Off the beat: Israel, the salad bowl?

I still remember that day in fifth grade like it was yesterday. “America is not a melting pot — it’s a salad bowl,” my teacher told us. “We have lots of different cultures — carrots, cucumbers, lettuce — but they don’t mix.” Ten-year-old me, eyes full of tears, rushed home to
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Letter: Week of Jan. 21

Outrage at Dirks’ divestment remark Editor’s Note: A version of this letter was previously published in the Columbia Daily Spectator.  The undersigned faculty members of the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies at Columbia University feel outraged after reading the assertions made by Nicholas Dirks, our former colleague and
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Why would you go there?

It seems odd to have to prove to Israel’s very nationals why a 23-year-old girl would want to outlive the stresses of her last year in college in their country for the remnants of summer 2012. Even when their Mediterranean beaches are world famous, their Tel Aviv nightlife rivals many
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We are not satisfied with neutrality

I can see why people still believe that Israel wants peace. Recent news coverage concerning the attacks on Gaza frequently echoes Israel’s right to self-defense and emphasizes the state of Israel’s humanity in warning Palestinian civilians of imminent assault. I can see why, depending on what news you hear, you
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On sacred spaces

Religiously Inclined

I recently watched the film “Kingdom of Heaven,” and I was struck by one of the final lines spoken by the character Saladin, a Muslim leader who battled to take over Jerusalem during the era of the Crusades. When questioned by Orlando Bloom’s character, Balian, a valiant defender of the
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The hope for a lasting peace

Connecting the Israel-Gaza conflict and campus politics

In the last year, Hamas, the fundamentalist party that rules Gaza, has fired thousands of rockets into Israel — 1506 during the latest round of fighting. Israel had a right to defend itself as it did in the recent fighting, and its conduct more generally deserves vindication. Hamas’ charter speaks
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Two bad resolutions

This morning, a reader emailed me regarding the UC Student Association’s vote repudiating HR 35, a California Assembly resolution aimed at addressing anti-Semitism on state public university campuses. Referring to recent Daily Cal op-eds on the issue, the reader asked for my opinion, “in particular on the attempt by some
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Change the discourse on free speech

UCSA position does not reflect ideas of students within the UC

Last year, I was privileged to serve the student body as its external affairs vice president and as part of my duties, represent UC Berkeley as a voting board member of the University of California Student Association. I have great respect for the UCSA but am deeply saddened by the
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Why can’t we all be friends?

We are, but we can’t seem to agree on Israel-Palestine

On Sept. 15, by a vote of 12 to 0, and 2 abstentions, the UC Student Association, which represents hundreds of thousands of students at all the UC campuses, passed a resolution condemning recent attempts to censure boycott and divestment efforts by Palestinian human rights activists on campus, and demanding
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We should not tolerate human rights violations

UCSA should be applauded for vote on house resolution

In 2010, at UC Berkeley, our student senate considered a bill calling on the UC to remove its investments in companies aiding Israel’s human rights abuses. It passed 16 to four. The president vetoed the bill, and the veto was never overturned. This last Saturday, the UC Student Association, a
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