To the editor:
I read with interest one of the articles on activities in our schools, “Middle East solutions spring from young minds at Marist” (Feb. 6-19). It described a yearly exercise at Marist in which students take on the role of delegates to the Arab League in a “Model Arab League” and refers to the exercise as sponsored by an Arab group.
Your description was benign: The students practice negotiating as model diplomats and learn the value of negotiation and compromise. But the topic was “the plight of Palestinians.”
If in fact the object was to let bright students practice diplomacy and negotiation, should not one of the principal parties in that debate have been represented? I refer to Israel, of course.
Why exactly does a political lobbying organization get to set the tone of curricular activities in our schools? More important, what is the long-term goal and effect? These bright high school students will take away a clear bias toward the complex issues of the Middle East way into their adult lives.
Is that Marist’s intent? If not, then should not Marist have afforded those same bright students the opportunity to hear and debate the other side, rather than adopt a convenient template from a one-sided lobby?
Marist is free to support one side of the issue, as it clearly does. The Reporter is free to simply report on an activity, as it did.
We, the readers, are free to denounce both the failure of the school to expose its students to both sides of an issue and to express disappointment that your reporter failed to point out the gaping flaw, even in a community newspaper that has no claim to being a platform for debate on global issues.
Guedy J. Kadosh