To the Editor,
In Stephen Silver’s opinion piece regarding satirical comments made by Azka Fayyaz, Silver gets the facts so wrong and exhibits moral inconsistency so drastic that it is difficult to take his concerns seriously. First, the resolution does not blame “Israel for the impasse in peace efforts,” but rather blames Israel and its corporate partners for violating human rights and international law. These violations are spelled out clearly by the UN Security Council, the International Court of Justice and the 4th Geneva Convention.
Second, Silver attacks Fayyaz for her satirical support of Hamas, claiming that the satire was offensive given Hamas’s past anti-semitic sentiment and their actions. Silver cites Hamas’s 1988 charter, ignoring much more recent diplomatic developments, such as the acceptance of a two-state bargain and a long-term peace agreement offered by Hamas in 2006. Silver also condemns criminal actions perpetrated by Hamas but is silent on the far-more extensive criminal actions perpetrated by Israel. While Hamas has used terrorism to resist the occupation of Palestine, Israel has used far more deadly terrorism to impose it. Even at the height of the second intifada, Hamas’s most violent campaign, for every one Israeli killed by Hamas, Israel killed three Palestinians.
Silver’s arguments are also simply incomprehensible given his non-satirical support for Israel. Israel is currently governed by the Likud Party, whose charter argues for a Jewish “right” to colonize palestinian land and rejects any Palestinian state west of the Jordan river. This summer, Israel initiated a bombing campaign and ground invasion in the Gaza Strip which killed over 2,000 Palestinians, including 500 children.
Silver and his pro-Israel partners do not wave Israeli flags ironically or satirically, they do not wear Israeli military uniforms in their Facebook profile pictures as a joke, they do not support Israeli terrorist campaigns for kicks – they do these things in seriousness. And that is far more offensive than Fayyaz’s comments could ever hope to be.
Evan W. Sandlin
Political Science Graduate Student
Graphic by Jennifer Wu