Commentary  Letters

If I have to read about that one more time…

Dear McGill Daily,

Can you please stop printing articles and letters about the following topics:

1) The Humanistics Department and its improbable future.

2) Choose Life and its (for some reason) very controversial acceptance as a full-status SSMU club

3) The Israeli/Gazan conflict and the General Assembly’s indefinite suspension of discussion about the situation.

Also, please refrain from printing:

4) The Daily’s self-righteous editorials about how most McGill students refuse to venture outside the anglophone bubble.

5) Any senseless Heather Monroe-Blum bashing. She seems like a nice lady.

It’s not that I’m questioning the validity of these topics. I’m just really tired of reading about them in every issue of The Daily and Tribune. Thanks in advance.

Chad Pinto

U1 BCom

I heard they made that book into a movie

Re: “How suburban education brainwashes women” | Commentary | March 5

For the longer edition of this article, please watch the latest blockbuster flick He’s Just Not That Into You.

Vicky Tobianah

U1 Political Science and English Literature

Daily news writer

Gazan childhood under fire

While the mention of Gaza starts to fade in the media and the world starts to forget about the horrific images of the war, the screams of the afflicted and the traumatized begin to sound like a remote memory. The people of Gaza, on the other hand, are only starting to cope with the long-term effects of the Israeli aggression. And no one is more vulnerable to these devastating effects than the children of Gaza.

Amidst the scenes of blood and the sounds of explosions, these children have looked death in the eye for three weeks. Thousands of children in Gaza have experienced the loss of mothers, fathers, siblings, and friends.

More than 1,000 children have been wounded in the war, many of them with severe disabilities that will be permanent reminders of how savage and merciless the world around them can be. Many of the children whose houses have been levelled to the ground are currently living in crowded classrooms, hosting up to 50 people in a single room.

The Gaza Community Health Program has estimated that more than half of Gaza’s children will develop some form of post-traumatic stress disorder. Other common problems include nightmares, bed-wetting, stuttering, sleeping problems, aggressive behaviour, and appetite loss.

Although education in Gaza schools has resumed, the classroom setting in these schools is by no means a normal one. Some of the students study in tents near the rubble of their schools, completely destroyed by the Israeli “Defense” Forces. Artillery rounds have left their marks on the walls of most other schools. The drawings of school children reflect their unforgettable experience: tanks, helicopters, dead bodies. Their vocabulary now includes new terms like F16s and phosphorus bombs.

Maybe it is still possible for these children to lead normal lives, but that can only happen if the international community is willing to take a firm stance against Israel’s brutal policies. Otherwise, the seeds for the next war have already been sown.

Saeed Abdallah

PhD II Electrical Engineering

Come on, impeaching is so Lewinsky-like

Re: “Rankings don’t attract students” | Letters | February 19

Two issues ago, philosophy student Alex Nachamkin launched an impeachment of Humanistic Studies Student Association (HSSA) president Aviva Friedman, which, analogous to one other well-known case, fails to stick, its charges being stilted upon irrelevant grounds.

Nachamkin misunderstood the content of Aviva’s letter and skewed focus solely on her statement which valuated McGill as Harvard’s equivalent. To clarify, the catchphrase of McGill as “Harvard of the North” was clearly presented as a putative image and reflecting the mindset of the McGill administration, as a claim, not a truth. And yet, while I agree that rankings denigrate educational systems and it may be trifling to quibble over which among the top schools in America are in which top rankings, it remains a pertinent reality that Harvard, as an institution, draws advanced and leading professionals, and produces a setting that is very validly held as an academic benchmark and a point of comparison for McGill.

Contrary to Nachamkin’s point, Harvard and Princeton may be schools coveted for their stellar reputations, but it is specious to infer that these schools, with such renown do not produce well-educated individuals and that “the reason why employers hire Princeton and Harvard students has little to do with their so-called ‘rounded education.’”

Even without reference to the testaments of flourishing liberal arts programs, the role of liberal arts or interdisciplinary studies should be evaluated by their own merits, which are that they serve a flexible and holistic way for students to approach education, and fill an indispensable and undervalued role here at McGill. This is a university whose purpose is to provide an education and access to knowledge, and I applaud the HSSA for giving a voice and opposition to what would otherwise be an unnoticed, insularly bureaucratic policy implementation.

Susannah Lee

BA ‘08 (Humanistic Studies)

Go fisk yourself

Re: Middle East reporter sides with victims | News | March 5

The fact that the title of an article, apparently one intended to have something to do with unbiased, honest reporting, could be so biased in itself must have been some lame attempt at comedy by Humera Jabir. Mentioning the “victims of Afghanistan” with no reference whatsoever to the 2,998 American civilians murdered in a plot that was hatched there is sickening. There is no denying that there have been Afghani victims in the conflict since, but any sense at all should lead one to the recognition that it is a heavy, but necessary, price to pay to ensure that history does not repeat itself.

Worse even than Humera’s unconcealed bias, however, is the hilarity of Fisk’s hypocrisy. How can anyone take seriously a man who questions the “narrative of 9/11?” Fisk is not calling for reporting to be objective and impartial, but rather for it to be partial only to his beliefs. In recent years his tirades against Israel and the United States, as well as his constant attempts to expose the apparently bigoted West’s deceitfulness has turned a once promising career into little more than joke. Fisk, the self-proclaimed champion of “critical and honest” reporting, loves nothing more than forcing his views down our throats.

Fortunately, his opinions are usually confined to The Independent and its dwindling readership, which fell a staggering 15 per cent last year. His inaccuracies and biases have even led to the establishment of the term “fisking.” At least, in her distorted article, Humera has stayed true to her apparent hero’s example.

Matt Grunwald

U1 Mechanical Engineering

The Daily received more letters than it could print this issue. They will appear in the next issue.