Letters to the Editor

    Editor:

    I found the article regarding the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Alliance in some ways informative, in some ways humorous, and in a few instances troubling. It is always good to know that students of various orientations and opinions are trying to open their minds to different perspectives. It was somewhat humorous to read a quote from a student regarding his/her coming out as, “”liberating,”” and that being who he/she is “”without having to hold back”” feels good even though the quote was signed, “”Anonymous.”” Am I the only one who sees the irony in this?

    Troubling were the comments regarding heterosexism and homophobia. Is it really oppressive to ask if someone has a girlfriend or boyfriend? Is it still safe to ask whether or not someone owns a dog, or would that offend cat owners? And it certainly isn’t an odd thing to ask a man if he has a girlfriend because the vast majority of men are straight. It seems a safe attempt at small talk to me.

    As for homophobia, what many still fail to grasp is that a great deal of people still see homosexuality as morally repugnant. These people aren’t intolerant, homophobic or unenlightened as some would suggest; they simply have a belief. Branding those individuals homophobes, which many in the LGBT community would do, truly does create a hostile environment. Acting as if the millions that held that opinion were simply ignorant in no way exhibits open-mindedness. Tolerance is a two-way street necessitating both sides to open up to a different perspective, even one that might say homosexuality is wrong.

    — Evan Rowley

    Earl Warren College junior

    Israel and UC system have similar goals

    Editor:

    Plaudits to Dustin Frelich for his article on Oct. 14, titled “”UC Support for Israel Must Continue.”” While Dustin effectively highlighted political and military grounds for U.S. and general support to Israel, the grounds for UC support to Israel must be more specifically addressed.

    Specifically, consider a 54-year-long quest for peace and security, an unwavering commitment to democracy and democratic values and remarkable contributions to world civilization in the fields of medicine, technology, agriculture and culture — these are all things worthy of support; these are all characteristics of Israel.

    How does Israel demonstrate commitment to the same things the university aspires to value?

    Some facts: Israel is investing $10 million toward a project involving molecular medicine and gene therapy, which hopes to cure hemophilia and other genetic diseases, according to Thinkquest Library.

    Are not UC schools also at the forefront of medicine?

    Israel is at the forefront of modern technology, technology that not only saves us time, but money as well. No wonder a Newsweek article on Nov. 9, 1998, ranked the city of Tel Aviv, Israel, among the top 10 high technology cities around the world. An Israeli company developed the popular Internet chat software, ICQ. The Intel’s MMX and Pentium II chip were invented in Israel, also according to Thinkquest Library. Are not UC schools also at the forefront of technology?

    Remember when the U.S. embassy was bombed in Kenya? American and Kenyan authorities credited Israeli rescue and relief teams with bringing order to the chaos, according to www.jewishaz.com.

    In hospitals in Hadassah and Netanya, Israel, one sees (as American tourists have seen) Arabs and Jews working side by side, as doctors, nurses, even as patients, according to the Cincinatti Inquirer. Do not UC schools promote diversity and working together?

    Also consider: Arabs sit on the Israeli parliament.

    One of the few places in the Middle East where a woman can vote is Israel.

    Granted, no country has an impeccable historical record, and Israel has its share of mistakes. One may disagree with the politics of Israel, but political moves dictated by a small minority in the upper political echelons do not merit the divestment of money that will damage the whole country’s economy.

    Israel is and always has been interested in peaceful resolution. Israel has peacefully resolved conflicts in the past with countries such as Egypt (1979) and Jordan (1994), as the political leadership of these countries were open and willing.

    The divestment campaign is not interested in a peaceful resolution. The divestment campaign uses extremist language and focuses on skewed representations of information. The divestment campaign does not address the peaceful co-existence of Israel, a Jewish State and a possible Palestinian state.

    Those who are truly interested in human rights, in Palestinian rights and Israeli rights, and making an informed decision as to what is going on in the Middle East, must understand that the answer to a deep-rooted socio-political-historical conflict cannot be resolved by something as simple as divesting money from Israel.

    — I. Yaghoubi

    UCSD student

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