Letter to the Editor: Criticism valid form of free speech

In response to Professor Ira Krull’s comments in “Middle-East Programs Often One-sided” (Jan. 10), I think Professor Krull and I agree on one issue: unintelligent and unwarranted criticism should hold no weight in any forum, academia being chief of them all. However, I am amazed at her view that criticism is equivalent to bias. Israel has been our “unquestioned” ally ever since its birth in 1948. Perhaps therein lies the problem.

We cannot trump our democratic ideals, work toward spreading democracy in other lands and attempt to stifle a key component of such an endeavor: the freedom of speech. Do not get me wrong: racist, unintelligent and ignorant remarks and comments are deplorable in all forms, but exacted criticism of an ally – or any country for that matter – should not be considered bias. One can disagree with the policies of the Israeli government; especially regarding their treatment of Palestinians, and not have an ounce of bias against that nation. Many of us here in the U.S. disagreed vehemently with our President’s rush to war in Iraq. Surely that does not make us anti-American. Too many times we are afraid to criticize, and cower in fear of disagreement with Israel because there are those ready to label you anti-Israel and even worse, anti-semitic. Let’s be careful about the words we use. I can disagree with you and yet enjoy your company over dinner.

-Ahmed Danso-Faried is a sophomore criminal justice major, Northeastern Black Student Association e-board member and Student Government Association representative.

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