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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Mailbag: Feb. 22

Spitting does not bode well for this generation

I was rather disappointed at the state of our campus last week. Under no circumstances do I stand behind Brother Jed or what he says, but I saw some incredibly offensive behavior directed at him on the part of some students. Spitting, taunting, threatening to violate his daughters, the whole shebang.

Perhaps I’m the only one worried about the state of this country in the future. Are our graduates going to spit on anyone who disagrees with them? Will future politicians use threats of rape to slander their opponents? I stood as a silent angel every day for a week, and sometimes I felt as though I was shielding bystanders from our own students as much as I was from Jed. When orientation groups passed, I was horrified that their first impressions of campus were adult students threatening a fifteen-year-old girl playing the guitar.

I wholeheartedly believe Brother Jed is a very sick man who spews hateful speech to get a rise out of his audiences, and everyone gave him exactly what he came here for. Hopefully next year, our students will grow up enough to realize this and will either listen when they want or back off and stop tainting our image as a campus.

Christina Bischoff

Biology sophomore

Facts about club? We’re skeptical

I have been disheartened this week to find that when presented with the choice, UA students would rather side with the hateful Brother Jed than with their fellow Wildcats who simply happen to consider themselves skeptics of religion. In a letter to the Mailbag, aerospace engineering junior Alex Yang took all religious skeptics that were listening to Brother Jed and lumped them into one group. As a member of the Skeptics Club, I am proud to defend our actions. We established a table near Brother Jed, distributed fliers, held signs of protest and administered the playful “”Brother Jed Bingo.”” Our primary interest is presenting religious skepticism in a positive and humorous light. While we did attempt to engage Jed and his family in thoughtful theological discussion, at no point did we act cruelly or yell in their faces as Alex suggests. Brother Jed and his family even took pictures with all of us! We do not condone the more belligerent skeptics who we saw confront Brother Jed, and we do not appreciate being grouped with them simply because of shared religious sentiment. All too often I have found that in the popular consciousness, a religious person, no matter how hateful, is always one notch above any atheist.

Zac Finger

Creative writing senior

Graduate students fight the fees, redcoats

As a graduate student, I am pleased that the Wildcat printed the exchange between Graduate Council Presidents Dave Talenfeld and Bryan Helm. Such discourse concerning grave pecuniary matters should be aired publicly to the UA community. As a U.S. citizen, however, I would prefer for Talenfeld and Helm to forgo the trend toward partisanship presently stalling U.S. government, instead collaborating on ways to maintain necessary, yet limit excessive, proposed fees. Additional and increasing fees will be imposed, inevitably. But let’s not fund bridges to nowhere. For example, I adamantly oppose any fee or tax on graduate students to support the Student Recreation Center’s maintenance or expansion. Why should graduate students support a campus facility that segregates us and denies us access to the facility in the summer months? Until graduate students share with undergraduate students equal opportunity of access to the Recreation Center, then graduate students should unite in opposing any and all fees for the facility. Or, in plain English, no taxation without representation.

Greg Grewell

Doctoral candidate

Rhetoric and composition

Another voice

In the aftermath of all the Motorola articles, I’m afraid I find myself once again at odds with my tribe. There has been an overwhelming response within the Jewish community to the various articles about Motorola being complicit in human rights violations, based on everything from poor journalism to promoting anti-Semitism.

First of all, I have to say that I didn’t like the article either … There are far worse issues going on in the world and the article left out that Israel does indeed allow its citizens more rights than any of its neighbors in the Middle East. In fact, the argument of the article itself was ridiculous. Let’s face it, no one is innocent. It is because of this that I’m troubled by the article singling out Israel (again) for things that could be said of almost any other country or corporation.

That being said, the response from the Jewish community has been equally troubling. Why do we always assume that criticism of Israel is anti-Semitism? As a people, somehow it hasn’t seemed to occur to us that it doesn’t matter if some Palestinians are anti-Semitic or not. I am as disturbed as the next person by the media that comes out of the region … But when the Israeli military is killing mothers, fathers, daughters and sons (even when it is accidental) it ceases to matter.

We cease to be “”a light unto the nations”” and we become a scourge that is willing to sacrifice scores of Palestinian lives for a few Israeli lives. This only sends the message to the world that we are indeed an ethnocentric people, only concerning ourselves with the lives of our kinsmen and apathetic to the plights of all others.

Those who are not anti-Semitic in the territories will most likely become anti-Semitic, and how can we expect anything else? Yet we look at photos of grieving Palestinians and say to ourselves, “”That man lost his three daughters in the operation, but he must be railing against Israel because he is anti-Semitic.”” Even if someone is anti-Semitic, if he speaks the truth, is it any less valid? As a people, we should be remembering Maimonides, who stated that we must accept the truth, no matter what the source may be. Maybe the problem is not that Israel is being criticized, but that American Jews have sacrificed the tenets of Judaism out of laziness, and replacing them with an easier rallying point — blind support of Israel that renders every criticism anti-Semitic and every critical Jew a pariah.

Like any country, Israel has the ability to contribute greatly to the world and has often done so — in aid, in civil liberties, etc.  But Israel, also like any other country, has events in its past that are inexcusable — need I remind anyone of the Sabra and Shatila massacre that was allowed to take place? So let’s start treating Israel like the Israelis do — criticizing what deserves criticism, applauding what deserves applause, and not losing our minds when something is critical of “”The Jewish State.””

Sarah Rosenberg

Near Eastern studies senior

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