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Op-Ed: GW Law student submission on SR-S18-21

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George Washington University

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Op-Ed: GW Law student submission on SR-S18-21

Submission about SR-S18-21

4.15.18

The following is a submission from Michael Azi Farr, GW Law student and president of the Jewish Law Student Association, regarding SR-S18-21. This opinion does not reflect the views of The Rival. The Rival does not take a stance.

Passion and emotion run high when discussing issues dear to our hearts - and the current divestment resolution in front of GW’s Student Association (SA) is no exception.

What may seem like a never-ending disagreement as to basic facts or public policy can quickly manifest into hate and exclusion of our fellow students and the community at large. We see this time and time again on this campus, and it’s our job as students and the next generation of future leaders to give one another mutual respect. And yet, the extreme and calculated divestment resolution before the SA aims to tear our community apart from within.

It is disheartening to see the microscopic focus on the Jewish State of Israel, without a single mention of Hamas - the terrorist organization holding captive the Palestinians’ rights to peace and justice. Those who propagate hate and bigotry in the hearts and minds of their youth, and whose money and resources go not to building a brighter future for its people, but towards terror and callous disregard for human life, do not deserve an abstention from the record. They deserve our rebuke and condemnation.

This application of holding Israel to a different moral standard than the rest of the world does not advance justice for the Palestinian people, nor does it make our sympathy for the Palestinian people any less genuine.

Ask yourself this: has this SA adopted a resolution condemning Assad's use of chemical weapons in Syria, Kim's murderous and starvation regime in North Korea, or the countless North African and Middle East governments preventing tens of millions of Muslim women from seeking equality and basic human rights?

There is only one reason for this spotlight on Israel. And it is rooted in anti-Semitism.

The division ever-so rooted in thinking about the worst of one another must come to a screeching halt if we are ever going to have a dialogue. Antagonizing and delegitimizing each other’s values or religion does not advance the prospect of justice for all.

Even after seeing similar efforts like this one unfold during my undergraduate years at UCLA and most recently on this campus, I maintain a fundamental belief that we can have a robust discussion where we all participate in, without fear of threat and divisiveness. One day that will come - I hope, soon enough. But it starts with us now.

Let's put an end to the infiltration of extremist views on our campus, and fight it back with sensible moderation, and as always, positivity.





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