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Stop printing toxic letters

Letter to the Editor | Thursday, September 14, 2006

Matthew Hamilton continues to contribute his toxic opinions to the Viewpoint and the editorial staff continues to publish them (“Down with the Klan and down with Israel,” Sept. 8). I can only fear what this says about the moral fabric of the student body.

His conflation of the current nation-state of Israel with American civil rights issues is one of the most confused and benighted moral equivocations in recent memory. He is incorrect in his assumption – and it can only be that, unsupported as it is by anything even alleging to be factual – that the real issue here is one of race. I would venture to guess that he believes the real issue in every disagreement to be racial.

I have two objections to make to his delusive pretense at argument. First, reducing Israel’s conflict with the surrounding nations to one of race is a gross oversimplification that itself suggests deep-seated racism on Hamilton’s part. The Middle East consists of at least half a dozen major ethnic groups, all ethnically distinct: Arabs, Syrians, Persians, Kurds, Egyptians (along with other North African groups), Turks and more. Persia and the territories to its east and north consist largely of Indo-Aryan groups that share a racial history with the peoples of Europe. Lumping all of these together under a single ethnic group displays ignorance to a degree that makes one wonder why Hamilton is concerned at all. Additionally, accusing the Israelis and their leadership of being white supremacists is absurd on the face of it as Israelis aren’t white.

Second, as Hamilton displays such intractably paranoid anti-Semitism, one wonders exactly why he feels it worth his time to accuse anyone else of being racist. His discussion of the relationship between Jewishness and Zionism – the latter being a largely exploded myth with no serious credibility – is so ill-structured as to be impossible to refute by virtue of its sheer ineptitude.

I would implore the editors of The Observer, the official student publication of an officially and concernedly Catholic institute, to refrain from countenancing such immoral race-baiting in the future. It does nothing but unnecessarily inflame discussion with unrelated issues and has no place in serious academic discourse.

Ryan Davidson

graduate student

Sept. 12