High School Debate

Intrepid students: The Hair Balls section of the Houston Press has never been known for its journalistic excellence, but Margaret Downing has brought it to a new low with her recent wanton attack on the intrepid students of Klein ISD, who, unlike her mainstream journalism pals, are not afraid of opposing genocide when they see it ["Anti-Semitism Rears Its Ugly Head in Klein Independent School District?" Hair Balls blog, by Margaret Downing, February 6, 2009]. I guess repression of honest journalism on this issue can't start too soon for Downing, so she dishes out liberal doses of entirely baseless claims of anti-Semitism, and for good measure, pictorial allusions to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. And why? Because these students had the balls to call a spade a spade, and to oppose the brutal genocide Israel is committing against the captive population of the Gaza strip. Incredible.

All sorts of state-of-the-art high weaponry, including fleshettes, white phosphorous and other illegal types, are inflicted on a civilian population in an area smaller than Houston, and all the Houston Press can do is blame the victim: those who stand against this sort of modern savagery. You could instead devote your journalistic effort to exposing the continuing blockading of Gaza and its effective starvation by these Israeli bullies, but no, you will go the safe route and talk about "anti-Semitism" when someone else does. Shame on you.

Ken Freeland


Klein Independent School District

Readers weigh in with blog comments:

Anti-Zionism vs. anti-Semitism: So if one opposes Zionism, a racist ideology denoting a state for Jews and only Jews, is that person an anti-Semite? Why can't they just be labeled what they are — an anti-Zionist?

I would like to see the charges of anti-Semitism, Margaret. I don't see them in this article. Perhaps you forgot to acknowledge this in your piece?

sousan hammad

Oh, please: Margaret, I'm one of the KISD parents, and I am offended. I'm even more offended that the apologists for terrorism by Hamas, Hezbollah and nihilism under the banner of "resistance" cannot get their collective heads out of the sand.

You're accurate on a number of points. The paper is an educational tool, and as such, the school and district missed their responsibilities to challenge the content and void the articles before publishing. Moreover, a sports editor is writing about a political protest? Fair and balanced?

Lastly, and mostly, I am offended as a rational, thinking American — and, yes, Jewish person, and yes, supporter of Israel who sees Israel held to a double standard. It appears okay for people to defame Jews, launch missiles, put homicide bombers on public transportation and use innocent populations as human shields, in the name of resistance, but it's not okay to try to stop it and try to reduce potential civilian collateral damage. Hamas's puppeteers in Iran just love chaos and blood. It makes good video.

What happened at KISD is not fair or right. Period.

Andrew Gamson

Misleading: You should retitle this story, as it is both misleading and bordering on bigotry to brand any discussion of this issue not congruent with Israeli state policy anti-Semitic. How about the many Jews who have stood up voicing opposition with near mimicry of the descriptions in your story? Are they anti-Semitic? Maybe you are an anti-Semite, because I am a Semite, and you're annoying me with your sloppy editorial.


Israel won: What's wrong with a state for Jews? Why are Muslims so incredibly offended by this? They have so many, many countries where no religion but Islam is permitted. Why can't they accept that others can have a country, too? Such babies — they lost the war but never officially surrendered, just a "cease fire" so they can save face. Accept that you lost and Israel won, and try to make it better for your children. That is, if you care about your children.


The wrong place: What is wrong with a state for the Jews? Everything is wrong with a place that builds itself on the backs of another people. Israel has long tried the propaganda game of claiming the Palestinians don't exist, and we are the same as all the Arabs, so why don't we go live in Jordan. (That would be like someone telling all Americans to go move to Canada or Australia!) Perhaps soon Zionists will realize they picked the wrong place to occupy — it's been more than 60 years, and the Palestinians are not going anywhere. They are too connected to the land that they have lived in and worked since the beginning of history. Don't let anyone fool you into thinking we are anything other than indigenous inhabitants of the land of historic Palestine.

Houston Press — please expose the true roots of Israel — Zionism — for what it really is. Speak the truth for the sake of humanity.


Get the other side: I find it interesting how many of the opinions above are both a) anti-Jew and b) completely overlooking the gist of Downing's post. We can argue back and forth all day about the Arab-Israeli conflict. However, the unfairness pointed out by Downing deals not with the intricacies of the conflict, but rather with the actions of KISD faculty in allowing pieces like these to run without offering an opposing viewpoint. I'd like to believe that all of the above posters would state that fair and balanced is preferable to one-sided, right?



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