It’s not Jew, it’s you

By Steven Slivnick

Perhaps Lally Gartel’s assertion that Zionism equals fanaticism in her editorial, “It’s not Jew, it’s me,” was a well-meaning attempt to inspire debate. However, her broad and frankly, a little insulting, insinuation was ill-considered and misleading.

I believe that a Jewish homeland should exist. Ms. Gartel, does this mean that I am a fanatic? Likewise, is one a fanatic for believing that there should be a French state, a Chinese State or a Palestinian state? Indeed, one can certainly use any cause to justify fanaticism. Palestinian terrorists do it all the time when they justify blowing up of a school bus full of kids or a university cafeteria. However, to call all Zionists fanatical is to stifle and belittle the legitimate convictions of many students on this campus.

Again, Ms. Gartel’s belief that a binational state would solve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is well meaning but a bit na’ve. Would the denial of self-determination for both Jews and Palestinians really solve a territorial conflict? Perhaps she should take a vacation to the Balkans, Rwanda or even Iraq and see what happens when external forces impose artificial borders on real nationalities.

We all want peace, and a viable two-state solution is our best hope. Israel has made the overtures but it’s a shame that while Palestinians need a Gandhi, all they’ve gotten was Arafat and Hamas.

Ms. Gartel, I’d like to invite you to come and share your viewpoints at an IllinIPAC meeting. Rather than assuming that you would be branded an anti-Semite, you should come and see the diverse opinions represented by the Zionist community.

I might disagree with you, but from the first Zionist Congress to Israel’s modern democracy; Zionism has a rich history of critical discourse. I invite you to more civilly join the conversation.

Steven Slivnick

junior in LAS

President of Illinois-Israel Public Affairs Committee