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September 10, 1972 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1972-09-10

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Eighty-one years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.
Olympic terror and Tanya

SPEAKING ON the slayings of 11 mem-
bers of the Israeli Olympic team,
President Nixon declared that their
deaths were "a hideous perversion of the
Olympic spirit."
"In tribute to them let us reinforce,
not just our aspirations, but our actions,
in quest of the brotherhood that was de-
nied to them."
Even before the President had spoken
these words, the United States had em-
barked on diplomatic efforts through-
out the world to prevent more such "per-
There was something quite curious
about the way we went about it: Both
the Senate and the House resolved that
"all means be sought by which the civi-
lized world may cut off from contact
with civilized mankind any peoples or
any nation giving sanctuary, support,
sympathy, aid or comfort to acts of mur-
der and barbarism such as those just,
witnessed at Munich."
The same day, American bombers flew

230 raids over North Vietnam.
THIS SEQUENCE of events might be
amusing if it were not so frighten-
ing - but it is no quirk that the Presi-
dent and Congress can so vehemently;
condemn terrorist acts while at the same
time they perpetuate a situation of or-
ganized terror.
In May, Nixon had scarcely finished
ordering the mining of Haiphong Har-
bor and the employment of the heaviest
bombardment in the history of the world
when he flew off to Leningrad to utter a
few pious words of brotherhood.
Mentioning the suffering of a little
Russian girl during the second world
war, the President declared, "Let us think
of Tanya and the other Tanyas and their
brothers and sisters everywhere in Rus-
sia and China and in America as we
proudly meet our responsibilities for
leadership in the world in a way worthy
of a great people."
In the same vein, Secretary of State
William Rogers urged Wednesday, at a
meeting seeking to draft a convention
against hijackings, prompt action to
.deny "terrorists and would-be terror-
ists one of their most effective weapons"
as a "major step to subdue international
lawlessness and terrorism."
Can these pleadings truly be taken ser-
iously while our anti-personnel bombs
are seeking out helpless Vietnamese?

TrHE AMERICAN media have consistently
portrayed the tragedy of Munich as a
senseless act perpetrated against innocent
Jews as Jews by Arab terrorists who have
violated the underlying Olympic principle
of international brotherhood.
This unfortunate presentation of the in-
cident by the use of misleading terms and
by concentrating on the symptom rather
than the cause can only perpetuate the sit-
uation which produced the act in the first
We can only conclude that Israel and,
following its lead, the American media in-
tend to mislead international public opin-
ion when they present the situation in such
terms as victimized Jews when they mean
Israelis who have usurped the land of
Palestine, Arabs when they mean Palestin-
ians, and terrorists when they mean peo-
ple who defend the right to return to their
homes using the limited means at their
disposal to reach that goal.
The situation which has produced the
act is the continuing expulsion of the Pal-
estinian people from their homeland, their
dispersion throughout the Arab world and
elsewhere, and the denial of their interna-
tionally recognized right to repatriation.
This is a time when world Jewry cries out
for the Soviet Jews to be allowed to emi-
grate to Israel and to take over the occup-
ied lands of the Palestinians while simul-
taneously denying the right of the Pales-
tinians themselves to return. It is not sur-
prising that this state of affairs produces
men and women willing to take any mea-
sure which might lead them home.
WE GET NOWHERE by pulling t h e
Munich incident out of its context, treating
it in a vacuum and conceiving it as sense-
less brutality. Rather, this was a reasoned
act, deliberately planned and executed, and
motivated on at least two levels. In terms

Symbol of
of the overall aim, it was an attempt on
the part of the actors to contribute to
the resolution of the Palestine problem, us-
ing the sole technique left open to them.
On the immediate and concrete level, the
objective was to free a portion of the
more than 2000 Palestinian political prison-
ers held in Israeli jails.
Which brings us to the question of why
the members of the Black September or-
ganization resorted to the use of this par-
ticular technique to achieve those aims. It
is the desperate tactic of. a people living
under perpetual stress with all other pos-
sible avenues to reduce that stress pro-
gressively denied them.
Diplomatic attempts through the Unit-
ed Nations have consistently failed to re-
patriate a single Palestinian in the 25
years of exile. Relying on the conventional
armies of the Arab states has only result-
ed in the Israeli occupation of the whole
of Palestine, as well as large areas of
adjacent Arab states.
There remained to the Palestinians only
that strategy whereby a weaker people
struggles against a stronger more technol-
ogically able people according to the prin-
ciple of progressively wearing down the
strength of the adversary over a consid-
erably period of time. This is the strategy
of guerrilla warfare.
AFTER THE 1967 war, the guerrila
movement was generally both able and
careful to exercise restraint in choosing
their techniques of operation and in their
choice of targets. This was rendered pos-
sible by the geographical proximity of the
Resistance to Israel and the occupied ter-
ritories where military objectives were re-
latively accessible.
These restraints, however, came to be
eroded by a number of factors. Pushed out
'of the Israeli-controlled territories, the
Palestinian Resistance sought refuge in
those Arab states adjacent to Israel. l'ac-

ed with the revenge meted out by the
Israelis against the civilians of t h o s e
countries of refuge in retaliation for . the
commando presence there, the Arab :tates
themselves were in turn pressured to curb
the activities of the Resistance on their
Two consequences flowed from this sit-
uation. The result of this greater geogra-
phical isolation from Israel was that Is-
raeli military targets became more inac-
cessible as well.
Moreover, upon witnessing thattthe Is-
raelis themselves 'were making little dis-
tinction between Palestinian commandos
and Arab civilians as legitimate targets of
attack - villagers in south Lebanon, and
peasants in Syria and the Ghor Valley of
Jordan - the Resistance in turn became
less concerned with distinguishing between
Israeli military personnel and civilians. The
air raids of the past few days against
Syria and Lebanon in retaliation for the
Munich incident is a case in point.
In the name of wiping out so-called guer-
rilla bases in those countries, at the time
of this writing Israel has taken a toll of
66 dead, both commandos and civilians, in
at least three Lebanese and six Syrian.
villages and Palestinian refugee camps.
ISRAEL MAY INDEED, through such re-
pressive raids on her neighbors both be-
fore and after the Munich incident, drive
the Palestinian guerrilla movement from
the Middle East arena. As evidenced by the
Munich incident, however, by rendering the
Middle East off-limits, those elements with-
in the Palestinian Resistance which have
resolved to -continue armed struggle, such
as the Black September group, have now
progressively come to resort to the inter-
national scene as the forum for their ac-

It will be no surprise, then, if after this
lutest incident, we witness the commando
movement go underground wherever the
opportunity presents itself. This would only
be the logical consequence of a people
which continues to exist, which lives un-
der unmitigated stress, and which has been
deprived of any other outlet for that stress.
The sanctity of the international scene
marking off-limits for such activities has
thus been shattered. The Palestinians have
learned to be suspicious of the interna-
tional community due to its role as author
of the partitioning of Palestine, its con-
tinued support of the existence of Israel
and its apathy in the face of 25 years
of Palestinian exile.
The recent cynical misuse, moreover, by
the Israelis of the credibility of such world
bodies as the International Committee of the
Red Cross to, thwart the Sabena highjack-
ing to Lydda in May by the Black Septem-
ber group could only lead to increasing
distrust by the Palestinians of international
IT IS SIGNIFICANT that the particular
forum in this incident was the Olympics.
The lack of Palestinian participation in
what is billed as an activity of interna-
tional brotherhood is symbolic of the lack
of recognition of the Palestinians' exist-
ence on this earth from which they refuse
to vanish, Golda Meir's denial of their
existence notwithstanding.
It is clear that the environment which
produced the actors in the Munich inci-
dent and the continued ignoring of t h a t
environment on the part of the interna-
tional community is at least as tragic as
the Munich incident itself.
The president of the Organization of
Arab Students campus chapter is Regaei



a larger tragedy?





THE NEW YORK TIMES editorialized
Thursday that, "The basic question
K highlighted by Munich is how to guard
"'722|| the international community against the
depredations of such fanatical madmen."
Perhaps more important, however, is the
question of how to guard against the
false sincerity of those who would di-
vert us from the real issues on the
American scene..
TV is badder than ever

I'S THAT time of year again when
Spiro Agnew's "liberal establish-
ment press" shows its true colors. For
those of you lucky enough not to own a
TV over the summer you missed the op-
portunity to hear all those wonderfully
obnoxious plugs for the upcoming fall
season - all those allusions to "bold and
telling it like it is" programming.
Now the fall season is upon us and the
only thing bold about it is the networks'
audacity at their advance billing. For
the most part the "boob tube" will be
filled this Fall with such wonderful re-
flections of reality as "Bridget Loves
Bernie," with Jewish boy marries Catho-
lic girl; and "The Men," all of whom
seem to have an uncanny ability to save
the world.
Once again, despite annual revenues
of $4 billion, the three commercial net-
works will bestow upon the country "The
Partridge Family" instead of a weekly
series on the nation's problems. A re-
Today's staff .. .
News: Sara Fitzgerald, Diane Levick,
Marilyn Riley; Ted Stein, Martin Stern
Editorial Page: Arthur Lerner
Photo Technician: David Margolick

cent survey showed that only two per
cent of prime time commercial television
is filled by news and public affairs. 98
per cent of prime viewing time is still
that "vast wasteland" of Newton Minow's
which serves to dull the American public
to Vietnam, to poverty, to pollution, to
killing, to reality.
LIKE ANY other business, commercial
television is concerned about pro-
fits - rot social responsibility. Every
year the networks claim to give the
public what it wants (or at least what
the Nielsen -ratings say it wants) and
every year the shows are invariably
panned and dropped.
Nevertheless, the networks are a long
way off from scheduling a heavy con-
centration of public affairs shows. Ad-
vertisers won't buy it and the mass pub-
lic probably wouldn't watch it. The
brightest hope on the horizon is the Cor-
poration for Public Broadcasting (CPB)
which produces and funds public broad-
casting shows across the nation.
But the powers that be are not too
happy with a network interested in real-
ity and therefore it came as no surprise
this summer when President Nixon veto-
ed a bill which would have increased
CPB's funding.
Reality does not fit into the scheme
of things in "Nixon's World."

AFTER WEEKS of genuine in-
ternational intrigue and behind
the scenes maneuvering, S d v i e t
poet Iosif Brodsky, convicted in
Russia of being an "idler and a
parasite", has come to Ann Arbor
to become a University poet in re-
Brodsky, whose writings have
been suppressed inathe S o v i et
Union and who was imprisoned
twice there, arrived in late June
after a series of surprising events.
T h e thirty-two-year-old r e d
headed Brodsky, sitting in his air-
conditioned office at the Univer-
sity, is reflective now about the
steps that led to his departure from
ACCORDING TO Brodsky, in
May Soviet officials approached
him with an offer for a visa to
Israel. "They do not make pro-
posals of this sort, and when they
do it, it means only one thing
. . . if I would remain, the situa-
tion would only be worse," he ex-
plains. "A few days before I left,
they cut off all my agreements, all
my translations, and I would have
been living without work if I stay-
So Brodsky officially planned to
leave for Israel, and secretly ar-
ranged to come to the United Stat-
es. He left Russia, and stopping in
Vienna "en route" to Israel, met
with University Prof. Carl Prof-
fer and finalized his plan to come
to Michigan. Brodsky then flew to
England for a poetry festival, and
continued from there to the Unit-
ed States.
He says he's "glad" to be here,
but is finding it difficult to become
used to this culture. Wearing new
blue jeans and chain-smoking Am-
erican cigarettes,the explains,
"When I was in the Soviet Union
I knew what to do . . . I don't
know who I am here. Two days
ago some friend of mine asked me
how to pronounce my name, Iosif
or Joseph,mand that was a com-
plete enigma. Because, well, I
know that I am in the United Stat-
es, so I am probably Joseph. But
I'm not Joseph, but not Iosif eith-
er. This is the model of all feel-
cited by the freedom of p r e s s


here, after the harassment he has
received from Soviet officials over
his writings. Although he claims
his work is non-political, in 1964
he was arrested, tried, and con-
victed in Leningrad of being an
"idler and a parasite", and sen-
tenced to five years at hard labor.
He describes his arrest as fol-
lows: "There were twoarticles in
the newspaper, saying things
against me, and I was trying to
ignore it, not mention it. I had
some work, I had to translate a
Polish poet, at that time. One
night, it was a very cold night in
'64, I went on the street and three
people surrounded me. They asked
me 'what's my name' and like an
idiot, I answered them, 'I am this
one.' They proposed me to go with
them to someplace, because they
have some interest in having con-
versation with me. I objected, be-
cause I had intended to go to
friend of mine. There was s o in e
fighting . . and then they found
a car and put my hands behind
my back . ..
Brodsky spent two to three
months in prison before his trial.
"There were a lot of accusations,"
he says, "that I was a parasite,
because I worked in different plac-
es and not very long in each of
them. There are accusations that
I am writing the pornographical

poems, that I was writing anti-
Soviet poems, that I was writing
some epigrams on high officials.
That was a very big surprise to
me that they only gave me five
years of exile, because if all those
accusations were real, I would have
been condemned to capital punish-
BRODSKY'S TERM, which was
shortened to 18 months, was spent
in a work camp in the Arkangelsk
region of Northern Russia. He says
he doesn't feel "particularly bit-
ter" towards that period of h i s
"I was countryman, and did all
the different jobs countrymen do,"
he says. "They are saying that I
shovelled manure, yes, well I did
that, but I was also a shepherd, a
woodcutter, and I was mending
some roofs in the village and farm-
ing. Everyday they gave me a new
"For me," he adds, "it wasn't
that awful. Just from time to time
when I thought myself isolated,
when I couldn't see those people
and those things and those books
that were necessary for me. But,
I thought of it, well, it was a life,
bad, maybe, but a life. To suffer
all those things would mean that
the officials reached their purpose,
so I preferred not to suffer. All
the physical things, the pain, don't
influence my consciousness, that's
HE HAS been writing p o e t r y
since he was 18. He is self-edu-
cated, having left school at the
American equivalent of ninth grade
and has translated Polish, Ser-
bian, Spanish, and English poets.
"Well, I didn't have any idea
about career, about writing all my
lifetime, when I began," he says.
"I was writing and writing and
writing, but I was always trying
to find some job. First of all I was
metal worker, and afterwards, I
was working for a newspaper as a
photographer, I was working in
morgue, because I had a thought
to make medicine my career, and
then I was a sailor - almost 14 or
15 jobs. I was working in geology
expeditions in the summertime al-

SEVERAL OF Brodskys' poems
were published in Leningrad an-
thologies in 1966 and 1967, but most
of his work has been suppressed
in the Soviet Union. It has been
widel published in other coun-
tries and has been translated into
over ten languages.
Brodsky feels his prison exper-
ience "caused more of a change in
spirit than in form in my poetry.
I began to write verses, that were,
if I can say that, more dry, with
less exultation, more calm."

Daily Photo by DENNY GAINER
perplex Brodsky, among them, an-
ti-war demonstrators. "The same
country that is involved in the war
in Vietnam, is giving the demon-
strators a chance to live a good
life, you know, to have houses, to
own cars, to travel around, and
when this country gave you all
these things you have nothing
against it. Bult when this s a m e
country gave you the war, you
were against it. But this is the
same country, not another . ."
Brodsky muses.


s;'.i:":::n};. ,":: ;: {. ". :: ": . :{ry:... ;.". ":": i;"i:{:.:giiiiew::::v v."aaJJC." vJ""J

"Then I was in the Soviet Union I knew what
to do . . . I don't know who I am here. Two days
ago some friend of mine asked me how to pro.
ronne my naime, Iosif or Joseph, and that was
a complete enigma. . . . I know that I am in the
United States, so I am probably Joseph. But I'm
not Joseph, but not Josif either."



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Brodsky is concerned now be-
cause he can't tell what living
in America will do to his writing.
"In a real sense, it is necessary
to hear your own language when
you write . . to hear it in the
pubs, in the bars, on the streets,
in the streetcars, in the shops, in
stores'. . . all the idioms, words,
and so on."
HE HOPES that he will 1 i v e
near the ocean soon. "It's not be-
cause I don't like Michigan, b u t
because I've spent all my lifetime,
all my thirty-two years, living by
the sea. I feel sort of close to
home, near water, I don't know
why. Salt water and the winters
..."hep savs.

antees that the whole world won't
live in a communist way. I think
the U.S. is good, and people who
are demonstrating against the gov-
ernment are idiots who don't have
our experience."
BRODSKY WILL be teaching
two courses at the University, this
fall, and may be going on a lec-
ture tour. He is unsure of his
plans beyond next year.
"I don't know why I shall pub-
lish, if I do," he says moodily,
"or why I am here, why publish
my verse, why write them? Be-
cause of my departure I reached
some psychological state of my
thoughts and everything began to


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