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March 16, 1990 - Image 28

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-03-16

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

CLOSE-UP

Public Opinion

Continued from preceding page

Jewish students to
memorialize the victims of a
bus bombing in Israel.
"It bothers me a little, see-
ing the Palestinian shanties
in the Diag," said Kaluzni.
"But there's not much I can
do about it because they have
their right to demonstrate as
long as it's not harming me
or anybody else."
Jewish student activists
have organized rallies to
mark Israeli Independence
Day and to protest the
editorial practices of the
newspaper; Palestinian
students have marched on
campus to commemorate the
anniversaries of the intifada
and the declaration of an in-
dependent Palestinian state.
Both sides write letters to
The Michigan Daily and
bring speakers to campus.
Kohane said the frequency
of negative articles about
Israel encourages Jewish stu-
dent activism on the U of M
campus.
"I think The Daily makes
Jews much more active. Peo-
ple have responded because
they feel outraged. I think
Jewish activity has upped a
notch because of The Daily"
Brosilow said anti-Israel ar-
ticles in the campus newspa-
per make some students "so
irate that they are driven to
activism in 'Pagar and other
Zionist groups on campus,"
despite political leanings
that might ordinarily "repel"
them from such groups.

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Most students "know very
little about the history of
what's going on in the Mid-
dle East, even recent history,
because it doesn't affect their
personal lives, Hillel's
Kohane said.
At the same time they are
not boorish, insensitive peo-
ple. They have feelings and
most of them are intelligent.
They are, therefore, people
susceptible to be moved or in-
fluenced by whoever talks to
them and presents them with
a cogent case. And that's why
there is a purpose in being
consistent on our part in
presenting a balanced view
when it comes to Israel."
Critics charge that a lack
of balance characterized a
Dec. 2 seminar at the U of M
Center for Near Eastern and
North African Studies. The
seminar, titled "Thaching the
Arab-Israeli Conflict," was
organized for 12th grade
teachers to present "the
perception of as many posi-

Yitzhak Shamir was called a terrorist in this Palestinian display at Wayne
State.

tions in the conflict as possi-
ble," said director Elizabeth
Barlow.
"We have found in the
course of talking to teachers
and listening that the posi-
tion of the Palestinians is not
well understood. And clearly,
we want to present the
Jewish perspective, the
American Jewish perspec-
tive, the Israeli perspectives
as much as possible. I believe
we did that in our seminars,"
Barlow said.

Goldstein said the seminar
was "completely slanted"
toward the pro-Palestinian
position and disregarded
other viewpoints. She said
Barlow presented only por-
tions of films with Palesti-
nian spokesmen and Israelis
sympathetic to the Palesti-
nian cause.
"I think what is upsetting
to some people is when they
hear for the first time a
Palestinian perspective,"
Barlow said. "And if you
bring them something new
that they haven't heard
before, instead of saying
`Thank you for bringing me
something that I haven't
known before,' they say. 'I
haven't heard this before, you
must be biased.' "
Barlow said the seminar is
intended to help teachers
present different points of
view to their students about
Arab-Israeli relations.
"They don't have to agree
with them. But they need to
be exposed to what different
people think and feel and
understand." She added that
the ultimate goal is to give

teachers a background that
will allow their students to
develop "critical thinking
skills and to give them the
ability to perceive various
sides of a conflict."
The campus propoganda
issue is being addressed
around the country. In Los
Angeles, where large groups
of Jewish and Arab students
attend area universities, four
Jewish community organiza-
tions cosponsor the "Israel
Campus Leadership Mis-
sion." The annual program,
in its second year, sends 15
undergraduates from various
Southern California univer-
sities to Israel to learn about
Israeli political and security
issues. During the two-week
mission, students visit the
Knesset and meet with
leaders, university leaders,
West Bank settlers and
Israeli Arabs.
Mission participants are of-
fered $1,500 scholarships in
exchange for a written pro-
mise to organize pro-Israel
campus programs within
four months of their return.
Their progress is monitored
at a monthly meeting with
the Israel Campus Task
Force, comprised of represen-
tatives of the four agencies
that sponsor the mission —
the American Zionist Youth
Foundation, the World
Zionist Organization, the
Jewish Federation Council
and the Los Angeles Hillel
Council.
"We're hoping the mission
will become a model program
around the country," said
mission leader Rhoda
Weisman.



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