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Council should take stand on UC suspensions

Khalil Bendib
Monday June 03, 2002

To the Editor: 


In response to your letter by Susanne K. DeWitt a few days ago, let me first strongly agree with one point: hate crimes are a dangerous thing and we should all be vigilant not to let a climate of mutual suspicion take root in our community. That much I agree with. 

However, to attack Councilman Kriss Worthington, who has always been at the forefront of the fight against hatred and injustice, and to claim that he's somehow fostering intolerance by doing so was a bit hypocritical and underhanded.  

While everybody agrees that the atrocities of the second World War were barbaric and terrifying, to always bring back the specter of a holocaust of 60 years ago in order to defend Israel's present-day atrocities amounts to little more than an attempt to shut down all voices of dissent and to assist Sharon's unspeakable war crimes. 

Please stop using the holocaust to justify Israel's unjustifiable murders of innocent civilians, and stop portraying people, Arabs, Jews and others, who protest those crimes as abettors of anti-Semitism and hate. By doing so, you are sullying the very memories of the holocaust victims you claim to mourn. 

The UC students currently being prosecuted have risked being deported for the simple exercise of their First Amendment rights, and that is why, if our country indeed stands for freedom, the resolution proposed by Kriss  

Worthington is so necessary. Non-violent civil disobedience is an honored tradition in our country, one that should not lead to such drastic consequences as deportation and a sudden end to one's education. 

Thank you, Mr. Worthington for your moral courage and honorable leadership in this matter! Berkeley is proud to always stand alone if need be for the values of justice and freedom. Please never let a vocal minority intimidate you by resorting to the same old tired, self-serving clichés. 





Khalil Bendib