Posted by: University of Mississippi | March 31, 2009

Letter to Editor

In response to Brandon Irvine‘s column published in the DM on March 25th, the DM published this letter to the editor in today’s paper edition:

To the editor:

Brandon Irvine’s column in the March 26 paper is full of false statements, ungrounded attacks, and a disturbing level of intolerance.  Mr. Irving owes his readers an apology for suggesting that the leaders of the divestment effort may be covert anti-Semites.

Mr. Irvine has no legitimate reason to believe this nonsense.  He regurgitates an ungrounded, hackneyed argument that represents the most despicable attempt to refute the divestment efforts.

The divestment proposal is directed toward the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, not the people of Israel.  The illegal Israeli settlements under construction in Palestine are a major obstacle in the path toward a peaceful solution.

Another obstacle is the Brandon Irvine-type mindset of viewing land as belonging to particular ethnic groups on the basis of ancient population demographics.  We live in an era where violent colonialism is reprehensible; yet the Israeli military continues to acquire its neighbors’ land by force. 

Anti-Semitism is seen as an obscure intolerance among most young Mississippians.  Islamophobia, however, is a major problem in our country, and I believe Mr. Irving has fallen prey to this ugly beast.

Some of Irving’s “facts” are completely wrong.  Palestine’s closest allies are not “Iran and Hezbollah-controlled Syria.”  Syria is not even governed by Hezbollah.  The Palestinians’ strongest allies are actually Jordan and Chile.  Jordan has long been an ally of the U.S. government.

King Abdullah II bin Al Hussein of Jordan visited Ole Miss in 2006 to speak about cross-cultural understanding and interfaith cooperation.  I wish Brandon had seen him.

Irvine’s dialogue is so full of intolerance, it saddens me to see that Ole Miss has yet to overcome these destructive ideologies. 

Brandon should try to be constructive in the efforts toward a peaceful solution to the conflict.  He can start by publicly apologizing to Mr. Blazo and the Campus Antiwar Network.


-Angelina Mazzanti
Fine Arts

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