Widgets Magazine


Op-Ed: Three Steps Forward: Campaign Restore Hope and Invest for Peace

In recent weeks two new efforts have launched onto the campus scene. Campaign Restore Hope and Invest for Peace both attempt to address the Israeli/Palestinian conflict from different angles. The campus dialogue over our differing approaches has led to misrepresentations and subsequent polarization among some of the supporters of both campaigns.

As the leaders of both campaigns, we hope to prevent divisive rhetoric from hindering genuine efforts to address the issues at hand. In discussions between the leadership of Campaign Restore Hope and Invest for Peace, we have found that there is a lot of common ground from which we can address these issues openly and productively.

To avoid a shouting match between both sides’ talking points, we have chosen to shift the discussion from the ASSU senate to a more productive forum that’s open to the wider campus community. In doing this, we are not trying to falsely cover up our differences. Rather, we will use this forum to discuss the complexity of the Israeli/ Palestinian conflict and our distinct ways to address it on the Stanford campus. We will not shy away from difficult subjects or sharp disagreements, but will tackle them directly in a civil and open manner that is fundamental to the Stanford way. In doing so, we hope to educate the broader Stanford community and provide them with the tools to formulate their own informed opinion on a conflict that is integral to American foreign policy and values.

Over the next few weeks we will hold joint events that will highlight both the human and the policy components of this conflict. Two will focus on introducing differing perspectives of the issue to the opposing sides of the debate. This will allow both camps to understand the perspective of the other. The third will be a debate of the policy and advocacy issues moving forward. With this, we hope to diffuse much of the tension that has initially built up over this issue.

We understand how difficult and emotional this issue can become. In light of that, we believe that this method is in the best interest of both sides and the larger campus community. We urge everyone to support this joint effort and step back from their defensive positions.

Although we do not agree on how best to approach the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, we both agree on the necessity of genuine discourse over standard talking points. Through this effort, we believe that together we can move one step closer towards ending violence and human rights abuses in the region.

Fadi Quran ’10
Campaign Restore Hope

Yishai Kabaker ’10
Stanford Israel Alliance

  • Daniel Jacobs

    Some activities (flying an airplane, fighting a fire) do not lend themselves to consensus. It requires some amount of hubris to think Stanford as a united entity can solve the problems between Palestinians and Israelis. Talking is fine, and even commendable, but at some point analysis needs to be the goal, not consensus. Reasonable people should tolerate and even encourage differences of opinion. What cannot be acceptable is censorship, double standards, demonization, and delegitimization. The latter 3 were called the “3D test” by Natan Scharansky, the former Soviet Prisoner of Conscience and Israeli Knesset member. I hope and pray that the SIA applies the 3D test and calls CRH out whenever that fundamental standard is violated. By the way,Josh Weinstein wrote a terrific oped in this issue and I hope everyone reads it.
    Daniel Jacobs MD
    Class of 1982

  • Books to recommend

    What is often missing in this discussion is, ‘whose land is this anyways’? We know where the Jews came from. They’ve been there since biblical times and according to historical travelers have been there ever since, complimented by various waves of immigration through the centuries. But when did the Muslims and the Arabs get there? Since this is a US university, where historical facts are accessible, I recommend that you all look in to the various waves of Arab immigration in to Palestine through the centuries. There is a fantastic book written in 1938 before Israel became a modern Jewish state that addresses some of this history. It’s called “The Rape of Palestine” by William Ziff and is available in the Green Library. Not all Arabs were in Palestine from “Time Immemorial” (another good book by Joan Peters) – while like the Jews, some Arabs have been part of the landscape for centuries, the majority of Arabs were also immigrants. A third book on this subject is “The Claim of Dispossession by Arieh L. Avneri.
    The history of the land is important to the discussion.

  • Maryam

    It’s so heartening to see both sides come together and work towards concrete and productive objectives. I commend the leadership on both sides.

  • Arafat

    Oh yes! Let us work out our problems with Muslims.

    Just ask Daniel Pearl how well that works.

  • to Arafat

    Are you suggesting that the Stanford Muslim community is going to kill the Stanford Jewish community?

    Oh, and lets see, who else would the Jewish community and Muslim community work out their problems… with aliens? How does a problem get addressed if the two sides are not meeting to discuss it?

    I sincerely hope you are not a Stanford student. Otherwise, my faith in this university is severely shaken

  • Arafat

    You’re right. My comment was childish.

    My commnet should have looked more like this;

    Simply put the history of contracts, treaties, and agreements being honored by Muslims is not great. The following article highlights the orgins of why this is the case.


  • to Arafat

    I’m sorry, I don’t see how that is any better. You are still bashing two groups of STANFORD students (note- not Hamas & Israel) who are trying to have dialog about ways to bring about change in the region, and all you can come up with is a blatantly anti-Muslim website to describe that Muslims are allowed to lie in particular circumstances when on the BATTLEFIELD…

    You know, not that Sun Tzu (the best general in human history) ever said anything like that (hmm.. “All War is Based on Deception”). Otherwise I would assume that US military generals are considered geniuses if they reveal their plan to their enemy in a battle.

    But alas, I am off topic here. The whole idea is that you are (supposedly) an Israeli who is bashing a fellow Israeli for trying to work out a reasonable end to a tumultuous past few weeks by having discussions with the Stanford Muslim community is uncalled for. Please tell me how this makes sense? If we are able to have dialog about a scientific paper, surely we can at least TALK to each other about a sensitive, historical occurrence without resorting to blatant name-calling.

  • sea

    No Planet = No Us and you don’t have to be a scientist to fathom that one out!