fred) Rogers was gone. After 74 years of life hosting a show that had celebrated over 900 episodes, my childhood hero had died. It was Mr. Rogers who had taught me how to tie my shoes.

Soon after lacing up my shoes, this time a little slower than usual, I ran into a mother with a prospective GW student. They asked me which way to the Admissions Visitors Center. I let them know that if they walked straight and made a left it would be right there. As I was saying this I thought to myself that it was Mr. Rogers who taught me my left from my right. I know I speak for many from our student generation when I say a sad good bye to Mr. Rogers. He will always be my neighbor.
-Ari Mittleman, junior

SJT’s mishaps
Tuesday’s student “Crossfire” was a phenomenal success and all participants should be commended for their participation. President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, on the other hand, oy!

He is a pretty good public speaker – until it comes to speaking publicly. I’ve never seen someone so artfully skirt, squirm and sidetrack every issue presented to him. When asked why merit scholarships do not increase in proportion to rising tuition fees, SJT recounted his bachelor days. With the trimester system being a central theme of discussion, our fearless leader stated that we should not be bothered with the trimester plan because no current students will be here by the time it is implemented (Should we refuse all alumni donations because we will not be here to see our dollars at work?).

Trachtenberg failed to indicate whether or not a trimester system would accordingly put and end to rising University fees. They won’t – no surprise there. In a pathetic effort to appease the little people (the students), he concluded his sermon by expressing how GW hopes to increase campus diversity. How sweet, but once again, think about the logistics. As tuition rises, minority enrollment will plummet and GW will continue to be the cradle of America’s elite. Trachtenberg should be applauded for agreeing to speak to the students in a professional setting. But do any of us really think that SJT or the Board of Trustees will ever hear more than GW’s cash register cling?
-Sara Ortega, senior

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