Different perspectives on controversy

By Aliza

Editor, the Gauntlet,

Re: “Controversial Perspective,” Jan 30, 2003.

It is interesting to note the contrast in behaviour at recent Palestinian student and Jewish student sponsored events in Canada. Although the Neturei Karta is as unrepresentative of “Jewish perspective” as snake handlers in the Southern United States are of “Christian perspective,” Jewish students did not prevent Rabbi Weiss from exercising his right to free speech. Did Palestinian students give the same respect to Benjamin Netanyahu when he came to Concordia?

Although Palestinians are happy to point to the Neturei Karta as some kind of condemnation of Israel, we have to recognize that the Neturei Karta have their own theological agenda quite separate from the Palestinians. The latter, however, serve as a useful tool to further this religiously-inspired agenda.

Perhaps we only hear oppositional Jewish voices in this conflict because Israel is a democracy.

Despite Rabbi Weiss’ stated opposition to the state (which in other countries would be viewed as treasonous), members of his organization live in Israel as citizens with full rights including free speech. I’m not so sure that Palestinians expressing pro-Israel views would have such rights within the Palestinian territories, or the rest of the Arab world for that matter.


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