Letter to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: ‘Re: GUEST ROOM | Cornellians Must Combat anti-Semitism’

To the Editor:

On Thursday, I read the article in the Daily Sun’s Guest Room section entitled “Cornellians Must Combat Anti-Semitism,” in which the author, Josh Eibelman ’20, underlined the need to fight anti-Semitism on campus. Though Eibelman is absolutely correct in that anti-Semitism remains an enormous problem both on campus and in America as a whole, he spends most of his piece not denouncing actual anti-Semitism, but instead attacking Cornell Students for Justice in Palestine. As an Ashkenazi Jew and a committed member of Cornell SJP, I thought it necessary to respond to Eibelman’s accusations from a Jewish, anti-Zionist perspective. Eibelman claims that SJP’s activity qualifies as antisemitic because it works to “delegitimize Israel — the only Jewish state in the world — as a ‘settler colonial’ and ‘apartheid’ state.” According to Eibelman, this stance is incontrovertibly antisemitic since “the State Department classifies ‘denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor’” as a form of anti-Semitism. I would hope that Eibelman realizes that the State Department of the United States of America, which has supported ethnic cleansing around the world and is by far the greatest backer of the State of Israel abroad, is not the final arbiter on what is and isn’t anti-Semitism.

Letter to the Editor

GUEST ROOM | Cornellians Must Combat Anti-Semitism

On Saturday, Oct. 27, an anti-Semite committed the worst anti-Semitic act in America’s history. We have an obligation to mourn the eleven Jews slaughtered in Pittsburgh at the Tree of Life synagogue. We also have a collective responsibility to act against anti-Semitism. I propose starting right here, on our campus.

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RUSSELL | An Improvement Opportunity that Could Really Move the Needle!

Perhaps no motif is more ingrained in our psyche than that of the mentor or father figure offering up powerful life lessons in low-voiced, soothing maxims. As the undisputed “next generation,” we’ve come to expect these teaching moments in not just our films or television shows, but also in most of our interactions with people over 40. It’s hard to go a week without the typical “As you move into the real world, remember…” or “There’s an old saying in Tennessee…”

For me, many of these conversations center around the idea that we have the opportunity to undo or at least avoid the mistakes of our parents — to get the best out of the world we’re inheriting as we shape it into something more fair and welcoming for all. There’s one aspect of this “real world” before us, however, that many in the baby boomer generation still don’t recognize as a problem for their successors to address. The area, in my view, is a source of untold anguish and ruin – a dark spot we must bleach before it further stains American society. To me, there’s no question: we must let die the mass abuse of those stupid cliché business terms.

If you’re not familiar, some examples of these banal utterances include saying “improvement opportunities” instead of “problems,” or, yes, even calling managers “people leaders” and the H.R. department “people operations” (et tu Google).

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LEUNG | On Carrying Pain

Sometimes I’m scared to write certain pieces, because if I do, I’ll fall into some downward spiral after shifting through my memories, and this article isn’t supposed to be my attempt to pull myself from some depth, but one that hopes to understand? Find hope? I don’t really know yet. I’ve been thinking about pain a lot. About how every individual carries their own burden and as much as we try to relieve the pain of others, there’s not always a way to.

Polling location at Alice Cook House on November 6th, 2018. (Boris Tsang / Sun Assistant Photography Editor)

CHANG | Platform Complacency Will Prove Fatal For Democrats In 2020

The 2018 Midterm was serious business. Cornell has been a roaring fire of political intensity for the last two weeks. Opinion columnists (I’m sure you can guess the specific ones) have been yelling all night. More of my friends voted than I thought possible, although some Cornellians — either disillusioned with the political process (fine, but a weak excuse) or simply disinterested (c’mon) — never filled out a ballot. Although we probably won’t get a true break from electioneering until after the 2020 race, I’ll be content with clearing my inbox of daily asks for campaign donations and “shockingly new analysis” from pollsters and Nate Silver himself.

Tracy Mitrano rally at Southside Community Center on October 29th, 2018. (Boris Tsang / Sun Assistant Photography Editor)

WU | How the Next ‘Extreme Ithaca Liberal’ Can Beat Tom Reed

Some cities are notable for towering skyscrapers, others for offbeat museums or bucolic beauty. But to Tom Reed (R-N.Y.), who represents New York’s 23rd congressional district (including Cornell), Ithaca represents little more than a bastion of lefty extremism. And likewise, Tracy Mitrano, who lost to Reed in yesterday’s midterm election, is little more than an Ithaca outgrowth. In expressing this view, Reed does not pull punches. Look no further than his own campaign ads.

Polling location at Alice Cook House on November 6th, 2018. (Boris Tsang / Sun Assistant Photography Editor)

JOHNS | In House Victory, Democrats Now Owe Us Policy Details and Consensus-Building

As Democrats celebrate taking control of the U.S. House of Representatives for the first time in a decade, they soon will confront a lesser understood political reality: Campaigning is much easier than governing. Having wrongly convinced some Americans that implementing a single payer healthcare system that has worked nowhere in the world and rolling back tax cuts that have sparked an economic renaissance will benefit them, they are now on the hook to work within a divided federal government to forge consensus and deliver results — or face almost certain political decimation by President Trump in 2020. There was no “blue wave” last evening. There was, instead, a message to the Trump administration that there remain many Americans still hurting in this nation even though every economic metric is pointing upward, including gross domestic product, employment, job creation and finally positive news in the third quarter this year that wages are inching upwards. The damage done to America’s poor and middle class by Obama administration policies cannot be underestimated.

Voting at St Luke Lutheran Church on Nov 6th, 2018 (Michael Wenye Li / Sun Photography Editor)

VALDETARO | A Democracy, If We Can Keep It

At the point of writing, the next holders of many of the 470 federal offices on the ballot this year have been decided. Beginning with Kentucky at 6 p.m., polls have closed across the country, with Democrats taking the House and Republicans consolidating their control of the Senate. Perhaps even more important than these federal elections, though, are state elections, which will have more numerous and longer-lasting implications. In the midst of our current political divisions, state governments not only provide a place for opponents of federal policies to try out their own policies, but state attorneys general have increasingly used their offices to launch legal challenges against the actions and policies of presidential administrations. It is not just in their role as laboratories of democracy, though, that the results of state elections will play an important role in future elections.