Letters to the Editor

Manipulating emotions

The ad entitled “Helping the Terrorists: The Anti-Israel Divestment Campaign” (Feb. 24, p. 17) was extremely informative. Divestment is a campaign calling for pulling out investments in Israel until the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza is ended. The ad displayed how people with their own agendas use the covers of “democracy” and “terrorism” to advance their interests.

In the ad, it is argued that Israel is a small vulnerable nation. How then, has it been able to soundly defeat any threat to its existence? If it is so weak why is it the only power in the Middle East with nuclear weapons? Filled with fact-void statements, this ad goes on to claim that “left-wing” terrorists are behind suicide bombings. Since when did groups like Hamas become left-wing? Political commentators unanimously acknowledge the right-wing characteristics of these groups, contrary to this ad’s misstatements.

As for the lie of “Hitlerian” proportions, nothing advocates the case for divestment better than leaders like Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who struggled valiantly against the apartheid regime in South Africa. Desmond Tutu, a Nobel Peace Prize Winner, noted, “I am a black South African, and if I were to change the names, a description of what is happening in Gaza and the West Bank could describe (past) events in South Africa” (Quoted from the Israeli daily Ha’aretz 12/25/89).

The problem is more complex than the authors make it out to be. Debating the question of divestment is one thing; trying to gain the support of

Americans and Israelis through references to Hitler and September 11 is another. It attempts to manipulate people’s emotions to advance its own agenda. The authors complain of attempts to liken Israel to South Africa while at the same time trying to link divestment – a financial instrument – to Hitler, anti-Democratic and anti-Western feelings and, oddly enough, terrorism. If there is to be any type of dialogue toward reaching a solution to problems in the Middle East, it has to come through critical analysis that sees more than black and white, not from individuals who play on emotions to gain support.

-Fareez Ahmed, sophomore, member, Islamic Alliance for Justice

Aramark disappears

When I enrolled at GW, I was slightly concerned that I would be forced to purchase a $2,500 meal plan my first year. However, I assumed that the university MUST make special efforts to serve vegetarians if they expect us to spend thousands of dollars at their establishments. However, when I arrived to Foggy Bottom, I was quickly surprised by the somewhat pathetic vegetarian options. Yes, they have a vegetarian option, but it serves a grand total of about five dishes, none of which suit my palate. I subsist mostly on cheese sandwiches (and what costly sandwiches they are!).

However, this Sunday, I was completely flabbergasted at the service I received from one particular J Street establishment. I asked to purchase one biscuit. The server then proceeded to inform me that they would not sell the biscuit to me without covering it with sausage gravy. I told him I was a vegetarian and that option was not acceptable. I even offered to pay the full price of the biscuits and gravy, but he still refused. He told me he could only offer me a substitute of a slice of bread.

I think there is something seriously wrong with this business refusal to make even the simplest of accommodations for a vegetarian. This is yet another blatant example of how Aramark has completely abandoned even the vaguest attempts at quality and good service.

-Jessica Cisneros, freshman

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