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An Open (Thank You) Letter to USG

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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

Undergraduate Student Government,

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.

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.

Robyn Frum

Fourth-year in microbiology

10 comments

  1. Thank you, Robyn, for standing up for Jewish students at Ohio State. This campus is just full of leftist, communist students that would do whatever they can to create a rift in the student body. They can’t seem to understand that Israel is the forefront of the fight against these Islamofacists. What can we do? Arabs will never learn. Once these so called Palestinians are out of the way, we can finally begin to realize the path to Eretz Yisrael Hashlemah. From the Nile to the Euphrates, Israel will finally be the promised land G-D gave us. The Arabs can go back to the deserts from which they came, and there will finally be peace.

    • This is why organizations like BFI are terrible!! Look at the Islamophobia and Racism they incite! I am embarrassed to be a member of the Jewish community when my people are treating others so terribly. Historically Muslims and Jews have both been persecuted. Why aren’t we standing together to create peace? This is an embarrassment and BFI should stand up against these kinds of supporters. Do not use my religion and my god to further your racism.

      • As the author of this article and leader of BFI, do not connect the nameless comment with BFI, as it violates what we stand for as people and as an organization.

  2. As the author of this article and a leader in Buckeyes for Israel, we do not tolerate bigotry toward any people. We equally support the plight of all peoples toward freedom and justice with a bright future. We firmly believe in working together to build a safer future for the next generation. We can’t fight for one groups freedom by taking away that of the other. This article should be interpreted with that mindset.

  3. I’m really grateful for the follow up comment from Robyn. I apologize for my rash response but I’m still mortified at the original comment. Peace will never be found in hate and racism.

  4. BFI or any other Jewish group on campus do serve their purposes. I do not wish to demean you in any way. However, as fellow Jews, you need to understand that the core of our Jewishness is the eternal land of Israel that HE has promised us. We have been chosen from all the other peoples as a beacon of light and hope to the world. Most Jews today play the game of being “tolerant” and politically correct, but in reality, they know the truth. I just wish BFI and other Jewish groups on campus had the chutzpah to tell these terrorists the truth. We are not going anywhere, don’t expect an inch of land from us, and your next, Jordan. And we’ll see you soon, Lebanon.
    I know that many Jews take the Talmudic laws seriously, as they should. But the idea that “A Jew should and must make a false oath when the Goyim asks if our books contain anything against them (Szaaloth-Utszabot, The Book of Jore Dia 17)” is just stupid. We need not hide anymore. We are HIS chosen people and we will fulfill HIS prophecy!!

    Always serving HaShem

    • Buckeyes for Israel, is not a Jewish group, in fact they have an extremely diverse group of students from many different countries with a variety of ethnicities and cultures. I respect your opinion, and I will agree to disagree with them.

      I am very sorry that this is you take away from this article. The point of this article is to thank USG because they deserve it. Blanket statements about peoples are counterproductive and are factually incorrect, the very argument that was presented in this article.

      Every people has a right to self determination, and should be treated as an equal.

  5. While Israelis laud their scientists, their artists, their doctors and multiple Nobel Prize nominees and recipients, Palestinians have a long and ignominious tradition of extolling the virtues of those who commit mass murder, slaughter innocents on buses and hijack commercial airliners. Public squares and streets are named after them and their children are taught to emulate them. The contrast between Israeli and Palestinian society could not be starker. One society celebrates and encourages progress and life while the other has morphed itself into a death cult, steeped in perverted traits that are an anathema to Western civilization.

  6. Only in their Holy Land could the Jews weave their own destinies at last — and do. Israel thrives. They have won Nobel prizes and made some of the greatest advances in science, technology, and medicine. Israelis create world-class hospitals and universities. They have written more scientific papers per capita than any other nation, and have saved children’s lives – Palestinian children’s lives – in a dozen operating theatres, and sent aid teams around the world to save yet more lives. Israeli “apartheid”? Far from it. All facilities and opportunities are equally open to all Israelis: Black, White, Arab, Christian, Jew — everyone. Far more than in say, Saudi Arabia, where there are special roads for non-Muslims to ensure they cannot enter Mecca or Medina, or where a Bible is not even allowed in the country. Or all the mosques where every Friday congregants are told that Jews are the sons of pigs and apes. It would seem that is racism; that is apartheid.
    What the destroyers of Israel would do is negate every one of Israel’s achievements and more, and leave a hole in the world, in their own world. What, after all, would take the place of Israel? Another failed state, riven by strife, characterized by failure, poverty-stricken, dependent, just another victim of the authoritarian Arab way of governing? Is that something that will set civilization towards new horizons? It is up to us to keep the lights on, to place civilization against barbarism, to put our minds and bodies between Israel and all who mean her ill.

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