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Brandeis University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1949 | Waltham, MA

Ben Feshbach


Synagogues faced with impossible choices after Tree of Life

 In the aftermath of the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, safety is at the forefront of the American Jewish psyche. In the name of preventing attacks such as this from happening ever again, a number of proposals have been raised. Many of these proposals are practical and reasonable, others, not so much.  

Denounce recent attacks on the American Jewish community

“How can this be happening in America? How can people like these be in charge of our country? If I didn’t see it with my own eyes, I’d think I was having a hallucination.” Again and again, Philip Roth’s 2004 novel, “The Plot Against America,” has provided a depressingly prescient insight into what is to come over the next four years.

Consider potential detriments of refusing to accept Syrian refugees

Whether  the U.S. should increase the number of refugees it is willing to accept and resettle is a debate often framed in terms of compassion versus security: Those in favor of taking more refugees assert that it is the humane thing to do, our moral calling as Americans; those against warn that accepting refugees from the Syrian Civil War will threaten our national security because some of them might be terrorists.  Although progressives like myself think that American inclusivity is self-evidently supportive of refugees, that hasn’t convinced conservatives thus far.

Criticize Trump’s concept of the American Dream

Despite what the op-ed pages of the New York Times might have one believe, there really is no unified theory of Trump — an overriding explanation for his entrance into public life last summer and, ever since, his utter domination of the Republican presidential race.  One of the most common “theories of Trump” is that he says what others think but are too afraid to say, such as racist and sexist slurs that scapegoat Americans’ economic anxieties.

Encourage competition in politics to appeal to young voters

This election cycle, a combination of procedure and unpredictable events pose a serious threat to voter turnout, particularly among young voters, or voters ages 18 to 35.  The first of these problems is the scheduling of elections in the U.S., which disincentivizes voter turnout, particularly among young people pretty much every election cycle.

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