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Oberlin must stand firm against hate

[Note: The following is an open letter to the Oberlin College community.]

To the Editor:

I went to Wilder 101 on Sunday evening intending to hear an informative talk about the Palestinian side of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Dr. Kaukab Siddique was to kick off Palestinian Awareness week with a speech titled: "Zionism and the current `peace process'." Instead, his talk was about the following: Jews control the New York Times, all media and the entire free world. Jews are hypocrites because they want to punish an 83 year old Nazi war criminal and yet preach forgiveness, and Jews conspire, profiting off the Holocaust, the facts of which should be open to discussion, to support a state whose sole purpose is to commit atrocities against innocent Palestinians.

I write this letter in an urgent call to the Oberlin College community to take a firm stand against the total violation of human decency embodied by Siddique's speaking here, and in an urgent demand that those who sponsored his visit take responsibility for his hateful rhetoric. I will not remain silent because some of his words might empower some people. There are many knowledgeable scholars who could have been invited to speak about the Palestinian side of the conflict - who could have empowered by truth, rather than lies. There are certainly enough truths about Israeli oppression of Palestinians. I must quote him in order for those not in attendance to understand the severity of the situation before us. Dr. Siddique asked, "why do we accuse Hitler?" and then answered his own question, "Jewish vindictiveness." In the August 1995 issue of New Trend, Dr. Siddique's newspaper which was available to all who attended his speech, he refers to the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. as "the Hebrew National Temple...that taxpayer-supported propaganda tool." In the same editorial, "Why Are People of German Descent Silent In Spite of Daily Abuse?" Dr. Siddique states "the Jews lie and lie in a systematic and ongoing basis and have built an entire edifice of lies...what about the other side of the story? Why do the Jews keep on repeating Communist propaganda?" During the speech, he said "let's discuss what really happened at Auschwitz," stating that Jewish control of the press and publishing companies has silenced the German side of the Holocaust. (Dr. Siddique should know a basic fact - the Nazis were conscientious documentors of their own deeds.) A flyer was distributed in Wilder 101 stating: "I hereby pledge that I will try to identify Jewish businesses and will not buy from them" - frighteningly reminiscent of the beginnings of the Nazi regime in Germany. He writes that "Germans are the natural allies of Muslims... The horrible mental slavery imposed on Germany must end and Muslims can speed up this liberation." It isn't too hard to read between the lines.

Siddique believes that stories of American Jewish conspiracies, the inherent manipulative, lying and hypocritical character of all Jews, and pro-Nazism have a place in a speech to further Palestinian awareness. The only way this filth might fit with the Palestinian struggle for liberation is if you believe that all Jews are the root of all evil, should be hated and destroyed, and only then will there be a Palestinian liberation. If this is the belief of SFP, then I suggest that the group try to get a charter under another name: "anti-Semite club" or "neo-nazi club." Then bring Dr. Siddique to kick off "Jewish conspiracy awareness week." Anti-Semitism and denial of the history of the Holocaust are not prerequisites for support of a free Palestine.

-Audrey Marcus (College junior)

Copyright © 1996, The Oberlin Review.
Volume 124, Number 22; April 26, 1996

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