A Destructive Mentality
To the editor:
“Fighting Apartheid with Equality” (Feb. 27, 2012) is the kind of article that reflects why the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has lasted so long and why the Palestinians have inflicted so much unnecessary suffering on themselves.
The authors, throwing around and misusing words like apartheid and equality, are simply reiterating the old goal of the Palestinians that has been at the root of the conflict from the outset: the desire to see the disappearance of the Jewish state.
The fact that Israel is still the only true democracy in the region; the fact that Israel has made numerous offers to the Palestinians that if accepted would have led to a Palestinian state; the fact that Arabs living in Israel have equal rights; the fact every international body has supported the right of the Jews to a state in their historic homeland—none of these things matter to the authors of this article.
It is, as is the “One-State Conference,” an assault on the very existence of a member state of the United Nations. That is bad enough. Even worse, it is this kind of mentality, the continued efforts to find a way to destroy Israel, if not by arms than by politics, which has prevented the Palestinians to make the fundamental transformation that will bring about a two-state solution. Only by finally accepting Israel’s legitimacy can the conflict end and the Palestinians achieve an independent state.
In other words, these writers, and indeed, all those behind this conference, are not only vile bashers of the Jewish people but they are also the worst enemies of the Palestinians themselves, the very people they claim to be helping.
Derrek L. Shulman
Anti-Defamation League, New England Region
The Blessings of Unpaid Internships
To the editor:
In Julian A. Lopez’s recent article, “The Bane of Unpaid Internships,” the author nostalgically recalls the days when internships were paid as a ‘relic of the past.’ Ah yes, recall when internships were paid, Tim Allen was funny, and Pogs were cool?
Internships have changed because times have changed. College students spend their summers working without pay because they choose unpaid internships over paying jobs. Hospitality services and merchandise are jobs that do not offer unpaid internships because they offer money for real hard work instead. If a student is willing to take an unpaid internship, their main motivation must therefore be more than monetary. Instead, they are probably looking to gain experience in a particular field. Yet this field of work, be it law or finance or entertainment, does not stand to gain much by hiring a twenty-something nobody for eighty-something days.
Consider the perspective on the opposite side of the application. You are looking at the application of some sophomoric sophomore who can offer two and a half months work, barely enough time to figure out how the copier works. For all the clubs, awards, and résumé regalia, all that glitters is not gold. Nothing, not even the hyped-up H-bomb of the applicant’s alma mater, matters compared to real world experience. What’s more, you have résumés of qualified full-time applicants with mouths to feed, debts to meet, and bills more serious than a monthly subscription to Netflix to pay. Simply put, there are worthier candidates out there and a college student’s sole competitive edge is an unpaid internship.
Companies must meet six very strict federal requirements to offer an unpaid internship. Not only must an internship not displace an employee but it also legally cannot provide any gain to the employer. Under current law, it is illegal for an unpaid intern to provide any useful service to a company. It is little wonder why companies flagrantly violate this law. It makes a mockery of itself. The federal restrictions are both costly and downright impractical. Of the companies that do not violate the law, many simply refuse to offer internships. The severity of these restrictions may explain why, as the author cites, unemployment among teenagers is 18 percent.
Internships may be without pay but they are not without profit. Interns get references, connections, mentors, exposure, and experiences for the perfect résumé and for the perfect cocktail party story. Unpaid internships are an asset to the economy and an investment in the future.
Sarah Siskind ’14