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May 05, 1977 - Image 4

Resource type:
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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1977-05-05

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The Michigan Daily
Edited and managed by Students at the
University of Michigan
Thursday, May 5, 1977

I

I-

Letters to The Daily

News Phone: 764-0552
' U'I bilsshould oppose Mobi'
01 suppy to Rhodesia
HE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN currently owns some
$1.9 million worth of Vobil Oil stock. Mobil wholly
owns two subsidiaries, Mobil Oil Southern Africa and
Mobil Refining Company Southern Africa.
The Treasury Department is now investigating charg-
es by the United Church of Christ that Mobil Oil, through
its subsidiaries is providing petroleum to the white su-
premacist government of Rhodesia in violation of both
the U.S. and U.N.'s ten-year-old sanctions against the
sale of products to Rhodesia.
As a stockholder the University will be asked to vote
on a proposal at today's Mobil Oil stockholders conven-
tion which, if passed, would assure no oil is sent to
Rhodesia by Mobil.
University Chief Financial Officer James Brinkerhoff
has indicated the University will vote with management
unless "we seriously disagree with the recommendations
of management."
The Daily disagrees with Mobil Oil management and
urges University President Robben Fleming to cast a
vote against Mobil Oil management and support the
resolution by the United Church Board for World Min-
istries.
The Church Board's proposal would order Mobil to
take all necessary action to make sure "no Mobil prod-
ucts are supplied, directly or indirectly, to Rhodesia,"
and would require all sales to be accompanied with
'verifiable guarantees by the purchasers that said prod-
ucts (petroleum) are not destined for resale or transfer
to Rhodesia."
A vote for this proposal would clearly be a vote
against apartheid in Southern Africa and a vote for hu-
man rights for black Africans. The University does not
own enough Mobil stock to force passage of the Church
resolution, nor does the University's $1.9 million invest-
ment provide enough leverage to influence Mobil to move
out of South Africa and Rhod'esia.
But, a vote against management would be a major
step that would embarrass Mobil and even hurt the huge
corporation financially if other stockholders follow suit
and eventually sell their stock.
If the University were a private stockholder it could
financially justify an investment in Mobil Oil because
it makes money. But this investment makes money at
the expense of the freedom of a majority of South Afri-
caps and Rhodesians.

AKTSIA Action
To The Daily:
On behalf of- the student or-
ganization AKTSIA Action for
Soviet Jewry and Human Rights
ee would like to express our
sincere disappointment that The
Daily would print such errone-
ous and distorted information
as in Joshlia Peck's article "Let
(All) My People'Go" which ap-
peared in The Michigan Daily
on Saturday, April 16th.
Peck's account of the high
percentage' of Jews granted exit
visas fails to consider the vani-
o'ts systematic means of the So-
viet secret police to discourage
visa applications. Those Jews
applying for visas may be fired
from their jobs, expelled from
the universities, forced into
military service, subjected to
public ostracism and prison sen-
tences as parasites of the state.
Many Soviet Jews would rather
accept the injustices of their
society than apply for visas.
Peck also ignores the peculiar
plight of the Jews who are the
only national group in the USSR
systematically denied support to
develop their languages and cul-
ture (in fact, the study of He-
brew is a crime). The inability
to educate one's people added to
the general suppression of relig-
ion in the USSR makes Peck's
synagogue argument irrelevent.
In fact, if we were to open 500
new synagogues in Detroit to-
morrow, they would also close
soon afterwards.
Finally, if Peck would have
attended the recent "Symposium
on Human Rights in the USSR,"
he would have discovered that
the Soviet Jewry Movement is
concerned with all dissident
groups which are subject to So-
viet persecution and denied their
rights of freedom.
In any case if Peck should
ever find it useful to examine
the 4,000 years of Jewish his-
tory, he will discover that if
Jews don't -make the effort to
protect their own, certainly no
outside group will ever do it for
them.
Richard A. Isenberg
Brian L. Miller
Amy L. Schussheim
Lori Lippitz
Joel V. Moses
Neal Marder
Brenda Kaplan

Soviet Jewry
To The Daily:
On the evening of April 8,
members of the local Jewish
community met at Beth Israel
for a model Seder on the theme
of Soviet Jewry. The event had
two main purposes: to relate
the themes of the holiday of
Passover to both the hardships
experienced by many Soviet
Jews and the recent exodus of
over 100,000 Jews from the So-
viet Union, and to welcome and
hear from newly ,arrived Soviet
Jewish immigrants. The event
was a congregational observance
and not a political program.
The booklet we read from that
evening spoke of hardships ex-
perienced by many Soviet Jews.
A good part of the booklet was
taken from the writings of So-
viet Jews themselves. The So-
viet suppression of Jewish cul-
ture is well known. So is the
fact. that many Jews have lost
their jobs upon applying to emi-
grate and have been denied exit
vsas.
The Soviet Jewry Seder did not
purport to be a general discus-
sion of human rights in the So-
viet Union or of the Soviet na-
tionalities policy. The reason for
this lay in the nature of the ob-
servance and not in any lack
of concern for these vital issues.
The local Jewish community
had supported the Symposium
on Human Rights in the USSR,
held at the U-M three weeks
ago, where the question of So-
viet Jewry was seen in its wider
context. It is unfortunate that
Mr. Peck (Daily, April 17) did
not see fit to cover that event.
It is especially distressing
that he did not discuss the con-
text of the Soviet Jewry Seder
with any representative of the
congregation. Had 'he done so
he may have learned that at
the four Seders conducted at our
Religious School the universal
meaning of Passover was stress-
ed.
For the past two thousand
years Jews have been guided by
the saying of Hillel: "If I am
not for myself, who will be? But
if I am only for myself, what
am 1?" If we do not show con-
cern for Soviet Jews, who will?
Allan Kensky,
Rabbi, Beth Israel
Congregation
homosexuality
To The Daily:
Gregory S. Hill, in his recent
letter, provides us with an al-
most peerless example of preju-
dice and bigotry .in pure form.
He is surpassed perhaps only
by Anita Bryant herself (who,
it should be noted for the rec-
ord, it NOT - despite her ap-
pellation as the Orange Juice
Queen - a female impersona-
tor).
Mr. Hill quite rightly states
at the outset he does not un-
derstand homosexuality. Yet the
rest of his letter is a diatribe
with many specific conclusions
about gay persons (prejudice is
prejudging). He also states
openly he is profoundly disin-
clined to learn anything about
homesexuality (Webster, 1961,
defines 'bigot' as a person "ob-
stinately or intolerantly devoted
to his own .. belief, or opin-

ion"). John-walls are a most
peculiar place, Mr. Hill, to seek
a representative sample of in-
formation about anyone. Hetero-
sexuals do not, in their graffiti,
display their most appealing,
humanistic traits - in case you
haven't noticed.
After telling us he is ignorant,
Mr. Hill proceeds to assail our
sensibilities with his conclusions
about gay persons, couched in
the most anal of metaphors
(scrubbing, wallowing, disgust,
stench, etc.) worthy of Pontius
Pilate himself. But, of course,
he is not hateful Despite his
statements about all the places
where "perverts" should not be
permitted, he has the temerity
to,state that he does "not hate
individual homosexuals." With
his attitudes and recommenda-
tions for society, he doesn't
NEED to. I am certain most
gay people will be gratified to
learn that it's nothing PERSON-
AL.
And no, Mr. Hill, disgust is
not a "perfectly normal, health-
ful and reasonable reaction" to
people you know little or noth-
ing about. It is in the truest
sens a perverse reaction, for
it hatefully reduces -human be-
ings to one aspect of their be-
havior - and an aspect which
is basically wrought of your own
ignorant fantasies. With your
feelings dominated by disgust,
you are in no position to "help"
anyone "overcome" anything
- even if that were desirable.
I'm sure most gay persons
would appreciate your keeping
your so-called Christian charity
to yourself.
The issue here is civil rights.
Sexual and affectional prefer-
ences have no ' demonstrable
connection to any genuinely anti-
social behavior. Not too long
ago, other bigots said they
wouldn't allow a black person
to teach their children; they
were worried about cultural
"pollution" or "perversion." It
takes someone like an Anita
Bryant or a Gregory Hill, for
whom proselytizing is a major
commitment, to develop the
paranoid fantasy that gay peo-
ple are after their children.
What gay people are "after" is
their civil rights - the right to
be judged on their own merits
and treated as individual hu-
man beings. That is what Anita
Bryant and her ilk are trying
to deny gay people, like bigots
have done to almost every group
at one time or another through-
out history, and with similar ra-
tionalizations bred of their own
disowned fantasies and wishes.
If Mr. Hill wants to help his
children, he would do better to
go to the library with them and
study the concept of "projec-
tion" in the vast literature on
the psychology of prejudice.
Joel D. Hencken
info, please
To The Daily:
I am writing a book about the
Fagan family of East Lansing,
Michigan (198-1948). I would
very much like to correspond
with anyone who knew Peter,
Sarah, Ruth, Mary, Ann, or Jean
Fagan.
Every reminiscence enriches
the story!
Ann Fagan Ginger

--- - --WA KrE JOR
/-// //

TODAY'S STAFF:
News: Lori Carruthers, Stu McConnell, Ken Parsigion,
Barb Zahs
Editorial: Linda Willcox, Mike Yelin
Photo: Christina Schneider
Arts: David Keeps
Sports: Tom Cameron

'Shhhh! Can't you see the president is busy
looking for ways to conserve gas?

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