Re: “WSA Adopts Resolution Supporting Divestment From Israeli Military Occupation of Palestine.” Your news report neglected to mention what I found to be the most interesting aspect of this story, namely that the WSA apparently passed this controversial measure by a secret ballot. The secrecy of the vote was especially ironic in light of the Wespeak by the proponents of the measure published last Friday in which they spoke of the “transparent” divestment of money. So much for “transparency” in student government. The members of the WSA ought to have had the courage of their convictions. Moreover, when I attended Wesleyan back in the days of cave dwellers, the college body constitution required public access to all decisions of student government. A secret ballot would have been unacceptable back then. Transparency often makes people uncomfortable, but it also makes them more accountable for their decisions. It would be good to restore that provision to the constitution.

Mark Sirota ’82

Sirota is a member of the class of 1982.

  • BigSticksWalkSoftly

    The point of transparency is to be aware of where the money is being spent.
    The people should know where their funds are being spent.
    If the students of Wesleyan don’t want their funds to be spent on the occupation and subjugation of people then great.

    Having anonymous votes seems to have been the result of the intimidation that many people who support civil and human rights for Palestinians have gone through recently.

    People have a right to know where public money is being spent
    People don’t have a right to intimidate others for supporting civil and human rights

    • msirota

      Big Stick,
      The views you expressed regarding the conflict in the middle east aside, you are right that transparency means people have a right to know where their money is being spent, but it also means that people have a right to know how their elected leaders are voting. I don’t know whether there was intimidation by either side in this debate, but intimidation is explicitly prohibited by the university’s code of conduct and punishable by the SJB. The response to alleged intimidation should not be the operation of student government in secrecy. Leaders should be accountable for their decisions.

      • BigSticksWalkSoftly

        I totally agree. Transparency is the ideal.
        However, secret/anonymous voting is common whether it is in student body voting or stockholder voting or even when your average US citizen votes; they are all non-transparent to a certain degree.
        In addition, Palestinians and their supporters have a long history of violence, reprisals, and intimidation against them.
        And therefore I feel, until there is more of an air of civility among unconditional haters of Palestinians and Palestinian-deniers, it was more than appropriate for the student body of Weslyan to take the courageous step of voting for divestment in the oppression of Palestinians in the West Bank.
        Not apartheid

      • Anonymous

        “Feb 13, 2013

        In another story the Western media apparently refuses to cover, any Palestinian who dares to criticize Hamas or the Palestinian Authority risks being arrested or summoned for interrogation.

        Palestinian journalists are now hoping to bring this to the attention of President Barack Obama when he
        meets with President Mahmoud Abbas next month.

        The journalists say they want United States and the rest of the world to know that the crackdown on freedom of expression in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip is designed to hide the fact that Palestinians are governed by two repressive regimes that have no respect for human rights and democracy.”

      • Anonymous

        The above is in reference to BigStick writing…

        “Transparency is the ideal.”


        Bigstick, if you were not such an obvious water carrier for Islam you would be funny.

      • Anonymous

        Big Stick writes, “Peace
        Not apartheid.”

        Can we assume you are writing about Muslims practice of ethnically cleansing all non-Muslims in every country where Muslims dominate?

        I notice even the leftist, Muslim-loving New York Times carried an article today about how Islamists are now attacking the helpless people of South Sudan. This after wiping out millions of Animists and black Christians from Sudan proper.

        Ahhh, but let’s ignore this and focus our angst on a progressive country like Israel instead. AND let’s pretend we’re not anti-Semites when we dance this dance.

    • Anonymous

      “If the students of Wesleyan don’t want their funds to be spent on the occupation and subjugation of people then great.”

      Just to be clear…you are talking about Sudan’s occupation and subjugation by Islamists here, no?

      • Anonymous

        “People don’t have a right to intimidate others for supporting civil and human rights.”

        You mean civil and human rights like this….?

        (The following is from May 7th.)

        “Hamas’ Al Qassam Brigades has released a video for
        Israel’s Independence Day, called “The End of the Hope” – a pun on the name of Israel’s national anthem, Hatikva.

        Set to the tune of the anthem, and filled with Hebrew spelling
        errors, the video shows a single young rock thrower destroying Israel.

        Jews are forced onto ships to Germany by masked Hamas terrorists.

        Worshippers are chased out of the Kotel plaza which is destroyed and replaced with the “Mughrabi Quarter.”

        Armed masked terrorists are seen on the roof of the Dome of the Rock to ensure that Jews can never visit there as they sing that there is no Temple in Jerusalem….”

  • Reader20

    Wow, I have never heard of a purportedly representative legislature of any kind voting in secret. What possibly could have been the rationale for that?

    • BigSticksWalkSoftly

      Maybe the student legislators are courageous enough to stand up for human and civil rights, but can’t afford to hire bodyguards to protect them from JDL or ADL goons who have been known to kill and injure Palestinians and there supporters in the United States and elsewhere.
      And maybe they are thinking about their own future livelihoods and don’t want to be discriminated against for jobs, housing and schooling.
      All these are plausible given the pervasive air of intimidation and aggression by unconditional haters of all things Palestinian.
      Palestinians deserve to have their rights supported without outside intimidation and aggression

      • Reader20

        Yep, bands of armed Zionists roam the land gunning down unfriendly student legislators.

      • Reader20

        As you suggest, the most notorious of these bloodthirsty hordes come from the Anti-Defamation League. Many Jewish mothers are members of this organization, and they can strike fear into the hearts of anyone who crosses them.

      • BigSticksWalkSoftly

        Thanks for glossing over the US labeled terror group, JDL.
        And thanks for being ignorant to the racist history of ADL, which was sued in the 1990s in California for violating the civil rights and spying on Arab Americans.
        Yes racism still exists in America.
        Just ask your friends, Sheldon a delusion, Michael Lucas, and the LA Clippers owners, all of whom are big time bigots and Israel-firsters.
        Palestinians deserve to have their narratives heard free from hasbara spin and Zionist intimidation

      • Anonymous


        Are you a neo-Nazi because if you do not belong to that organization you should know you would feel right at home there.

        But, then again, leftist universities like Wesleyan also apparently do not question your Nazi tactics.

        “Inside every liberal is a totalitarian.” Wesleyan seems to bear this out.

      • BigSticksWalkSoftly

        If you don’t know the facts that the Jewish Defense League has committed many acts of terror, violence and killings against Americans,
        We’ll that speaks volumes.
        In addition, the ADL also has a blemished history of hate and intimidation against Arab-Americans, especially of Palestinian descent.
        Taken from Wikipedia:
        In 1993 twelve civil rights groups led by the ADC and the National Lawyers Guild filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles alleging that the “pro-Israel” Anti-Defamation League (ADL) had spied on their political activities and shared information with police. They demanded ADL release its surveillance information and end its investigations, as well as be ordered to pay punitive damages.[36][37] They also sued the police and sheriffs’ departments of San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego.[38] Then communications director Hussein Ibish stated that ADL was gathering information “systematically in a program whose clear intent was to undermine civil rights and Arab-American organizations.”[39] In 1999 ADL and the groups reached an agreement whereby ADL purged certain personal information held on the plaintiffs and agreed to pay $175,000 for the plaintiffs’ legal fees and contribute $25,000 toward a community relations fund to advance good relations among Arabs, Jews and others.[39][40]

      • Anonymous

        “….but can’t afford to hire bodyguards to protect them from JDL or ADL
        goons who have been known to kill and injure Palestinians and there
        supporters in the United States and elsewhere.”

        Where do you come up with this sh*t? You make Hitler’s propaganda minister look honest in comparison.

        I’m just curious, are you a member of CAIR and/or the MSA?