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February 29, 1980 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1980-02-29

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Page 4-Friday, February 29, 1980--The Michigan Daily
Myths abundant about Israel, PLO, and Arafat

After a recent fact-finding tour of Israel and
Southern Lebanon, Professor Frederick
Jameson of Yale University accepted an in-
vitation of the University of Michigan English
Department to address a Viewpoint audience
last Tuesday night on the results of his trip.
Jameson, a professor of French, respected
literary critic, and author of Political Uncon-
scious, expressed his commitment to Marxist
ideals in his attempt to apply Marxist social
theory to Israel. Though his attempts to relate
classical theories of class conflict to Israeli
society as a 'formula for revolution may have
iad their flaws, his discussion of his trip was
profoundly noteworthy. He conveyed much im-
portant information during his poorly
publicized lecture on the problems of the Mid-
dIe East that have been blatantly omitted by
the American press.
The relentless bombing of South Lebanon by
Israel has been so grossly overlooked by the
American press that it has been called "the
most under-publicized war in recent times."
This situation, along with the unreported
moderation of PLO doctrine, has been greatly
ignored by the American press, which has
cultivated a distorted view of the political
realities of the Middle East.
LIKE OTHER RECENT visitors to South
Lebanon, Jameson paints a depressing picture
of the Lebanese countryside that has been
ravaged by Israeli shelling since April. Schools
And refugee camps have been targeted with an-
ti-personnel weapons, the use of which violates
the conditions of American defense contracts.
Israel has used cluster-bombs, scatter-bombs,
and other such firepower for purely offensive
purposes.
In talks with American officials in Lebanon,
Jameson learned of their distress in knowing
that American weapons are used for these pur-
poses. The Americar displeasure was ar-
ticulated when he said that these officials find
the situation analogous to the "search and
destroy" policies of the U.S. in Vietnam.
2 Though Israel claims that military outposts
are the targets of this campaign, there is much
(evidence to the contrary. Among the refugee
camps hit, Rashadiyya has been most brutally
yictimized by the Israeli policy of "pre-
emptive" strikes, as opposed to the former

policy of specific reprisals. Jameson says that.
Rashadiyya has been hit only when filled to its
capacity of 30,000. When the camp has been vir-
tually empty because of the regular exodus af-
ter shelling, it has been left alone. Thus, the
strikes are less indiscriminate than we have
been led to believe.
WHILE WE CAN fairly assume that there
are some military personnel in the camps, it
must be pointed out that from April to August,
the daily shelling resulted in only one reported
military casualty for the Palestine Liberation

By H. Scott Prosterman
security is the expressed motive behind these
attacks. Jameson offers that Israel is seeking
to create a no-man's land in South Lebanon;
the desolation would then discourage human
habitation and create an added buffer to the
north. Another motive mentioned was the
Israeli intention of turning the Lebanese people
against the PLO by causing them to feel the
Israeli retaliation, and thereby manipulate the
Lebanese government into ousting the PLO
from its domain. While the former motive has
been successful, the second has backfired, tur-
ning the Lebanese people not against the PLO,
but against Israel and the U.S. (a tacit sponsor
of this campaign, however unknowing).
There exists another glaring fallacy in the
notion that these attacks are aimed at military
outposts. In his conversation with Yassir
Arafat, Jameson learned from the PLO
spokesman that: "We promised the Lebanese
government not to launch any attacks from
Lebanon ... as a pre-condition for having cam-
ps out here. Israel.knows this, and is attacking
the Lebanese people to try to turn them against
us .. ." While many American readers find it
easy to discuss Arafat's statements because of
his radical and uncompromising image, it
should be pointed out that this agreement has
been verified by both the Lebanese Prime
Minister and a U.N. Ambassador.
THE UNCOMPROMISING image of Arafat
and the PLO is another fallacious myth per-
petuated by the American press. While the
PLO is mentioned by the American media only
when a terrorist attack is carried out on Israeli
civilians, it fails to mention that the PLO.fun-
ctions extensively as a social service
organization. Along with its most important
function as a refugee relief center, the PLO is
also a source for education, child care, medical
care, and other welfare functions.
Likewise, the official PLO policy toward
Israel has been equally misrepresented. We
learn from Jameson that Arafat no longer
speaks of the mission to "liquidate the Zionist
presence in Israel." After bitter internal
debate, the PLO has acquiesced to the "Two-
State solution" in the West Bank and Gaza and
has stated its willingness to establish its state

"on any terrorities evacuated by Israel."
Critics of the PLO will point out that it has
yet to officially recognize the legitimacy of
Israel. These critics, however, overlook the
poor sense displayed by Israel in using its
carrots and sticks to achieve policy aims.
Israel has given the PLO no reason to think it
has anything to gains by recognizing Israel's
legitimacy. It has offered no inducements for
peace and has shown the Palestinian people only
a brutal and imperialistic side of Zionism. On
the subject of recognition, Arafat was quoted

Yassir Arafat

Menachem Begin

Organization (PLO), while the civilian
population suffered many deaths and injuries.
When he had the opportunity to question Israeli
officials about a Sunday raid in which civilian
passengers were gunned down at Israeli road-
blocks on a Lebanese costal road, Jameson was
told, "if they were killed in their cars, they
must have been Palestinian militants."
It would serve us well to examine the objec-
tives of the offensive Israeli policy. National

as saying, "I have a card to play. Should I play
it now, when I can hope for nothing in return, or
later when-it might be more suitable?"
PERHAPS THE MOST serious obstacle to
American understanding of the Middle East is
themistaken association of anti-Zionism with
anti-Semitism. Many Jews vocally dissociate
themselves from the Zionist movement.
We must remember that political Zionism
began late in the 19th century as a European.
phenomenon, in part as a reaction to centuries

I

i

Ninety Years of
Vol. XC, No. 124
Edited and managed by stude
Beaten at th
HEN THE BOSSES of the Michi-
v gan Democratic party got
together last year and decided to
nominate delegates to the national
convention through closed caucuses
rather than the usual open primary,
their intentions were clearly less than
honorable.
The idea was to make it possible for
the party regulars to determine who
the state party's choice would be at the
July convention.
The workings of their plan were very
simple: Many fewer people tend to
vote in caucuses than in a primary,
since voters must register as party
members months before the actual
voting (the Michigan deadline was last
Thursday, eight full weeks before the
April 26 voting date).
Ultimately, the majority of the votes
would probably go not to the favorite of
the general populace, but to that of the
party bigwigs. All they would need to
do, they thought, would be to carefully
herd those of the voters who had ex-
pressed support for the "right" can-
didate to the polls, while supporters of

'Ediorial Free(do ns

News Phone: 764-0552

nts at the University of Michigan
eir own game
the "wrong" candidate sat impotently
at home.
It was extremely gratifying, then, to
see a wrench thrown into the political
heavyweights' plans by an
organization of the state's poor, as
reported by various news sources
yesterday. ACORN, the Association of
Community Organizations for Reform
Now, has been quietly registering low-
income people in the party ever since
the caucus plan was announced. A
mountain of 2600 party membership
applications was turned in on Tuesday
alone.
As it turns out, ACORN's multitudes,
will have considerable influence on the
outcome of several of the caucus votes
in Detroit and Grand Rapids. The most
heartening thing about the clever
politicking by the action group is not
the heavy representation it will
guarantee the poor, but that this year
may be the last time the Powers That
Be try railroading their presidential
choice into power. Congratulations to
ACORN, .and nuts to the bigwigs in
Lansing.

The United States can no longer
afford a lackadaisical approach
toward energy consumption and
conservation. Our heavy reliance
on non-renewable energy resour-
ces results in inflated prices and
ever-worsening environmental
damage, as the resources are
depleted.
International, political, and
economic affairs are drastically
affected by dependence on
foreign oil. As vividly demon-
strated by the Iranian crisis, the
U.isvulnerable to the political
whims of the oil "exporting coun-
tries. Each dollar sent abroad
adds to economic woes at home.
Our relations with allies are
strained by the competition for
scarce oil.
THE FEAR OF running low on
oil prevents the U.S. from taking
rational action in response to
political events in oil-rich areas
of the world. The American reac-
tion to the invasion of
Afghanistan demonstrates the
energy situation's impact on both
our foreign policy and domestic
affairs. i
Each newly found barrel of oil
exacts a higher cost on society's
limited resources. Proven reser-
ves of natural gas in 1977 were
below those of 1953 and were 27
per cent below the peak reserves
of 290 trillion cubic feet in 1967,,
according to a publication by a
corsortium of the American Gas
Association, the American
Petroleum Institute, and the
Canadian Petroleum Institute.
Even a rapid flow of funds into
a synthetic fuels industry will not
significantly add to the energy
supply. Production and
processing of these alternatives,
concentrated in the dry western
states, would divert water from
human and agricultural needs.
THE EXTRACTION and burning
of coal, our most abundant fossil
fuel, exacts a high environmental

N ew e nerg;su c s~ u,,
be discovere

of persecution of Jews and the internal political
fragmentation attributed to their presence.
Jewish settlers of Palestine, up through the
early 20th century, explicity dissociated them-*
selves from the Zionist movement as a bastar-
dization of their religious ideals. The impact of
the Holocaust on the conscience of the world led
to the creation of the Jewish state less than
three years after World War IL.
Arafat, we are told, has expressed his
awareness of the.distinction between Zionism
and Judaism, as well as the historical com-
plexities of Zionism and the struggle to create a
Jewish homeland. Most Palestinians, though,
do not understand these complexities and can.
not be expected to, given their exposure to only
the most brutal aspects of the movement that
has made them a nation of refugees. Therefore,
they equate Zionism with imperialism and
racism.
Israel, in turn, along with the vast majority
of American Jews, equates anti-Zionism with
anti-Semitism. They fail to see, as Jameson
points out, that "the Palestinian movement
painfully re-duplicates the essential dynamics
of the Zionist movement in the beginning.."
We are reminded that Menachem Begin wa
first known as an uncompromising terrorist for
the Zionist movement, but is now heralded as a
distinguished statesman.
While a surprising number of Israeli Jews
have expressed their sympathy for the
Palestinian cause, American Jews fail to see
the tragically common elements of the Zionist
movement with the Palestinian cause: that
they were both catalyzed by excessive op-
pression and brutality in an attempt to destroy
a national identity and disperse a race oo
people. In this context, I would dare to say that
the Jews have forgotten an important lesson of
the Holocaust: No race of people can assert its
supremacy over another and oppress it as a
manifestation of its own ideals.
After growing up in a Jewish family that has
many survivors of the Holocaust, I feel
qualified to make such a judgment.
H. Scott Prosterman is a graduate stu-
dent in the Center for Near Eastern studies
creasingly attractive.
The two types of solar
heating-passive and active-are
economically feasible in more
private homes today, especially
when supported with federal and
state tax credits available for
solar energy.
Thousands of small hydro-
electric dams, abandoned when
electricity from fossil fuels
became much less expensive,
have an electrical generating
capactyt equal to 50 of the largest
nuclea po~er plants.
incentives Photovoltaic cels' hold great
can be en- promise to produce economically
'e in three competitive electricity directly
from the sun. Winds, too, can be
sekeeping: harnessed to produce electricity
n practices on both commerical and private
tenance and levels.
would yield
ENERGY FROMorganic mat-
f waste: ter (biomass) is available in
ned produc many forms. Methane can be ob-
er can con- tagnedifrom bacterial action on
amounts of organic waste, such as human
aom produc- sewage, spoiled crops, and
n be used to seaweed. The process of refining
done on the crude oil from Euphorbia Lathvris,
). A great a desert plant, costs $40 a barrel,
realized if about ,the same as the price o
industrial crude oil on the world spot
applied to market. Wood is widely used as a
tricity. It is source of heat and has potential
per cent of for greated use. Alcohol, distilled
sumption is from grain, can be added to gas
t. Recycling (gasohol) toraise the octane and
recover up stretch supplies.
he original Any energy strategy that is to
innovation: take future generations into con-
canobetimn: sideration must emphasize con
esigning of servation and renewable resour
ces. .Recent technical and

ts. economic evidence clearly points
will only the way. As soon as this nation
in of our non- adopts. a policy of charging the
nces. -Philip true costs of consumption to those
ice hiof- who deplete limited resources,
Lence, the of- real progress along this path will
he American be made.
dvancement
timately the
to the use of The Public Interest Resear
es." Rather
these alter- ch Group in Michigan
esnow and, in (PIRGIM) addresses a number
feasible on of consumer and student con-
grounds. As cerns in its weekly column on
es dwindle, this page. This article was
nental and written by PIRGIM members
rise, these
will be in- Paul Grekin and Jim Edelson.

cost on the delicate ecosystem. Car-
bon dioxide, the main product of
coal combustion, has profound ef-
fects on the world climate. It
raises the average global tem-
perature and leads to the
shrinking of arable lands and the
melting of the polar ice caps.
Nuclear power is an alternative
we cannot afford. The econom-
ic requirements of this capital-
intensive energy source have
become too great for utilities and
rate-payers to bear. Further,
John Holdren, physicist at the
University of California, lists the
following environmental
problems of nuclear power, in or-
der of decreasing danger: inter-
national proliferation of nuclear
weapons, misuse of nuclear
materials by subnational groups,
accidents and sabotage at
nuclear facilities, and routine
radioactive emissions and ex-
posures in the nuclear fuel cycle.
The present patterns of energy
consumption are less than 50 per
cent efficient. Eighty per cent of
this waste could be recovered
without altering our standard of
living. Conservation, when
viewed as an alternative energy
source, is cheaper, more readily
available, and less environmen-
tally destructive than conven-
tional sources. By reducing or
eliminating our dependence on
foreign oil, conservation can
strengthen our national security
and boost the economy. r
In Energy Future: Report of
the Energy Project at the Har-
vard Business School, Daniel
Yergin proposes a detailed con-
servation plan. In the transpor-
tation sector, regulation of
automobile mileage should be in-
creased beyond the current plan-
ned 1985 standard of an average
of 27.5 mpg. Bus and car-pool use

should be stimulated.
THROUGH TAX
and loans, industry(
couraged to conserv
areas:
1) Improved hou
Small investments in
such as furnace maini
lighting adjustments v
big savings.
2) Recovery o
Cogeneration. Combi
tion of heat and pow
serve considerablea
energy. Waste heat fri
tion of electricity can
heat buildings (this is
University campus
potential would be
steam generated in
processes were also
the production of elec
estimated that 20 p
national energy con
industrial waste heal
of waste products can
to 93 per cent of 1
energy investment.
3) Technical i
Energy efficiencies
proved by the red
processes and produc
CONSERVATION
postpone the depletio
renewable resour
Abelson, editor of Scb
ficial publication of ti
association for the A
of Science, says, "U1
country must adaptt
renewable resourc
than being exotic;
natives are available
many instances, are
purely economic g
conventional suppli
causing environm
economic costs to
renewable sources

LETTERS TO THE DAILY:

Relation
To the Daily: Feb. 22
I thank the Michigan Daily for
the coverage you gave to last
Thursday's discussion concer-
ning engineers and the draft
(Daily, Feb. 22), but I feel it is
necessary to offer two additional
C.. ...-

of engineers to
share this knowledge with the missioned directl
student population. ves, and thus
My second point concerns freedom to live w
engineers in the army. You wants; and pursu
reported that engineers in the aspirations. Agai
army perform tasks very dif-
ferent from civilian engineers. H ub

draft clarified

ly into the resert reporting our discussion.
retains total -Kenneth R. Close
where he (or she) Cpt., US Army
e civilian career Assist. Prof. of Militar
in, thank you for Science
bard was misquoted

y

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