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September 07, 1979 - Image 131

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The Michigan Daily, 1979-09-07

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The Michigan Daily-Friday, September 7, 1979-Page 3-B

AP Photo by Loren Portnow
REV. JESSE JACKSON advocated U.S. recognition of the Palestinian Liberation Organization and University divest-
ment from companies doing business in South Africa during a commencement speech last month. Jackson addressed
about 500 graduates and their guests at Hill Auditorium.
Jackson calls or PLO

recognition,

'U' divestment

By ELIZABETH SLOWIK
Civil rights leader Rev. Jesse
Jackson called for recognition of the
Palestinian Liberation Organization
(PLO) and suggested that American
universities divest themselves of stock
in companies doing business in South
Africa during a commencement speech
at a crowded Hill Auditorium Aug. 19.
Jackson also said differences bet-
ween AmericarqJews and blacks should
be recognized and resolved. While they
have been on "different sides of the
table on every critical issue," Jackson
said, "blacks and Jews must begin a
quest for human rights." The civil
rights leader also called for "creative
negotiation to avoid confrontation."
JACKSON DREW both boos and ap-
plause from the approximately 500
graduates and their guests who atten-
ded the commencement ceremonies
when he advocated recognition of the
PLO. But the audience seemed
unanimous in support of divestment
with its resounding applause. About
2,000 University students graduated at
the end of Summer Term.
At a press. conference before his
speech, Jackson underscored his sup-
pbrt of divestiture.
"That's (divestment) not the only
way to bring apartheid to an end, but
it's a profound way to make an im-
pact." The economic slowdown caused
by weakened American interests in

South Africa would make "apartheid
less able to protect economic in-
terests," he explained.
"THE AGENDA in South Africa is
not affirnative action for a few; it is
liberation for the masses. Something
inside told the black South African 'he
ought to be free. I would urge this
University'and all within the sound of
my voice to make a decision on South
Africa and to be on the right side of
history. Divestment is a method that
must be exercised."
During the press conference, Jackson
said, "Palestinians have human rights
and they must be affirmed. PLO
recognition moves beyond warfare. If
we ignore the Arabs and Palestinian
recognition, there will be an economic
confrontation in the Arab states the
U.S. doesn't have the power to compete
with." He called former Secretary of
State Henry Kissinger's decision not to
talk to the PLO "an international ab-
surdity. '
FORMER UN Ambassador Andrew
Young was "undercut, sacrificed,"
Jackson said. "He was asked to fly,
then told it was illegal to have wings."
Young resigned after it was disclosed
that he had met with PLO represen-
tatives while U.S. policy denies the
existence of the PLO.
Jackson said he asked President Car-
ter for an investigation of charges that

the Israeli government spied on Young
and a review of the duties and restric-
tion of the UN ambassador. He also said
other state department officials had
talked to PLO representatives and "the
claim of no contact with the PLO is
deceptive, an illusion at best, a cover-
up at worst."
JACKSON ALSO said Carter would
find "mixed feelings" among blacks
toward a Carter re-election bid. Car-
ter's policies on majority rule in central
Africa and his human rights stance will
help the president win black voters, but
the troubled economy and the lack of a
"coherent urban policy" could per-
suade some blacks to abandon the
president, Jackson explained.
While Carter is "the only real
president we've got going," there is "no
basis for blind loyalty in Carter or the
(Democratic) party," Jackson added.
He refused to indicate who he might
support in 1980.
Jackson and Virginia Jones, dean of
the School of Library Service at Atlanta
University, were awarded honorlry
degrees during the ceremony.
Before introducing Jackson, Interim
University President Allan Smith said a
"crisis of confidence has permeated
higher education." Growth in higher
education is beginning to dwindle and
financial support is becoming more dif-
ficult to garner," Smith said. He added
that efforts to politicize the University
should be resisted.

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