Letters to the editor

Missed Hamas mark

Will Dempster’s column on Hamas’ parliamentary victory in the Palestinian territories (“Is it still possible to be pro-peace after Hamas?” Jan. 30, p. 6) should be applauded for its concise and well-written content – that is, up until around the last 50 words.

Monday, I sat in J Street and perused The Hatchet while enjoying my delicious Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger. Wow, I thought, this is a great article, one I could only hope to write. Dempster astutely recognized that much of Hamas’ popularity comes from their charitable programs providing basic health services and schooling to the Palestinian people – services that the corrupt PA never delivered. Yet, the conclusion to Dempster’s article saddened me.

I’m sorry, Mr. Dempster, but the only way there will ever be peace in Israel and the Palestinian territories is the day there is no longer the word “territories” behind Palestinian. It is possible for one side to define the destiny of both sides in the conflict. I’ve seen the Israeli security wall doing it while we write these witty articles.

To end the article with a Zionist adage about will power leading to dreams being fulfilled is tantamount to endorsing the Hamas policy of peace through suicide bombings. That is true dedication, albeit the despicable and deplorable filth that it is.

Dempster is right, it is a much more complicated issue than many people like to think. There needs to be a much greater debate about Hamas and the peace process both among all Americans and GW students in particular.

But don’t fret, Mr. Dempster, your article was much better than Jake Young’s ignorant cartoon about Hamas blowing up buses on time.

-Geoff Bendeck, junior

Quick conclusions

In his recent column (“What democracy hath wrought,” Jan 30, p. 5), Michael Barnett spoke of future failure in the war for Iraq. His reason? Citing the fact that the Palestinian people democratically voted into office a terrorist organization bent on the destruction of Israel.

Mr. Barnett assumes that as soon as U.S. forces leave Iraq the people will vote into place the most anti-American, anti-Israeli government possible. Well, that’s a pretty big assumption to make on behalf of the Iraqi people who, remember, did not like Saddam Hussein any more than we like Hitler. Furthermore, to assume that the only way for the Iraqi people to receive adequate “basic services” (such as education) by electing an anti-American government is absurd.

Look at Iraq’s neighbor Iran. Iran’s literacy rate is 79 percent, below the world average. Compare that to the “pro-American” government of Israel whose literacy rate is near 95 percent. I’m not saying that because a government is pro-American it will have a good educational system. Rather, it is absurd to think that an anti-American government will be able to provide a better education system just for the reason that they are anti-American.

Mr. Barnett implied at the end of his column that Americans should kick out President Bush (I know he didn’t say President Bush by name but I’m pretty sure he was thinking of the president when he wrote that statement). Unfortunately, we have become so engrossed with protection of our civil liberties, which I’m all for, that we have mistaken freedom of speech with disloyalty to America.

Just a few weeks ago, Harry Belafonte stood shoulder to shoulder with Hugo Chavez damning the president of the United States. The next day, the American media presented Hugo Chavez as a voice of the American people. He certainly isn’t my voice, that’s for sure. He’s not the voice of the many Venezuelan immigrants who escaped his evil regime in search for a better life, which they will find here in America. All of this begs the question, have we crossed the line between disagreement and disloyalty and not known it? Why do we jump at every chance we get to point out all the “signs” that Iraq will fail, and dismiss those that show it will succeed as Bush’s propaganda?

-Chris Diaz, freshman

Lack of nutrition

I think it is absolutely pathetic that The GW Hatchet even had to publish an article featuring dorm room dining tips (“Dormroom dining,” Jan. 30, p. 10).

The author claims, “college and cooking just don’t go together well.” At GW, that does not have to be the case. GW prides itself on having some of the best dorms in country and even described the upper-class living as “apartment” style in a recent e-mail to students.

Since GW does not have an established dining hall or cafeteria, we should have an abundance of resources available to students, including recipes, cooking classes and nutritional information. By doing so, GW would have more nutritionally conscious students.

GW has promoted the importance of being healthy through the availability of multiple exercise facilities, but has fallen far behind in nutrition. It should be expected that the University is well-aware that health is not only related to exercise, but nutrition as well. Not all food that is prepared in a kitchen is necessarily “healthy,” but it is less processed and fresher, and is still a much better alternative to Wendy’s or Dunkin’ Donuts.

It is disappointing that GW has not done everything possible to help the students maximize both their resources and health.

-Meredith Raimondi, freshman

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