Wednesday, December 3, 2014

My letter to the New Yorker RE The Civility Wars By Hua Hsu

Maan News via American Task Force on Palestine: A Palestinian woman walks in the rain past houses that were
destroyed during the 50-day Gaza war between Israel and Palestinian
militants, on Nov. 24, 2014 (AFP Mohammed Abed)
 RE  The Civility Wars By

Dear Editor,

Free Speech and civility are compelling catch phrases easily tweeted in order to escalate a social media witch hunt case against the University that decided, for what ever reason, that it did not want to give Steven Salaita a permanent podium.

I fell badly for Steven Salaita, but I feel much worse for the children of Gaza who are trapped in and tortured by a horrible conflict they did not create.  Right now there are some very active social media savvy "pro-Palestine" activist-entertainers who seek to blame Zionists and pro-Israel supporters for pressuring the University into "unhiring" Salaita.  These "pro-Palestine" activist-entertainers do not support state building efforts for Palestine, they do not support a two state solution to actually end the Israel-Palestine conflict, and they do not approve of dialogue with Israel. 

Step back and think: Seems to me American students work hard to get into college, and their parents have already invested a huge amount of time and money in raising them. College tuition and text books are punitively expensive and either hard earned savings are spent or loans are taken out, with the expectation that college will be a good influence, and a college degree will hopefully help one's beloved child get and keep a better job in a very competitive global world. 

Parents and students have a right to investigate: Is Palestinian American Steven Salaita a good role model- and a good poster child for Free Speech, or Palestine, or Native America Studies?   Or is he a cautionary tale... Will Congressmen and women and voters following the Salaita conversation on "civility" elect to welcome in more Palestinian refugees? What about funding for UNWRA? 

Furthermore, do astute business executives looking to hire new graduates already quietly prioritize resumes from colleges and universities that value civility and diplomacy? 

Anne Selden Annab

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