Palestinians want peace

In response to Ben Shlimovitz’s letter (“Israelis want peace,” Oct. 29), I would like to join Shlimovitz in encouraging “all readers to do some objective research before jumping on the bandwagon.” Unfortunately with his letter, Shlimovitz jumped on the bandwagon himself and included speculative and misleading information.

A pro-Palestinian is not necessarily anti-Semitic. Yet, we still hear false accusations against many individuals and student groups on campus as being anti-Semitic only because they support the Palestinian struggle for freedom.

Not agreeing with pro-Palestinians is different from calling them anti-Semitic or accusing them of wanting to kill all Israelis.

Shlimovitz’s letter adopts negative misconceptions by falsely claiming that the Palestinian leaders only want to kill all Israelis and rule the region.

It is not true that Arafat has executed 400 Palestinians and forced Palestinian children away from their families. Shlimovitz failed to include any specific data supporting his claims.

Shlimovitz also failed to mention Arafat was elected by a 74 percent Palestinian majority in democratic elections. Palestinians voted for Arafat because they wanted him to represent their struggle to create an independent state.

Although some Palestinians disagree with Arafat, they realize his legitimacy as an elected leader. When they feel he isn’t doing his job, they can decide whether they want to keep him.

I really hope that arguments between pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli groups would focus on ways to promote objectivity rather than creating a constant backlash.

Ayman Balshe, president, Arab Student Association