To the Editor:
As a friend and supporter of the Palestinian cause, I found the actions of the Yale Students for Justice in Palestine on Nov. 11 both deplorable and misguided. Sacrificing thought for dogma and substance for style, these people managed to do the one thing they seem qualified to do: draw attention to themselves. The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is an extremely complex amalgamation of a variety of issues; none of which lend themselves to the sort of showboating that the SJP seems to enjoy. Instead of facts, SJP encouraged feelings. Instead of discussion, they promoted alienation. Instead of unity, they prompted disharmony.
Drawing attention to checkpoints without mentioning Palestinian suicide bombers is intellectually and morally fraudulent. A like-minded group could easily have set up random students who would have detonated “suicide water-belts,’ splatterring innocent bystanders at Yorkside, Gryphon’s Pub, or the center of Old Campus. Such actions would have been equally misguided.
People like those in SJP are not part of the solution — they are part of the problem. On behalf of like-minded students at Yale I would like to kindly encourage SJP to adopt more authentic tactics. It is far better to use facts as the substratum of your argument than emotions. Indeed, it is this principle that separates intellectuals from fanatics.
Martin Shuster ’04
November 12, 2002