Obvious answer
Re: Apartheid: Is this the Israel you know?, Feb. 3.

The front page of your Feb. 3 edition is one of the most blatant, unabashed examples of “yellow journalism” I have ever seen in a student newspaper! The question in and of itself is leading, encouraging the reader to draw the conclusion that Israel is an apartheid state.
This past summer I spent some time in Nazareth, a predominantly Arab city in Israel. The Arabs I talked to there were very content with their quality of life. Many of them are even worried about the possibility of corruption and a steep decrease in their quality of life if they left Israel and moved to the Palestinian Territories, especially when independence is attained.
Ask any Arab living in Israel where they’d enjoy more civil liberties, Israel or Saudi Arabia, for example, and I can assure you almost all of them would say Israel. Ask any of them where they’d have a better standard of living, in Israel or Egypt, Syria, or Morocco, and most of them would also say Israel. Ask any Israeli Arab where else democracy exists in the Middle East, besides Israel, and they wouldn’t be able to name one in earnest.
Now, ask yourself this: were you just spewing out the same uninformed, Leftist rhetoric/propaganda that all the Anti-American/Anti-Israeli/Pro-Arab groups disseminated on February 3? Or were you just trying to generate some controversy for your so-called “newspaper”? I think the answer to both questions is yes.

Tal Lavee

Gender decision …or incision?
Re: Does size really matter? Feb. 10.

This article claimed that medical science “must come to the rescue for thousands of misfortunate baby boys born with physical abnormalities.” But the misfortune is not in the babies born so much as with society and science’s need to view them as abnormal and requiring medical intervention.
These surgeries are done at an age when the person cannot have a say in it or have knowledge of the consequences. Many of the babies operated on grow up to feel violated and are usually dissatisfied with the decisions made by their surgeon. In most cases the operations cause dysfunctional or non-functional genitalia.
Many would have enjoyed being given a choice, either at puberty or later in life, rather than have someone else dictate to them what “appropriate” genitals look like and which genitals are correct for them. Many intersex babies are made into females simply because it is easier to remove parts of an organ than to add them.
Parents of these children are often told to hide the truth from them, and several kids grow up confused about unexplained scars and/or unusual puberties, resulting in the anxiety and self-consciousness that the doctors were supposedly trying to avoid.
Intersex children should be allowed to make the decision for themselves, and only when parents and medical professionals are honest and open about the condition will the stigma and shame around being intersexed be lifted. The fact is the genitals they are born with are theirs, and there is nothing ambiguous or unfortunate about that.

Matt Francino
LGBTOUT Executive Political Coordinator

You flew right past us

I was reading The Varsity today, looking for any sign that you, the university newspaper, were aware that Wednesday Feb. 2, 26 undergraduate engineering students went to Calgary representing our school.
Last week was the Grand North Concrete Toboggan Race, and more than 20 universities across Canada participated. Our team was one of them. We managed to win two awards, one for Best Mix Design of Concrete, and the second for Most Spectacular Run.
Even if we hadn’t won any awards I think this deserved to be published in the official university paper. It saddens me to notice the lack of interest in engineering activities in the rest of the university. I thought news was sought out and looked for, and not what arrives on top of your desk every morning.

Carlo Ceccarelli

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