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Workshop titles are reflective of shocking racism towards Zionism

Shabnam Piryaei Berkeley
Monday September 03, 2001



Perhaps many read over the quote from Hillel member Scott Newman, (Campus activists call for end to ‘Israeli Apartheid,’Aug. 31) about the Zionist workshops recently held which left a few students feeling “a little undereducated.” However, as a member of Students for Justice in Palestine, one workshop title proved to be quite disturbing. This workshop, titled “Dealing with Muslim and Palestinian Groups on Campus” is shockingly prejudice, and simultaneously reflective of the double standard nature of media towards Zionism. Neither am I a Muslim, nor am I Palestinian, however, I sincerely take offense at the topics on which the Hillel members are being trained, and the black and white nature in which it is being presented. 

The overly simplistic view presented in the article of Jew vs. Muslim is strategically misleading from the real issues: the denial of the Right of 

Return for thousands of Palestinian refugees for over 53 years, the U.S. funded Israeli warplanes bombing Palestinian villages, hundreds of Palestinian schools being shut down. The list goes on and on. And yet the Hillel continues freely naming their workshops “Dealing with Muslim and Palestinian Groups.” Had Students for Justice in Palestine titled one of their workshops “Dealing with Jewish Groups on Campus,” what would the reaction be? Their would be a mad outcry of anti-semitism, and rightfully so. However, does that mean that prejudice and ignorant generalizations towards Muslims deserve no name? My participation in Students for Justice in Palestine is not to fight a religious battle, nor to win a battle of “how to answer” this or that organization. I am a part of this movement because I refuse to deny the rights of the blatantly oppressed society of Palestinians, as with so many other colonized societies. 



Shabnam Piryaei