Condemning Oppression


To the Editors of The Crimson:

We cannot be selective in our condemnation of oppression. Having campaigned against racism in our country, apartheid in South Africa, the iron fist of Pinochet, the atrocities of the Khomeni regime and against funding of Contra terror and death squads in Central America, we cannot turn a blind eye to the oppression visited upon the Palestinian people as they try to end Israeli occupation. One and a half million have been protesting day after day for almost a year, sacrificing their lives by the hundreds and enduring beatings and torture by the thousands. They ask only for the same right of self-determination desired by all people.

We have a special obligation to speak out against the Israeli occupation since our government subsidizes it with millions of our tax dollars. Our silence is equivalent to complicity.

Question 5 on the ballot in Cambridge and Somerville enables us to voice our opposition to Israeli violence against the Palestinians in a way that commands the attention of our political leaders--with our votes. As most of our community knows by now, Question 5 calls for an end to U.S. funding of the occupation and for an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza living at peace with Israel. To argue that this issue should not be on the ballot is to deny us an effective way of making our opinion known and to advocate a silence we have condemned in other times and places.

To vote no would be to condone U.S. funding of oppression and armed violence against civilians and to deny an entire people their right to determine their destiny. Justice demands we vote yes on Question 5. We urge everyone to do so. Ruth Hubbard   Richard Lewontin   Everett Mendelsohn   George Wald