LETTER TO THE EDITOR: ‘Documentarian discusses refugee treatment in Israel’

Dear Editor,

Yesterday the Daily Trojan printed two stories about Palestinian Awareness Week on their front page. We feel these stories are a misrepresentation of the facts in the Middle East and do not reflect the student body and its diversity of opinions on our campus. We are concerned that front-page coverage of an event attended by eleven people, with a speaker who is known for bashing Israel is poor judgment on the Daily Trojan’s part. Following the Daily Trojan’s failure to report on a panel regarding economic development in the West Bank held just two weeks ago, which was attended by 220 people, we find this bias in reporting disturbing,

SC Students for Israel has repeatedly made itself available for comment and were not contacted in regards to these stories. As the primary publication on campus, it is the Daily Trojan‘s responsibility to engage in proper diligence in reporting, regardless of the subject. If the staff is unable to find someone to represent the other side of an issue, they should abstain from printing the story.

The article regarding David Sheen’s speech in the March 11th issue was hastily prepared, which is evident by the typos and lack of representation of differing points of view. We ask that in the future, more time and effort be put into such political stories, especially when they are so prominently featured.

We expect more from an award-winning college paper representing more than 300,000 of the most diverse students and alumni in the U.S. We would hope that the USC Daily Trojan would uphold the fundamental principles of journalism, which include objectivity and fairness. We expect the entire Daily Trojan staff to make a more honest effort in trying to cover both sides of the story and prevent the kind of biased coverage seen in Tuesday’s issue. We understand that these publication decisions may not have been made with intention, and we would like the opportunity to meet with your staff so there is better understanding of what could be done in the future to represent a more balanced view of political issues in the Middle East.

Thank you,

SC Students for Israel

USC College Republicans

 Sam Dorn,

USC College Democrats

Jared Fleitman,

National Chairman of Tamid


Editor’s Note: Yesterday, the Daily Trojan ran feature art of USC’s Student for Justice in Palestine’s “mock apartheid wall” and one story on an event hosted by SJP as part of their annual Palestine Awareness Week.

The event coverage included in the Daily Trojan do not reflect the opinions of the Daily Trojan, the university faculty or the student body. Like all news articles, event coverage only goes to reflect the points of view of the speakers or individuals involved. We have a policy of not commenting on the content of events because we do not take stances on such issues. Our opinion content is left to the opinion section, and the opinions expressed in those pieces are the opinions of the respective writers, and do not reflect those of the Daily Trojan, the university’s faculty or student body.

We welcome any and all dialogue that promotes a better understanding of all global conflicts, including those in the Middle East. We will continue to publish event coverage that reflects what is currently taking place on our campus, as we have done throughout our 101-year history. We covered SJP’s event in the way we saw to be most impartial without placing any value judgment.


Yasmeen Serhan

Editorial Director, Daily Trojan

4 replies
  1. Dan
    Dan says:

    What un-mitigated gall these authors have: to paraphrase:

    “If you cannot check with us first, don’t write the story because we want to first edit it to our liking, Before it goes to Print”.

    I thought bullying was outlawed at USC. What a ham-handed threat from a bunch of thugs.

    The above authors cite nothing in this film or in this lecture as being inaccurate. I attended; it is accurate.
    This is the problem, apparently: the accurate portrayal of the current situation in Israel/Palestine.

    It is just childish entitlement when they state the article “Misrepresents the Student Body and it’s Diversity of Opinions”. There is no article that can possibly represent the all opinions carried by all students at USC. When is the last time SC Students for Israel asked the DT to get the Palestinian rebuttal.

    Frankly, I am stunned that the DT printed this bold-faced attempt at forcing your values as a journalist. So, next time, be sure to call the SC Students for Israel to get their permission before you publish anything contrary to what Israel wants us to see.

    I have a suggestion, how about we get this group into the offices and explain the freedom of the press laws to them. After all, it is the freedom of the press that assures our freedom from tyranny more than anything.

    We do not bow to tyrants and this letter is from a group of desperate tyrants trying to hide the truth of the matter.

  2. kathy
    kathy says:

    This complete and utter intolerance towards others is completely humiliating to Israelis with a conscience.

    Open your minds look at what’s happening in Palestine and tell me it’s okay with you.

  3. brenda
    brenda says:

    Now SC Students for Israel a.k.a. Hillel, which is a professional lobbying organization run by paid agents of AIPAC, (this is a fact) wants to control the press of USC.

    I say go to Washington if you want to use your strong arm tactics; they are not wanted here at USC.

    There is no official censorship of the Press in the USA, but there is in Israel. Hoooray for the USA and freedom of speech and press!

  4. Justin
    Justin says:


    The Israeli lobby is alive and kicking at USC.

    The truth obviously hurts their image and thus, they protest. It is not the responsibility of the University/DT to check-in with the local Israeli lobby (Hillel/AIPAC) when issues of the Middle East arise. I am sorry but Hillel is not the go-to, indispensable partner to USC on all things Middle East; other points of view are and should be valued and allowed a voice.

    Congratulations to the DT for printing the news

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