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March 25, 1977 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1977-03-25

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

How

Palestinians

live

In

the

rab

world

By T. D. ALLMAN
Last of Four Parts
SINCE THE BLOODY Palestinian defeat by Jordan's King
Hussein in Black September, 1970, Israel has had one
irrefutable response to criticisms of its treatment of the Pal-
estinians.
It is that the Arabs have treated the Palestinians even
worse. There 'are no mass graves of slaughtered Palestinians
in the Gaza, as in Beirut's Tel Zaatar camp, demolished by
Syrian and Lebanese Christian forces last year. The Pales-
tinians on the Israeli bank of the Jordan River are freer than
the Palestinians on the Jordanian side.
Whiile Palestinians in Israel openly denounced a govern-
ment report calling them inferior to Jews, the jails of Syria
filled up with Palestinians who opposed President Assad's in-
tervention in Lebanon.
Israeli troops killed 26 Palestinians during last year's pro-
tests. Perhaps 8,000 Palestinians, mostly civilians, were killed
during the Lebanese civil war.
As Israel Koenig, governor of Israel's northern region, con-
ceded in his report critical of the Palestinians, "the lack of
tolerance shown by the middle-class Jew toward the Arab citi-.
zen ... can amount to real hatred." But that hatred is muted
in contrast to tie vicious anti-Palestinian statements one fre-
quently hears in Amman, Damascus and Christian Lebanon.
"IT IS A SIMPLE TRUTH," observed Mohammed Hasan
Mulhim, the Palestinian mayor of the West Bank town of
Halhul, "that our only free elections have been held under
the Israelis. Our ambition is not to have one occupation force
replaced by another."
His Jericho colleague, Mayor Abed El Aziz El-Sweity, ex-
pressed a similar view. "We Palestinians know we 'have no
real friends on either side," he said. "That is why we want
a state of our own."
In Damascus, Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Ex-,
ecutive Committee Secretary-General Mohammed Nashashibi
said, "There are two kinds of Palestinians, those ruled by Israel
and those ruled by Arabs. Why do you think we (the PLO)
get such support from both? Our people want something bet-
ter than either alternative.",
Last year, when President Hafiz al-Assad sent troops of

Saiqa (the Syrian-controlled Palestinian group) into Lebanon
as a counter-force to the PLO, Saiga soldiers deserted their
Syrian officers en masse to join troops loyal to Yasser Arafat.
Saiga commander Musbah Budayri was captured by PLO units.
Everywhere .one hears Palestinians say they want no part
of a Saiga-like Palestinian state, even if the Israelis should
permit it the trappings of sovereignty.
"OUR STRUGGLE ALWAYS HAS BEEN a dual struggle,"
says Khalil Al-Wazi, a major PLO strategist and one of the
founders of Fateh, the Palestine National Liberation Move-
ment. "The struggle against the Israelis gets the most atten-
tion. But the struggle for Arab recognition of our rights has
been much more costly."
. PLO officials in Beirut say twice as many Palestinians
have been killed by Arabs as by Israelis since their struggle
began. And AI-Wazi points out that the first casualty of the
Palestinian nationalist movement was a commando named
Ahmed Mousa, who was killed on Jan. 7, 1965, by the Jor-
danian army.
That date ever since has been commemorated as Martyr's
Day, and regarded by Palestinians as the beginning of their
struggle for emancipation.
Arab opposition to independent Palestinian action has had
another important effect. "Israel destroyed our national rights,"
one PLO official said. "But what we want from the Israelis
is justice, not revenge. It is the savagery of Black September
and Tel Zaatar that never will be forgotten. As for the Syrians,
we feel deep regret at having to fight them, a deep sadness
that things in Lebanon had come to that."
WHETHER THE PALESTINIANS wanted to fight Presi-
dent Assad's troops or not, the Syrian intervention closed the
circle of Palestinian disenchantment with the Arab states. Yet
Lebanon does not appear to have been as devastating a$ Black
September.
"The Palestinians still have a force in being," one high-
ranking U.S. diplomat recently observed. "Today, the PLO
has more weapons and more troops than it did a year ago.
President Assad probably could not get rid of Arafat if he
tried."

The American official concluded: "The PLO remains the
most powerful force in Lebanon, except for the Syrian army."
ACCORD THROUGH DISCORD
Even though they would be unlikely to admit it, Israel's
Gen. Maimon in Gaza, Syria's President Assad, Gov. Koenig
in Galilee and King Hussein in Jordan today all are much
more united by the Palestinian problem they all' face than
they are divided by their differences.
Without admitting it, perhaps even without knowing it, but
certainly without liking it very much, both Israel and the Arabs
long have found themselves drifting toward accord on the Pales-
tinian problem, and toward similar policies of repression against
the Palestinians as well.
This was evident as early as 1968, when, during the Jor-
dan valley battle of Karameh, it was difficult to tell whether
Gen. Dayan or King Hussein was more discomfited by the
stiff Palestinian resistance an Israeli punitive raid met.
But it became most obvious in Lebanon last year, when
the Syrians and the Israelis - who still present themselves
to the world as implacable enemies - found themselves clan-
destine allies in a joint pincer movement against the PLO.
The real measure of the bankruptcy on both sides is that
Israel and Syria now are trapped in the same policy: one of
permanent military occupation of other people's lands.
ISRAEL TODAY IS SURROUNDED by states each palpably
obsessed with one objective: to reach a settlement, to avoid
another war on behalf of a Palestinian cause for which they
have little remaining sympathy and even less national interest.
Yet Israel continues to predicate its security requirements
on the assumption that it faces a unitary Arab menance, not
separate Jordanian, Egyptian, Syrian efforts to- escape the
failed doctrines of the past. Unwilling to see that its best
prospects for security lie in stable neighbors - not perpetual
Arab destablization - Israel continues to react to civil war
in Lebanon or riots in Cairo as if they were good news, not
bad.
The Arabs, for their part, also find it hard to admit what,
within themselves, they already know: that what the Israelis
want, what they have always wanted, are not impenetrable
fortifications of their neighbors' lands, but a sense of security
in their own homes.

As a result, for all the talk of 1977 being the year of com-
prehensive peace, a great historical opportunity is both likely
to be grasped and liable to be lost. All sides may indeed fi-
nally get the peace talks in Geneva. But once there, therstereo-
types are likely to win again.
THERE WILL BE IMPASSES over kilometer posts in the
Sinai, over kibbutzim in the Golan Heights, crises involving
the U.S. secretary of State over whether one Israeli coopera-
tive or two Palestinian villages will get water from the well.
But neither side will be able to make the other answer
the question it dares not ask itself: what is to be done with
the Palestinians?
Indeed, while the Israelis reiterate their position that the
Palestinians shall have nothing at all,' similar sentiments are
also expressing themselves in Arabic.
While calling for a Palestinian national state, President
Sadat suggests it might, after all, .be confederated with Jor-
dan. If the Palestinians don't want Jordan, President Assad
of Syria implies, they can feel the force of Syrian troops in-
stead. And while embracing the principles of self-determina-
tion, King Hussein conspires with them both -- and the Israelis,
too - to get back his unwilling subjects.
"I CAN SEE WHAT THE ISRAELIS and the Arab states
and the superpowers will get out of Geneva," a Palestinian
student at Bethlehem University recently said. "But what's
in it for us?"
The Palestinians - who see themselves as the greatest
victims of the perpetual refusal in the Mideast not just to
solve the central problem but to ridmit it even exists - them-
selves hope to gain a certain advantage from the Geneva im-
passe: survival, at least of a kind.
"Those hopes in Syria that Arafat will be sent packing;
those dreams in Israel that the PLO is finished, forget them,"
remarked an American intelligence sources after the Lebanon
war. "The PLO has not lost, it's proved it knows how to play
the game. Wait till you see how they play in Geneva."
This story narks the end of a four part series on Palestin-
ians byT. D. Allman. Dr. Allman is a freelance journalist who
has been in the Mideast and written about it many years. He
spent several researching this series for the Pacific News Service.

t9aan
Eighty-Seven Years of Editorial Freedom
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109

'IT,

MSA NOTES:
mii aee'ent Onen

Friday; March 25, 1977

News Phone: 764-0552

Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan.
s
ConlRepub icans ignorec
stdetnts' cut TU funds

By MIKE TAYLOR
ABOUT A MONTH ago, I was directed by the Mich-
igan Student Assembly (MSA) to write a letter
to the Regents and President Fleming expressing our
hope that the Michigan Open Meetings Act be imple-
mented at all levels of the University.
The law, which takes effect April 1, requires that
all meetings with public policy decision-making power
be open to the public; only in a few specific cases can
they be closed. It is MSA's opinion that the law should
apply to all university and college committees with
decision-making power. For example, we believe that
the intent of the law is that bodies such as the LSA
Executive Committee, which is never open to student
or faculty spectators, should hold open meetings.
On March 17, I appeared before the Regents to
present MSA's position once again. I was told that a de-
cision had not yet been reached. President Fleming,

however, did mention that the'crucial question would
be "does the body in question have true decision-mak-
ing power, or does it serve in a purely advisory capac-
ity?" I asked if they consider the LSA Executive
Committee to be a decision-making body or an advisory
one. No one felt "prepared" to comment at the time.
The next day, the Regents decided that they are the
only decision-making body on campus, and thus ruled
that the Open Meetings Act applies only to them.
AS STUDENTS, we must regard this as a slap in
our faces. It is distressing that the opinion of the elect-
ed representatives of University students can be ignored
so easily by the Board of Regent. For students to be
able to participate in University and college decision-
making, they must at least be able to attend meetings
where decisions that afect them are made. Thus,' the

Ieetings Act
Regents' decision directly thwarts the efforts student
government members have been working on for years.
Most ourrageous, however, is the Regents' belief that
the LSA Executive Committee and similar bodies do not
have decision-making power. While it is true that the
ultimate authority remains the Regents, the bulk of
decisions affecting students and faculty are made at
the level of college governing bodies and committees.
To say otherwise is absurd!
On March \2, MSA unanimously voted to oppose
the Regents on this crucial issue. We will make a pre-
sentation at next month's Regents meeting,, asking
for the ruling to be reversed. It is most unfortunate
that the only group we can appeal to is the very body
that made the decision in the first place. With enough
work, however, we should be able to win - we trust!
If you would like to help, please call me at 764-0650, or
MSA at 763-3242.

CITY COUNCIL'S vote Tuesday night
to cut off Community Develop-
ment Block Grant (CDBG) funds
from the Ann Arbor Tenants Union
(TU) demonstrates once again the
council's failure to back u its- pro-
fessed desire to improve city housing
with cash.
TU has consistently championed
the cause of tenants in the city, or-
ganizing rent strikes, preparing edu-
cational materials, negotiating con-
tracts for tenants, providing legal
advice. For this reason it has been'
a thorn in the, side of local land-
lords and two of them - Trony As-
sociates and Reliable Realty -- are
currently suing TU for interference
with contracts.
The Republican majority on coun-
oil voted unanimously to cut off TU
funding, despite Republican mayoral
3andidate Louis Belcher's promise to
:Hake student housing "a top priori-
y as
Belcher's vote alone could have
swung the close 6-5 vote, but he chose
to join his colleagues, leaving it to
Republican councilman Robert Hen-
:y to mumble about "a multiplicity
) agencies giving our legal aid."
Republican council members have
also said repeatedly that they wish to

stimulate housing reform through the
private sector, but in action this has
come to mean voting down reforms
in the public sector - the area where
city council can have its greatest
effect.
AND EVEN THE private sector has
not been stimulated. Nothing has
been built to rent in the central city
in eight years - a period covered
by both Democrdtic and Republican
administrations - and the last ma-
jor project was the high-priced Tow-
er Plaza.
The cutoff of TU funds is not only
a non-progresive step toward solving
the housing crisis, it is regressive.
It impairs the work of one of the
few organizations in the city which
has made so much as a loud noise
in favor of tenants' rights. The Model
Cities Legal Aid and Washtenaw
County Legal Aid Programs, which
Henry cited as alternatives, are sim-
ply not equipped to do the same job.
There have been hints that the
proposal to refund TU will come up
again after the April council elec-
tions. If council does not reconsider
its action before that date, we cer-
tainly hope the new council will do
so.

L etter
news? reverse, the popular verdict. In
fr thie r rpel hn honaa

1

to

the

To the Daill tac L1J1s reversacna
It seems as though in these three times, in 1824,
times of total liberation, 'bet- 1888.
ter racial relations' and post But there is another
Civil Rights movements, a stu- against it which I sho
dent would not have to write bring out. It makes n
to complain of discrimination, too much a matter
especially not on the campus of phy. Why have most o
the University of Michigan. inations since the C
Black students, Mexican stu- gone to two states,7
dents, Asian students, white stu- and Ohio? Because,
dents and students of other rac- large and doubtful a
ial and ethnic groups comprise help in the Electoral {
the student body of the Univer- course, fortunately f
sity of Michigan. No student, old solid South, and1
therefore, should be denied ade- equally solid North, h
quate coverage in the student Iv become doubtful.
publication. the Civil War to theI
The point to be made here is most states could be
that the Michigan Daily - the granted. We have a
widely read and respectable stu- from Georgia; how me
dent publication - neglected to would he have stoo
print an article announcing the ination by either pa
recent crowning of Miss Black those seven decades?
U of M. This same young lady Let me give just or
went on to capture the title of tion. In 1928 there
Miss Black State of Michigan, men, both able, bot
representing this dear and sac- both handicapped by
red 'Maize and Blue.' Despite all man Catholics: Goven
this, the Daily did not carry an of New York and Sen
article covering this news. of Montana. Smith u
Would it not be of interest to ated. Nobody though
others? The student body has a Why? Montana had
right to know what is going on. electoral votes, New
If it had been news of some rac- forty-five. Surely, th
ial conflict, the Daily w o u 1 d reputation and stan
have printed an article regard- candidate is of morei
ing the situation - but never than the location of
about something as common s dence.
a Miss Black U of M. -reston Sloss
WHY NOT? It is news!J
-Linda M. Moragne In any election, po
Electoral College where the votes are.
To the Daily: tively affluent town
I see that the question of abol- Arbor, that means w
ishing the Electoral College is middle-aged membe
again to the fore. The usual middle class. But th
argument is that it always dis- of government is w
torts, and may at any election worries about. Who c
Gandhi I
WHEN SU'NDAR Rajan was released from a Bombay
jail he turned to the warden and said, "If Mrs.
Gandhi wins the election, you will start taking us one
by one from the night of March 22 itself!"
The warden replied, "If the opposition wins, some
of you here will become cabinet ministers and we prison
officials will have to dance to your tune!"
Indira is out. Hopefully India's long nightmare is
over and Indians will no longer have to fear the mid-

s appeneda
1876 and
argument
ould like to
ominations
of geogra-
f the nom-
Civil Wa r
New York
they were
nd might
College. Of
for us, the
the almost
have large-
But, from
New Deal,
taken for
president
uch chance
td of nom-
rty during
ne illustra-
were two
h popular,
being Ro-
rnor Smith
ator Walsh
was nomin-
of Walsh.
only four
York had
he national
ding of a
importance
his resi-
on
Belcher
liticians go
In a rela-
like Ann
hite, male
rs of the
e real test
'ho else it
cares about

the people without the big voice
and the bigger expense account?
In Ann Arbor's mayoral race
this year, the candidates are
appealing to very different
groups. Al Wheeler, the incum-
bent, has been working for so-
cial changes. He has shown an
interest in bringing the poor,
students and women into the
governmental process. Louis
Belcher has tried to run on a
non-partisan image, but his vot-
ing record on City Coupcil re-
veals a consistent bias toward
the traditional sources of Re-
publican strength.
Al Wheeler came to the
mayorship after two decadesas.
a civil rights leader, and his
work as mayor reflects that.
One of the key thrusts of his
two years has been to create a
Human Services budget, that
would allow more emphasis on
and better delivery of things
like day care and legal services
to Ann Arbor residents. But
Belcher and the Republicans de-
feated the plan. Belcher's oppo-
sition to social services goes
very deep; he voted to spend
$25,000 of a federal grant in-
tended for social services for
a Chamber of Commerce Hos-
pitality Committee!
Al Wheeler is a strong advo-
cate of women's rights. He re-
cently joined the National Or-
ganization of Women (NOW),
and is writing to other Michigan
mayors to urge them to do the
same. Belcher and the Republi-
cans have defferent ideas; this
year they tried to restrict the
areas in which day care cen-
ters could be operated. Only the
mayor's veto stopped -hem.
A high Democratic priority has
been the development of public
transportation, to help those

Daly
without cars to get around. A
lot has been done. We do have
dial-a-ride. Belcher, however,
seems only to care about peo-
ple with cars. He recently said,
"You tell the American people
to use public transportation,tand
they'll tell you to stick it in
your ear." Even the Ann Arbor
News had to speak out against
the elitism implicit in this atti-
tude.
How do the candidates feel
about students? Belcher has
consistently opposed the ap-
proval of rock concerts. He vo-
ted two years ago to put repeal
of the $5 pot law on the ballot.
And he voted against door-to-
door registration, the method
that got thousands of University
of Michigan registered last fall.
Wheeler opposed Belcher on
all these things. No wonder
there have been students among
the Democrats on city council
for years.
Belcher may sweep the silent
majority on April 4. But that's
who he'll work for. The non-
white, non-male, non-old or non-
middle class voter will certain-
ly choose Wheeler.
Steve Grossbart
AFSCME
To the Daily:
I am one of five student work-
ers who were fired during the
strike for honoring the picket
line and not reporting to work
for the duration of the st!ike.
As far as I know, East Quad
was the only place on campus
where this occurred.
Most of those who were fired,
including myself, were memb-
ers of the AFSCME Student
Support Committee and were ac-
tive supporters of the strike. Al-
though it is true that all of us

had accumulated more than the
three absences need .for "term-
ination", there were many eth-
er studrnt workers in the same
situation who did not lose their
jobs.
Not only were these politically
active students fired for the rest
of the term, but they were also
suspended from working next
fall term and have been placed
on probat-bn for winter term
1978. They were also told that
it would be difficult to obtain
another University job during
this time. These students need
this employment to help them
cover educational costs and liv-
ing expenses. It is unfortunate
that the University seeks to
make it difficult for them to
continue their higher education.
This sort of political blacklist-
ing has no place at thlis institu-
tion. I find it abhorrent that the
University is actively partici-
pating in the suppression of free
speech and political belief in
1977. I strongly urge the Board
of Regents and Housing Director
John Feldkamp to look into this
matter immediately. I was dis-
tressed by Mr. Feldkamp's
statement in Tuesday's Daily
that students were being fired
solely "for their failure to re-
port to work" and "are not be-
ing disciplined for their 3ym-
pathy with the strike". A true
investigation of the fac:s will
show that this is certainly not
the case.
-Richard M. Rosenthal
Editorials and cartoons that
aopeor on the riqht side of
the Editorial Page are the
opinion of the a u t h or or
artist, and not necessarily
the opinion of the paper.

oses,

democracy wins

decentralization of industry and government so that
more will be available to the people. With better U.S.-
India relations, there could be tremendous investment
possibilities for American concerns in India.
Perspective

den has probably been the biggest example of this yet.
There, the ruling socialist party was voted out of office
after over thirty years of rule. Great Britain and West
Germany have been part of this too. In both countries,
the ruling socialist parties were greatly weakened in
last year's elections. Great Britain's financial woes
have partly been attributed to theid over-socialization.
Now in India, where the cities are choking with people
and the government was only worsening the problem
with their centralized industrialization proj3cts, the

AK1r L ______ _. . _____

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