Dialogue framed unfairly

By Vadim Sagalchik

I would like to applaud Mr. O’Malley’s and Mr. Doran’s attempt at a dialogue about the Palestine-Israel conflict; however, this dialogue has been framed very unfairly when Mr. O’Malley is an admitted supporter of Palestine, while Mr. Doran is an uninformed and independent contributor to the discussion. To make this a fair discussion, Mr. O’Malley’s counterpart should not be an Irishman, but someone that is much closer to the issue. Mr. O’Malley’s partner in this dialogue must be the grandson of Holocaust survivors that lost their entire families to Hitler, the son of a woman who was told it was better to be dead than Jewish in the fourth grade by a fellow student, and the cousin of future IDF soldiers. One of the biggest fallacies Wednesday’s dialogue delineated was that the “The Jews emigrated to the region and took over the land by kicking out the indigenous Arab inhabitants.”

However, the truth is that Jews have continuously lived in the same land for almost 3,000 years, even during the diaspora. The other fallacy brought up is that the Holocaust led to the birth of the state of Israel. However, Israel’s birth was in full force by the 1930s as seen through over half a million Jews living in Israel by that time, and the Balfour Declaration of 1917 where the British government endorsed the establishment of a state for the Jewish people. Finally, if we do take heed in the advice brought by Mr. O’Malley to “identify as students first” in our dialogue, we must first agree to embrace one of academia’s main goals, which is to use factual information in our discussions.