In an ad posted in the July 18 issue of the Minnesota Daily an Israeli advocacy organization, FLAME, argued that the concepts of “Palestinians,” “West Bank” and “occupied territories” were myths.
They toy with the definitions of these words so much that the local people who have lived in the region for generations fall into the category of “just Arabs” and not Palestinians. The Jewish immigrant citizens, however, recruited mainly from Eastern Europe and Russia, whose ancestors never lived in Palestine, became the genuine natives of the Holy Land.
After all, which is more factual and relevant: Their claim that there is no such thing as “Palestinians,” or the fact that millions of Arabs living in Palestine have been isolated in a small patch of land by physical and political walls for decades?
Denial of a nation, ethnicity or a specific group of people has historically been the main tool of racist politics and ideals. Any attempt to deem a certain group of people less equal and less deserving due to their race or ethnicity should not be given a voice in the media.
Salim Tarik, University student
Until the Facts and Logic About the Middle East ad, I was unaware that hate speech was considered acceptable for advertising at the Minnesota Daily.
According to a WESPAC petition, “In the ad there were three “Arabian fables,” the first being that the nationhood of the Palestinians is a myth. Palestinians are, by definition, the indigenous people of Palestine. Israel’s own records confirm their ancient presence there. Their nationhood emerged from a 20th century struggle for self-determination in their ancestral homeland.
Secondly, FLAME cites the concept of the West Bank as a myth. It is nonsense to say that the modern designation for any territory is a “myth.” “Judea” and
“Samaria” are two names for a highland region that has known hundreds of names. If some people wish to call the West Bank by older or newer names, they may. But this does not erase the Palestinians’ presence there, or their right to remain there.
Lastly, the concept of “occupied territories” is another of the many myths created by Arab propaganda cited by FLAME. This is an outright lie. Military occupation is not a myth created by Arab propaganda. It is a fact created by guns. Since 1967, Israel has been holding an indigenous population of millions under belligerent occupation, as Israel’s own international diplomacy admits.
The undersigned believe we live in a country where certain expression is out of bounds for intellectual honesty and decency. We do not attack people on the basis of their race, religion, ethnicity or national origin. It is unacceptable to deny the existence of the Palestinian people and their human rights, including their right to self-determination.”
If the Daily administrators believe that hate speech is acceptable, then the guidelines should be amended to say so. If not, you should retract it and apologize for your abysmal judgment in running it in the first place.
Mike Westberg, Daily reader
We have received several complaints in the last week regarding an advertisement paid for by the nonprofit organization Facts and Logic About the Middle East that ran in the July 18 edition of the Minnesota Daily. Before running the advertisement, our advertising staff came to a consensus that it contained a subjective opinion. As a paid ad, the opinions expressed in the ad do not reflect the views of the Daily as a whole or its staff.
We do care about effects ads may have on our readers and take them into account when accepting advertisements. We are under a year-long contract with a third-party national advertising agency that places ads for FLAME and other organizations. We don’t want to hinder our business relationship with that agency as they provide us with an array of other advertisements. This relationship has no impact on editorial content in the Daily.
As stated in our Standard Provisions, found online at mndaily.com/media-kit, we reserve the right to refuse any advertisement that could have a possible negative impact on the Daily’s readers. The advertising team will continue to thoroughly review ads placed by FLAME and other agencies on a case-by-case basis. We underestimated the impact the ad would have on our readers and apologize to any readers this advertisement may have offended.
Nathan Moen, Minnesota Daily business operations officer