To the Editors of The Crimson:
In response to the editorial by Richard A. Primus '92 and the letter to The Crimson by representatives of the Harvard-Radcliffe Zionist Alliance, Harvard Israel Political Affairs Committee and Progressive Jewish Alliance in your issue of December 17, the Society of Arab Students (SAS) would like to state the following facts:
First: Zionism is not a tenet of Judaism. Zionism is a political ideology, not a religion. One does not have to be a Jew to be a Zionist, and, conversely, not all Jews embrace Zionism. Being anti-Zionist in no way implies anti-Jewish or anti-semitic sentiments; in the same way that being anti-Nazi is not being anti-German; or similarly, being anti-White Supremacy is not attacking all white people.
Zionism is racism, because it discriminates against people simply because they are non-Jews. That is the reason why only Jewish Ethiopians were evacuated to Israel while non-Jewish Ethiopians were left to face the brutalities of the Ethiopian civil war.
The American Council for Judaism described itself as "anti-Zionist but not anti-Israel" and asserted that it "cannot stand silent at efforts to sanctify Zionism by equating it with Judaism, leading to the false assumption that all Jews are Zionist." (Special Interest Report, American Council for Judaism, Vol. VII, No. 1, January 1976, p. 1).
Second: The reason why SAS distributed the fliers to Harvard's student body was to defend truth, morality and justice, not to rescue a mere piece of paper passed by the U.N., "a body dominated at the time the resolution was passed by nonrepresentative dictatorships," according to Primus.
In this case, Primus should take note, that the political bully was no other than the U.S. Whether the U.N. rescinded the "Zionism Resolution" or not is besides the point, because the reasons behind this are political in nature. What matters is the truth: Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination.
Third: Upon reading the Crimson's edition of December 17, we are saddened to know that our calls for mutual understanding to promote peace in the Middle East have gone unnoticed by the Harvard Radcliffe Zionist Alliance, the Harvard Israel Political Affairs Committee and the Progressive Jewish Alliance.
On October 18, 1990, SAS in a Crimson editorial, extended an official invitation to all Jewish organizations on campus to join SAS in our meetings and to work with us as a team for one purpose: fostering a positive atmosphere on campus for peace in the Middle East.
Furthermore, in the Crimson edition of November 28, 1990, SAS renewed its invitation for a coordination of efforts between Harvard Jewish organizations and SAS in promoting a better understanding between the different groups. More recently on Monday, December 9, 1991, SAS held an official petition signing in front of Widener Library, in support of "the even-handed pursuit of peace in the Middle East." To our genuine dismay, the club's continuous attempts at inter-group coordination and communication have gone unnoticed.
Fourth: Dear Richard A. Primus '92 (an editor of The Crimson and a recent Rhodes scholarship recipient):
Richard, my last name is Yassin and my phone number is 493-6034. I am awaiting your phone call so we may begin together "promoting productive discourse" about peace in the Middle East.
In conclusion, we must reiterate that our focus has been on the racist ideology of Zionism. Our arguments do not constitute an attack on Judaism or the state of Israel. Anti-semitism should not be used as a smoke-screen time after time to undercut important issues.
The wide and superficial focus adopted by the Jewish organizations on Harvard's campus are in no way productive or meaningful. We extend an official welcome to anyone willing to genuinely discuss this troubled region and find the solutions that will lead to an equitable and permanent peace for all in the Middle East. Mohammed Yassin '93 Leith M. Masri '94 Radi Annab '95 Members, SAS
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