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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

July 22, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

Opinion

Editorial misrepresents purpose of Israel Independence Day event

Regarding some of the information in the “We Are Here, We Are Here!” editorial — The Ithacan’s words characterized the celebration of Israel Independence Day as a response to student conflict on campus when it is anything but. Why is an event that occurs nearly every spring to which anyone and everyone is invited suddenly “controversial?” We’ve been doing this for years, and we throw a damn good party! For us it’s a celebration, not a political event or statement. Every year, those expressing the pro-Palestinian view on campus attempt to politicize our celebration, but they don’t get to set the ground rules on an event which is not theirs, nor does The Ithacan.

This year, when Hillel and Student Alliance for Israel host the outdoor celebration of Israel Independence Day on Thursday, April 26th, we are adding a Talk Israel Tent for people who want to sit down for a Sulha (Arabic for reconciliation): face-to-face with a cup of tea in hand to discuss, debate, disagree and argue passionately eyeball-to-eyeball. We will invite faculty and students to present the various views, pro and con, that float around campus in discreet silos. In our Sulha, the walls will come down and people who disagree passionately will have space to air their minds. This is a place where opposites may actually meet for a time.

Outside of that tent the celebration will go on — food, great music, crafts, information and friendship extended in every direction to all. The flag of Israel will fly in front of Campus Center. The entire campus is invited, and anyone can vote with his or her feet to attend or not.