Opinion letter to the editor

Addressing falsities in ‘A Not-So-Merry Christmas in Jerusalem’

‘Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts’ — Daniel Patrick Moynihan

The Jan. 11 opinion piece in The Tech titled “A Not-So-Merry Christmas in Jerusalem” was littered with factual inaccuracies. Thankfully, The Tech addressed two such examples in a follow-up issuing of corrections, namely the false claims that Israeli authorities did not permit Christmas decorations and that there was no international support in the U.N. for the U.S. recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

I am writing this letter, however, because these corrections do not cover all of the false claims made in the piece. Especially for a topic as sensitive and often inflammatory as this, it is important that the discussion remain truthful and precise.  If truth becomes arbitrary, then there will never be a productive conversation on the topic, let alone meaningful resolution.

For this reason, it is important to bring to light all inaccuracies demonstrated in this piece that were not mentioned in the corrections. I hope such inaccuracies will be avoided in the future.

This is just an attempt to address the factual inaccuracies of the piece. There are also many instances in the article where the authors fail to provide context, lie by omission, provide inappropriate sources, or manipulate the readers’ emotions. But, you have to start somewhere. Although this was an opinion piece, The Tech should hold all authors to a high standard for truth and accuracy, just like they would in any other section of the paper. After all, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.”

— Suri Bandler 17, MEng 18, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science