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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Letters To The Editor: In Response to Carter Challenge

Published: October 26, 2007
Section: Opinions

Dear Editor:

I was on a senior high school tour of Brandeis with my daughter on October 19 when I had the opportunity to read The Hoot. I find student newspapers more informative than tour guides. I am struck by the content of Mr. Peposes piece on Carters MidEast Challenge.

I hope that this piece was just to strike up interest in the community, but I fear that this represents a naive acknowledgment of a $25,000 gift to go on a pure exploratory/research mission. Yes, I think you are being naive.

Why is Mr. Carter sending you to the West Bank and Gaza? Does your opinion matter to him? Do you expect to see anything but misery? If you go where you want in safety dont you think you are being given a propagandists view? Will you visit Israeli sites of misery: bombed Kibbutzim, homes and restaurants? Will you visit the families whose innocent children were killed while dining out? Will you visit the maimed in the hospital? Will you visit with Israelis officials who will tell you why they build walls?

Will you go to Jordan and ask them why they dont put up barbed wire fences to keep

Israelis out and why they think Israel build such fences on its side of the border? Will you meet with Hamas and ask them to recognize Israel? Will you ask Hamas what their plan for peace involves?

If you are simply going on a trip to discover and conclude (on behalf of and in support of, Jimmy Carter) that the Palestinians are living in misery and therefore Israel is responsible, save the money. The Palestinians are living in misery. You dont have to burn jet fuel and risk your lives to prove this point. You have your conclusion, albeit intellectually dishonest.

The Palestinians dont deserve their misery, but that doesnt mean Israel has set out to create an Apartheid state. Do not allow yourselves to be deluded into the notion that Israel and Apartheid South Africa are moral equivalents. At a minimum, black Africans were walled off on racial grounds, while the Palestinians are being walled off from killing their neighbors. This is not the same. I refer you to Mr. Millers piece on Morality in the Middle East (page 3 of the same edition of The Hoot) for a better discussion of morality.

Anyone with a heart will have it broken when they see much of Gaza and so will you. To then, predictably, have you condemn Israel is exactly why Mr. Carter is paying. I suggest you return the money and not be used as a propaganda tool. Hold a conference on campus and thoughtfully invite representatives from all sides to help you form your opinions.

Ask Mr. Carter if he will publish your findings without knowing the conclusions.

-Nathan Rubin