Tuesday, September 24

Submission: USAC resolution represents paradigm shift

On Oct. 14, UCLA’s Center for Middle East Development hosted an event called “At the Negotiation Table: What are the options? Israel, Palestine and the US Role – A Discussion with Ambassador Oded Eran.”

Eran, the head of the Israeli negotiation team with the Palestinians in 1999, deputy director general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the former Israeli ambassador to the European Union and NATO, spoke about the history of negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians. He commented on each of the attempts to resolve the conflict, beginning with the Oslo Accord in 1993. Noting the failure of each summit to reach a comprehensive solution acceptable to both parties has led Eran to advocate for a paradigm shift. Peace, he argues, can be achieved by building mutual respect, understanding and trust through smaller, yet substantive, agreements. In the simplest terms, Eran argues small steps can lead to big changes.
UCLA also needs a paradigm shift.

We must move away from what has become the status quo – rash resolutions, spiteful rhetoric and marginalizing demonstrations. These things hurt our campus by exacerbating the divide between different communities and creating a hostile environment for students to express their opinions. Actions, and sometimes inaction, taken by the Undergraduate Students Association Council regarding the conflict have left students, on both sides, feeling dissatisfied and disillusioned. As councilmembers are urged to take one side or the other, they struggle to understand the nuances and complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

And this summer, I realized why.

I traveled to Israel with the Anti-Defamation League. In the interest of full disclosure, the Anti-Defamation League, whose mission is “to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all,” is a pro-Jewish, pro-Israel organization. In Israel and the West Bank, I learned about the history of the region and the conflict. I met with Arab Muslims living in Israel and Jews living in the West Bank, and every combination in between. Through lectures, but mostly through conversation and dialogue, I gained an appreciation for the histories on all sides of the conflict.

A forthcoming resolution notes the inherent complexity and comments on it, saying that each side has the right to respect, self-determination, and most importantly, peace. What that peace looks like, weeks or years from now, is something that we cannot decide. But what we can decide to do is support all of our peers and their diverse thoughts, opinions and experiences.

We can do that by passing “A Resolution In Support of Positive Steps Towards an Israeli-Palestinian Peace.” The resolution acknowledges the numerous perspectives and narratives that surround the conflict. It also recognizes the hardships that different communities face because of the conflict. Perhaps most importantly, the resolution heeds Ambassador Oded Eran’s advice to change the paradigm.

It moves this campus toward fostering an environment conducive to respectful dialogue and meaningful discourse. The resolution creates an inclusive campus climate that does not demonize, vilify or threaten significant portions of our community, as previous resolutions both here and around the University of California system have done. It seeks to create new relationships and redefine old ones by building rapport rather than animosity, consensus rather than division, and respect rather than hatred.

This resolution is not the solution to our campus climate issues, and it is certainly not a framework for peace, but it is a positive step toward both, and I am proud to be a sponsor.

Singh is a third-year economics and history student and the Undergraduate Students Association Council General Representative 2.

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  • LOL @ U

    I loved the way you tokenized your experiences in Israel to justify leaving Palestinian student opinion out of the resolution

  • tt

    I literally have no clue as to why an Indian like you, whose native country faced similar or even worse tactics and imperialist consequences by the English, would rush to the defense of the oppressive regime of Israel. Absolutely absurd. Think about it when your head (or rock) hits the pillow. You’re kissing the upper echelon’s ass, why?

    • show me your tt’s

      most replies that begin with “I literally no have clue as to why an Indian like you…” imply that you have “literally no clue as to why” many things are the way they are.
      Your divisive language is inappropriate and unnecessary.
      Cool your jets, brah

    • Keep it Constructive

      Can you elaborate on how this is “kissing the upper echelon’s ass?” Also I don’t think that insulting someone’s intelligence is a constructive form of discussion. Do you disagree? Additionally, US and UN consensus is not that Israel is an “oppressive regime.” Regardless, the resolution is neither pro-Israel nor pro-Palestine, and is rather pro-peace.

      • Michael Ben-Ari

        US and UN consensus should not be automatically taken as truth. And the consensus of the UN security council has been one of condemning Israel for its myriad human rights violations, but the US has used its status as a permanent member of the security council to veto every attempt: http://www.phon.ucl.ac.uk/home/geoff/UNresolutions.htm

        The resolution frames itself as a neutral document, but in prohibiting divestment and supporting companies that “support peace talks”, it shifts attention away from what many feel is the most urgent issue -the continued violation of Palestinian human rights. Yet, what council member could stand against a resolution that markets itself as a simple agreement to support dialogue.

        Despite the pretty label of “Positive Steps Towards Peace” this is nothing but a clever political move to hamper efforts towards BDS on this campus. Let it be clear. The form of the resolution at present is decidedly pro-Israel and anti-Palestinian.

        • Arafat

          Israel should also withdraw immediately from the United Nations
          (whose full name seems more accurately to be UNAI, the United Nations Against
          Israel) and help found a robust league of democracies, a new body where human
          rights violators don’t preside over human rights councils and where blocs of
          Islamists and communists don’t dictate to progressive republics. The UN might
          have arguably been the greatest endeavor man ever embarked upon; instead, it is
          a tiresome farce run by malevolent circus clowns. This is one club to which the
          Jew, and the Jewish State, should not belong and not wish to belong.

          • evasmagacz

            I agree with you. Israel should withdraw immediately from UN – it made farce of all promises (not least about having Constitution and set borders) which it broke within 24 hours of being admitted.

      • evasmagacz

        It should have been fellatio the donkey to save Israel, as per The Daily Show.

    • Arafat

      Well maybe, just maybe, it is because few people know better (than Indians) about the horrors of Islam.

      Hindus (Indians) once lived peacefully in what is now Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Today all the Hindus of Afghanistan have been wiped out by Muslims and most of those in Pakistan and Bangladesh have also been wiped out.

      Some historians believe 80 million Hindus have been killed since the Islamic Crusades began in southern Asia.

      What do you think, tt, does that give Singh any right to speak out?

  • LOLing @ LOL @ U

    Sunny is the sexiest man alive. The haters can suck it.

  • Kevin

    well put

  • Confused

    Better yet … why doesn’t USAC just stay out of this issue? They have zero power or influence on this issue and should not be wasting their time on a resolution that will change absolutely nothing once it is passed.

    • Moshan

      The hilarious thing that as a non-white goy, Sunny Singh would be deemed a ‘demographic timebomb’. In fact, many non-Jewish workers inside Israel(I’m talking within the green line) even have to sign a contract promising not to impregnate or even date Jewish women.

      I have not seen Sunny, but if he is among those Indians with a slightly darker complexion then it is likely he would have been called a ‘kushim’(n*gger) in open streets. Even in “liberal” places like Tel Aviv this is very common, much more common than it is in even Southern states like Alabama or Mississippi today.

      Then you have the fact that you can’t usually get a job unless you’re in the army, which is for Jews only. Or that many schools refuse to accept non-Jews. And so on, and so on.

      Yet Sunny went on a propaganda trip and is now a changed man!

      I feel bad for you Sunny. If you’ve lived in Israel you’d be treated like brown trash. In fact, they even have a word for it; arsim. They are losing the fight for a reason, so they use a brown-skinned boy like you as a token, and as a shield. And you gladly allow yourself to be pimped by people who would treat you like blacks were treated in the Jim Crow south if you lived there. That is, if you could even be able to settle in a country which would screen your bloodline and deem your race as insufficiently pure.

      • Max

        If you’re genuinely concerned about the experiences of dark-skinned foreigners in Middle Eastern countries, let’s compare Israel with its neighbors. There’s a reason that East African refugees risk their lives to get TO Israel when they pass through the Arab countries–e.g. they’re used as target practice by Egyptian border police.

        And, here’s a though experiment: would you rather have the experience of a Jew living in an Arab country, or that of an Arab (or African, or Indian) living in Israel? I’ll give you a hint: one of those is straight-up dangerous. That’s why the Arab countries have lost 99% of their Jewish populations since the mid-20th century. The Jewish communities in most Arab countries these days are either wholly non-existent, or they consist of a few dozen elderly people who are afraid to leave the house on a typical day.

        Israel is by no means a utopia, but let’s have some perspective and not single Israel out for condemnation, as Israel is far better than her neighbors on this one.

        • evasmagacz

          Israel is not an utopia, it maybe is an utopia for Jews that like to live in supremacist Jewish and “democratic” State. For experience of other people, you need to just imagine what it would be like for Indians in White Christian and Democratic USA.

          • Max

            Are you likening Israel to the U.S.? I happen to have very high opinions of both of those countries.

            Please point me in the direction of a country that you think is an actual utopia. Or at least suggest some countries that Israel should try to emulate. Other Middle Eastern countries would be especially appreciated.

          • Stop the excuses

            There is no excuse for racism, especially if the government seems to advocate it. So stop the excuses.

      • Wrong

        These are nothing but lies. Where do you read this? Not any kind of objective source, I’m sure, because none of it is true.

        • evasmagacz

          I am sorry to tell you that just protesting that something is a lie does not make facts to go away. It worked before Internet. Not any more. Not even if Israeli government continues to pay an army of hasbaristas. Mind you, if Sheldon “nuke Teheran” Adelson were to buy Internet or at least Google, you could bury what you are doing to Palestinians. But not before. Not any more.

      • Fact Check

        Correction: The IDF is not “just for Jews.” There are Arab-Israelis who proudly and voluntarily serve in the IDF to defend their country (and by their country, I mean Israel).

        Mandatory conscription is just for Jews; I’ll grant you that part is true.

  • ya3aly ana

    Wowowow, you travelled to Israel with the ADL. You’re completely unbiased then.

  • ya3aly ana

    Also, how is passing this resolution supporting “all of our peers and their diverse thoughts, opinions and experiences?” Seems to me this resolution supports a very small group of students on campus. I think it’s safe to argue that the majority of the campus has little knowledge or attachment about the Occupation, and if they were better informed, they definitely wouldn’t want to support a resolution that indirectly advocates for the marginalization and discrimination of the Palestinian people.

    You also claim that “The resolution acknowledges the numerous perspectives and narratives that surround the conflict.” How is that so? Were Palestinian students and supporters consulted on the resolution? The resolution is being presented by Avi Oved, who *just* so happens to be a member of Bruins for Israel. Clearlyyyyy, the resolution is in the BEST interests of EVERYONE and not just Israeli students/supporters (note:sarcasm).

    Anyways, this article is complete BS.

    What a disappointment it is to have USAC members who clearly are more interested in their own issues than the interests of ALL students on campus.


    • Arafat

      Let’s pass a resolution against Islam. Here are some reasons to do so.

      * Muslims (in the name of Allah) have destroyed Sudan. Killing a million people, gang-raping women and even pre-pubescent girls and forcing millions into refugee camps. Of course we all know these Muslims also steal the food intended for these camps.

      * Muslims (in the name of Allah) have killed tens of thousands of Christians in Nigeria. Gang-raping and kidnapping and forcibly converting as well.

      * Muslims (in the name of Allah) have killed 5,000 Buddhists in southern Thailand during the last several years.

      * Muslims (in the name of Allah) have killed millions of themselves inclduing one million killed during the Iraq/Iran War, over 100,000 in Syria (although they have also killed many Christians there), and countless others in markets and at funeral processions or wedding celebrations throughout the Muslim world.

      * Muslims (in the name of Allah) have declared their intention to commit genocide against the Jews of Israel.

      * Muslims (in the name of Allah) have destroyed Somalia and reinvigorated piracy off its coast.

      * Muslims (in the name of Allah) are ethnically cleansing what is left of the Hindu population in Pakistan and Bangladesh.

      So let’s divest from Islam until all its adherents can act like people instead of as blood-starved hyenas.

  • mxm123

    Never met Palestinians in their enclosed “cages”……Sunny ? That would have been like visiting Apartheid South Africa to meet the white folk who would then parade a few approved coloreds in front of u to pretend how “free” they are.

  • mxm123

    Small steps or big lies by Ambassador Eran ? Sunny, did it ever happen on your vast intellect to ask Mr Eran, why Israel continues to take Palestinian land, while pretending to be all for peace ? That would be like a nigerian email scammer continuing to withdraw money from your account while “negotiating” with u.