DIPAC Barkam event a success:

The Dartmouth Israel Public Affairs Committee event last night featuring Mr. Nimrod Barkan speaking on the current Israel/Palestinian crisis was a success. Michael Sevi �02, VP of DIPAC, organized the event with the express purpose of �addressing hard questions through intelligent dialogue.� The forty or so students and community members who took part in the night�s constructive dialogue would likely agree that the event fulfilled its purpose. This event stood in stark contrast to the brash and often crude protestors and the speech-silencing S and S officers of the recent Collis protest. As Mr. Sevi explained of the Barkan event, �this is the only way this can be explored in a meaningful contect.�

In the first segment of the event, Mr. Barkan thoroughly outlined the events that have led Israel and the Palestinians to their current situation, explaining how Arafat�s unwillingness to give up terrorism-one of the �key pillars� Arafat agreed to under the Oslo peace plan-was the reason for the current stalemate. Mr. Barkan feels that the current conflict is a �war for state power,� and that �as long as the Palestinians believe they can use terror� there will be a stalemate.

As to current events, Mr. Barak explained how Israel was left with �no alternative� after the Passover Massacre and the recent spate of homicide bombers, but to deal with the terrorists directly themselves. He also explained how Israel was skeptical of UN fact finding mission to Jenin, due to the UN�s poor history in the past of being objective in the slightest when it comes to Israel. There seems to be much ado about nothing in this case as Jenin photos indicate, only a few houses were actually totally destroyed. Answering a number of mostly well thought out questions from the audience, Mr. Barkan explained how he felt Europe suffers from �an appeasement mentality� and that pressure from their Arab populations makes it �easier for them to be anti-Israel.� Ending on a note of hopefulness, Mr. Barak looks forward to a time when new Palestinian leadership will be willing to go back to the negotiation table.