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Read your history books

Hoang Phan SJP, Berkeley
Wednesday September 25, 2002

To the Editor: 

David Scharfenberg's story “Students Push Israeli Divestment” (Daily Planet, Sept. 19) was a good, balanced one. We of Students for Justice in Palestine, Berkeley hope that the regents read it. In particular, Regent David Lee should read the story. As a student of UC Berkeley, I was surprised to hear such an ignorant statements as Regent Lee made regarding the history of the conflict. His suggestion that the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians goes back over 1,000 years (almost 2,000, according to him) reveals his ignorance of the fact that the state of Israel was created in 1948. This is little over 50 years ago. Even right-wing Zionists will admit this historical fact. How do our Regents become administrators of the UC? As students and educators at this top institution, we would expect our regents to be more informed about the basics of history. Or at least wise enough not to speak on issues of which they are so little informed. To learn more, Regent Lee should also read SJP's divestment information (, which we gave to the regents, the statements from dozens of faculty members we gave the Regents, or at the very least, read something on the history of the conflict. It is because so many are ignorant of even the basic history of the conflict that SJP focuses so much of our organizing energies on education. We therefore invite Regent Lee, and all other regents, to our upcoming teach-ins. 


Hoang Phan 

SJP, Berkeley