Embracing Compromise

by Margaret Liu | 5/22/02 5:00am

To the Editor:

I was extremely disheartened to read the May 15 article "Hillel votes to take pro-Israel stance." For the Jewish population, at least as represented on this campus, to take such an intolerant view is indicative of why the larger conflict remains unresolved.

"Wherever we stand, we stand with Israel" is not a statement against peace but it is a statement that inhibits it. I imagine that some accept Israel's actions because they lend to preservation of the state. Much of the existing conflict is due to the inability to let go of traditional mindsets that refuse concession. Is the broad idea of the "state of Israel" one that should be valued above human life?

While I understand the connection that American Jews feel to Israel, I believe they, as well as Palestinian supporters, need to examine the current situation, and not just rely on opinion that have been long engrained in their culture. Supporting Israel thoughtfully and supporting it blindly are hugely different things. I would hope that the students who voted at Hillel will take a critical look at this imperfect state.

A student in the article was quoted as saying, "If we, as diaspora Jews, do not voice our support for Israel, no one will." I believe that if we, as the most educated elite of the world, cannot embrace compromise and open mindedness, no one will.