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Aliza Saskin

A time for dialogue

I applaud the McGill community for postponing indefinitely the Motion Calling on SSMU to Stand in Solidarity with the People of the Occupied Palestinian Territories and affirming that the SSMU not just condemn Israel on such a multidimensional and complex issue. It is of paramount importance to recognize that this was not a victory for the students who opposed the proposed motion, but a victory for the entire student body. As McGill students, postponing the motion indefinitely was a sincere effort to prevent an uncomfortable divide among ourselves. The motion was divisive as it endorsed the narrative of one side while silencing the voice of the other. The issue was not that the motion involved taking a stance - but that it involved taking a damaging stance. The motion lacked both historical and political context and was evasive with respect to the many key players in the unfortunate plight of the Palestinian people. I believe this is why the student body stood so divided over this issue and why it needed to be tabled at the General Assembly. Having said that, discourse should not, and must not, be tabled. In order to truly advance human rights and justice, it is in the best interests of all McGill students to work together in a collaborative effort to engage in dialogue, and come to conclusions through compromise as well as mutual respect and understanding. These efforts will unify the student body rather than divide it. We must take advantage of the fact that we are part of a university with a diverse student body and do whatever in our power to promote reconciliation between various student groups. Those who would have voted in support of the motion said they felt marginalized; those who would have opposed it said they would feel marginalized… Read More