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Spencer Burger

There is Conspiracy Afoot!

In the 1950s “red scare”, the American press was rampant with stories of communist conspiracies, perpetrated by hidden Soviet agents positioned throughout society. Any form of left-wing or socialist dissent was castigated as the work of some red conspiracy. Ironically, The McGill Daily seems to have taken a cue from its real world forerunners. To The Daily, any form of right wing or even centrist opposition to what Daily columnist Ted Sprague calls McGill’s “left wing strongholds” must be due to only one thing: a Conservative conspiracy.In fact, the Daily devoted an entire feature to the story “The Anti-PIRG campus conservative conspiracy”. The article suggests that Conservative McGill and various politically active McGill students (myself included) were involved in a nationwide Conservative conspiracy. We are conspiring, allegedly, to dismantle the Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs), the student funded nationwide institution of extreme left wing political organizations scattered throughout Canada’s universities.To the McGill Daily, it is inconceivable that students would be uncomfortable with automatically funding a political group – ostensibly under the guise of being a “service” – which they do not care for. To the Daily, it cannot be rational for students to want to have the right to opt out of an organization devoted to “progressive” social causes. As such, the only way students could possibly be motivated to act against QPIRG would be if they were part of a vast right wing conspiracy, coordinated by Conservative Party HQ.Unfortunately for them, this line of thinking has no basis in reality. The Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) has no knowledge of nor does it care about QPIRG or any PIRG for that matter. The CPC has much bigger things on its agenda, like getting reelected and, you know, running the country as the party in power. Stephen Harper simply does… Read More

The Two State Solution is the Only Option

I was disappointed to read Russell Sitrit-Leibovich’s column, “The Two State Solution is not an Option.” In it he argues that due to traditional Arab rejectionism and Israeli concerns regarding the susceptibility of Israel’s cities to Palestinian rocket fire, a two state solution cannot be implemented.I understand Mr. Sitrit-Leibovitch’s case. Arab rejectionism has sustained this conflict since its beginning. In 1947, the Palestinian delegation to the U.N. did indeed turn down the U.N. Partition Plan to divide the British Mandate of Palestine into a Jewish state to be sovereign in Jewish areas, and a Palestinian state to be sovereign in Arab areas. The Jewish delegation, by contrast, accepted the proposal, even though it proposed a Jewish state well short of Jewish expectations and did not include Jerusalem, the cultural and religious centre of Judaism. For a point of comparison, imagine how Muslims would feel about Mecca being put under non-Muslim rule. Even though the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) came around to officially accepting a two-state solution, the Palestinians showed a remarkable ability to continue turning down agreements meant to achieve it, including Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s proposal in 2000. This plan offered a Palestinian state on 98% of the Palestinian territories, with land transfers, and a capital in East Jerusalem.Israel does have very real security concerns. After Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza in 2005, Arab rejectionism again reared its ugly head: instead of taking advantage of Israel’s withdrawal to engage in self-determination, Palestinians voted for Hamas in national elections and terrorist groups fired rockets at Israeli kindergartens and villages. Given that the Israeli withdrawal was only met with violence and rockets, it is little wonder that Israeli policymakers decided not to withdraw unilaterally from the West Bank and expose Tel Aviv to rocket fire from the West Bank.But all… Read More