Letters to the Editor

BY DI READERS | JANUARY 21, 2014 5:00 AM

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Oppose academic boycott of Israel

UI President Sally Mason has joined more than 200 other college and university presidents in opposing the American Studies Association’s boycott of Israeli academic institutions. As the foundation for Jewish life on campus, Hillel thanks Mason for her leadership. Hillel also strongly urges the UI’s Department of American Studies to distance itself from the association’s boycott and, if necessary, to resign its membership in the group.

The boycott of Israeli academic institutions, and of individuals affiliated with those institutions, suppresses the free exchange of ideas on which the scholarly enterprise depends. It punishes individuals and institutions for a political situation they may have no role in sustaining — and, indeed, may actually oppose. Hillel supports open debate and respects the historical and contemporary aspirations of all of the parties to the conflict. The boycott has exactly the opposite effect.

Gerald L. Sorokin, executive director
University of Iowa Louis Shulman Hillel Foundation

Aid Syrian refugees

Syrians are fleeing the ongoing violence in their home country by the thousands. Many find safety in refugee camps in surrounding countries. But their misery does not end there. Refugee camps have inadequate shelter, food, supplies, and even water. Too many are dying of starvation, including children. In Iowa City, many organizations have come together to support a fundraiser for some of these refugees.

On Thursday, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at Old Brick, there will be music and food featuring a Middle Eastern cuisine. Come join us in doing what little we can to ease the burden.

Pat Minor

Re: A tax on ignorance

You can argue that playing the lottery is “entertainment.” Most of us wouldn’t think twice about blowing $4 on some type of entertainment. Personally, I don’t play — mostly for the reasons you outline. My big problem with it is that folks will blow lots more than $4 per week on this. One hundred in 260 million is not much better than 1 in 260 million. Don’t spend your grocery money trying to hit it big. It’s probably not going to happen.

Online user rb6banjo

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