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We love getting mail from readers. Letters should be about Reed (and its alumni) or Reed (and its contents) and run no more than 300 words; subsequent replies may only run half the length of their predecessors. Our decision to print a letter does not imply any endorsement. Letters are subject to editing. (Beware the editor’s hatchet.)
I thought that letters appearing in our alumni quarterly should be about Reed or they should be about articles in the magazine. Bethany Weidner’s letter in our December is issue is neither. What she writes is an uninformed diatribe against Israel’s settlement policy. This is not the place to respond. Those seeking a more reasoned approach are referred to the online readers’ comments.
Bethany’s letter was provoked by an innocent report of a gathering of Reed alumni in Israel. The article includes a fleeting mention that one participant, Ncoom Gilbar ’79, is a “tour guide at Shilo where Jews have lived for 300 years after leaving Egypt.” By what twisted logic could this sentence be construed as a plea for Israel’s settlement policy? The report of our meeting made no mention of whether Shilo is inside or outside the borders of Israel, nor does it mention if there is anyone living there at all. For all your readers could glean from this report, Shilo might be a deserted archeological site. It is difficult to see why this merited a heated political tirade. It is even more difficult to see why you chose to print it.
Bethany tells us that your report “falsifies the identity of Shilo.” Perhaps it is her letter which falsifies the purpose of our alumni quarterly.