Student Proposes Campus Israel- Palestine Solution

Owen Henry

To the Editors:

It is always inevitable whenever someone is invited to speak on the topic of Israel and/or Palestine that there will be angry letters in the Review the following week. The vehemence and venom with which such statements are made never ceases to impress me. It has also begun to wear on my ears and eyes. At this point, I worry that two extremely specific camps have monopolized the debate and are dictating what speakers are brought in. Ardent supporters of Israel, who feel that they are under attack by leftist liberation ideology, invite speakers who try and pull others into their siege mentality, while those who would wish to see a Palestinian state, sometimes accused as supporters of terrorists and murderers, bring speakers who attempt to undermine any sense of Israeli legitimacy. Every lecture organized by one side or the other only further enrages opponents and motivates them to bring more radical or extreme presenters in order to prove their point. I am tired of this cycle, wherein any chance of expressing more moderate views or finding common ground is buried under a mountain of rhetoric and inflammatory declarations.

Therefore, I wish to propose a very simple solution: Place all the funding sources of both pro-Palestine and pro-Israel campus groups into one communal pot, so that both sides must agree to the speaker and the subject of their presentation before they can be invited. Either the two sides will learn to compromise and find a middle ground, or the rest of us will be spared from seeing further mud slung in these pages.

–Owen Henry
College junior