Letter: An engaging way to spark discussion

Though I am of course familiar with the Israel-Palestine debate, I acknowledge that I am not well-versed enough to provide a solid argument either way. I leave that to those who know more about the issue. However, as a layman on the subject, I take issue with the column recently written by Leah Sarna and Yishai Schwartz (“Evicting the truth,” April 22). About half of their article takes issue with the facts presented on the flyers, while the other half attacks the method itself, asserting that there is not even “the faintest attempt at building a constructive dialogue.” It is to this that I now turn.

First of all, the assertion of “ambivalence towards constructive conversation” is simply incorrect. One only needs to turn the eviction notice around to see the words “open discussion” on whether home demolitions are an infringement on human rights. Furthermore, I have seen other flyers and emails by SJP, which do strive to promote conversation, just as YFI does. Where YFI has a former Israeli Chief Justice, Israeli soldiers and a Consul General, SJP has an American political scientist, an American journalist and an American and French anthropologist. Sounds like constructive conversation to me — even a balance in what would otherwise be a lopsided debate. But in order to have discussion, you need to get people’s attention, and that is exactly what these flyers did.

And why on Earth shouldn’t they capture people’s attention in a startling way? This group clearly believes that a serious human rights issue is at stake; must all activism be confined to “roundtable discussions”? I’ll wager that many people weren’t thinking about the issue at all before: it’s removed from our daily lives, and is out of the American political limelight. SJP managed to make a point and draw attention back to it in an innovative way by letting every suite in the college know about it. That’s bold. And why should such boldness be pooh-poohed as “infantile,” when even in this very newspaper it is sparking discourse about the topic?

At Yale, we are already suffused with forums and debates to discuss political and humanitarian issues. Often, these are addressed on an intellectual level and removed from real action. Seeing an immediate and personal tactic that brings the issue closer to home is effective and, frankly, refreshing.

Raja Pillai

April 22

The writer is a junior in Pierson College.


  • The Anti-Yale

    Flyers are startling? Sounds prissy to this veteran of the ’60’s.

    How a bout a severed pig’s head on a silver platter presented to the Judge at the trial of the Chicago Seven? Or blood spread by priests and nuns at nuclear power plants. Or Lord bertrand Russell chaining himself to the steps of Parliament in the traditional of Mahatma Gandhi who did the same in his semi-clothed state.

    Forty years ago at a Cornell meeting I attended as an outsider about racism was interrupted by a zealous audience member screaming at the top of his lungs about injustice to Palestinians.

    We haven’t come far in four decades. If the peacemaker for the Irish/British controversy can’t crack this
    conundrum, who can?

  • Labanite

    Anti-Yale has a point. But, compared to the usual, it’s pretty good.

  • ignatz

    To paraphrase the letter: “I haven’t a clue who’s actually right on the substance, but I really enjoyed this latest tactic!”

    Can it be that this, and only this, is the fruit of a Yale education? Admiration for flashy tactics conjoined with ignorance, even indifference, about the substance of the issue?

  • GeoBible

    I am not real sure how all this works but it takes a very long time for an image to show up and I wonder where it was stored and how it happens? Back when I first started seeing these images that anyone can see I was beside myself and wanted so much to share it with the world but none would respond to my letters unless it was to tell me I was crazy and that really hurt because I really do have what I claim to have and much more. I have found that if I do my imaging in a very remote location I can get images further back in time. Skipping far ahead—I decided to see if there was a way to use this to see if I could tell if there ever was life on another planet using Hubble/NASAimages/Pictures and if it worked and showed me any images of any life forms then it works there also. I very much wanted to find images of life on Mars from the past and there was nothing . I studied everything we had pictures of in space and one day with a small amount of pictures I found Very Human looking life on Titan Male Female and an animal and very good pictures. I do know that this imaging works very well on Earth and now I also know it works through space and Believe it or not I am the first man to ever see people on another planet. If you could trust in me enough that you would visit me where I live if you are ever this way in Jackson Tennessee I recently retired here from Illinois and purchased a small farm. At my location I can show you many things around the world that will convince you of my discovery. There is a way to be very wealthy from this right away and my main goal is to show the world. Instead of NASA trying to send people to planets I say try and get pictures from planets and I can let them know if there ever was life there. Bear in mind these images are from the past. I have quite a lot to learn about my discovery but I have learned quite a lot also. If I get pictures at Stonehenge, Nazca Lines, Pyramids I can show you things no one knows. I also found out that a large rock with an image will transfer it’s image to the ground but it will not transfer and image from the ground on to the rock. I have saw images of things under ground many times. I have saw a single coin in the desert and the image was about three feet across and the reason for this was because the image gets larger the deeper it goes so you triangulate to known size and that is how deep it is. Sometimes an image will expose more than one time or several like still shots of every movement. I do not know if all images are recorded or just select ones depending on conditions. I can see images on water but that is very hard to do but on the ocean floor I can see many images of things that are under the floor. Treasures on land–==YES I