Your Views: Letters to the Editor

Tech keeps its budget priorities straight

I came to Tech because this school had its priorities in order: to be one of, if not the best public university (particularly in the field of engineering), to graduate well-rounded individuals capable of performing well in an adverse and ever-changing market and provide services to students to make the collegiate experience more tolerable. The new Clough Undergraduate Learning Center is another way that Tech can project its image of educational leadership to prospective investors and students (who are also technically investors).

Seniors, think how much Tech has changed since you’ve been here. Could you have imagined such a transformation when you first arrived as a RAT; East Library renovation, a nanotechnology building, BME being nationally ranked after a few years in existence, the super CoC, the marching band going to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade or even Paul Johnson and the triple? Whether it was an advanced research lab, newer lecture halls or a new home for the ladies’ softball team, that kind of growth is attractive to people that could choose to invest their money elsewhere.

Of course that means Tech gets better students, investors, professors and more potential employers. While I understand economic concerns, education is consistently one of the best investments an individual person or organization can make (look up earning potential for individuals with and without degrees and the success of the G.I. Bill following World War II). In all honesty, it makes more sense to invest in Tech than [in] other government agencies that have already failed. And I hope Tech never loses that edge.

John Ball

Fifth-year AE

More to the debate on Israel and Palestine

As I read [“Your views: Perspectives on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict,” Jan. 30], each [letter] contains not only factually incorrect information and twisted logic, but most importantly, fails to recognize the true cause of the conflict.

To isolate the current conflict from the broader historical context misses the focal point of the current state of affairs. The question that would help to reach a resolution is, “What right does Israel have on the Holy Land?” A simple answer is that the United Nations created the state of Israel in 1948, though the Arab nations rejected the creation of such a state. A follow-up question would then be, “What right did the UN have to create Israel?” Again, the simple answer is that the British had conquered and colonized Palestine and therefore had the rights to the land.

In 1937, Winston Churchill commented the following about the Palestinians: “I do not agree that the dog in a manger has the final right to the manger even though he may have lain there for a very long time[…].” This is the ideal behind colonization, which is the foundation of this conflict. This is the reason that the Arab countries rejected the 1948 UN resolution. This is the reason that certain countries reject the creation of Israel still today.

Why are those who had nothing to do with the Jewish persecution during World War II being the ones that are mistreated and driven from their homes? The other [letters] speak of Jewish refugees from Arab lands coming to Israel. However, historical fact does much to reject this assertion. Jews and Muslims have lived in peace for centuries. There has never been large scale Jewish persecution in Muslim countries. There isn’t anti-Semitic invective spews from schools, mosques, or the mass media, although there might be anti-Israeli sentiment. Anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism are very different sentiments, though many choose to ignore this fact and lump anti-Zionist with anti-Semites.

Whatever the sins of this tragic recent war, it is another round in a conflict that cannot be solved by one-sided Israeli concessions. Ideally, there should be a Palestinian state alongside an Israeli one. That outcome won’t be advanced by blaming Palestinians for fighting back against a group who wants to expel the Palestinians and colonize the Holy Land. Whatever Palestinian mistakes and sins, most have been forced on it in wars of survival.

I do not support Hamas and I do not support the Zionists. I am not anti-Semitic and I am not anti-Islam. I only aim to present the basis of the conflict. I encourage everyone to research for himself, and not just blindly buy whatever sensationalist media tries to sell.

Arash Majdi

Graduate IE