Wednesday, September 5, 2001 Volume 67, Issue 10



Letters to the Editor

That's the last straw

To the editor:

Being a new student to the University, there are some things that have taken me time to
get used to. I now know to expect a wait at the elevators to get to my dorm room. I do
understand that my entrance-level classes are going to be filled to the maximum
capacity. I can also get used to having to share a room with a complete stranger.

However, what I don't understand is why the clerks in the financial aid office are so rude.
All three of my encounters with the belligerent staff members have left me feeling angry,
and wondering where the so-called "Southern hospitality" is.

Perhaps because they're dealing with "our" money, they feel that they have some
special power unbeknownst to us. Maybe they just don't make enough money to have to
put up with students asking about their own financial status.

Whatever their reason is, I am fed up with it. No longer should we have to feel as if we
are inconveniencing them or taking up their time. They are there because we are here,
and when you're dealing with money that is going to fund my education, I don't
appreciate having to be rushed or having to put up with smart-mouthed clerks.

I have not encountered any other service or department that has met the level of
impoliteness as the financial aid clerks have reached. So, I call out to all students, "Let's
put up with this no longer."

As Martin Luther King Jr. once said, they have written "a bad check which has come
back marked 'insufficient funds.'" Since we write the checks, let's be sure to get what we
pay for and not some rude clerk who can't wait for her next break.

Jon Quintanilla
sophomore, sociology

To the editor:

Michael Ahlf's article "Conflict escalates between Israel and Palestine" (Aug. 28,
Opinion) is a clear indicator that the writer is misinformed. The root of the conflict is
occupation, grounded in brutal suppression at Israel's hands. Rather than resort to
demeaning and dehumanizing myths, Ahlf should use facts, not propaganda.

The Belgium courts have found there is enough evidence to indict Ariel Sharon for war
crimes. Though Ahlf may trivialize Palestinian life, to many other people of good
conscience, mass murder is a war crime.

Next Ahlf resuscitated the myth that Barak offered the best deal to Arafat. In fact, Clinton
insider Robert Mally, present during the Camp David talks, revealed that Barak brought
nothing to Camp David that would give the Palestinians a viable state, a dignified
peace, security or a starting point from where sincere negotiations could begin.

Ahlf failed to mention that in 1993, Israel implemented the military closure of Jerusalem,
stifling freedom of movement and strangling economic development. This effectively
reduced Arab-Christian and Muslim population in Jerusalem to 30 percent today.
Israel's settlement policy to artificially inflate the Jewish population of East Jerusalem to
70 percent has given birth to a new phrase "facts on the ground," in their verbal arsenal
that mask's ethnic cleansing.

Adding Israel's policies of home demolitions and property seizures, we arrive at the
already tense scene leading to Sharon's arrival last year (with a large contingent of
troops) at the Al Aqsa Mosque on Sept. 28.

Ahlf has failed to mention that Israeli soldiers and settlers have killed five Palestinians
for every Israeli killed; nor did he offer a proposal to bring to justice the settlers who
have tortured and murdered Palestinian civilians.

The addition of United Nations inspectors is neither a battle cry nor ludicrous. It is Israel
who opposes their introduction into the territories because Israel would be unable to
continue its brutal policies aimed at ethnically cleansing all of East Jerusalem and most
of the West Bank as well as strangling those living in the prison known as Gaza. 

Nora Ashour
senior, communication
Arab-American Student Association President 2001-02

Letters Policy

Letters to the editor are welcome from all members of the UH community and should focus on issues, not personalities. Letters must be typed and must include the author's name, telephone number and affiliation with the University. Anonymous letters will not be published. Letters are subject to editing for clarity, language and space. Letters may be delivered in person to Room 151, Communication; e-mailed to; or faxed to (713) 743-5384.

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