Commentary  Letters: Short critiques of Israel, AUS’s French quality, and fixies

Stop hitting on me

Re: “Did you read my article, Ezra?”” | Commentary | Nov. 6

Dude, we did have a civil conversation about this a few weeks ago, remember? You were all “Oh shit I didn’t expect to meet you in person.” You also wanted to continue correspondence through email and then, in a possible attempt to throw me off the debate, called me “gorgeous.” Remember that? No?

Email me if you really have beef – 300-word limits are so passé.

Sana Saeed

U3 Honours Political Science and Middle Eastern Studies

Daily columnist

Clarification for Charles

Re: “Canada doesn’t care about native people” | Commentary | Nov. 13

I’d like Charles Mostoller to clarify exactly which indigenous population India is “colonizing.”

Manosij Majumdar

U2 Chemical Engineering

Knee-jerking isn’t the way to resolve your Tadamon! issues

Re: “Why I’m voting against QPIRG’s fee increase” | Commentary | Nov. 17

Two brief points about Mr. Binkovitz’s “QPIRG is bad” letter in the previous issue:

First, his belief that there somehow exists a double-standard between the moral bar that is imposed on Israel versus that on Hezbollah et al. (or non-Westerners as he puts it) is downright ironic.

There clearly is a double-standard, I will not argue with that, but to say that it is Israel who is held to the higher standard!? That’s more than absurd; it’s offensive. You are talking about a country that is, at this very moment, denying millions of innocent men, women, and children in Gaza the basic necessities of life. Israel is committing a war crime against the Gazan people by collectively punishing them for the acts of a few, with little tangible resistance from the so-called “moral West.”

This same political entity (I say this because I refuse to believe that the majority of Israelis support the brutal actions of their government), is responsible for the murder, the unlawful killing, of over 1,000 Lebanese men, women, and children during the Invasion of Lebanon in 2006. At the same time, the so-called “Moral West” green-lighted this attack against the whole of the Lebanese people (including the U.S. and Canadian governments) while at the same time condemning Hezbollah for its attacks on Israeli civilians. Anyone who reads, watches, or hears Western news services knows that this double-standard you refer to holds Israel to a far lower bar than any other political entity in the Middle East, to claim otherwise is fantasy.

Second, assuming you are portraying the Tadamon! event that you attended accurately, then I understand your issue with QPIRG funding them. What I don’t understand is why you would want to penalize the many, many other QPIRG-funded organizations: Greening McGill, Barrière Lake Solidarity Collective, and others? Wouldn’t it make better sense to voice your concerns to QPIRG as opposed to the knee-jerk response that you have broadcast to the world (or at least the McGill Community)?

Nasser Mohieddin Abukhdeir

Chemical Engineering PhD IV

Workers of Israel and

Palestine, unite!

Re: “Why I’m voting against QPIRG’s fee increase” | Commentary | Nov. 17

Dear Isaac, and all those who have similar concerns as Isaac,

My knowledge about Tadamon! is that it is a very strictly solidarity group, and that as a group they don’t advocate solely a single solution to the problem of Israel-Palestine. They have invited many different speakers who advocate different solutions and politics. Thus, I would still appeal to Isaac and others to vote yes for the fee increase. Other than Tadamon!, QPIRG has been supporting other social causes worthy of support.

However, Isaac brought up a good point. The masses of Israel and the masses of Palestine have more in common than they have with their so-called leaders, who are using them as pawns for their own interests. Fundamentally, the workers of Israel have no interest in oppressing Palestinians. They are fundamentally allies, they just haven’t realized it because of the racist propaganda that the Israel ruling class is waging to pit them against each other. Thus, it is the task of the radicals to push for this unity and break the prejudice.

Israel’s working class has to overthrow their own imperialist government and confront their ruling class; and the masses of Palestine also have to overthrow their corrupt leaders who are using this conflict to benefit themselves. The leaders of Hamas and Hezbollah are opportunists who are using the masses’ genuine aspiration for freedom to their own benefits.

The only true solution to the question of Israel-Palestine is the voluntary unity of the working class of Israel and Palestine.

Ted Sprague

Master’s Chemistry II

Please stop laughing

Re: “Please stop quoting vice” | Commentary | Nov. 6

Hi Marianna,

I am glad you were amused. However, it appears that the target of my derision was less than obvious. Allow me to be more explicit:

I have no problem with hipsters hyping my ‘hood so long as they’re not writing articles that read like obnoxious blog posts from Vice. That would entail doing slightly more research than cruising St. Henri for an hour on your fixie and then cobbling together 600 words of poorly-concealed romanticism and things you sort of think Richard Florida said once.


Sarah Allux

U3 Geography (Urban Systems)

Demanding better translations

Re: “En francais, s’il vous plait” | News | Nov. 17

Dear Adil Katrak,

You say the current AUS translator is “very qualified” and that there are “no plans in place to have someone check her French” because it would be “hypocritical” when you do not check the English of your staff before publishing.

What an absurd defence of the abysmal quality of the so-called translator you use. Does it seem like the first language of the person writing the English-language listservs is anything other than English? Are the English-language listservs full of egregious and inexcusable errors that utterly change the intended meaning of the message?

Obviously not. Therefore, there is no need to double-check the work of the author of the English-language listservs. But let me tell you – coming even from someone whose first language is not French – the quality of your translation is inexcusable. If the English version were written as well as the French, it would be the stuff of jokes – I refer you to to help you understand.

You were elected by Arts students to serve Arts students. Your organization is funded by us. Your choices are therefore subject to our scrutiny; and I daresay that those of us who study the French language have better qualifications than you to judge the quality of a translation.

As one of your constituents, I demand that you disclose the qualifications of your hired translator. I demand that you tell us exactly what convinced you to hire her, and to give her $400 of our money.

Unlike the representative to the Francophone Commission, I have no threats to enforce my requests; but if you have even the slightest belief in the transparency of government, you will release this information.

William Burton

U3 Lettres et traduction françaises

Nice try, Paterson, but I’m still not convinced

Re: Basing the abortion debate on biology | Commentary | Nov. 13

It is quite true that I believe all human organisms to be “people.”

This means that, as Paterson points out, I consider the inherent human dignity enjoyed by a non-consious zygote to be equal to my own; my position is that qualities such as age, size, appearance, gender, health, ability, consiousness, etc. are all more or less accidental to the fact of personhood as such, and that all human persons are precious and have inviolable dignity and rights.

I realize that not everybody shares this opinion, but I would like to point out that nothing in this letter or in my original one was contrary to scientific data. Paterson’s description of the biological development of the neural system in unborn children was interesting but ultimately not convincing for me. My point was that to withhold the description of personhood from any particular group of human organisms strikes me as arbitrary.

Out of curiosity, I wonder whether Paterson considers children born with anencephalie to be human persons?

Amy Bergeron

U2 Religious Studies

More letters were received for this issue than could be printed. They will appear in the next possible issue. Please send your letters to from your McGill email acount with your year and program.

The Daily edits for style and brevity, so keep your original letter to 300 words or less. Letters regarding Sana Saeed should be cc’d to, especially if your last name is the opposite of white. The Daily does not print letters that are sexist, racist, homophobic, or otherwise hateful.