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August 09, 1978 - Image 4

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Michigan Daily, 1978-08-09

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Page 4-Wednesday, August 9, 1978-The Michigan Daily
~michigan DAILY
Eighty-eight Years of Editorial Freedom
420 Maynard St.. Ann Arbor, Ml. 48109
Vol. LXXXVIII, No. 61-S News Phone: 764-0552
Wednesday, August 9, 1978
Edited and managed by students
at the University of Michigan

t-3 Mo.

-r M

U. Maryland shuts
out academic liberty
LAST TUESDAY, Marxist political scientist
Bertell Ollman filed suit against University
of Maryland officials in an attempt to force ad-
ministrators in College Park to follow through
with an offer made last spring to install him as
chairman of the department of government and
politics before the fall semester. Since mid-
March both the former and present presidents of
the college, the acting governor of Maryland, other
local politicians, the public university's board of
trustees and various social commentators and col-
umnists voiced opposition to Olman's appointment.
Meanwhile, most of the Maryland campus
community, the American Association of
University Professors (AAUP), the Maryland
provost together with the chancellor of the
College Park campus and history and political
science experts around the country-including
Zbigniew Brzezinski-have expressed varying
degrees of support for the Marxist scholar, along
with a good share of skepticism for the officials'
claim that Ollman's political views had nothing
to do with these difficulties.
AAUP has notified Maryland that it is starting
a full investigation of the case. Ollman has also
announced a $5-million libel suit against the two
conservative columnists Evans and Novak for an
editorial they wrote which reported that Ollman
teaches his course in order to convert his studen-
ts to socialism.
Acting Gov. Blair Lee, III, told reporters in
April that it would be "unwise" to appoint a
Marxist as head of a public university depar-
The Daily has stated repeatedly in the past
that the most unwise course any academic or
public institution can take is one which leads to
any narrowing of intellectual variety or cultural
The denial of tenure to Political Science
Assistant Professor Joel Samoff in Ann Arbor
earlier this year was an example of a similar
kind of. narrowness of administrative vision. We
said at that time that Samoff's talents in the
areas of teaching and public service were ap-
parently overlooked, while his advocacy of
political and economic philosophy which was at
variance from some of his colleagues, may have
been accentuated in the decision.
In the Olman situation, a scholar who can
speak knowledgably about one of the great
social, political, and economic movements of
the century, is losing a position he seems to
deserve because of bigoted political influence.'
American public universities-Michigan,
Maryland, .Mississippi and all the rest-were
founded on the principles of intellectual freedom.
Tenure was instituted sixty years ago to insure
that fads and politicians couldn't threaten this
l~W at nuran e 'h
agans tappom imen tpoiics.

Pursell's hypocrisy
To The Daily:-
I was amised to read of Rep. Carl Pursell's Maybe Andrew Young was not creating stories.
I wa amued o red ofRep Car Purells Raherthan imposing gagodronovnm tof
recent position on moving the 1980 Olympic Games Ricather ent rsnudg orders on government f-
out of Moscow. There is undoubtedly some merit in vestigation of these allegations by U.S. government
placing this and other forms of pressure on the officials.
S t reim h icsh reressesmanyformso I personally do not know of any political prisoners
human rights-if such pressure is founded upon in U.S. jails. However, Idokwofales3,0
genuine convictions instead of political nU..aisHwerIdo know of at least 3,8000
demaguery. political prisoners in Israeli jails, and I do know
m rgog ery. . my brother is there partially because the FBI was
But Mr. ursell's commitment to the rights of politically surveilling him and informed Israel of
Soviet dissidents has a hollow ring when uxtaposed his political activities.
Purs positionn the ri ato eenion frmhe Congressman Robert Carr (D-Michigan) is
ratifiction of the Equal Rights Amendment is a quoted as saying:
clear indicator that he lacks consistency and con- we akFBItha thei teen surveilling him, and
viction in this area. telligence agencies work in common purpose to
I would suggest to Mr. Pursell that a commitment trade information.
to human rights, unlike hisattendance in So there is a strange twist here. The FBI might
Washington, is not a-part-time affair. have been surveilling him here, doing preventive
-Daniel Sharp maintenance here which is benign. But then it turns
the information over to a government which does
0 make (his acts) a crime, and an American citizen
walks into a trap."
Sami Esmail Sen. James Abourezk (D-South Dakota) accused
To The Editor: the FBI of "throwing Sami to the wolves" and held
As an American citizen with a brother I consider a up the nomination of Benjamin Civiletti to the No. 2
political prisonerIthave been very interested in the postrin the Justice Department. Outside the
latest developments surrounding Andrew Young, hearing, Abourezk said "It is going to be a cold day
Anatoly Shcharansky and the official role of the U.S' in hell before this nomination gets out of the com-
government.mittee unless I get some answers."
see no wrong in the United States government For nearly eight months I have been asking
defending human rights of Russian dissidents and rsident Carter's office, Vice President Mondale's
even imposing boycotts on their behalf. What office and the U.S. State Department to intervene
disturbs me is that the United states government is and ask for Sami's release. For nearly 8 months I
hesitant to defend the human rights of American have been told repeatedly, over and over again, to
citizens who are political prisoners in Israel. make sure I got the point: the United States can not
My brother, Sami Esmail, is a political prisoner intervene in the internal affairs of a legitimate
in Israel. His only crime was expressing his government. I would interrupt and remind them
political solidarity with the oppressed and homeless arrested theianmericannsped of the pane for
Palestinians. On December 21, 1977, while attem- arr ingd h icnt sti f h pae o
pting to visit his dying father in the occupiedWest exercising his constitutionally guaranteed rights.
Bank, Sami was arrested for his political beliefs. They would answer "that doesn't matter, he was on
His father died, which corroborated the reason for foreign soil." The U.S. State Department would not
his visit, but Sami remains in prison. On June 7, 1978 even give the Vice Counsel of the american Em-
on the basis of an uncorroborated coerced con- bassy, Mr. Mark Davidson, a waiver of diplomatic
fession he was found guilty by a three judge Israli immunity for one single day to be a witness and
panel, of membership in an illegal organizationprovide crucial evidence that could have assisted
which is a nice way of saying he is guilty for his the defense in proving that Sami's confession was
political beliefs. Presiding Judge Don Levin coerced.
acknowledged that he was not the "violent type" In light of the U.S. government's role in inter-
an a "clean past." Nevertheless, he added that vening to assist Anatoly Shcharansky and Alexan-
it was important that he receive a significant sen- der Giozburg, I have returned to the President's of-
tence to serve as anexample. fice, Vice President and State Department, I have
On December 29, 1977,I filed an official complaint informed them that this is a clear-cut intervention
with the U.S. Embassy in Israel regarding Sami's in the internal affairs of a legitimate government
unjust incarceration an mistreatment. I asked the and the defendant are not even U.S. citizens. I
head counsel, Mr. James Kerr, to intervene and demanded an explanation of this hypocritical,
assist Sami, a political prisoner. He informed me double standard human rights policy. They had no
that Israel is a legitimate government and that he immediate explanstion.
could not interfere with is internal affairs. He then There will never be an explanation to double
added that he doesn't know of any country that does standard human rights. The United States has got
t strest its political prisoners.Iresponded tat no alternative but to be consistent and demand the
notmitret ts oltialriones.I espion~edtatoimmediate release of SamniEsmail Iroin Israel. Any
the Py e p ta pg,eriedoes not. He-repleei m
thate-knwsfor-fact-that-mistreatment- of urtherexcuse to ignore hicanolye construed
political prisoners exists in Georgia prisons . as unconscionable.
-Basim A. Esmail

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