Israel: be objective

2010-10-30 16:39

Professor Farid Esack’s article (Why pick on Israel? October 17) begins with a heart-wrenching tale of Palestinian suffering. This rightly evokes a sense of outrage.

However, the stone that Esack later picks up in order to remember this solemn event divests him of any objectivity with respect to the conflict.

Ultimately, his article is premised on a blatantly incorrect assumption that the sole perpetrator of the conflict is Israel.

Why is Esack so intent on ignoring the Israeli victims of shootings and rocket attacks?

The tale of Danielle Shefi (5) of Adora, Israel, who was playing with her three siblings when a terrorist entered the bedroom and sprayed them with gunfire, is just as heart-wrenching. Danielle was shot in the head and killed.

Despite this, the bilateral nature of the conflict eludes Esack.

What is more problematic is when academics, who have a duty to teach with objectivity and reason, turn themselves into political lobbyists.

When intolerance towards certain valid ideologies and beliefs become part of the university curriculum.

Esack cites Western democracies’ support for Israel as an additional reason for targeting Israel.

Has it ever occurred to him that it is precisely because Israel embodies these democratic values, within its own borders, that it receives this support?

While Esack’s stances on other issues are commendable, and it is right that he should uphold them with respect to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he should do so objectively.

His call denies the Jewish nation the basic right to self-determination.

Academics who espouse a boycott are proof that certain values and beliefs are not welcome on campus, not because they are intrinsically wrong but simply because these academics have a political axe to grind.

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