A Society of Pan-Arabists

To the Editors of The Crimson:

It is with great astonishment that I read the Society of Arab Students' (SAS) polemical leaflet endorsing the now fossilized belief that Zionism is a form of racism.

This, despite the fact that the Society's incessant virulence has now become as predictable as that of the defunct Palestine Liberation Organization; there is hardly any wonder why their political stances throughout the past have borne uncanny similarities.

From the early days of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, the Society was quick to condemn the Allied military buildup in Saudi Arabia with nothing but a glib, listless condemnation of Iraq itself.

Just two months ago, the Society, with its supposed commitment to Arab affairs (a dubious subject) did not deign to offer its support for the Middle East Peace Conference in Madrid, Spain. And, now, the Society has once again disserved Arabs at Harvard with an offensive manifestation of its extremism and baseless understanding of the apodictic realities in the Arab world.

Doubtless, the extremism of the Society's political stances reflects its largely Palestinian makeup. Unfortunately, the homogeneity of Society members' political views--rabidly Pan-Arab with nostalgic memories of the golden days of Nasser--has hampered the Society from fulfilling the aims of its founders: to expose the "rich, cultural heritage of the Arab world," as well as to serve the needs of all Arabs at Harvard.

The Society has been relegated to acting as a mere political-interest group, spewing ludicrously contrived opinions as "Arab perspectives" and thereby embarrassing moderate Arabs such as myself and my colleagues in the Gulf Arab Alliance.

In respect to dissenting Arabs, perhaps the Society of Arab Students ought to give serious consideration to changing its name to the Society of Pan-Arabists--a more telling and accurate name which does not claim to represent Arab opinion.

Furthermore, as a word of advice from one Arab to another, I feel compelled to caution members of the Society to heed the fate of the PLO--an organization shrouded in miscalculations, now virtually dead and buried. Bader A. EI-Jeaan '95   President, Gulf Arab Alliance