AMS’s Hitchcock motion showed good leadership
Re: “SGPS mindful of principalship review’s intergrity” (Journal, March 14, 2008)
In his recent letter to the Journal, SGPS President Arash Farzam-Kia indirectly accuses the AMS of damaging the integrity of Principal Hitchcock’s review process through “the manner in which the AMS has chosen to voice its position.” He goes on to say the SGPS may well adopt a position on this issue but it shall do so “in a manner consistent with the parameters of the process already in place.” I would argue that the manner in which the AMS Assembly voiced its opinion is entirely consistent with the review process and, in fact, Assembly followed the only responsible method available.
The AMS Assembly’s consideration of this matter arose in the context of an express invitation from the review committee for “members of the university community to submit their views on the principalship.” It was Assembly’s assumption that this invitation by the University was made in good faith and as a body constitutionally charged with representing students, Assembly had a clear obligation to respond. Part of good leadership is possessing the courage to take a strong stance on a controversial issue. Arguably, a failure by Assembly to at least consider this matter would constitute an abdication of that responsibility. It’s important to stress the AMS statement was drafted entirely for the purpose of submitting it to the review committee prior to the deadline. Furthermore, in taking an official stance on the Principal’s reappointment, it was incumbent on AMS Assembly to inform its constituents of the decision made on their behalf and this was done through campus media. Assembly didn’t issue a press release nor did it seek to sensationalize its decision in any way.
My question for Mr.
Farzam-Kia is, if the SGPS is seriously considering adopting an official position, does it intend to keep that decision secret from its constituents in the name of preserving the integrity of the process? Lose the rhetoric. If you have something of substance to say, let’s hear it.
Vice-President (University Affairs)
Non-Zionist Jews no less Jewish
Re: “Celebrating Israel’s 60th” (Journal, March 20, 2008)
Alex Goldberg glibly announces to the world that Zionism is one of the “essential components of Jewish identity.” Leaving aside his misleading characterization of Zionism as part of a centuries-old “discourse,” I have to say this comes as news to me. According to this reasoning, are non-Zionist Jews somehow less Jewish than their Zionist brethren? Should we now add a political litmus test in order to answer the question, “Who is a Jew?” My opposition to Zionism and the particular form this political program has taken in Israel doesn’t make me any less Jewish. The rash declaration of one individual doesn’t negate the historical, cultural, political and religious ties I have to fellow Jews and to my ancestors. There’s no monolithic Jewish identity any more than there’s any monolithic Canadian identity. Advocates who claim the contrary merely cover up and obscure the internal diversity of the Jewish community in its myriad forms. Goldberg would do better to leave the armchair sociology at home and concentrate on the matter at hand: Israel’s 60th anniversary.
Once we recognize this, the real question regarding Zionism becomes clear. It’s not about whether Zionism’s an “essential component” of Jewish identity. It’s about whether the Zionist program as presently institutionalized in the form of the state of Israel is a just and moral project, worthy of our celebration and support. The answer to that question will tell us more about the identity of an individual and the content of their character than any list, however lengthy, of “essential components.”
Philosophy PhD candidate
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