Let a New Era Begin at UVM

America and Israel are staunch allies. We are allies because we have common beliefs in ideals such as democracy, free enterprise and basic human rights. We have both been forced to contend with terror and have both taken big hits economically because of it. The carnage continued this past weekend when another suicide bomber (from the radical Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine) struck a pizza store in a Jewish settlement, killing a 14-year-old girl and a 15-year-old boy and wounding 20 others. Israel responded by destroying Palestinian Authority buildings in the West Bank. The news seems almost repetitive from the daily violence that occurs there. But what is all the violence for? What is the background of the present situation? Well, there are myths and there are facts that surround this ongoing conflict in the Middle East. If we are to figure out which is which, there must be a fair representation of viewpoints on the matter. Bringing to campus lecturers who place all the blame on one side, speak half truths and even lie to promote their own agendas is irresponsible and does not help anyone figure out anything. Unfortunately, this has been the situation at our University. College is meant for academic dialogue and discussion, not propaganda rallies designed to evoke emotions of hate. Using one’s freedom of speech and abusing that right are two very different things. Fortunately, things are about to change on the UVM campus. Students are organizing to bring responsible, well-respected speakers to campus to address the war on terrorism, the Middle East conflict and other U.S. foreign interests. The first of such speakers is addressing the UVM community tomorrow evening on “Islam, Terrorism and the Arab-Israeli Conflict.” Dr. Mitchell Bard is an internationally recognized expert on the Middle East and has wrote several books on the subject, including Myths and Facts: A Guide to the Arab-Israeli Conflict and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Middle East Conflict. He will be speaking Wednesday at 8 p.m. in the Campus Center Theater. If you have been frustrated by the fringe, fanatical and fascist viewpoints that have dominated the UVM campus, you should be frustrated no more. The monopoly on discussion of foreign policy is over for these propaganda artists and their supporting organizations. Tomorrow at 8 p.m., a new era at UVM begins.