Final Word: The Violence Must End

Everyone has a stake in stopping the lawlessness in the extremist settlements of the Occupied Territories. by Emily McNeill ’08

“I watched the tears well up in Ahmed’s eyes. I was alarmed, hoping this 75-year-old man, who had spent 40 years in an Israeli prison, wasn’t about to break down in front of three internationals and his adolescent son. But then Ahmed buried his face in his hands and began to sob. I sat, silent, on a plastic chair in his sparse living room baking in the August heat. After a minute he looked up and spoke again. “What can we do?” he repeated over and over.

Across the street Israeli settlers in their teens and early 20s had been camping for almost a month. We were in Wadi Nasara, a valley outside Hebron in the West Bank, where the youths had set up tents on Palestinian land next to an olive grove. They occupied the area in shifts around the clock, intermittently attacking Palestinians and internationals who passed by their camp, throwing stones, kicks, and punches.

Settler violence here was nothing new, but since this camp had been set up the situation had worsened. It had been a particularly bad few weeks for these families who, in addition to living under military occupation, have the misfortune of living near some of the most extremist Israeli settlements. Attacks were taking place almost daily. We had already heard of many of them: a 79-year-old man stoned and beaten, a donkey stolen, children attacked at a wedding.

On most maps the West Bank is a kidney-shaped area in the middle of the Jewish state. At one time the map could reasonably be drawn this way, with distinct territories and borders. Today that map is irrelevant; a more accurate depiction of the West Bank looks like a piece of Swiss cheese, with Palestinian land broken up by more than 120 Israeli settlements

These holes represent not only confiscated land, but also pockets of unchecked violence. I witnessed the effects of this violence this summer, when I worked in Hebron with Christian Peacemaker Teams, an ecumenical organization that works in conflict zones documenting human rights abuses, nonviolently intervening in conflicts, and supporting nonviolent direct action. Much of the violence CPT deals with in Hebron and the village of At-Tuwani is settler attacks against Palestinians. There were 551 such incidents of settler attacks against Palestinians as well as Israeli soldiers in 2007, and 429 in just the first half of 2008, according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. Since 2007 Israeli civilians had killed five Palestinians (two of whom were trying to attack settlers when they were killed). Rarely do Israeli police and military challenge this violence: a mere 15 percent of attacks in 2007 ended in a charge, according to Israeli police (fewer than 10 percent, according to an Israeli rights group).

In Wadi Nasara, police allowed the settlers to remain on Palestinian land and failed to either prevent or respond to attacks, even though they were happening regularly and were being reported to police. The Palestinians I spoke with there were universally frustrated. With soldiers and police turning a blind eye to the violence, there was nowhere to turn for justice or relief. “I just want one day of a normal life without settlers and occupation and soldiers,” one father in his 40s told me. “Just one day — not even two — and then I can die.”

The trauma of violence is not confined to the Palestinians. It is shared by extremist settler communities who conceive of their existence in the West Bank as a battle for “Eretz Yisrael,” a Jewish state stretching from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean. They feel threatened by Palestinian attacks — which in the past two years have killed four Israeli civilians in the West Bank — as well as by official Israeli support for a Palestinian state. Their vision for Israel is under attack, and they are waging war for it.

The teens camping by the grove reflect the mentality of their communities, which is both belligerent and defensive. Once, when a group of settler boys was blocking us from passing, my Palestinian American teammate told one of them he hoped they would someday live in peace. “I hope someday I will kill you,” the boy responded.

These youth have the support and example of adult settlers throughout the West Bank. The incidents of violence this summer were shocking — homemade rockets fired at a Palestinian village, a farmer tied to a pole and beaten, a shepherd’s tent and possessions stolen, Palestinian children on their way to summer camp chased and stoned by masked (adult) settlers. Such attacks have become part of normal life in the more extremist settlements, and neither Israeli authorities nor settler communities seem willing to challenge them.

But challenge them they must. When it comes to Israeli settlement activity, much more is at stake than the allocation of land and resources. Unchecked settler extremism is fostering a culture of violence that shapes the perspectives and experiences of everyone there. Its legacy will touch West Bank communities — no matter their ethnic composition — for generations to come.

As a student at Ithaca College, Emily McNeill edited Buzzsaw magazine, was a Park Scholar, and played cello in the Symphony Orchestra. She now lives in Washington, D.C. Read more of her observations from the West Bank at



This is absolutely MADDENING and not what I wanted to read in my alma mater's magazine. What about Hamas who have rockets come in to Sderot and Beersheva and other Israeli cities? Hamas is a terrorist organization that targets civilians. Israel is a country defending itself and tries to target terrorists.

It is nice to see alternative and personal opinion of world conflicts. Much of the violence Ms. McNeil writes of many of us have the fortune to keep at a keyboard's reach distance.

Kudos to IC View for publishing what might an uncomfortable look into complex,the ugly,and frankly the unknown.

To say that the topic of Israel and Palestine is a touchy subject is an understatement. I do believe that Israel is a country defending itself, but couldn't the same be said for the Palestinian side. I am proud to have opened this issues IC View and read about a fellow alum's experience in this situation. I myself was raised by Israeli parents, brought up in a Jewish household, and currently work for a Jewish NGO, but believe that what this article is doing, is providing its readers, which all share a connection with McNeill as being alumnus of IC, with a different side of the issue. Upon reading this article I did not get a sense anti-semitism, but rather a call to end the violence which often accompanies extremism. And it appears that McNeill saw it first hand, unfiltered by the media, and we should be so lucky to have the opportunity to read about in our alma mater's magazine. Because after all, the magazine is further extending what Ithaca College provided us with, an opportunity to open up a dialogue about issues concerning race, religion, politics, war, and social justice, just to name a few.

It is wonderful to see ICView publishing a different and much needed voice on the occupation of Palestine. This is precisely the type of dialogue that makes me proud to be an IC alum. I think it is important to note that this article is discussing Israeli settlement violence on innocent Palestinians, not the actions of Hamas.

Thank you for sharing Emily’s thoughtful reflections about her experiences with Israeli settlers and Palestinians in the West Bank. I am among the many Jewish people in the United States and Israel who are quite disturbed by the actions of these violent settlers. In fact the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem has delivered cameras to Palestinians in the Hebron district so that they can photograph these incidents and seek some justice from the unprovoked assaults. You can view the videos at On October 23, 2008, the Secretary-General of Peace Now, a mainstream Israeli organization, urged Defense Minister Ehud Barak to order a wide-scale military and police operation against what he called "the settlers' terror” ( While the settler violence is seldom covered in the U.S. mainstream media, on January 25 CBS aired a very revealing and courageous documentary about this issue on “60 Minutes,” which was produced by U.S. correspondent Bob Simon At IC Emily was educated to use her writing talent for responsible truth-telling. I hope that the IC administration and alumni will stand by Emily and IC View, even if some may attempt to silence her witness.

Thank you to the ICView for publishing Emily's article. Her experience in the West Bank provides us with important insight into the realities of this occupation. As an IC student I traveled to the West Bank and upon my return worked to bring various perspectives of this occupation to the IC Community. I am excited to see this type of dialogue continuing, especially in the wake of such appalling atrocities in Gaza.

In response to Naomi, I agree that this whole thing is maddening - which is exactly why it should be in our alma mater's magazine. You are correct that Hamas is doing horrible things that are inexcusable and must end. This article is not countering any of that; rather, it's giving us a deeper perspective for understanding the full context that causes tension in the region. While at Ithaca College, I traveled to Israel as part of my study abroad program, and I'm very thankful for my own opportunity to see things firsthand. That was ten years ago. I'm glad to know that more recent students and alums are also encouraged to study and write about issues regarding Israel and the conflicts in the Middle East. That's the only way to bring peace to the region, which is what we all want! Keep this stuff coming

Clearly this issue is not a simple issue - it is one that involves people's lives to the deepest core. I think that Emily is pointing out one injustice of the conflict, without victimizing one side or the other completely. That's the thing about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict - both sides have victims and perpertrators. That doesn't mean we should stand for perpertrators on EITHER side. It is perfectly fitting and apt for Emily to point out. Thank you, IC View and Emily, for having the courage to speak truth.

I would like to thank Emily McNeill for her political and moral courage in writing this piece and the IC view for publishing it. It's a very careful analysis of an enormously complex problem and I hope that it will get us to rethink some of the received wisdom on the issues Emily has discussed.

As for some of the negative reactions to it, if people only wrote stuff with which we could all agree, it would not only be a dull world, but, also a dangerous one. Besides, just because we don't agree with something, doesn’t make it wrong or give us the right to try and punish the people who said it.

Some years ago, the Ithaca Quarterly (as this magazine was then called) published an essay by me, "Why do they hate us?" Many alumni not only rushed to attack me and the editor, but, a few launched an effort to get me fired. By the time the Bush administration left office, even some of his Republican supporters were saying some of the same things I'd said. Of course, it took eight years of the Bush government to get them there.

It's too bad that views like Emily's don’t get a wider circulation in the U.S. As a result, many people think these views are aberrant or heretical. The truth is that thousands of Jewish peace activists, both in the U.S. and in Israel, are saying some of the same things she is. I'm not sure how many more people need to die in order for us to put aside our ignorance, egos, and blinders and admit some simple things as well.

Emily, thank you for your candid account of what you personally witnessed when working in Hebron with the Christian Peacemaker Team. This is information that rarely gets aired in our mainstream media. Your piece is a plea for "both sides" to end the violence in this region. Violence begets violence. You definitely earned your Park Scholarship. And, thank you, IC view for having the courage to publish this article. I can rest assured that the Park School at Ithaca College is doing its job. It is truly an incubator for free speech, a platform from which educated views can be expressed.

When I saw that amazing musical SOUTH PACIFIC many years ago I was moved and also saddened by the message in the song: “You’ve got to be taught to hate, you’ve got to be carefully taught”. As I read Emily McNeill’s report of her visit to an Israeli settlement area that tragic message from SOUTH PACIFIC came to mind. What a tragedy that people wanting to live quiet, peaceful lives suffer! Perhaps there is an almost equally tragic situation that nurtures young people in an atmosphere that enables hate to thrive.

I am old enough to remember the establishment of modern Israel and the euphoric hope. Soon we saw that outside forces had made decisions with little thought given to how families already in the area would live.

Ms. McNeill has given me a chance to read a very personal and fresh account of a segment of the complicated situation in the Middle East. I’m pleased that IC View has brought this account to IC alumni and friends. Perhaps this account can be the impetus for us as individuals to make at least some small contribution to finding a way for peaceful, productive living in the area.

I would like to thank IC View for publshing Emily McNeill's well written,
thought-provoking, and extraordinarly compassioate article. Over the years, many people from the Ithaca community have returned from the West Bank with similar accounts of unprovoked violence against Palestinians. Most disturbing are accounts of children being subjected to verbal and physical abuse by people who call themselves "settlers." I have no real idea what might motivate anyone to think they have a right to insult, harrass, and attack children. I do kinow that violence begets violence. Emily's article challenges readers to think about new ways of bringing long-term adversareis together in the Middle East. I hope to see the day when Palestinians and Israelis can live side-by-side in peace. When that happens, we will have courageous observers like Emily McNeill to thank.

It’s inspiring to be associated with a college that turns out brave graduates like Emily, who go to dangerous locations to report firsthand, factually and vividly about human rights abuses and the search for peace.

I would also like to join in support of the publishing of Emily's heartfelt and honest account. As a fellow IC alumn and someone who has also spent time in the West Bank, I applaud the honesty and sincerity behind Emily's words.

It is certainly not easy to bear witness to such atrocities and call for peace and lasting hope. Her account, and the accounts of many others working for peace, exposes the reality on the ground that both Palestinians and Israelis face. This reality must be understood if we are to push towards a just and lasting peace in the region.

Thank you to Emily and to the IC View for their courageousness in publishing this article and opening up an opportunity for real dialogue on this most pressing issue. It certainly makes me proud to be an Alumn. I encourage the View to continue publishing pieces such as this in the future.

Let me applaud Emily McNeill on her thoughtful and well written article. I am the son of an Israeli, and I'm deeply concerned about what the current Kadima government (as well as its likely replacement) is doing to jeopardize the possibility of peace and a workable two-state solution.

And let me also say I am puzzled, and saddened, by President Rochon's response to Emily's piece.

His response blurs the boundary between two separate questions:

a) whether the correct editorial procedures were followed in publishing the piece; and

b) whether a piece sympathetic to the plight of Palestinians in the occupied territories and critical of Israeli settlers is "appropriate" for ICView.

I'll leave it up to the editors of the magazine to decide the answer to question a). What's really at issue here is question b). And I wish President Rochon would be a little more candid in addressing it.

The vehemence with which President Rochon insists that the correct editorial procedures were not followed strongly suggests that what's really motivating his apology to ICView readers is his largely unexpressed answer to question b). That is, it's hard to escape the conclusion that he has prejudged Emily McNeill's article as "inappropriate" because it does not present the Israel-Palestine issue in a "fully informed and unbiased manner."

That last phrase seems fairly transparent code, alas, for the conviction that any piece critical of Israeli policy cannot be "fully informed and unbiased" and, indeed, presents "only one view of the situation." This apparent even-handedness can all too easily disguise the assumption that "fully informed and unbiased reporting" must be pro-Israeli. I wonder whether President Rochon would have been so quick to condemn the ICView editors' supposed breach of editorial procedure if the Final Word piece had argued that the Israeli devastation of Gaza was simply an act of self-defence against Hamas?

An appeal to procedure is frequently an alibi for the kind of bias that President Rochon claims to abhor. Now, I happen to believe that "unbiased reporting" is something of a fantasy, designed to dignify one's own perspective as "objective." But I think one can still be informed in one's inevitably partial perspective, as Emily McNeill evidently is -- and as I would want any reporter to be. And I would certainly expect a reporter to be candid about the position from which she is speaking, which again Emily McNeill evidently is. It's such candor that is sadly lacking from President Rochon's response.

So please, President Roche: lay your cards on the table. Is your response simply about editorial procedure? Or is it really about censuring -- and censoring -- critiques of Israeli policy in ICView?

Keeping in mind this is a sensitive issue, I just don't see how this article can be accused to be one-sided. If this was Emily's experience, this was her experience. How else was she supposed to tell the story? This article seems to be a heart-breaking account about struggle for restoration of peace, not one aiming to make sweeping generalizations about all people of a nation.

I for one am proud as a senior Journalism / Politics double major and also a Park Scholar that a fresh alumna has been able to see and report on a different side of a devastating issue that is USUALLY distorted as shown by the mainstream media. Thanks, Emily, for writing this. And thank you, ICView, for running this.

Is this the same Ithaca College that I attended? The same institution that houses the Park School of Communications and is supposedly teaching young people about journalism? The same institution that hosted Matt Taibi this past Monday? If it is then I am saddened and concerned.

I appreciate Ms. McNeill's descriptions of what she witnessed while in the West Bank. Being so far away from the strife in the West Bank it is hard to get an idea of what is really happening there. Her article shed some light on one person's experiences while in the region. I feel the article in no way took a side but rather reported what she found in her time in the West Bank. Thank you Ms. McNeill.

What concerns, and even shocks, me is that this piece inspired apologies from the new president of the college Tom Rochon as well as ICView editor Maura Stevens. I have read Ms. McNeill's piece several times and still cannot find anything that seems inappropriate. Now, I assume that the apology of Ms. Stephens may not be sincere and she may have been pressured to issue the apology in order to protect her job. Then again, the editor's apology may be sincere. I ask both Ms. Stephens and Mr. Rochon: What exactly in Ms. McNeill's writing inspired these apologies? She wasn't showing support for Hamas.

I should point out that I personally have not taken a side in the on-going conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Unlike many of my fellow Americans, I feel I do not know enough about what is truly happening there to take a side. The mainstream media in the US rarely tells of the side of the story as seen by people living there. Ms. McNeill's piece is just one more person's description of what they witnessed while in the region.

Perhaps Mr. Rochon's apology was inspired by the college's concern for how Jewish-American alumni and donors may react to the writings of Ms. McNeill. In his apology Mr. Rochon states: "There are processes for editorial review of articles in ICView and they were not followed in this situation. We are taking action to strengthen our processes around the review of content for ICView.". I ask you, Mr. Rochon, just what are these processes and if they were followed just how would that have effected what Ms. McNeill had written? Do you believe in the First Amendment? Do you not feel that a college (and a college publication) is not the appropriate place for a civil discussion of current events?

There is a similar dialogue going on right now within the Cornell community that was sparked by a student editorial in the Cornell Daily Sun two weeks ago. Here, the dialogue (while heated at times) is encouraged and continues. It seems that the president of Ithaca College and the editor of this magazine view this dialogue as inappropriate. It is this mindset that hinders any hope that all sides of this on-going story will be told and that in time, all the residents of the West Bank will live in peace.

I would like to echo the eloquent support of many of my fellow alumni. Emily's article places no blame, but simply calls for the end of extremism and violence. I am deeply disappointed that our new college president would even think to apologize for the firsthand account of an Ithaca alum's experience.

Emily, thank you for your article and I admire you for taking so many risks to help in this divided area. President Rochon, please do not cast a shadow over the Park School's journalism program and Ithaca's publications with your call for censorship. Allow our campus to be a forum for debate, for knowledge and for learning, not for simply discussing topics that are easier to digest.

Emily, thank you for this engaging first-hand account.

I find President Rochon's response to your article absolutely detestable. I can't believe that the institution I call my alma mater is bowing to political pressure and wants to censor these opinions, especially ones calling for PEACE. I am ashamed of Ithaca College.

It is most disheartening to witness the drama playing out in these pages. Ms. Emily McNeill’s article is neither one-sided nor irresponsible. The issue here clearly is not the Israeli-Palestinian situation but instead the purported integrity of Ithaca College. I was amazed and pleased to read the article; I felt the ICView was respecting its readers by presenting an honest, well-written and important, albeit controversial, viewpoint. A college’s most important duty is to prepare its students as best it can for the real world, and Ms. McNeill is a shining credit to her alma mater and should be congratulated, not dishonored in such a fashion. To do so, especially with an article whose only purpose is to call for an end to violence, is reprehensible. I see no reason for apology. But what troubles me most is the effect this will have on current Ithaca College students. Students look to those in charge for life examples, and I fear that in this case, deniability and running from controversy are the lessons Ithaca College students will take away with them.

Thank you, Emily, for bringing this honest account of what you saw and experienced last summer. Of course there are other points of view on the subject -- there always are. Unfortunately, accounts from this side of the conflict are underrepresented in American journalism , so it is heartening to see ICView give them a forum. I am, however, disheartened to read President Tom Rochon's response suggesting that the college should have censored this article. That is the kind of thinking that leads to political and social stagnation of ideas, to distrust and hatred, and to the kind of misunderstanding that fosters conflict. Instead of suggesting that something like this not be published, perhaps as an institution of higher learning Ithaca College should be embracing discourse and exchange on this and other subjects that are, of course, uncomfortable and difficult.

Bravo, Emily.

I hope the controversy you've stirred doesn't discourage you in any way.

Keep up the good work.

I find myself confused and angered by President Rochon's rather terrifying mea culpa, in which he apologizes for allowing the publication of an article that, while failing to meet his flimsy criteria for a "fully balanced and unbiased" piece, nonetheless provides a crucial and much-needed glimpse into an aspect of this conflict that remains woefully, tragically underreported: the human cost endured by Palestinian civilians in Gaza. It requires courage beyond my reckoning for a woman to insert herself into a an area and a situation as dangerous as that one, and it takes true wisdom for that woman to be able to report on her experiences in a way that evocatively describes just a few of the countless tragedies that befall the citizens of Gaza every day, without resorting to anti-Israeli rhetoric. Emily's piece does not purport to be an objective analysis of the conflict. It does, however, do an admirable job of forsaking the polemics and the propaganda in favor of ground-level reporting that captures a little bit of truth. That her reporting should be perceived of as unfairly slanted against the Jewish state says less about Emily and ICView, who have fulfilled their obligations to the academic community by offering a provocative contribution to a continuing dialogue, than it says about those who would react with hostility to this perceived bias and, less flattering still, those who would apologize for such an act of journalism being published.

That Emily's courage and wisdom has been met with such hostility by my alma mater's president is incredibly unsettling. Certainly we should expect from our academic institutions a level of maturity and mental acuity that far surpasses that of the ineffectual mainstream news media, which frequently allows the matter of "balance" to get in the way of reporting the truth, and which all to often litters the airwaves with noxious, "unbiased" opinions spewed by those who would have no aptitude in legitimate debate even if they had the opportunity to participate in one. I second the opinions of my fellow alumni and former professors, who have inquired as to the reasoning behind President Rochon's letter, and would also second their call for him to more adequately explain himself. The current rationale falls woefully short, for reasons professor Harris has explained, of any legitimate threshold for being taken seriously; the idea that a piece of journalism should be apologized for because it did not contain a proviso specifically stating that Israel has a right to defend itself is laughable. Most of us have televisions and can witness such "balanced" provisos in every ounce of network and cable "debate" about the region; more importantly, all of us have brains and are completely capable of rendering our own judgments on the issue. It is President Rochon's unwillingness or inability to recognize this final point that is the most troubling part of this episode. Does he not understand the important role that unfiltered discourse plays in coming to a better understanding of this conflict? Is he really suggesting that a dialogue is better served by silencing or manipulating one side of the argument? Does he really think that as an administrator he is in a position to determine (on his own or with the help of an editorial review board) which opinions are worthy of entrance into his narrowly defined arena of debate? Does he honestly believe that Emily's article is going to make me pro-Hamas? And what does it say about him if he does believe that?

As a former Pendleton Scholar and graduate of the communications school, I was heartened to see that there are corners of Ithaca College that still promote and nourish true dialogue, no matter how uncomfortable, in the interest of better educating its students. It was this emphasis on reasoned, dialectical analysis that made my four years at Ithaca worthwhile. It is because of this emphasis that I was able enter the professional world with a true education that has allowed me to succeed where others have failed. The already-suffering standard of debate in this country has endured a royal pummeling in the last couple of decades, and it is the responsibility of an institution like Ithaca College to hold itself to a higher standard, to demand more from its charges. An institution that fails to do this has no business asking students to fork over hundreds of thousands of dollars for an education they could just as easily get for a $50 monthly cable bill.

Mr. President, if you truly feel that Ithaca College remains a place where healthy debate is encouraged and practiced, then do what a responsible administrator should do: encourage its practice, defend it (and those entities, like ICView, that publish it) most strongly when it provokes outrage, insist that those who are outraged stand up and speak out for themselves and not attempt to control the debate by calling for censorship, and leave the interventionism to the more nightmarish imaginings of Orwell.

Emily, this is excellent article. Your account is both inspiring and educational. You clearly have a keen understanding of journalistic integrity. Your words bring us all a little closer to humanity. Thank you.

Thank you for publishing “The Violence Must End” by Emily McNeill. It is so important that her voice and perspective be heard! Regardless of which side one favors in the conflict in Israel/Palestine, the reality is that violence never resolves any issue well. Even if it appears to eliminate the immediate problem, it leads to others that pop up elsewhere or later.

As Martin Luther King, Jr. so eloquently reminds us, “The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. So it goes. ... Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

Thank you, Ms. McNeill, and thank you ICView for having the courage to state these controversial but essential truths.

I cannot help but sympathize with my fellow scholars' concerns. I would stop in fear of sounding like an echo, but I don't think it can be said enough times: President Rochon, with the greatest respect, your apology and the apology of the editor of IC View for publishing Emily's article is extremely distressing.
The Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College has a reputation for its exceptional education of students in Journalism and other areas of Communications. It also has a wonderful history of producing intelligent and capable alumni concerned with the state of our nation, international issues, and humanitarian rights. Emily is obviously proof of that, and her work and words have inspired many people.

While I can see that some readers with deep prejudices may be able to interpret her emotional account of what she experienced as biased, I personally believe that she did her best to keep personal biases from insinuating themselves into the article and the only firm political ideal expressed was a wish for the end of violence and the arrival of peace to a conflicted area. Is there really another side to represent than that? Should Ithaca College provide fair representation by publishing articles justifying the violence, supporting Hamas, or exonerating Israel for their part in the conflict? I think we can agree that the answer is an emphatic "No!"

If IC View feels the need for a disclaimer that Emily's, and that of other contributing authors, point of view is not necessarily that of the magazine, than a simple statement within the publication would suffice. For my part, Maura Stevens has been the editor responsible for IC View for a number of years, and I cannot help but think that she must be competent with following editorial procedures as this is the first time that an issue has been flagged. I don't think official apologies for a heartfelt firsthand account of a tragic situation are really necessary and issuing them threatens not only the integrity of the publication, but that of the college as well. In addition, it is an extreme insult to Emily, the alumni community, and the current students of the school to have the article made the topic of such a ridiculous show of cowardice on the part of the administration for fear of sparking too much controversy, or debate, in an academic publication.

Thank you Emily for sharing your experiences. When I read President Rochon's response I was appalled. This is a liberal arts campus. I have been privileged to spend the last four years studying politics here with faculty who let me speak my mind, form my own opinions, and argue for what I believe is right and just. The attempt to apologize for an article that needs no apology is outrageous. The diverse opinions of students, faculty, and alums should be welcomed, not shunned. We should be embracing Emily's work - she is a talented writer and scholar, and Ithaca should be proud of her willingness to write about her experiences with candidness. What we should not tolerate is intolerance itself, when it comes to diverse viewpoints. ICView should never become a single-minded "view". IC has graduates all over the world with a whole host of opinions, so to suggest that there is a specific lens with which writers must see is preposterous. In this case, Emily should indeed have had the final word.

Dear Friends,

I read Emily McNeill's (08) essay, "The Violence Must End" and both President Rochon's response and the editorial apology.

Perhaps the essay should have been reviewed prior to its publication, but, may I ask, for what purpose and by whom? If, in the future, you would like to have such essays "reviewed" then please, do not hesitate to ask me to do so. As both an IC graduate (1988) and a 15 year resident of Jerusalem and citizen of Israel, with expertise in the matters addressed by Emily (I am a long time human rights worker) I can attest to the fact that her essay presents an accurate reflection of the situation here as it presently stands, and, in view of the most recent election results, it is likely to get worse.

An objective observer would be hard pressed to discount the effects of 41 years of what has been a repressive occupation and the ongoing building of settlements and appropriation of land in order to serve the settlement policy.

Perhaps an opposing view to that of Emily's could try to make the case that the Occupation is not so bad or that the settlers to which Emily refers are not so violent (these same Jewish settlers even attack soldiers and police officers, often with their faces covered and with impunity). I would be happy to review that view for you.

So, given that there is certainly an opposing view to Emily's the practical matters must then be faced. Would you have had to search out an IC graduate who lives in a settlement in order to approach him or her and gain that view? Following which, the principles of journalism come into play: Must every editorial or opinion piece have an opposing view published at its side? Or, as is the case in any other topic, is it not enough to publish an article and then wait for readers to respond in an open forum, via letters to the editor or even in their own "Final Word" column? Perhaps the issue of Israel/Palestine is a special one that does not deserve the the same level of free expression? Perhaps it must be monitored to make sure that the wrong voice is not heard? If this is the case in an IC publication than I must wonder what happened since I was there?

I was extremely dismayed after reading, "The Violence Must End" by Emily McNeill. If the ICView is presented as the magazine of the Ithaca College community, I must protest that this emotionally driven article certainly did not express my views. McNeill is attempting to peddle her biased "observations". This is a very complex issue and she should have acknowledged that tears have been shed and lives have been lost by people on both sides, and she didn't.

I am dismayed and embarrassed by this piece of writing. McNeill was allowed to air her personal beliefs in a non political magazine. We are encouraged to "read more of her observations from the West Bank". I can't help but wonder why anyone would possibly want to.

Lois Brooks
Class of 1968

As a Park School alum, I am disturbed by President Rochon's response. Emily's piece was published in a section of IC View that seems to be reserved for opinion (hence "Final Word."). The college's interpretation of an op-ed piece as needing to be balanced and unbiased calls into question whether the college itself is editorializing and trying to set the terms for the debate and dialogue President Rochon stresses are so valuable to the college community.

The most disturbing part of all this is Tom Rochon's decision to establish an "editorial review board." While IC View is not considered part of the student media community on campus, as an alum I consider the level of media freedom a hallmark of not just the Park School but the campus as a whole. I am very concerned that a poor precedent will be set with this decision.

I would like to echo the sentiments expressed by many above in commending Emily McNeill for sharing her experiences in the West Bank with the Ithaca College community. Writing about such a complex and emotionally-driven topic -- and dealing with the controversy that comes with it -- takes a lot of courage. I'm happy to know that there's an outlet such as IC View within the Ithaca College community where alternative opinions and personal reflections are able to be expressed.

That said, as a soon-to-be graduate of the Park School, I was dismayed to read President Rochon's apology for the publication of Emily's article. What makes the IC alumni community -- and the magazine that reflects it -- so interesting is that the people represent a number of differing opinions, experiences, and ideas. The college president's need to apologize for the experiences of a member of that community is disturbing.

I hope that in spite of the controversy this article has caused Emily's call for peace will not be lost.

I'm not sure to what extent I can shed any more light on this debate, but I'd like to take this opportunity to commend both Emily McNeill and Maura Stephens for using the space in ICView to shed an oft-shuttered light on the conflict.

As to the concerns about the article's content, I think we should all take special note of Louis Frankenthaler's comments. As a resident of Israel and one who works for peace in the country, Mr. Frankenthaler has unique insight, and if he says Emily has portrayed the situation correctly, I will give his comment special weight.

One more thought: it is not uncommon for "one side" of a particular debate to appear in the "Final Word" section. I wrote an essay for the section some time ago advocating a particular stance on the U.S. immigration debate. I have seen others taking stances on issues ranging from environmentalism to campus construction. I don't remember an outcry from readers who were concerned that room wasn't given for a rebuttal to claims about, say, the role of certain substances to global warming (a topic which has been covered in "Final Word"). This young woman told her story as accurately and fairly as she could, and she ought to be commended for her bravery and peace work.

After editing Buzzsaw with Emily for two years, I know that she writes in order to get the truth of the situation that she is covering. I would like to commend Emily for her bravery and dedication to an issue that is highly contested by both sides.

That being said, those who find this article offensive must find the idea of ending violence offensive, because that is what Emily is advocating. The criticism of those who want to perpetuate violence against any race, religion, or ethnicity is the criticism that I would ignore.

I am a former IC faculty member (Politics Department, 1986-89) and currently professor of Politics and chair of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of San Francisco. Everything in this article is consistent with the kinds of things I have observed in my visits to the West Bank as well as what has been documented in reports by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other human rights organizations, including such Israeli groups as B'Tselem.
Perhaps President Rochon has information that contradicts such findings which would require more "balance" in the article. If so, he should make them public. Otherwise, it appears to be an effort to suppress expressions of concern about human rights abuses by governments which are considered strategic allies of the United States. It reminds me of when I taught at IC in the 1980s when some people objected to those of us who were raising concerns about human rights abuses in El Salvador.
Just as it is wrong to unfairly single out Israel for criticism, it is unfair to single out Israel as somehow being exempt for criticism.

Some of ICView's readers don't want to see articles in the publication that don't represent their views. If this is the publication of the IC community, and the author is a member of this community, does she not deserve a voice? I don't believe in excluding opinions, especially those that concern such a complex topic, simply because they don't represent the whole. I'd like to think IC is a place where a wide range of opinions are held; we shouldn't ignore any of them.

Garry Thomas said,

It is Emily McNeill's personal view that settler violence on the West Bank should be stopped. It is not the viewpoint of the alumni magazine nor of the college, merely because her essay appears in IC View, as President Tom Rochon suggests.

Clearly Emily was an accomplished student at the college. She has an important story to tell about her experience in Hebron on the West Bank. (She was not writing about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in general.) The essay was well written. Why shouldn't it appear in our alumni magazine along other accounts of alums who have gone on to make us proud?

That being said, since when is the opinion that "unchecked settler extremism is fostering a culture of violence" on the West Bank one-sided or unbalanced? As Emily points out, the Israeli press has reported on settler attacks on Palestinians in Hebron similar to the ones described in her essay. She also acknowledges that settler communities experience the "trauma of violence." But in Hebron, she says, the violence is disproportionately perpetrated by settlers. Many international observers agree. Even President George W. Bush took the position that the expansion of settlements on the West Bank contravened the Oslo road map obligations and repeatedly called on Israel to remove "unauthorized outposts" and end settlement expansion.

I recently attended a presentation in Ithaca by Neal Wecker, a well known local musician and Ithaca Festival stilt walker, who performed last October in numerous towns on the West Bank with Olive Tree Circus. ( Neal's accounts of the ruses used in acquiring parcels of Palestinian-owned land, settlers' violence directed at their Palestinian neighbors, and the Israeli military's confiscation of land – all in Hebron – were very similar to Emily's.

I wonder how often over the years, alumni protests to the president of the college have resulted in such sudden changes in policy. Or reprimand. One case I can think of occurred in the early 1970s, when some alumni heard that the college had extended an offer to Reverend Dan Berrigan to join the Department of Philosophy & Religion. President Ellis Phillips very quickly intervened and had the Dean of Humanities & Sciences rescind the offer. Now there’s a story that also belongs in IC View!

I applaud the IC View and Emily for this essay. It’s much needed rare perspective on a vital issue.

This situation is a perfect example of the Israeli double standard, which we see in the corporate media where anyone who may have something to say about Israel which isn’t good is shut out/censored etc. I urge anyone who would like a rare and unique look at the Israeli/Palestine conflict to look up Chris Hedges. (
While in the corporate press Israel is almost always portrayed as the victim, there is a lot of information that puts Israel in the place of the oppressor. The idea that this extremely light essay prompted apologies from the President and the editor demonstrate the sad state of affairs regarding Israel and Palestine. The President seems to be showing loyalty to money or alumni, certainly not to journalistic principles (which I don’t think he knows much about.) Does IC have an impeachment option because this guy is definitely not up to leading this school let alone a magazine’s editorial page.

By the way, there’s no such thing as “un-biased” reporting/writing. Everyone has biases. However, anyone regardless of their biases can write objectively, which Emily seems to have done.

From the bottom of the page: "ICView is published in the Office of Marketing Communications at Ithaca College.

Draw what conclusions you will.

I think it is a mistake not to allow such publications as Emily's to appear in ICView. The situation in the middle east is very sad and the whole world is in crisis. Even Ithaca College is going through difficult times together with every one else. Being a Israeli with 27 teaching experience at IC and being raised as a child of Holocaust survivors I understand and feel both sides which are really just one side. I am sorry for the people that put pressure not to publish these kinds of points of view. The reason why it happens is that it is very difficult to face the truth and the same is true for many Israelis. The transformation that South Africa went through after the apartheid was abbolished is similar to what Israel has to go through. It is a process.

A question that I ask me fellow Israelis when visiting Israel is:
"Could you perceive as a possible prime minister or president of Israel a Muslim arab who is broad minded and the best for the job" If not why not?

I understand our presidents position and even though I do not agree with it I hope that this article will foster dialog and other forms of communication/action that will help the overall healing process that will include EVERYONE.

Dani Novak,
Math IC

I rarely read the IC View but was home sick from work one day and picked it up. I enjoyed reading the first 47 pages but needless to say, the last page made me even sicker. The violence that must end is the violence that is perpetrated by the so-called Palestinians against the Israeli's. Ever since Israel became a state, the Palestinians have sought its destruction.

Without getting into all the details about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, certainly the back of an alumni magazine is not the appropriate place for this "view." I think it shows poor taste and bad editorial skills to publish an article on such a topic, regardless of what side of the fence you are on, in an alumni magazine.

Thanks to the IC View, I had to take another day off of work because the article by Ms. McNeill made me even sicker, and the thought that the IC View would think this is reasonable to publish is nauseating.

Joel Cheskis
(Embarrassed to be) Class of 1993

I am deeply saddened by the three comments above that wish to suppress Emily's voice simply because the article did not cater to their opinions. It may be difficult to hear contradicting opinions at certain points in your life, but it is the only way intelligent discussion of complex issues can come about. I take no side on the issue because I myself am not informed enough on the matter, but I guarantee you that I would not want to form an opinion based only on censored material. I applaud ICView for publishing an article which would no doubt garner controversy in their on going effort to let former alums have their voices heard. Nothing in the article warrants an apology from the editor, but I do not fault her for giving one. I fault President Tom Rochon for demanding such an apology. It is utterly despicable that President Rochon would feel the need to form a review board to censor the magazine based on this article. It shows an inability to listen to differing opinions which can only speak to how he must be conducting business for Ithaca College. President Rochon, I urge you to apologize for your unbelievable response to this article and unreasonable demands of its editor.

When I first received an email about a student journalist experiencing problems for an article she wrote for a school paper, I thought of my own experience in high school and a scabrous article I wrote on the state of the music program there. In that case, the director of the music program called my parents, and my parents accompanied me to meet the director and discuss the article, so that I felt comfortable remaining in band.

Your article is on a much greater topic of world significance--the subject of Palestine--and I find it detail-oriented and well-observed, and the reaction to it by the College President and the backpedaling by the editor of IC View remarkably disproportionate. As a member of the Society of Professional Journalists, and the American Civil Liberties Union, I pledge you my support and encourage you to make use of all resources at your disposal to defend your article and question this censorship policy--even as I recognize that in a country that still allows slavery under the Constitution, more than freedom of expression is required for positive social change. If it is true that President Rochon fired the director of a peace and justice studies program over inviting Archbishop Desmond Tutu to speak on campus at his previous employer, rest assured that you are on the winning side of history. Perhaps you will find materials at the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation useful and can refer to CBS's recent segment on Israeli apartheid.

Having lived in Israel for a considerable amount of time and having Jewish heritage, I know the instinctive response to support Israel whole-heartedly. I still love Israel and consider myself an Israeli. However, we must recognize that Israel has not taken the high road in this conflict. Its blatant human rights abuses are what deeply sadden me, not this article. In this country, there is an undeniable bias toward Israel which leaves us blind to the Palestinian perspective.

What I always tell people is, if you, as a freedom fighting American, were removed from your land, placed in small camps that have gotten increasingly smaller through the years. Camps where your water, resources, food, and electricity were not only being regulated by someone else, but were being withheld from you. What would you do? If diplomacy did not prevail, and you were not sitting atop nuclear weapons? If all you had was a few small weapons and your own life? Would you resort to violence to protect your freedom, your children's freedom, your lives?

I do not condone Palestinian violence. However, I recognize their plight. Mostly, I am aware that it is easy for us to judge sitting high in our ivory tower.

What bothers me most is that this article doesn't even mention the provocative points I have made. It clearly speaks of one woman's experience. Her voice should not be muted, and editors, presidents, and institutions should not be chastised.

I was very disturbed as I read Emily McNeil's account. I think that there are many untruths and distortions in her article, and I particularly find the following line offensive:

"Since 2007 Israeli civilians had killed five Palestinians (two of whom were trying to attack settlers when they were killed)."

Is Emily saying that when Palestinians attack Israelis, the Israelis have no right to defend themselves?

Does Emily realize that Palestinian Arabs living in pre-1967 Israel have full citizenship and voting rights in Israel? Yes there are Jews currently living in the West Bank. Has anyone noticed that the so called two state solution asks Israel to keep millions of Arabs within her borders (which Israel accepts) but refuses to allow even one Israeli to live in what would be the Palestinian state? For two thousand years, Jews have always lived in Jerusalem, Safed, Tiberias and Hebron (except for Hebron from 1929-1967, when the Arabs committed a pogrom and murdered all the Jews living in there. Some righteous Arabs secretly hid Jews and helped them excape to safety). And yet if an Israeli wants to live where Jews have lived for 2000 years, the Israeli is labeled a settler - as if this type person is subhuman.

Under President Clinton, the Israeli Prime Minister Barak met with President Arafat and agreed to cede 97% of the West Bank, all of Gaza, and East Jerusalem as the capital for the Palestinian state, but President Arafat rejected this offer. I refer any interested readers to Dennis Ross's book "The Missing Peace".

In 2006, Israel pulled out of Gaza completely. But instead of building a state, money was spent for weapons, because Hamas does not accept the right of Israel to exist. Hamas's charter calls for the destruction of the entire state of Israel.

The Gaza war did not occur in a vacuum. For the last eight years, the Gazan Arabs shot over 6,000 rockets at Israeli civilians. Over one million Israelis live within rocket range of Gaza. Every day, Israelis in the south send their children to school knowing that their children may be killed or maimed by a rocket. Israelis sit down to dinner only to find a rocket crashing through their ceiling. For eight years, Israel showed restraint. But something had to be done to show Hamas and the Gaza population that life could not go on like this and that Israelis were not going to be sitting ducks. The recent Gaza War aimed to get rid of the weapons smuggling tunnels and try to lessen the grip of Hamas on power in Gaza. At the very least, to show the Gazan population that if they were going to comtinue firing rockets at Israel, they would have to pay a price. Israel has every right to defend the lives of its citizens.

It is very sad that there were so many civilian casualties. But much of this was due to Hamas's ruthlessness - hiding behind civilians, storing weapons in mosques, shooting at Israelis from courtyards next to UN schools. And Israel would never have needed to go in had the Gazans not shot rockets daily at Israeli civilians for the last eight years.

Hamas kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit 2-1/2 yrs ago and has never allowed even the Red Cross to visit him.

I would like to see Emily visit Sderot, and Beer Sheva, and Ashkelon. What have these civilians done that they have to live with fear of rocket fire on a daily basis? I am tempted to ask, are Jewish lives worth less than others?

In 1982, I was in northern Israel when rockets were shot from Lebanon into northern Israel and we had to take refuge in bomb shelters. The two state solution is the answer, but the Arabs have to accept Israels' right to exist. Both Israelis and Arabs have historical ties to the land and both these ties should be respected. Israel is still waiting for that partner for peace.

This is not the appropriate place for this kind of an article. I am infuriated that it was allowed to be published. These kinds of opinions should be saved for Op-Ed pieces not for the ICView which is sent home to students, parents and alumni.
urthermore, free speech has its limits. The interpretation of the First Amendment by the United States Supreme Court has ruled that the First Amendment does NOT include offensive language, or "fighting words" much like the ones that offended me in this article as well as on the posters that SJP, a group I believe Emily is a part of, have plastered around campus.
As the editor of another editorial, Emily should be aware that it is important for writers to use their discretion when publishing controversial topics. This consideration was obviously not taken.


Just to the comment above. It's not that Emily was saying it was okay for those two Palestinians to have been attacking the Israelis...her point that less than half of them were killed in legitimate cases of self defense by the Israelis. Yes Hamas has done awful things, but all Palestinians are not Hamas. Not all republicans supported Bush, not all democrats supoirt gay marriage, and not all Americans support the war. Why is it that a piece supporting the uninvolved Palestinian civilians is offensive? If she'd written "death to Jewish people" it would be different. She didn't, so why are so many people reacting like she did?
The debate this piece should have sparked is one about the role of civilians in war and how they are always the losers regardless of outcome. Instead this has become a debate about what qualifies something as fit for publication. The tragedy here is not the suppression of Emily's article (though that is terrible); the tragedy is that the wrong debate has begun.
~ Edward Donovan - Class of 2012

In response to the comment two above mine from "Offended Ithaca College Student"

Emily's article does not contain offensive language OR fighting words. Please open your eyes, she states that there should be peace. Not just to the Palestinians but to Israeli's as well. Additionally, Emily is a graduate so she can not be a part of SJP and SJP is a peace organization. Why should only one side find peace? Why should just Israeli's be in safety? The innocent civilians on BOTH sides deserve to live in peace and safety.

-IC 2011 Student

I find it a bit odd that an article published concerning the life experience of the author has raised such a fuss. In reading all the comments I find it strange that only one comment was written by someone with Israeli citizenship. The only thing I wish for the author that she now go back to the Middle East and spend a season with an Israeli family.Ride the Egged busses from Arad to Beersheva,shop in the shuk,spend Shabott in Jerusalem.Then write another article on this life experience. Then we can all see valid points on both of your life experiences and in closing do not stop writing for any reason. Shalom,Shalom

IC View is suppossed to reflect the views of the college for promotional purposes. This is an not the appropriate place for this article to be published. Ithaca College is a private institution and therefore the First Amendment does not apply because we do not get government funding. Everyone who is concerned with freedom of speech should probably go and look up the restrictions and applications of this Amendment.

Regardless of what position Emily took on this issue, this is not the place for this kind of an article. These kinda of issues should be saved for the Ithacan, not a piece of promotional material for this institution.

To anyone who calls this article "horrific" or "terrible":

You are only upset because this article doesn't reflect YOUR views. This is an eloquent and well-written essay that is very important and inspired thought in alumni and students alike. The fact that this article is inspiring censorship at a school that is renowned for its journalism program is horrifying. It makes me feel sad to be a current IC student.

Thank you Emily for writing this.

One entry found.

Main Entry:
big·ot Listen to the pronunciation of bigot
French, hypocrite, bigot

: a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices ; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance

I just read this column today. I cannot believe it was published in an alumni magazine. If people want to debate Israeli issues, there are plenty of forums to do that. This should not be one of them. I want to read about how my fellow alumni are doing, not some biased reflections by a person who evidently feels settlers throwing rocks is somehow equivalent to Hamas shooting rockets.

What an astounding shame it is to see Tom Rochon's "response" to the essay, which demonstrates that academic thought, debate and freedom of expression are being stifled at my alma mater.

When I first set foot on the IC campus in 1977, there were students chanting "divest, divest" and protesting against IC's investments in multinational corporations that were supporting the South African apartheid. This freedom of academic expression led to the college divesting and boycotting corporations who were oppressing South Africa.

Now we have a nation that is oppressing Palestine in an even more egregious way, and Emily cannot openly discuss her first-hand experience of witnessing the devastating effects of this modern day apartheid without being attacked.

A brilliant essay, an important eyewitness report, and given this article's prominence on the internet, I'd say Emily and IC Quarterly have inspired a global debate. Unfortunately, a civil debate about the topic appears to not be possible at Ithaca College, my alma mater. How depressing.

From the Mondoweiss blog, a comment on Emily's article and how the College is handling it:

A shocking story.

1. Emily McNeill graduates from Ithaca College last year and visits the West Bank with a Christian Peacemaker team. She writes a fine, earnest piece for the college's official magazine about Israeli settler violence against Palestinians.

Unchecked settler extremism is fostering a culture of violence that shapes the perspectives and experiences of everyone there.

The piece gets tons of response, including many favorable comments.

2. The College president, an obvious lightweight named Tom Rochon, issues a lengthy apology, including this:

There is an appropriate way to discuss controversial issues in the alumni magazine, a way to share with you the academic dialogue on campus, the experiences and opinions of our students and alumni surrounding an issue. However, in this case we failed to do so in a fully balanced and unbiased manner.

3. The magazine's editor for the last 12 years, Maura Stephens, writes an "apology" that deserves long excerpt because it is such a monument of skulking pusillanimity:

I not only didn’t exercise the best editorial judgment, but I didn’t follow editorial procedures. Instead I ran the story without having anyone else on campus review it first.

I was remiss in both cases. For this I am very sorry, and I am particularly regretful that people who are close to Ithaca College and care about it passionately feel hurt by the institution. The institution is not to blame. I am the only one at fault here.

The last thing I intended was to fuel more conflict.

Maura Stephens, editor

Note that all this surrounds an article about an illegal occupation and pogroms in a foreign country halfway round the world. And it demonstrates why it is impossible to discuss the corruption of American foreign policy and journalism without talking about rightwing/even liberal Jewish money, the loss of which the president and the editor obviously fear.

You are brave in showing the true. The true is that The Violence Must End.

You prove an additional point: We have among us a small but powerfull bunch of zelots who are dual citizens. Unamericans who do not care about human rights, who promote stealing land and torturing poor people.The Violence Must End.

Congratulations Emily. I would like to see a fuller article by you. I recently spent a month in the West Bank. I stopped to talk to a Palestinian farmer -and returned to my car to find my two front tires had been slashed by settler youths in the clothing of the Orthodox Jews. They surrounded the car and were threatening me. It was quite terrifying. It seemed my crime was to be friendly with a Palestinian. Eventually, after many pleas, the police mounted an armed guard around my vehicle and ordered the Israeli youths away. I have since discovered - from a video these youths put on Utube - that they believe God gave them this land and thus that they had rights to this farmer's land - a man who told me his ancestors had been there at least since the time of the Crusaders.
Later on I met some Christian Peacemakers in the southern part of the West Bank. They told me that they were there to escort Palestinian children who were being stoned by the local Israeli settlers on their way to primary school.
In Jerusalem, a Palestinian working for a Jewish school told me that every day he prayed for a land where Jews, Christians and Muslims would live side by side - in a truly democratic state.
The strongest critique of the Israeli state came surprising from some Jewish Israelis that I met. They told me they feared if Palestinians did every win the"two state' solution, that the Palestinian state would be so fragmented, so impoverished, that it would be effectively a "bantustan' - like those of apartheid South Africa. I also found that the critiques of the Israeli state often published in Heeretz, a major mainstream Israeli newspaper, were such that I think they could not be published in the USA without being acccused of being anti-semitic.
I also spent time in the Israeli settlements as well as in Israel proper. I went there to educate myself on what was happening in a land that I was brought up to call the Holy Land.
Janine Roberts

Don’t contract the IC View, expand it!

I am happy that IC is not likely to respond to Emily McNeill’s article with any increased editorial oversight or other penalty for those involved. If this occurs, now or in the future, the outcry of anger the college just experienced will pale in comparison to the one that follows, as Emily’s article clearly falls within the stated mission of the IC View.

If the “Final Word” heading offended you, this can be easily changed. In addition, given the overwhelming research that shows that the majority of news coverage emphasizes the Israeli perspective, can we really question whether a few articles anywhere that address the other point of view are a few too many?

If it was the substance of the article that bothered you, the goal of getting people on your side can be accomplished far more effectively by a reasoned response in your own article or through the online comments than by questioning our President or editor. Many of the major problems we face, from the state of our economy to the continuing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, exist because people want to stay comfortable and denigrate views that challenge their beliefs. We too often stick to examining a relatively narrow range of ideas, go to great lengths to justify past actions, and ignore hard choices about the future.

However, our alumni just showed that we are excited to discuss sensitive topics, so I propose that we actually expand the online or print section where we can share our opinions, regardless of how controversial they may be. I don’t need to agree with all of my fellow alums, I just want to know what they think so that we can try to break through the self-imposed bubble that allows the same problems to damage our world over and over again.

What do our theater or writing majors think of the strikes that have occurred? What do our business and economics graduates think about the causes and effects of our current crisis? Do our Park graduates have any thoughts on the massive changes in the areas of journalism, advertising, and television? What are the major stories and controversies taking place in the world of physical therapy, sports, sociology, and other fields to which we have sent our students? What a great example of our academic strength it would be to have a place where we could regularly have the same type of lively, occasionally contentious conversation that just took place.

We could quickly brush this all aside and return to the many other problems we face, but such a response could be appropriately defined as a commitment to the status quo. If we care at all about our stated claim of excellence, we should see this all as an opportunity, not a problem. A larger, lively alumni section highlighting our opinions on a wide range of controversial issues could be a great example of how our college is influencing people and society. It would also show that at IC, all opinions, like all alumni, matter.


What to say here...

Well, Emily, I wish we had people like you and with your brave insights during Hitler's reign to report and speak out injustices no matter where they occur. Perhaps many years of horrible and unspeakable events could have been avoided, or at least shortened, if the world chose to be more receptive to other perspectives rather than to bury its ehad in the sand and pretend seriously complex problems don't exist.

Every nation has its own skeletons in the closet. From our practical extermination of Native Americans, our endorsement of slavery, to today's continual denial of legal married status to homosexuals. Progressive minds require thoughtful insights of others who aren't afraid to speak out for the sake of change for the betterment for all. Emily's report is in the spirit of such change.

It's distressing to see that in the true spirit of journalism that your insights, experience and efforts go unappreciated and to some warrant an apology. I am greatly disturbed that there appears to be this horrid little spectre of censorship lurking in the dark waiting to silence a journalistic fourm. I see nothing wrong or inappropriate about Emily's article and the support given by Mr. Frankenthaler, Stephen Zunes and others tell me that her story has merit and is credible.

Yes, the Middle East situation is a very complex and frustrating process, but anyone who thinks that complex problems have simple solutions really need to adjust their perspective. They can start by reading informational content such as contained in your article.

After hearing President Obama's speech in Cairo, Egypt earlier this week, I am more than ever uplifted that for the first time a very clear statement of direction has been put in place which our country and hopefully the world can follow in the hopes and goals of bringing peace to this part of the world. In his speech, he charged both sides with several items, one of which bears repeating here, and I'm paraphrasing, "The US does not support any further Israeli settlement expansion".

Clearly this is an emotional charged controvesy, but I depend on all existing viewpoints to be presented in an accurate and informative manner so that I may be able to form my own conclusions and opinions. I am not hopeful that I will continue to acheive nor maintain this should external pressures be placed on its editorial direction and content.