I am disappointed with your editorial piece entitled “It Takes Two to Make Trouble in Gaza” (The Hoya, Jan. 12, 2009, A2). I do not want to argue the fallacious narratives underlining the piece, for I have grown numb to the mediocrity of American journalism on the Palestinian-Israeli question of late, and that is another debate for another time at any rate.

What I would like to address is the utter insensitivity of the piece at this moment. There is a time for everything. There is a time when we can pursue our political agendas. There is a time when the editorial board can chastise Hamas for its politics and tactics. But there is also a moment when human suffering and loss of life becomes so horrific that it is wholly unconscionable to spare a word, a voice, an action to ease it.

You can do your finger-pointing and satisfy your so-called balanced, two-sided coverage of the issue when the bloodbath is over. But right now, at this moment, your voice may well have facilitated the death of yet another harmless infant in Gaza and lent support for yet another day of Israeli bombardment of the concentration camp that we call Gaza. And that is unconscionable.

ohammad Abdeljaber (GRD ’13)

ember, Georgetown for Gaza

Jan. 13, 2009

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The editorial “It Takes Two to Make Trouble in Gaza,” (The Hoya, Jan. 12, 2009, A2) is so filled with distortions and factual errors, I do not even know where to begin.

You write, “the violence has taken over 900 lives, most of which are Palestinian.” You do not clarify that the numbers mean that out of those 900, 13 are Israeli deaths. Perhaps it is convenient to appear “objective” with death when the vast majority of those killed are Palestinian.

Also, Hamas is not “Palestine’s ruling party,” it is the party in charge of Gaza. Fatah is in charge of the West Bank.

Your editorial also implies that Israel “responded” to Hamas’ rocket fire and that Hamas broke the cease-fire. The fact is that Israel broke the cease-fire in early November, when it killed six Hamas members after invading the Strip. You take the Israeli public relations-machine approach by using the “blame Hamas for Palestinian deaths” arguments to clear Israel of its war crimes – in clear violation of the Geneva Conventions, which prohibit collective punishment, disproportionate responses and the killing of innocent civilians caught in battle.

To top it off, you leave out the context of the 40-year Israeli military occupation of Gaza, as well as the fact that Israel has consistently blocked any chance of peace by constructing an apartheid system of settlements, roads, checkpoints and a wall throughout the West Bank. I expect the leaders of the Georgetown Israel Alliance to use their column to relay the Israeli army’s talking points. I don’t, however, expect that of an editorial in The Hoya, which should stick to commenting on campus events.

Hammad Hammad (SFS ’08)

Jan. 13, 2009

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onday’s editorial entitled “It Takes Two to Make Trouble in Gaza” (The Hoya, Jan. 13, 2009, A2) makes an unsuccessful effort to frame the conflict in Gaza with some questionable “facts” and ignores the stark disparities between the parties in the conflict. The editorial glosses over the extent of human suffering in Gaza by justifying Israeli attacks on universities, schools, homes, police academies and mosques.

None of these attacks, which have claimed the lives of more than 1,000 Palestinians, can be justified by any interpretation of international law or on any other basis. Instead of questioning the efficacy of Israel’s brutal campaign, you seem to justify its actions against a destitute population of 1.5 million people whom the world has abandoned.

How can one justify attacking a United Nations-run school that was turned into a makeshift shelter for Palestinian families?

What about the headquarters of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, the Red Cross and media offices? Do those have stockpiles too?

When Israel tells Palestinians to evacuate their homes before they are attacked, where do they expect these people to go? No part of Gaza is safe. Gaza does not have bomb shelters. Gaza’s borders are closed. Gaza is under siege.

The only option left is for Gazans to drown themselves in the sea so as to not suffer the consequences of fatal Israeli attacks, many of which are accompanied by the use of the illegal burning chemical white phosphorus.

The world has forsaken Gaza, and your editorial gladly followed this inhumane path.

Tuqa Nusairat (MSFS ’09)

Jan. 15, 2009

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y heartiest compliments to whoever among you wrote the two editorials in today’s issue of The Hoya. Your second editorial, (“Be Our Pre-Registered Guest,” The Hoya, Jan. 13, 2009, A2) on inauguration housing policy was a nicely balanced piece that hopefully will encourage students to accept the temporary restraints applied for the long weekend.

But it’s the lead editorial, (“It Takes Two to Make Trouble in Gaza,” The Hoya, Jan. 13, 2009, A2) on the situation in Gaza, that really deserves a prize. Having read many editorials in The Washington Post and The New York Times over the past week or so, I’d give you the prize for the most thoughtful and balanced piece to date. You’ve set yourselves a high standard for anything you write on the topic in future, and I look forward to reading the next installment.

Keep up the good work!

Andrew Steigman

Associate Dean, School of Foreign Service

Jan. 15, 2009

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There are many who would like all of us, especially students, to believe that this is an issue of academic freedom.

To the contrary, this is an issue of “freedom from” not “freedom to.” Shutting al-Qaddafi out would be a strong testament not only to his continued abuses of human rights but his thinly-veiled political assurances of responsibility for the downing of Pan Am Flight 103.

This would also provide a statement about the refusal of Al-Qaddafi and his regime to cooperate in providing information on the others involved.

Instead of providing al-Qaddafi with an open forum at one of the most prominent universities and gatherings of students in the country, Georgetown students should be imposing a blackout in the name of the university students, young people and other innocents – the preponderance of the 270 victims – murdered on Pan Am Flight 103. A student blackout of al-Qaddafi would counterbalance the U.S. policy of rapprochement with Libya and the self-interest of American oil.

What is more, to accept that the forum is al-Qaddafi’s answer to the Arab-Israeli conflict is a scam when the Libyan leader has spent years advocating the elimination of Israel. Students should use their voices to strongly call for cancellation of the videoconference.

Rosemary Wolfe

Jan. 15, 2009

The writer is the stepmother of Miriam Wolfe, a Syracuse University student killed aboard Pan Am Flight 103 in 1988.

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As a current member of the Georgetown Players Improv Group, you might automatically disregard whatever criticisms I have of the recent piece about Georgetown comedy alumni (“Georgetown’s Class Clowns: Alumni Remember the Hilltop’s Lighter Side,” www.thehoya.com, Jan. 15, 2009).

However, you have to admit that it’s more than a little unfair to print an article that mentions a student group in almost every paragraph and not give the current members a chance to say anything. The article hammers on about our weak presence on campus and then reinforces that notion by choosing not to interview our directors. I know it was an article about alumni, but come on.

aybe they could have told you that it’s decisions and deals made by alums like those interviewed that keep us from taking trips to New York or performing anywhere other than Bulldog Alley – which, despite, some people’s fond memories, is a less-than-ideal performance space. Maybe then you’d know that we keep none of our profits, which all go to Children’s Theatre (thanks, founders!) and have no say over how our money is used. I don’t know why people would rather go to Rangila or a cappella shows, but it is certainly not a lack of enthusiasm on the part of the participants.

You don’t have to listen to me or to the alumni. Come to a show and see for yourself. God only knows when the last time a campus newspaper reviewed a show.

Christine Ryan (COL ’11)

ember, Georgetown Players Improv Group

Jan. 15, 2009

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