CAMERA Fellow Robyn Frum.
CAMERA Fellow Robyn Frum.

Thank you for the many hours you spent inside and outside of the senate chambers engaging with students, researching and seeking to understand one of the most complex and controversial topics of our time: the Arab-Israeli conflict. With the media selectively determining the narrative, I can only imagine the struggles you faced in trying to find an unbiased point of view. For that, I am grateful for your perseverance and determination to understand where your constituents are coming from.

Thank you for recognizing the one-sidedness of Resolution 48-R-43. While many think it is just to solely view one perspective as more righteous than the other, it would have been a disservice to the Ohio State community if all of the views across the aisle were not heard. Many collegiate institutions have difficulty creating a conducive space for debate, and I am proud that you facilitated a fruitful, yet difficult, conversation about a very personal conflict.

Members of USG listen during a meeting on Dec. 12. Credit: Lantern File Photo
Members of USG listen during a meeting on Dec. 12. Credit: Lantern File Photo

Thank you for standing up for justice against a slanderous campaign that only foments animosity and hatred between peoples. The divestment resolution held a double standard against the state of Israel by solely targeting the world’s only Jewish state for supposed human-rights violations. It blanketed the situation through false terms that intended to shut the door to dialogue, exposing the true agenda of this resolution. Not only was this anti-Semitic in nature, but it was also deeply cynical to broadly paint a complex global conflict in terms meant to end the debate from the get-go.

Thank you for noticing that an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere; for seeing that one country was unfairly pointed out while other countries with incomparable magnitudes larger of injustices were conveniently omitted. Singling out Israel for defending itself against unacknowledged security threats that no other country on Earth faces to this scale is morally reprehensible, which is why I thank you, USG, for understanding that this issue is more complicated than what was portrayed in one resolution.

Thank you for realizing, that like the United States, Israel also has social rifts and domestic issues. That does not mean that Israel should be held to an impossible standard of perfection. Despite the various challenges it faces, it has sought to create a peaceful resolution not only with the Palestinian-Arabs, but also neighboring states like Egypt and Jordan. It acts above and beyond what is expected of a nation at war to avoid collateral damage, even sacrificing a tactical advantage to prevent unnecessary loss of human lives. Most importantly, Israel has not given up its desire to coexist with its neighbors. Those facts were cynically omitted from one side of the debate because it did not fit the narrative.

As a Buckeye, I am most thankful that USG stood up for the values of OSU and my identity in lieu of a deeply flawed and problematic resolution. I am thankful that USG fairly represented all of its constituents. I hope that all students will continue getting involved and working with USG to strengthen our relationships because USG is here to represent us all equally, without singling out any group of students.

I look forward to the future, where together we will create a more conducive and thoughtful conversation surrounding one of the most complex issues in our time in ways that do not shut the door to dialogue and exclude constituent communities. I look forward to seeing the next generation of Buckeyes having these difficult conversations. I look forward to the day where we invest in peace and unity. Where we invest in Seeds of Peace, a program that takes Israeli and Palestinian children out of the conflict to the United States for the summer to initiate these complicated conversations early on to make dialogue natural and productive, to help inspire the future leaders of the region that will be the peacemakers of our time.

Thank you, USG, for being model to all of the future student governments here at OSU, that will look back at how well this situation was handled, and to understand that there is no place for hate at OSU.

Originally published in The Lantern.

Written by CAMERA Fellow at The Ohio State University, Robyn Frum.

Apply for the 2016-2017 CAMERA Fellowship by May 1st!

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