Letters to the Editor

    Editor:

    In his open letter to the dean of the Jacobs School of Engineering (Oct. 10 issue of the Guardian), Simone Santini raises the question of whether interaction with industry is in the best interest of the campus. He is certainly entitled to his opinion on the matter.

    To add some perspective, about one-third of the research at the Jacobs School is industry-sponsored, while two-thirds of the research is funded through support from the government. I believe this is the right balance for an engineering school. We have found that our partnerships with companies add significant relevancy to our research and often broaden the focus of what we do. For example, the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology brings faculty and students together from across campus to work on research. Because the Jacobs School successfully partners with companies, our students often benefit by supplementing their educational experience with activities such as internships and design competitions.

    I was particularly offended by Mr. Santini’s comments regarding Dr. Irwin Jacobs, and it is important to set the record straight. First, Dr. Jacobs is a highly respected scientist and former professor at both UCSD and MIT. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and is recognized across the globe for his contributions to communication theory. He is also the recipient of the President’s National Medal of Technology, an award given by the White House for extraordinary achievements in the commercialization of technology. The American Electronics Association has recognized Dr. Jacobs as the primary catalyst in shaping the wireless technology industry.

    Secondly, Dr. and Mrs. Jacobs are truly committed to enhancing the San Diego community, and are strong advocates for education. We at UCSD have been the fortunate beneficiaries. The Jacobses have provided support year after year for engineering student scholarships and fellowships. They have demonstrated that their interests and passions go well beyond engineering by championing cultural programs on campus, such as the La Jolla Playhouse, and in the San Diego community, such as the San Diego Symphony. We are and should be proud and honored that our engineering school bears the Irwin and Joan Jacobs name.

    –Frieder Seible

    Interim Dean

    Jacobs School of Engineering

    Israel is an apartheid state, UC must divest

    Editor:

    I think it is good for all points of view on every topic to be heard, especially one as complicated as divesting from Israel. However, there is a fine line between expressing an opinion and spreading mis-truths (otherwise known as lies). Allow me to very briefly comment on the myth-ridden essay, “”UC Support for Israel Should Continue”” (Oct. 14 issue of the Guardian).

    Israel is not a democracy. When a government gives one race/ethnicity more rights than another simply because of their race/ethnicity, this is called apartheid, not democracy. When Israel says it is a “”Jewish democratic state,”” it is not kidding! It is a democratic state for Jews and not for the indigenous Arab population, which has been either forced to leave or live as third-class citizens in numerous ways (you can research this yourself).

    The author cites no reference for his quote by Arafat calling for the full destruction of the Israeli state. In fact, all hard evidence points to the opposite, since Arafat has signed numerous treaties and agreements, which recognize Israel on 78 percent of historic Palestine.

    Beyond these two glaringly obvious mis-truths, there is a lot more to this opinion that would not stand up to open debate. One, there is no association between Palestinians and the European Holocaust — why should the Palestinians have to pay for it with their lives, homes, possessions, identity? Two, Israel is only arguably a strategic ally in the Middle East. I would argue that Israel creates so much anti-American sentiment the world over that we are shooting ourselves in the foot by letting Israel do whatever it wants without impunity. And finally, the divestment campaign does not seek genocide of Jewish people. It is fundamentally an anti-racist movement rooted in international law and human rights. Anyone who researches this movement would see this to be true.

    Next time your paper chooses to publish something so blatantly misinformed and one-sided, I hope you will have something to balance it out. As it stands, your paper’s reputation for ethical journalism took a nose dive with this one.

    –Sarah Kaiksow

    University of Wisconsin student

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