To the Editor:
As a campus activist, I have become quite frustrated with the recent treatment of the issue of divestment. While recent editorials have been characterized by tired rhetoric and manipulated facts, it was quite refreshing to read the “The truly extreme side of divestment” this Monday, the first article to systematically disprove each argument in the divestment petition in a factual and intelligent matter. I marveled at the possibility of a campus debate that actually focused on issues rather than propaganda.
My optimism quickly faded as I read Rod Swenson’s article yesterday (“Sign the petition and end Yale’s complicity”). Relying on catch phrases and half-truths, Swenson dragged the level of academic debate lower than it has been in the past weeks.
Why does Swenson feel the need to mention the “mass assaults on Jenin and Nablus,” when almost every human rights organization praised Israel for tip-toeing through these necessary operations, at the expense of their own soldiers, to minimize casualties?
If Swenson had been content to point out the overwhelming amount of Palestinian child deaths at the hand of the Israelis, I would criticize him for neglecting to mention that this is a direct result of the PA’s grotesque tactic of sending these children to the front lines. But when Swenson decides to manufacture such obviously false figures, he discredits himself and negates the need to be responded to.
Fortunately, readers have become numb to the propaganda of baseless “facts” and skewed quotes that have become the staple of arguments. As petitions now exist for both sides, I encourage readers to filter out this nonsense to treat this sensitive issue with the respect that it deserves.
Zvika Krieger ’06
November 20, 2002