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July 08, 1967 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1967-07-08

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Seventy-Sixth Year
Editorials printed ix The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.

The Palestinian Problem: The Arab View

Vietnam Power Politics:
Night of the GeneraIs

IN VIETNAM, General Ky's withdrawal
as a presidential candidate in favor of
Lt. General Nguyen Van Thieu, a move
looked on by some as a step toward a
less militaristic government, is actually
likely to produce a more united front
against the civilians of the country. Ky,
in fact, was forced into taking the vice-
presidential spot by 50 of his colleagues
who make up the Vietnamese Armed
Forces Council, and who are the real
power behind the throne at this time.
Ky was made to subordinate himself
to Thieu not because he was too militar-
istic, but because his campaign methods
were too blatantly illegal for his fellow
generals to tolerate.
Thieu is no less a military man than
Ky, but he does have a certain amount
of political sophistication lacking in the
younger, more flamboyant man. Thieu
and Ky have been running the country
together for the past two years, and
while they definitely are not friends, they
do share a common goal, the continued
military control of Vietnam, and at least
generally agree on the means to that goal,
which include the continued military
presence of the United States.
BEFORE KY was "persuaded" to run
with Thieu, there was some chance
that the two military leaders would divide
the voters, particularly the important
600,000 man uniformed army, and that
the only serious civilian contender, Tran
Van Huong, might be able to muster
enough support to win. This thought,
was not palatable to either Ky or Thieu,
since Huong is running on a platform in
direct opposition to military control of
the government. The new alliance be-
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tween Ky and Thieu, however, effectively
eliminates Huong.
The only other man who might have
a chance to win is Major General Duong
Van Minh. Minh was instrumental in the
overthrow of the old Diem regime, and
he gained a great deal of popular sup-
port. Minh, however, is out of the coun-
try, and the Armed Forces Council re-
fuses to let him back in, labeling him as
a "security risk." Since Minh is cam--
paigning against "police state tactics," it
is probably the council's personal job se-
curity that is at stake. Since Minh evi-
dently won't get back in the country, a
victory by Thieu and Ky is almost inevit-
It is interesting to note that although
Ky could probably win the election with-
out Thieu or the council, and Thieu is
not anxious to have to control Ky after
the election, they are nonetheless sticking
together, exactly as President Johnson
"asked" them to during the recent talks
at Guam.
THE ONE THING that, unfortunately,
stands out from the whole episode is
that while Thieu may be a better poli-
tician than Ky, he is no less dependent
on the U.S. administration, and he is no
more a choice of the village peasant. The
only thing likely to change after the
election on September 3rd will be the
amount of candor shown by the ruling
Sooner or later, we may hope, the
people of South Vietnam may get an
elected government in which the civil-
ian population chooses the candidates.
Until then the military can certainly ex-
pect no more support from the peasants
than they are now receiving, and we can
expect the war to go on, and on, and
"IF WAR makes sense only as an exten-
sion of politics by other means, then
Israel's victory will make political sense
only if it leads to a new era of friendly .
relations with Nasser."
The Weekly, June 12, 1967
HAVE great respect for Nasser. Nas-
ser is a patriot. We should make an
effort to talk with him. If Nasser agrees
to talk, we should give up the Sinai.
Without Egypt, no other Arab state will
New York Times, June 18, 1967
-from I. F. Stone's Weekly,
July 3, 1967

Daily Guest Writer
Fifty years ago, with the signing
of the Balfour Declaration, the
seeds of the Zionist movement in
Europe began to ferment into one
of the most complex political and
human problems of this century,
the Arab-Israeli conflict.
After many years of bitter dis-
pute and terrorist activities, this
issue caused three major wars in
the past twenty years in the Mid-
die East while offering no signs
of peace at all. On the contrary,
it grimly points to bigger and
more dangerous wars. It is an un-
fortunate fact that the American
people have been, in a sense, de-
nied the opportunity to objec-
tively examine the roots of this
problem. The American Zionist
and Jewish power and influence,
mainly in the so-called liberal
Eastern establishment, have suc-
ceeded in acquiring a complete
monopoly over the mass commun-
ication media which has effec-
tively omitted facts and distorted
the Arab point of view. The Zion-
ist movement h a s exploited
American Jewish emotional in-
volvement in the s i t u a t ion
through this distortion and gross
misrepresentation of the Arab
people's rights and goals in order
to gather huge amounts of money
(more than $3 billion in the past
twenty years)sthat is constantly
sent over to Israel. It is only when
war errupts in the Middle East
that many Americans feel the
lack of basic knowledge about this
issue, and recognize the bias of
their massmedia, With this in
mind, I shall try in this article
to present sensibly the Arab point
of view of the Palestinian prob-
lem and its effects on the Arab
people and their national strug-
gle. I do hope that the reader
will not consider as a weakness
the presentation of one point of
view as being mindless of the
total problem or the Zionist point
of view. The Arab point of view is
to be heard in full if any objec-
tive understanding of this prob-
lem is desired.
I shall not dwell on the detailed
history of this problem for that
is rather lengthy and is very ade-
quately presented in numerous
books. I shall attempt rather to
clear up the complexity by de-
fining what the problem is and
what it is not.
* First, it is a legal problem
dealing with the rights of a dis-
placed people; namely, the more
than one million Arab refugees
that were and still are the main
consequences of the creation of
the state of Israel. The Arab
Palestinians' right of land owner-
ship was denied to them by the
use of force which led to their
exodus, and the partition of their
land by the U.N. (which the
Arabs do not regard as a legal
land giver) under the pressure of
the Western world and giving it
to foreign Zionists.
An objection can be raised here
that terrorist activities and force
were used by both sides. Let it be
apparent (and this argument
holds in other cases) that the
Palestinians were resisting in self-
defense of their homes and land
on which they lived for thirteen
continuous centuries against the
aggression of foreigners to that
land, who, once arriving there,
were in turn forced to fight for
their own existence. But it was
the Zionists, with the support of
the West, who thrust themselves
into Palestine against the interests
and rights of the inhabitants
and, therefore, causing this in-
human confrontation.
0 Second, it is a human-psy-
chological problem dealing with
the right of men to determine
their destinies in the light of
forced submission into a state of
"refugees" after the loss of their

land. There is some truth that
the Arab refugees are being used
as a "political football" by some
Arab states. But this political
move should not obscure the
brotherly efforts of the Arab
states and the human feelings of
the refugees themselves. Many
Arab states have done more than
their share in alleviating the
plight of the refugees by building
cities for them, or granting them
citizenships, or helping them es-
tablish themselves through educa-
tion and work. Despite these ef-
forts, the highly proud and na-
tionalistic feelings of the wronged
Arab refugees (which is a diffi-
cult emotion for the Americans
to grasp) is a sufficient force that
convinces them to reject the idea
of absorption in any other area
that their land their homes. After
all, how can the Zionists, who
themselves have been waiting to
return to the "promised land" for
two thousand years, expect the
Palestinians, after only twenty
years, to forget their land and be
established elsewhere - especially
after their ruthless treatment and
0 Third, it is a national-terri-
torial problem dealing with the
territorial integrity of Palestine
and geographic continuity of the
Arab home-land which Israel has
disrupted. The argument that the
Zionists "deserve" that land for
turning it from a backward and
economically poor land into a pro-
ductive modern state is as invalid
and unjustified to the Arabs as it
would be to the Americans if the
Russians would take over back-
ward and starving Appalachia, de-
veloping it and thence advancing
a territorial claim over it.
" Fourth, it is a security prob-
lem because Zionist Israel is ne-
cessarily expanionistic as a result
of continued immigration, inter-
nal growth, and "self-defense"
wars with the Arabs as clearly
evident from the recent conflict.
The hostility that leads to such
aggressive a n-d expansionistic
"self-defense" wars is forced up-
on the Arabs (in the sense of a
previous argument) and is de-
liberately perpetrated by Israel
and the West in refusing to recog-
nize and effectively deal with the
wronged rights of the Arabs under
the cover of the advice, "let us
forget the past and prepare for
the future." They are, in fact,
asking that the Arabs forget their
rights. This the Arabs will not do,
especially at this revolutionary
stage of their national struggle,
and will, therefore, in turn re-
fuse to accept the justification for
Israel's existence and will con-
tinue to consider it as an aggres-
sor state supported by the West-
ern powers.
O Fifth, it is an ideological
problem. Arab nationalism, in its
secularism, in its belief in the
equality of all human beings, and
its renunciation of racial pre-
judices can not accept a theo-
cratic state and an ideology based
upon the concept of a "chosen
people" which regards an act of
depriving a million people of
their property a foremost goal.
The value systems of Arab na-
tionalism and Zionism are dia-
metrically opposed.
* Sixth, it is an anti-imperial-
istic problem dealing with the
colonial encroachment of West-
ern interests upon the basic
rights of the Arab people. A his-
torical analysis of the develop-
ment of the problem should clear-
ly blame the West for the exist-
ence of hostility and war in the
Middle East-whether in offering
a piece of land it did not own to
foreigners against the rights and
interests of the inhabitants of
that land; or in trying to clear its
conscience for its persecution of
the Jews by making the innocent

Palestinians pay for and carry
the burden of the crimes of the
West; or in trying to secure the
Jewish vote and succumbing to
Zionist pressure in avoiding to
recognize and to ignore the rights
of the Arabs. The Arab people are
still very sensitive and hostile to
Western imperialism and the co-
lonial evils it has brought them-
whether in Aden at present, in
Algeria until a few years back, in
the clear aggression against an
Arab state in 1956, in helping es-
tablish a hostile foreign state on
Arab soil, or in the partition and
dominance of the Arab nation by
the Western powers, after assur-
ances to the contrary, at the end
of the First World War. Neither
food nor military aid can oblite-
rate these facts. All of the tech-
nology and benefits of the capi-
talist system cannot compensate
for its inherent inhuman, aggres-
sive, and imperialistic premises.
THE PALESTINE problem is
definitely not the following:
First, it is not a religious strug-
gle, The problem is neither Arab-
Jewish nor Moslem-Jewish. The
powerful machine of Zionist prop-
aganda tries to picture it as such
in order to arouse Jewish support
throughout the world to Israel
and to exploit any Christian pre-
judices against Islam. The Arabs
are not against the Jews but
against the Israelis and Zionists
among the Jews and the gentiles.
There should emphatically be a
clear disitnction between Judiasm
and Zionism, for such a distinc-
tion exists in reality. The Pales-
tine problem is a struggle between
Arab nationalism and modern
militant Zionism. It is equally
against the secular nature of the
Arab nationalist movement that
we should accept making the
Palestine question a Moslem-Jew-
ish one. Palestine is an integral
part of the Arab homeland and its
people an indivisible part of the
one Arab nation. That is how we
identify it. We welcome the sup-
port and sympathy of all those
who believe in the justice of our
cause regardless of their religion.
Turning a national struggle into
a religious one or vice-versa is
only self-defeating and reac-
Secondly, the Arab-Israeli strug-
gle is not a racial one. Neither
the Arabs nor the Israelis are
distinct races, for both are a
mixture of many races.
Third, it is not merely a refugee
problem; and if it were, we should
not forget that the Palestinian
refugees are unique. There are
undoubtedly millions of refugees
in the world: East Europeans,
Cubans, Hungarians and Chinese
for example. In none of these
other cases, however, was the ma-
jority of the population uprooted
and displaced by deliberate and
ruthless acts of terrorism, as was
the case in Palestine. There is
still a Cuba dwelt by Cubans, and
there is still a Hungary dwelt
by Hungarians,, no, matter how
free or oppressed they are. But in
the case of Palestine, we note two
distinct facts: First, the refugees
from this country are 80 per cent
of the total Palestine population-
before any serious immigration
took place. Also, in the case of
the other refugees, the poplation
remained in the country and the
country remained in the posses-
sion of its people. But the Pales-
tinians were deprived of their
land. They were, as a people, de-
nied the right of national exist-
ence in their homeland. No other
refugees are in such a situation.
And because of the above two rea-
sons, the Palestine refugee prob-
lem cannot be solved financially.
It does not only deal with a loss
of property, but with a loss of
national existence.

HAS THE LATEST war, in fact,
solved any of the basic issues? As
far as the Arabs are concerned,
the answer is a definite no. A
minor military victory does not
justify Israel's existence to the
Arabs. Neither does it deal with
the rights of the Palestinian refu-
gees, nor did it convince us of
Israel's intention or willingness in
securing peace in the Middle East.
On the contrary, the Arab people
have lost more land, more Arabs
are being expelled from their land
(350,000 Arabs in Gaza are being
moved to the western bank of
the river Jordan), and the ex-
pansionistic fervor and technique
(the use of napalm) of Moshe
Dayan blunt all appeals for peace
and mutual tolerance.
Several people here have been
thinking about different ways to
achieve stability and peace in the
area, such as a de-Zionized state
of Israel, mutual economic trade,
etc. .. . I want to point out one
thing in this regard. It has been
several decades now that the
Zionists and the Arabs have been
telling their people that their
cause is completely right and jus-
tified and that the other is com-
pletely wrong, forgetting to men-
tion and emphasize at least the
human tragedies of the other side
being confronted with the more
menacing political issues. As a
result of that, deep and entrench-
ed feelings of hate have been
constantly growing in both sides.
I ask, how can sympathy and
tolerance that leads to under-
standing and peace develop under
such circumstances? As an ex-
ample of the prejudices and hate,
I offer the American Zionists and
the effect of their biased propa-
ganda on the American Jews.
I am especially critical of the
American liberal attitudes (such
as the New Republic), in refusing
to even recognize the Arabs'
rights, on their biased and un-
peaceful stand on this issue; and
for that matter, their unethical
double standard of international
morality. The Vietnamese doves,

such as Sen. Jacob Javits, Sen.
Wayne Morse, and many Jewish
liberals have converted into Mid-
dIe Eastern hawks during the
recent crisis. The Americans
should, therefore, examine and
correct their dilemma before ask-
ing the Arabs and Israelis for
peace and understanding and the
prevention of a nuclear Third
World War.
Finally, have the Arabs really
lost this war? Militarily, yes, for
the time being: but they have won
themselves. This crisis has cer-
tainly shocked the Arab intellec-
tuals and the Arab people in lift-
ing the mask of pompus rhetoric
and in recognizing the internal
weakness in the very structure of
existing Arab society that led to
such a defeat. It has gravely
demonstrated the wasted energy
caused by the friction and petty
quarrels among the progressive
political parties themselves while
neglecting the basicissues and
goals that they all seek, social-
ism, freedom, and unity. It
brought into realization the use
of the vital power that the Arabs
have in their oil which sustained
their enemies. It has pointed to-
ward the urgent need for a more
radical revolution and a faster
rate of progress for the Arab
masses, for their own welfare and
strength and in order to rapidly
reach the advanced standard of
the modern and technical world
today. Whether the Arab intel-
lectuals, who have the main re-
sponsibility in instigating'and im-
plementing the now apparent
needs and forces for radical
change among the masses, will
move or not depends on the cur-
rent atmosphere in the Arab
lands. I am very encouraged by
several signs from the ,10,000
Arab students who are studying
in the U.S.A. and Canada, and I
do know that the Arab revolution
is well in progress for the past
several decades though its path
needs some radical changes by the
Arabs themselves.



Number Two Man
Will Try Harder
In principle, Brigadier General Nguyen Cao Ky (who prefers to
be addressed as Vice Air Marshal) has never been No. 1 in the
"National Leadership Committee," the ruling military junta, since the
June, 1965 coup d'etat which brought him into power. He was and still
is the Executive Director-that is, the Prime Minister. General Nguyen
Van Thieu, the leader of the Committee, is No. 1 or Chief of State.
But through shrewd political machinations, General Ky dominated
the political scene both nationally and internationally during the last
two years. In three encounters with President Johnson, at Honolulu,
Manila and Guam, he stole the show from his superior who is good
only at behind-the-scene maneuvers and does not talk much. At the
Guam meeting in March 1967, General Ky presented President Johnson
with the Constitution of South Vietnam and promised the American
leader that he would keep the ARVN (Army Republic of (South)
Vietnam) united, and the junta in harmony. However since May 1967,
in his drive-first unofficial, then open-towards the Presidency to
which he felt entitled, he forgot the Guam promise. His noisy and
illegal campaigning (according to the Electoral Laws, the campaign
begins only on Aug. 3) and his eagerness to secure votes through the
military commanders and district police chiefs under the control of
his close associate, feared and hated General Nguyen Ngoc Loan,
alarmed both his colleagues in the junta and in the U.S. Embassy-in
Saigon. Ky knew about this. But his friend, General Loan had re-
assured him that he had the control of the situation. Another friend
of Ky's, Bu Diem, whom has been, since January, the Ambassador
of South Vietnam in Washington, only recently assured him of com-
plete U.S. backing. But Diem just spent few weeks in Saigon to give
the final touch and needed advice to Ky's plan for elected. Ky agents
were spreading the important news that the Pentagon, the White House
and the State Department were behind the Vice Air Marshal. Wash-
ington, of course, denied this in due time.
WHILE KY was using government facilities to advertise himself
as the leader of the "government of the poor" (people in South Viet-
nam say that this title is apropos since the regime has impoverished
everyone), General Thieu was working hard behind the scenes. He
discreetly contacted the Corps Commanders (four in all), the Division
Commanders (10 in all) and convinced them that Ky was going to
damage the unity of the army. Finally, when KY declared himself a
candidate, Thieu decided that he also will run. A battle between the
No. 1 and No. 2 men in the junta thus began. Ky's Department of
Information headed by General Nguyen Bao Tri, a fellow Northerner,
censored Thieu's speeches and statements; General Loan's agents
harassed Thieu henchmen. The Army was definitely split and Wash-
ington was worried and angry-Ky had broken the Guam promise.
On June 19, Ambassador Bunker, who had known how to handle the
Dominican Republic generals, asked Thieu, Ky and General Cao Van
Vien, Chief of Staff of the ARVN, to come to his house for lunch.
During the conversation, Ambassador Bunker reminded Ky of the
Guam promise, expressed his disgust for General Loan's arbitrary
arrests and machinations and conveyed to the triumvirate Washing-
ton's concern about the division within the ranks of the ARVN. He also
told the Vietnamese generals that Washington would give preference
to no one in the presidential race.
Thieu was happy. He immediately signaled Washington neutrality
to his friends who at the same time have also been aware of criticism
by the U.S. press of Ky's illegal campaigning. On June 25, the Corps
and Division commanders and senior officers in the junta met in
Saigon. Ky made a last-ditch attempt to isolate Thieu. He asked his
friend, General Le Nguyen Khang, Third Corps Commander to move
his troops for some military exercises around Saigon. To his great
surprise, Khang did not comply to the order. Ky's battle was lost. He
had no choice but to step down and on June 30, publicly consented
to run as Vice President on the ticket of General Nguyen Van Thieu,
the Chief of State.
THE AFFAIR IS closed at least for the time being. But as No. 2,
and having lost his face, Ky will try harder to regain his power. Al-
ready, after his tactical and forced retreat, Ky has called for unity
anr sarifice -He mnve nnw with cautionn hut is not finished vet. He

a +
k~r ? .
ti , S Y t V .'.

Letters to the Editor

SDS and Middle East
As a fraternal delegate to the
1967 SDS Annual Convention from
the University Christian Move-
ment, I wish to register my en-
thusiasm for the seriousness and
sophistication shown by the For-
eign Policy Workshop's critical
approach to the Middle East ques-
tion, and particularly to the dom-
inant role (direct or via the UN)
that our America played before,
duringuand after the 1948 parti-
tion of Palestine.
Only a radical organization like
SDS could dare consider the five
points raised (re: Daily issue of
June 28) in the face of an enor-
mously distorted U.S. press that
encourages and "documents" the
kind of replies in your "Letters to
the Editor" (June 30) that claim
"Israel embodies the very ideal of
democracy in the Middle East."
I WOULD emphasize a point
which is of extreme importance-
perhaps even of some urgency for
a group such as SDS which with
some reason sees trends of Hitler-
ism in our present system. As one
living in New York and working
in the national offices of major
American Protestant churches,

Dr. Levy (a Jewish dermatolog-
ist who refused to train men
bound for Vietnam)-"If they
won't fight our war in Vietnam,
why should we fight their war in
the Middle East?" Dr. Levy is my
kind of American-he is our hero
at this time of national madness.
Vietnam is not our war! The
crisis in the Middle East is not
an Arab-Jewish conflict; it is a

struggle between Arab nationalism
and modern militant Zionism.
Although SDS didn't pass a res-
olution, my disillusionment with
SDS will remain negligible beside
the fears I harbor for the future
of America.
-Henry Bucher, Jr.^
Field Secretary
University Christian


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