Widgets Magazine


Let’s talk about the real conflict

To the Editor:

Last week, a delegation of 32 Stanford students attended the J Street National Conference. This gathering of over 3,000 people included over 1,000 students and a number of prominent Israeli, Palestinian and American speakers, including Obama’s Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, Chief Palestinian Negotiator Saeb Erekat, US Special Middle East envoy Martin Indyk, multiple members of the Israeli Knesset and former Secretary of State James Baker. The conference made headlines around the country due to its timeliness around the Israeli elections and negotiations with Iran, and due to the variety of speakers and viewpoints on display.

We are therefore concerned by yesterday’s Daily article, “J Street U Stanford conflicts with national J Street organization.” Rather than reporting the strategic actions or substantive discourse among students at the conference, the author chose to frame the article around J Street U’s divestment politics, which are entirely tangential to our organizational goals. Furthermore, this dramatic headline mischaracterizes J Street U Stanford, a committed part of the J Street movement. Nationwide, members of J Street U come from different places and perspectives, but ultimately work together for a fair and equitable two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

We are frustrated that the article demonstrated a larger inability to separate any issue related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from divestment, which is a single tactic. We are opposed to the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement for ethical, political and pragmatic reasons. However, we do not exist as an organization to oppose BDS, and choosing to focus on J Street’s position on BDS misses the point of the conference and our organizational mission: taking pragmatic political action toward a two-state solution.

We believe that this conference has been a positive experience for the Stanford community, by exposing a delegation of students to a wide and challenging array of perspectives on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as well as providing opportunities for action. We hope that future discussion and coverage of this issue will be critical, informative and productive.

Eric Ballouz ‘17, Sarah Beller ‘15, Julia Daniel ‘17 and Rachael Stryer ‘17

Co-Chairs, J Street U Stanford

Contact the authors of this letter at jdaniel7 ‘at’ stanford.edu. 

  • Derwood Kirby

    “Israel’s destruction is non-negotiable”–Iran. “Man, I be lovin’ dem Iranian peeps. Dey be my kinda folks!–King Oblama.

  • Dan Craig

    BDS is right out of the Hamas Terrorist propaganda playbook, and the students too
    the bait hook line and sinker. The academics are following an age old thought
    process of anti-semitism and jewish hatred just like the academics did in Nazi
    germany following the Hitler leadership in kicking jewish academic out of higher
    learning. Let me make this really clear you are empowering Hamas, Hezbollah,
    ISIS and Fatah terrorist organizations by joining up with BDS. They kill
    innocent men, women and children, behead people in video’s and put children in
    explosive vests. If you swallow this propaganda machine just like the Nazi’s set
    out you are going down a very well traveled path of anti-semitism.

    BDS is backed by funding from known Terrorist organizations Hamas, Hezbollah and
    the PA. Using terrorism funding demonstrates the crude nature of BDS. In
    addition, this funding comes from Narcotics trafficking from Heroin trade
    running from Afghanistan to Iran to these known terrorists who disseminate the
    and foster Hate crimes. Iran then funnels drug money into Hamas and other Terror
    groups to fund their killings,rockets,offensive tunnels, and hate crimbes.

    The University Presidents/Faculty could be libel for hate crimes, racism, and hate
    speech if they support BDS or allow it to flourish, it would be advisable to cease and
    desist from ALL BDS activities before the Universities in questions are investigated under Federal & state statutes.
    A significant body of evidence will support future legal challenges and this
    will get settled in the courts ultimately. Alternately civil suits may also be
    entered as challenges.

  • Dan Craig

    And that is the core problem…..Palestinians and Iran do not recognize the right of Israel and the Jewish people to exist.

    Everytime you give Hamas and PA money they spend it on Bombs, Rockets, Guns and Tunnels. What kind of organizations do you think you want to support with the
    Palestinians? They spend millions on plans to attack Israel. They clearly can
    not govern themselves and they don’t recognize that Israel has the right to