Commentary | More creativity in disputes

Re: “Shame and confrontation” | Commentary | November 8

It looks like another arc in the Israel-Palestine issue on campus. In my time at McGill I’ve felt a lot of tension about Israel, with accusations, justifications, and defenses flying everywhere. Who is right? Who cares? None of us are really experts on the case, yet we use phrases like “genocide” and “terrorist” loosely, as if we actually knew the reality on the ground – we really do not. I’m making a call-out for people to stop trying to create a stir, just for the sake of activism, and try something new for once: learning something with your mind unclouded.

Articles and letters about this in the past have taught little about the actual issue, which needless to say is a complicated a dilemma. Israel cannot simply pull out of Palestinian territories in one day, which is what led to Cast Lead, but I feel advocacy often wears this position implicitly. At the same time, is Israel completely just? Hell no, and saying so is useless as well – Israel is certainly more humane in its counterinsurgency than almost any country in the world.

At a school like McGill, protesting the presence of three soldiers just alienates the community. Maybe I can’t expect much more from campus politics, and I’ve avoided them for this exact reason but I have to agree with last week’s Hyde Park by Matthew Kassel. You preach to the choir when you use old, questionable terms which take as back to square one of right and wrong. Whatever side you stand on, let’s see some creativity, throw away your old notions, and find better venues for dialogue and insight, not just malcontent.

Elan Spitzberg
BA 2010 Geography
Geography research assistant