Op-Ed: Three Steps Forward: Campaign Restore Hope and Invest for Peace

Opinion by and
May 10, 2010, 12:29 a.m.

In recent weeks two new efforts have launched onto the campus scene. Campaign Restore Hope and Invest for Peace both attempt to address the Israeli/Palestinian conflict from different angles. The campus dialogue over our differing approaches has led to misrepresentations and subsequent polarization among some of the supporters of both campaigns.

As the leaders of both campaigns, we hope to prevent divisive rhetoric from hindering genuine efforts to address the issues at hand. In discussions between the leadership of Campaign Restore Hope and Invest for Peace, we have found that there is a lot of common ground from which we can address these issues openly and productively.

To avoid a shouting match between both sides’ talking points, we have chosen to shift the discussion from the ASSU senate to a more productive forum that’s open to the wider campus community. In doing this, we are not trying to falsely cover up our differences. Rather, we will use this forum to discuss the complexity of the Israeli/ Palestinian conflict and our distinct ways to address it on the Stanford campus. We will not shy away from difficult subjects or sharp disagreements, but will tackle them directly in a civil and open manner that is fundamental to the Stanford way. In doing so, we hope to educate the broader Stanford community and provide them with the tools to formulate their own informed opinion on a conflict that is integral to American foreign policy and values.

Over the next few weeks we will hold joint events that will highlight both the human and the policy components of this conflict. Two will focus on introducing differing perspectives of the issue to the opposing sides of the debate. This will allow both camps to understand the perspective of the other. The third will be a debate of the policy and advocacy issues moving forward. With this, we hope to diffuse much of the tension that has initially built up over this issue.

We understand how difficult and emotional this issue can become. In light of that, we believe that this method is in the best interest of both sides and the larger campus community. We urge everyone to support this joint effort and step back from their defensive positions.

Although we do not agree on how best to approach the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, we both agree on the necessity of genuine discourse over standard talking points. Through this effort, we believe that together we can move one step closer towards ending violence and human rights abuses in the region.

Fadi Quran ’10
Campaign Restore Hope

Yishai Kabaker ’10
Stanford Israel Alliance

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