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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Tyranny of the majority, UCSA style

#ASUCproblems

When you lower a basketball hoop and dunk, you do not accomplish the same feat as doing so at its normal height. If you cheat on a test, you do not morally earn that A. When an opposing voice is actively neglected from a major debate on legislation, that body and that legislation becomes permanently tainted. Whether or not members of the UCSA board purposely committed this withholding of information is unclear, but the fact that that sentiment explicitly existed by some of its key supporters destroys the democratic process supposedly involved in the vote.
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A life-changing experience abroad

Birthright makes for engaging and powerful trip in Israel

After reading, then re-reading Jason Willick’s Monday column “Why we love Israel,” I was upset. I was not upset about the way he portrayed right-wing Israelis, and I am far from a supporter of Sheldon Adelson. Rather, I was upset how the article comes across as a generalization about the Birthright experience, as one operated by hot-headed rightists and supporters of settlers, where brainwashing about the devil incarnate that is “Modern Islam” is rife. It is this sort of sordid idea of the “Birthright experience” that might corrupt an altogether powerful, if not engaging and challenging, trip.
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Why we love Israel

The Devil's Advocate

Two weeks ago, I was invited to an event on Facebook hosted by Tikvah: Students for Israel — UC Berkeley’s Zionist student organization — called “Why we love Israel.” In theory, I should be more equipped than ever to answer that question. Just last month, I got back from a
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Letters: May 21 – May 27

Anti-Israel ad breaks trust, propagates lies Seeing dangerous lies in a paid display ad (The Daily Californian, Monday, May 21) breaks the trust of the reader in the newspaper’s judgment as a whole. In this case, an especial red flag should have gone up in taking money from anti-Israel activists. 
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Three questions for the ASUC candidates

The Devil's Advocate

To my knowledge, no ASUC candidate from a major party has said anything controversial this election season. We’ve heard a lot of nebulous rhetoric about “leading Cal to a brighter future” and “improving campus climate.” But I haven’t heard anyone from CalServe or Student Action say something a substantial number
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