Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Letter: A call for action and cooperation

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To the editor:

As current and former members of University of Massachusetts Jewish Leaders in Business, Student Alliance for Israel and Hillel, we object to the recent poster equating Students for Justice in Palestine with terrorist behavior.

First and foremost, we utterly reject the methods of the poster. There is absolutely no excuse for this kind of public behavior and press material. We call on the proponents of these posters to cease these efforts and engage in meaningful dialogue.

Let’s take a moment to rewind four years.

In 2011, the UMass students from the Muslim Student Association, SAFI and JLB went to the United Nations and presented to Jordan’s UN Ambassador, Prince Zeid Ra’ad, a plan for peaceful economic development for Palestinians, called Cities of Peace. We need these types of efforts to stop fearing one another, to stop pretending to have power when we are really just afraid, to stop lashing out in anger and to learn to cooperatively solve conflicts.

No group agrees amongst themselves on viable solutions. The older generations have failed to figure out how to make this work. The younger generation is faced with the choice to follow the same failed methods of its elders or to commit to a different approach that will make the world safer for our children.

We need to start here and start now: Why not UMass?

Dialogue and cooperative action is what we need most. Ask questions and respectfully listen with an open mind to the answers. As the generation that can and will change the world, we have to change the approach to problem solving so that we can create a sustainable world that promotes economic and personal well-being for all.

So, let’s talk, let’s dialogue – not just two sides, but more sides. Let’s get the emotions out but hear and focus on the issues. Let’s address power issues but not just try to overpower each other. Let’s describe the consequences on all sides but remember that the condemnations, right or wrong, just haven’t worked. Let’s not just talk but work to change the consequences.

We have to get beyond any analysis; we have to take cooperative action.

For five years JLB and MSA worked cooperatively on educational and social programming. We even had Gov. Deval Patrick come listen to us. We managed to have cooperating Israelis and Palestinians come to UMass. We reached thousands of students and found fun and understanding together. We are capable of more.

We, the young, have to teach the world how cooperative co-existence works.

Again, I ask the question: Why not UMass?

Laurie Kamenetsky ’16, Elan Radbil ’16, Scott Savran ’14,
Seth Rotberg ’13, Matt Dornfeld ’12, Scott Nielsen ’86 Ed.D


2 Responses to “Letter: A call for action and cooperation”

  1. Josh Katz on March 6th, 2015 4:55 pm

    Beautifully put

  2. Genghis Khan on March 24th, 2015 4:58 pm

    You utterly reject the methods of the posters…

    How about rejecting the Palestinians targeting such key military installations like pizza parlors and dance halls. How about rejecting their celebration when a THREE MONTH OLD INFANT is STABBED TO DEATH in its crib? How about rejecting the killers of that three month old being celebrated and feted, the slaughter marked by dancing in the streets with people handing out celebratory candy?

    How about rejecting the millions of tons of concrete used by Hamas to build tunnels into Israel, whose purpose was a mass terror attack including plans to kidnap scores of Jews back to Gaza to use as human shields?

    So a poster hurt your precious-snowflake feelings? How about the feelings of the people who hear digging underneath their homes, even now, even today, as Hamas renews its tunneling effort? How about the feelings of people who, as they walk down the street, know they have 15-20 seconds to run to the nearest bomb shelter because of the three-per-day-on-average missiles being fired from Gaza?

    Here’s a hint for you precious little snowflake kapos – kissing the asses of people whose stated goal is genocide does not turn them into friends.

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