Let me begin by thanking you for your well-written letter. And let me also say that I will gladly interview you in the coming days (please expect my questions within 48hrs).
As far as the substance of my post. Your father should be proud he lived in one of the last Secular, muslim-populated states. Syria, despite Western propaganda, is the only secular Arab state that has not offered or sold its balls to the West (e.g. Jordan, Egypt, and at times even Libya).
This issue has nothing to do with religion. Tel-Aviv is about nationalism, no different than the Pan-Arabism of Nasser. My gripe is not with Islam or Judaism - they are both beautiful religions, based on peace and love, and both largely misunderstood by snotty young know-it-all pseudo intellectuals that base their theories on modern disciplines and try their best to ignore the Koran & Torah, respectively.
You are correct in your historical points insofar as Swamp & Gator. But these finer points were not centrally at issue. What is at issue is 'the alternative.' The FBK/Greek Machine has the long tradition of insensitivity towards the Arab & Muslim students through the political administration's its put in office in UF-SG. That having been said, for the "Indies" to now ALSO participate in that option is a slap in the face to every Arab and Muslim student at the University of Florida -- there is now effectively NO ONE in this 'representational form of government' that represents them. If the SBT were to punish Arab groups like Nakba or Friends of Palestine, who will the Arabs & their friends take their grievance to in a Student Alliance administration - Ben Cavatero? Yeah, I'm sure he's quite unbiased -- not b/c he's Jewish (Judaism is NOT, NOT, NOT Zionism), but b/c he surely had his hand in the SBT pick, that's why!
The point, Mr. Antar, is that you should demand that SBT candidate step down to honor your father, your people, and your own individual identity. In this life, we are judged by our actions -- not merely our words or our intentions.
If you are liberated enough to break bread with and work towards mutual electoral victory with a person that's presided over an organization that supports apartheid, worse than apartheid, then you are a more liberated man than I.
Thank you for your letter. May the 4.5 million people of Palestine be restored the pre-1967 borders - per United Nations resoution. May Palestinian children not play at gunpoint, may they have access to clean water, may they be citizen in the land of their birth.
The people that suffer under Zionism, behind the the barbed wire and in fear of the tanks & air raids are not suicide bombers, they are not in PIJ, Hamas, or even Fatah. They are normal, everyday people - displaced people - tired people.
Dear Mr. Duque,
As a long time reader and avid supporter, I take offended by your most recent qcolumn entitled "A Tradition Rich in Insensitivity". I feel that your insight has been misguided and misrepresented toward an unsightful democracy. Was it not the Swamp Party that gave students the necessary funds to go to AIPAC? Was it not the Gator Party who REFUSED to CONDEMN the Radical Islam Movie?
I say these things just to illustrate my point. My name is Tyler Hisham Antar and I am running for a 3rd time with the opposition party with the Student Alliance Party. My father is a dedicated Muslim who grew up in Syria and was forced to fight in the 6 days war. I have always felt proud considering myself an Arab American running for a grad seat with the Student Alliance Party and I wouldn't have it any other way. My experiences towards the deepest darkest places of Lebanon and Dubai have taught me what its really like to be a Muslim Arab. I would love to be interviewed by you about the Student Alliance's view toward Arab-Americans. As always, you are free to re-publish my statement regardless if you interview me or not.....
Tyler Hisham Antar
Thursday, January 28, 2010
""Progress is dead. Now they've taken a shit on the corpse."
"Due to his outstanding service as Treasurer, Yaniz was elected President of Gators for Israel in 2009."
Quoted from: http://www.ufstudentalliance.com/node/13
Who can forget Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West? Who can forget SG=funded ads making UF students distrustful of their fellow Arab & Muslim studens? Who can forget SG-sponsored trips to AIPAC's National Conference? Who can forget when the Zionist lobby united to oust a progressive, Jewish cabinet director named Peter David Gruskin from office in late 2004?
SG has rich tradition in insenitivity towards members of the University's Muslim & Arab populations, as well as against those few tried & true friends that amount to the greater community.
But UF is the exception - here - the battle-lines are clearly drawn in the sand. Here, the Zionists cannot make this about Judaism vs. Arabs & Muslims, because at UF, some of the most prominent leaders and friends of the downtrodden-upon communities have been courageous Jews unwilling to allow their religion to be hijacked by a group of relgiously-devoid, nationalistically-driven radical zealots.
Zionists know about as much of the Torah or the Talmud, as Republicans in America know about hunger and need in the United States - nothing! Zionists hijacked the Jewish religion and use it for their own nefarious aims: such as deposing a people from the lands and forcing them into bantustans where they're forced to live surrounded by barbwire, patrolled by tanks, attacked by air, denied citizenry, and subjected to sub-human treatment. The Zionists carry these horrors in the name of a religion that before their arrival, was deeply-rooted in peace, co-existence, and love.
Some people in America think 911 when they hear muslim fundamentalism, but perhaps more Americans when hearing the term Zionism, should think King David Hotel and USS Liberty -- just a thought.
Enough of a tangent. I'd like to congratulate the socially-conscious and tactful UF student body community for having a party that's selected the president of Gators for Israel (a group at times even considered fringe by JSU) as its candidate for Student Body Treasurer (hereinafter "SBT").
The SBT at the University of Florida's Student Government is a key, strategic post. First of all, if my memory serves me correctly, this post holds veto powers on all fiscal matters (as well as wields considerable influence on the Senate's Budget & Allocation committees, respectively). The SBT is elected separately from the President/V.P. slot and his/her numbers are usually indicative for [the] future presidential run. The post of SBT is a key post and as eluded to previously - is a strong stepping stone for SBP (extending a potentially unpopular leader's reign to a full two years).
It's absolutely, without question, unconscionable that any party would run the leader of an organization such as GFI for a top representational post of leadership as SBT.
This may be another 2006 - when this blog endorsed the Greek/FBK Ticket. And I'll have no worries doing so again, today. No "independent party" would ever commit such a grave and degrading action against entire ethnic & religious communities at the University of Florida.
Friday, January 01, 2010
2010 will prove a major year for UF Independents - as it seems the scars have healed - we'll be asking Justin Wooten & Alan Yanuck just to be sure though. If the Indies are united, however, it will be a huge year for the united front.
In other news, I'd really like to discuss Charlie Grapski and continue stress his relevance in Indie politics (now more than ever) in 2010. Grapski, from his work in Alachua, to his trial, conviction, and upcoming appeals should be studied carefully.
I feel awful I had to miss my mentor's wedding, but I had finals - I still feel awful about it and never answwered my close friend Andrew Hoffman's voicemail about when I'd be showing up -- I was seriously depressed over it, sorry bro.
In any event, I know James had a wonderful day and I only hope I can shake his hand one day soon. Congrats to you old friend -- w/o you there would have never been such a successful and true Yellow & Blue.
Happy New Year, everyone!