To the Editor:

I am writing in response to the article “Students to Host Palestinian Summit” (THE HOYA, Jan. 13, 2006, A1). As one member of the student body who is particularly looking forward to the conference, I was struck by the ridiculous assaults against the Palestine Solidarity Movement.

The allegations of “terrorism” and a “larger bias against Israel,” are completely unwarranted. Moreover, they are blanket condemnations, couched in Orwellian language, of a movement that supports restoring justice and democracy – two things that have undoubtedly been undermined by the grave political and economic devastation of the Israeli occupation. If anyone takes issue with this simple fact, I urge them to look at the wealth of information published by the World Bank, the United Nations, and Amnesty International.

The PSM is interested in restoring the voice of an occupied population. It does not promote anything close to a violent, racist or religious agenda. The fact that the PSM is critical of the establishment of settlements in the Gaza Strip and the construction of the West Bank barrier does not mean it is inherently aggressive towards Israel and therefore “anti-Israeli.” Rather, this view is in line with several U.N. resolutions as well as the ruling of the International Court of Justice which condemned the “security barrier.”

For the record, the PSM is an entirely grassroots organization, which advocates non-violent methods to arrive at a just peace in accordance with international law. Any attempts to blacken the movements with such absurd charges as terrorism is a saddening reminder of the prejudices that remain on this campus.

Muriam Davis (MAAS ’06)

Letter to the editor

To the Editor:

Bill Levinson (“Palestinian Group Dubious,” THE HOYA, Jan. 13, 2006, A2) is in my opinion a liar and a racist who believes that I, as a Palestinian, am a “two-legged locust” and “vermin.”

He first posits that the Palestine Solidarity Movement (PSM) and International Solidarity Movement (ISM) are the same group. This is simply not true, as they are two distinct organizations that pursue different non-violent means for opposing Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinians.

Levinson further claims that at the University of Michigan PSM conference three years ago, delegates chanted “Kill the Jews.” This is a revolting fabrication. Ed Willis, the dean of students at the University of Michigan, wrote in a letter to the ichigan Daily, “What I did not hear – nor did any of my colleagues who were in attendance at all the activities of the weekend – were any outbursts of hate speech or threats of violence” (“Dean of Students: Campus acted maturely in response to conference, protesters,” Oct. 17, 2002). This lie is even more offensive given that a significant number of PSM activists are Jewish!

But the irony here is that Levinson himself is a racist who’s written that “Israel should expel the two-legged locusts and annex all the occupied territory. To hell with these vermin.”

I hope this illustrates to the Georgetown community how reproachable the conduct of the extremists that oppose an open discourse, and how dubious their attempts to stifle this discourse. I hope THE HOYA will now focus on promoting a debate on divestment and the conflict, rather than this nonsense.

Fadi Kiblawi

Organizer of the 2002 PSM Conference at the University of ichigan

Letter to the editor

To the Editor:

I want to thank you for publishing Stephen Santulli’s “Students to Host Palestinian Summit” (THE HOYA, Jan. 13, 2006, A1). I would, however, like to point out the Palestine Solidarity Movement’s annual student conference is not a “Palestinian Summit.”

In fact, over the last five years the overwhelming majority of attendees have been neither Palestinian nor Muslim, but Americans stemming from a wide array of ethnic and religious backgrounds – including, but not limited to, Jewish and Israeli Americans, as well as Latin-, Asian- and African-Americans.

While Santulli is correct in pointing out that many of the PSM’s opponents have deemed the conference “anti-Israeli,” there is nothing in the movement’s background or history to substantiate this claim. The Feb. 17 – 19 conference is open to the public, and the PSM encourages all of Georgetown University’s community to attend. Perhaps by experiencing first-hand what the PSM is and the nonviolent tools of social change that it endorses, students will begin to understand why Israel is, in fact, an apartheid state.

Nadeem Muaddi

Spokesperson

Palestine Solidarity Movement

Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.

Comments are closed.