SPJME should focus less on Israel, more on other Middle Eastern issues
I have an issue with SJPME’s wall display brought to campus earlier this week. For a club that purports to “promote awareness and dialogue of issues dealing with the Middle East” and promotes the banner for “Justice and Peace,” (1) the club’s events have not shown to deal with any issue but Israel. This week’s events, 60 percent of which focus on Israel, give the impression that issues in the Middle East are mostly due to Israel.
Back in March, Grace Kirschner, co-president of SJPME, told the Mustang Daily that “The club will hold a week long event in May, focusing on a different country each day to further expose the culture and new issues each country faces.”(2) This week’s events highlight only two — Israel and Iraq.
When does the discussion regarding the women’s rights in Saudi Arabia begin? How does Israel (which comprises 0.17 percent of the land) become the majority of the Middle East discussion?
Perhaps this club should amend its title to Students for Justice and Peace in Palestine, as this has been the modus operandi for the last three years. I call on you, members of SJPME, to show us that there are other causes of instability in the Middle East. Inform and engage us about topics other than Israel, and stop dominating the discussion about Israel/Palestine.
electrical engineering junior and president of Cal Poly Israel Alliance
- Club charter, ASI Club directory accessed May 20, 2009
- “Students For Justice and Peace in the Middle East bring politics to the forefront.” Mustang Daily, March 3, 2009
SJPME lacks objectivity in presentation of Middle Eastern issues
Students for Justice for Peace in the Middle East claims to be neutral on Middle Eastern issues and yet focus most of its energy on defaming and deligitimizing Israel. I can understand complaints about Israeli policies and actions towards the Palestinians but calling it apartheid is wrong, inflammatory and eliminates any chance of a meaningful discussion. Apartheid in South Africa was systematic racial discrimination against South Africa’s Black population. The Israeli security barrier is part concrete wall, and mostly chain linked fence that Israel erected to keep itself safe from terrorist attacks.
The barrier has nothing to do with race since it was only built after the wave after wave of suicide bombings in Israel in the wake of the second intifada. The security barrier has in fact almost eliminated terrorism from the West Bank coming into Israel. In addition, Israel is a free and democratic country that affords all of its citizen full civil, political, and religious rights to not just the Jewish majority but also the 20 percent Arab minority.
SJPME never takes the time to mention that most of the people in the Middle East have limited political and civil rights. By making the majority of your events about criticizing Israel, and encouraging divestment from Israel, SJPME is implying that Israel is the major cause of instability and injustice in the Middle East, which we all know is not true. Until SJPME stops applying this unfair double-standard to Israel, they will have very little legitimacy.
mechanical engineering senior
A shout out for the libertarian column
I just wanted to throw it out there how fantastic Jeremy Hicks’ column “War on drugs puts the fight in otherwise peaceful exchange of goods” is. Thanks! Keep up the good work Mustang Daily!
agricultural business freshman
An open challenge to ASI
Dear Associated Students Inc.,
Even though I was only a measly volunteer with Poly House this past weekend I felt like I did more for the community of San Luis Obispo than ever before in my four years here. I challenge you to provide opportunities to all students on projects similar to what Poly House does. Student Community Sevices is a start but certainly not adequate.
The joy we were able to bring to a family in the area was something that I would like to see happen again and again. I ask that you focus less on providing on-campus opportunities and promoting your events with the creation of expensive promotional material (full-color posters and T-shirts) and put this money to use so that the community of San Luis Obispo and surrounding towns can see a much more instructive and caring presence of the Cal Poly community.
I would like to thank everyone that allowed me to help with their class project. If I could, I would do something like that every weekend; however, I feel that the possibilities are either not available or not advertised. So please, ASI, do more to allow Cal Poly students to get involved with the community we live in so that we can give back to a community that sees us as the noisy, partying neighbors and not the caring individuals we are all capable of being.
biological sciences senior
Local police departments wasted resources by pulling over the Powerwheels rider
Today on Cal Poly’s campus I witnessed a great injustice taking place: Three motorcycle officers and an SUV-driving officer (all of whom I assume are fully armed) pulling over a young man driving a Powerwheels. While the ridiculousness of the situation rightfully provokes a good chuckle at least, I must ask: What the hell, campus police? Really? Four cops to nail a guy in a Powerwheels? Were my tax dollars or student fees or whatever really paying the salaries of those guys?
In light of the recent spending spree by the department on those goofy tricycle things to supposedly “go green,” I can only scratch my head. I guess they’re right; cops riding bicycles aren’t very green, or for that matter letting a kid ride a Powerwheels to school instead of driving a real car isn’t very green either. God forbid they would let us ride a skateboard or chain our bikes to tree!
University Police, give me a break.
biomedical engineering senior
Previous letter mistaken on Powerwheels situation
Mark Paulick, I hope that the rest of the biomedical engineering department isn’t as dense as you are.
1)Three of the four officers were SLOPD (ever notice UPD doesn’t have a motorcycle unit?).
2) If by fully armed you mean they were carrying their sidearms, yes. If you mean SWAT team loadout, no. Why the heck wouldn’t they have their duty sidearms?
3) UPD already has officers on bikes. But when your sorry butt needs them to get there faster than those bikes can take them, but can’t get there using the cruisers, that is what they are there for.
4) If you don’t like a law, go to the city council and do something about it instead of whining that the police have to enforce it like a little baby.
Mark Paulick, give me a break.
agriculture systems management freshman