Home re: Palestinian rights group in the wrong

re: Palestinian rights group in the wrong

by admin October 26, 2010

re: Palestinian rights group in the wrong

by admin October 26, 2010

re: Palestinian rights group in the wrong

by admin October 26, 2010

re: Palestinian rights group in the wrong

by admin October 26, 2010

Some are deeply concerned about the symbolism of the presence of Elie Wiesel in Concordia during last week’s peace week. Alex Woznica seems to be poorly informed about the controversies surrounding Elie Wiesel and the fact that his political views and actions are viewed, by many (including Israelis) as being radical and contrary to the promotion of peace in the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

Wiesel’s past disregard for Palestinian national rights to Jerusalem is the root cause of this primary contention. His visit comes at a time when Palestinian rights violations are more pressing than ever, with Israel’s government announcing plans to construct 238 new housing units in Israeli settlements in occupied East Jerusalem. This news only serves as a catalyst to the existential threat that Palestinians in East Jerusalem face following years of home demolitions and evictions.

Wiesel’s remarks this week at Concordia did no injury to human rights groups on campus. However, opposition was still prevalent and simply directed toward the man behind the visit himself.

Woznica’s defense of Wiesel’s alleged non-partisan view in the Concordian comes as a fallacy to many who sympathize with Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights. For all the nuances in Wiesel’s remarks, his position is clearly in alignment with the hardline ideology that has been the centrepiece for Israel’s institutional oppression of the Palestinian people.

It is precisely these hardline and discriminatory views that fuel the ideological premise for the illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories, and which SPHR takes ample care to denounce. Without this example of protest from Canadian grassroots human rights solidarity movements, we as citizens of a liberal democracy would fail to provide justice for any social movement that struggles for its self-determination and human rights preservation whether that be Palestinian, aboriginal or otherwise.

Max Kaiser

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I have to take issue with Alex Woznica in his rundown of the faux controversy surrounding author Elie Wiesel’s speaking engagement at Concordia last week, where he stated that Wiesel’s support for the state of Israel is “understandable considering his Jewish faith and his time spent in Nazi death camps.”

What I don’t understand is how one can make the jump to say that one’s experiences of horror at the hands of one group would, in a logical train of thought, entitle them to a title deed on someone else’s property on another continent. Of course, Wiesel’s faith can’t be overlooked in analyzing his support for Israel, but both arguments ignore the fact there are Jews 8212; and yes, survivors of the Holocaust 8212; that do not throw their support behind Israel, and supporters who don’t base their views purely on their Jewish faith.

While I don’t support Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights Concordia’s views, particularly on Wiesel’s character, I don’t believe he is immune from criticism due to his firsthand experiences or his prestige, as Woznica seems to indicate when he says, “If groups such as SPHR cannot stomach a speech at Concordia by a holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize-winning author, then they should at least kindly avoid exploiting the occasion for the purposes of their own totally unrelated cause.”

Unrelated? How related could you get! Woznica complains that SPHR seems “to see the whole world in the context of their own special interest.” Well, what do you want them to talk about? They’re a Palestinian rights group! That’s their bread and butter. Personally, I don’t care about their opinions. Wiesel is an outspoken voice on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and they have as much a right to criticism of Wiesel, whether he wrote Night or not.

While I agree that the situation in Palestine is “sad,” I don’t agree that it’s “not a very local problem for Canadians or people living in Quebec.”

I’ll just cancel my $20 loan on Kiva.org to a woman named Juhudi in the Dominican Republic, because her inability to feed her children is not a local problem, and thus not deserving of my attention.

Christopher Olson

English Literature

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I have to take issue with Alex Woznica in his rundown of the faux controversy surrounding author Elie Wiesel’s speaking engagement at Concordia last week, where he stated that Wiesel’s support for the state of Israel is “understandable considering his Jewish faith and his time spent in Nazi death camps.”

What I don’t understand is how one can make the jump to say that one’s experiences of horror at the hands of one group would, in a logical train of thought, entitle them to a title deed on someone else’s property on another continent. Of course, Wiesel’s faith can’t be overlooked in analyzing his support for Israel, but both arguments ignore the fact there are Jews 8212; and yes, survivors of the Holocaust 8212; that do not throw their support behind Israel, and supporters who don’t base their views purely on their Jewish faith.

While I don’t support Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights Concordia’s views, particularly on Wiesel’s character, I don’t believe he is immune from criticism due to his firsthand experiences or his prestige, as Woznica seems to indicate when he says, “If groups such as SPHR cannot stomach a speech at Concordia by a holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize-winning author, then they should at least kindly avoid exploiting the occasion for the purposes of their own totally unrelated cause.”

Unrelated? How related could you get! Woznica complains that SPHR seems “to see the whole world in the context of their own special interest.” Well, what do you want them to talk about? They’re a Palestinian rights group! That’s their bread and butter. Personally, I don’t care about their opinions. Wiesel is an outspoken voice on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and they have as much a right to criticism of Wiesel, whether he wrote Night or not.

While I agree that the situation in Palestine is “sad,” I don’t agree that it’s “not a very local problem for Canadians or people living in Quebec.”

I’ll just cancel my $20 loan on Kiva.org to a woman named Juhudi in the Dominican Republic, because her inability to feed her children is not a local problem, and thus not deserving of my attention.

Christopher Olson

English Literature

Leave a Comment

Some are deeply concerned about the symbolism of the presence of Elie Wiesel in Concordia during last week’s peace week. Alex Woznica seems to be poorly informed about the controversies surrounding Elie Wiesel and the fact that his political views and actions are viewed, by many (including Israelis) as being radical and contrary to the promotion of peace in the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

Wiesel’s past disregard for Palestinian national rights to Jerusalem is the root cause of this primary contention. His visit comes at a time when Palestinian rights violations are more pressing than ever, with Israel’s government announcing plans to construct 238 new housing units in Israeli settlements in occupied East Jerusalem. This news only serves as a catalyst to the existential threat that Palestinians in East Jerusalem face following years of home demolitions and evictions.

Wiesel’s remarks this week at Concordia did no injury to human rights groups on campus. However, opposition was still prevalent and simply directed toward the man behind the visit himself.

Woznica’s defense of Wiesel’s alleged non-partisan view in the Concordian comes as a fallacy to many who sympathize with Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights. For all the nuances in Wiesel’s remarks, his position is clearly in alignment with the hardline ideology that has been the centrepiece for Israel’s institutional oppression of the Palestinian people.

It is precisely these hardline and discriminatory views that fuel the ideological premise for the illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories, and which SPHR takes ample care to denounce. Without this example of protest from Canadian grassroots human rights solidarity movements, we as citizens of a liberal democracy would fail to provide justice for any social movement that struggles for its self-determination and human rights preservation whether that be Palestinian, aboriginal or otherwise.

Max Kaiser

Leave a Comment