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January 18, 1981 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1981-01-18

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a6

OPINION
Sunday, January 18, 1981

Page 4

The Michigan Daily

Palestine:

The answer is

statehood

" Whatever observers from afar might think,
there are two distinct and upique nations living
within the borders of the land called Israel.
Each has its own language, dress, political and
cultural traditions, and each a sense of national
pride and unity. There is a fundamental dif-
ference, though; the Jews of Israel have a state
they can call their own; the Arabs of Palestine,

Obiquit y
By Joshua Peck

lasting and memorable an impression as the
brief time I spent in the-Arab city of Ramallah,
a stopping point on the way to Bir Zeit Univer-
sity.
Ramallah is no Jerusalem, no melting pot.
Though it is but a 20-minute cab ride from the
gates of the Old City, the vestiges of
cosmopolitanism are nowhere to be found here.
In Jerusalem, one finds indications of dozens of
cultures and nations that have reigned and
dwelled at various times in the city's history,
including the Turks, Egyptians, Persians, Ar-
menians, British, a handful of Christian sects,
and of course, the Jews, both ancient and
modern.
RAMALLAH, HOWEVER, is strictly an
Arab city, and it looks the part. Unlike most
cities within Israel's borders, Ramallah's
street signs and advertisements are written
only in the Arabic alphabet. Shopkeepers, often
as not, have a minimal or non-existent
knowledge of any language other than their
native one; they don't need any other. The
music one hears blaring forth from storefronts
is no mix of East and West either: just that
largely monotonal drone exclusive to the Arab
world. The faces one sees in the throngs that
cover the streets in the hot midday are Arab
faces-I think my hazel eyes might have been
the only ones lighter than dark brown on the en-
tire main street of Ramallah.
Perhaps none of this sounds remarkable;
what would one expect of a city but to reflect
the culture of its people? The striking thing
about Ramallah is not its character, but the
government from which it grudgingly takes its
orders. Standing in the central square of town,
the thorough injustice of the current

Palestinian plight struck me as never before.
Here is an Arab city populated by Arabs, living
an Arab life graced with centuries-old Arab
culture, yet bound by the rule of a government
peopled with a culture and lifestyle more
European than Asian, and catering primarily
to the interests of its own.
THE SIGNS OF restlessness are everywhere
in the West Bank: A people is coming alive with
an angry and nationalistic fervor that has
unified them and put them on a road that can
only end in Palestinian statehood or. an-
nihilation. It is foolish, perhaps, to make any
predictions just as the Israeli government is
about to come back into. Labor Party control,
but the cool and reasoned determination of the
Arabs I met in the West Bank convinced me
that Ramallah will one day again be an Arab
city with regard to sovereignty as well as with
regard to population, and that that will happen
long before the millenium is out.
Imagine Harold Shapiro running the Univer-
sity from his native Toronto, or from the Soviet
Union. The ludicrousness of that notion is a
reality at Bir Zeit University, northwest of
Ramallah. Dr. Hana Nasser, appointed univer-
sity president several years ago, was forced to
leave the West Bank because of his refusal to
"play policeman" for the Israeli military. Vice
President Gabi Baramki now runs Bir Zeit on a
day-to-day basis, but Nasser is still the chief
executive officer. His office is in Amman, Jor-
dan.
Bir Zeit made its way into international news
reports two months ago when the Israeli
military government unilaterally shut it down.
The faculty and students had planned and
begun celebrating an event they called

"Palestine Week," meant primarily to
celebrate Palestinian arts and culture, though
it certainly had political elements as well.
Though the university administration attem-
pted to comply with the military governor's
cautionary warnings about certain parts of the
exhibit, the military was not satisfied. Bir Zeit
was locked up for a week.
NAZMI EL JOUBEH, a member of Bir Zeit's
student council, says he has been arrested 15 or
20 times. The frequent demonstrations and
strikes at the university clearly worry the
Israelis, and student council members are of-
ten herded up and detained when there is a
political demonstration on the campus. The
military rule with which Israel controls the
West Bank allows the army to arrest
Palestinians for up to 14 days without bringing
charges. In fact, this deadline can be extended
and often is, according to students and faculty
at both Palestinian universities.
At the offices of Al-Fajr, a Palestinian daily
newspaper published in East Jerusalem, I saw
files full of material censored in daily inspec-
tions by the Israeli government, ranging from
vaguely political poetry to editorials calling for
Israeli recognition of the Palestinian nation.
At Bethlehem University I saw the bullet
holes left by Israeli Defense Forces gunfire in
response to stones lobbed over the university's
surrounding wall. Several unarmed students
werewounded in the incident. At Dheisheh
refugee camp, I spoke to Arab students and
leaders who clearly wanted not to live lives of
violence, but only to live under their own rule,
in a land they perceive as having been stolen
from them.
ONE DHEISHEH resident, who insisted that

he not be identified, spoke of his aspirations in
a somewhat halting English: "Every people,
when (its land) is occupied, will try every
means to free itself. If we can't do it peacefully,
we will do it by war."
And what of the terrorist attacks by El Fatah
and other factions of the PLO? "These things
are against humanity, but we are attacked
(too)."
The Palestinians of Israel are not snarling,
unthinking Jew-haters. They are a proud but
battered people, better-educated than most of
their Arab brothers, ,who have been thrust
through no fault of their own into a situation
that veritably demands armed resistance.
They do not hate Jews. They hate the political
movement called Zionism that has cost them
slf-determination and dignity.
Peace is not an impossibility in the Mideast,
but the road to it will remain hindered as long
as the Israeli establishment refuses to call the
Palestinian people a nation. Even if the view of
some Israeli Jews that the Palestinians are all
the same with foreign Arabs was once true, it is
no longer. The sufferings and indignity forced
upon the Arab population of the Jewish state
has made the Palestinians a nation that will
some day control their own state, or die trying.
Next week: Paths to peace and harbingers
of war.
Joshua Peck is the co-editor of the Daily 's
Opinion Page. His column appears every
Sunday.

furious for lack of one, do not.
During the last weeks of December and the
first week of this month, I visited Israel, spen-
ding several days in Jerusalem and in the Oc-
l1pied West Bank. I met dozens of
Palestinians, most of them educated and fluent
1to various degrees) in English.
p MY TRAVELS TOOK me to the Arab quarter
4t the Old City of Jerusalem, to the offices of a
llestinian newspaper in East Jerusalem, to
Pe city of Bethlehem, to a refugee camp a few
miles from Jesus' putative birthplace, and to
ab universities in Bethlehem and Bir Zeit.
Though. I heard many stories of oppression
4iffered at the hands of the Israeli gover-
rinent-and especially at the hands of military
authorities-none of my experiences made so

.1

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Weasel

by Robert Lence

0

;.
_'

Vol. XCI,, No. 93

420 Moynard St.
Ann Arbor, M1 48109

Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board

Yes' to the halfway house

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HALFWAY HOUSEproposed for
Broadway fRear'the Unitversiy's
orth, Campus, has become victim to
the same narrow minded thinking that
ten accompanies such reform.
' In prisons across the country, in-
mates are exposed to overcrowded
conditions and violence, hardened, and
dltimately thrust back into a society
wvhere they often commit violent, more
serious crimes.
A facility like the one planned for
Broadway can help prisoners become
Oiroductive members of society. But
several city officials have expressed
their reluctance to rezone the land for
this use, and Thursday, the Regents
passed a resolution opposing the plan-
nied facility.
University President Harold
Shapiro, speaking at the Regents'
meeting, said the University normally
Would not interfere with an activity
which would "be beneficial to the
mmunity," but that the safety of the
Audents and their parents' concerns
must also be considered.
m This "fine, but not in my neigh-
borhood" attitude is typical of the
--..-. '. - U aw m m : a

problenis 'prison officials face- when
they attempt to develop analtern~ative
facility. For a penal reform system to
be successful, halfway houses must be
accepted in any neighborhood. A
progressive university community like
Ann Arbor should provide a better than
average place for a prisoner to read-
just to society.
Certainly, if a halfway house is to be
tolerated in a neighborhood, strong
guidelines must be followed. Prisoners
must be carefully screened and super-
vised. The recent murder of a cab-
driver - allegedly by a local halfway
house inmate - clearly demonstrates
the need for such precautions.
But the benefits of this kind of
rehabilitation program should not be
overshadowed by one isolated exam-
ple.
Convicts must learn to fit into society
before they are released on a full-time
basis in order to help them become
full-time citizens and not repeat offen-
ders. Despite the understandable fears
of community residents, Ann Arbor
can and should do its part to break the
vicious cycle of criminal recidivism.

Peace =
The world has entered 1981 on a glum and
fearful note. Our own economy and those of
other nations are faltering. Inflation erodes
the social fabric and conflicts proliferate
from street corners to national frontiers. And
the dread spectre of war arises as Soviet ar-
mies stand poised on Poland's frontier and
the United States inches toward military in-
volvements in the Middle East and Central
America.
Yet history suggests there may yet be hope
for peace. Long-range historical development
shows definite patterns and cycles. During
the last 2,500 years of civilized human life, in
both East and West, periods of prolonged
worldwide peace have alternated with
equally prolonged periods of conflict. Our
world could now be in the opening stretches of
a prolonged period of conflict that began with
World War I in 1914. On the other hand, the
wars from 1914 until now might very well turn
out to be interruptions in a more general
period of peace, progress and growth that
began in the 1600s.
There have been three distinct periods of
world peace during these 2,500 years-an-
cient, medieval and modern. Each one has
been characterized by global
economies-vast networks of production, ex-
change and consumption covering very large
parts of the world. They have been periods of
exchange, of economic and cultural enmesh-
ment of peoples. Conflict, sometimes bloody,
often erupted, but always was quickly
smothered so that the overall reign of
stability-and profitable, exchange-could
continue.
AS THE LATE British historian Arnold
Toynbee recognized, even in ancient times
the world was far more interconnected than is
commonly believed. If one part of the world
achieved peace, prosperity, and unity, it
gradually spread and affected others. Or if
one part broke down, so did the others.
Two-and-a-half thousand years ago, East
and West were locked in bloody and fruitless
wars that lasted almost to the beginning of the
Christian era.
China came out first. Peace, unity, and a
stunning prosperity developed around the
middle of the third century B.C. For four cen-
turies, China prospered under the rule of the
Han Dynasty. '

A global
By Fran/z'Schurman
Rome and Roman coins appeared in the Far
East.
In the West, this period of peace came to an
end when Rome started to crumble. Trade
dried up and a period of slaughter resumed,
symbolized by the savaging of the great city
of Rome in 410 A.D. Iran and India again sank
into war. And China underwent a massive
depopulation that has left its signs of trauma
in Chinese literature.
THE SECOND great period of world peace
began in the seventh century. In the East,
China emerged from warfare into the glorious
civilization of the Tang and Sung dynasties. In
India, a Hindu revival ousted a Buddhism
that had become too closely identified with
kingly power and monasticism, and a period
of peace and cultural flowering ensued.
Europe entered its "Dark Ages," charac-
terized by a return to learning and general
freedom from war. However, it was the
brilliance of Muslim civilization, stretching
from Cordoba in Spain to Samarkand in Cen-
tral Asia, that gave peace and prosperity to
much of the West and Middle East as well.
The world economy took a quantum leap
with regular maritime trade between the
Muslim West, and the Sinic East.
Then in the 1200s the Mongols surged forth
from their forest-steppe interface to conquer
.most of the civilized world from the tip of
Korea to central Germany, and ranging deep
into India and North Africa. Yet they also
created the world's first truly global trading
system, evident in the travels of Marco Polo.
It was,'a period both of war and peace. But as
the various Mongol empires crumbled in the
1300s, world trade broke down and another
period of combat began.
WARFARE RAGED interminably in
Japan. China in the 1500s suffered some of the
worst carnage of its history. India suffered
invasion upon invasion, and farther west the
unending conflict between Muslim Turk and
Christian European devastated great tracts
of land. Western Europe's condition was aptly
described by the 100 Years War between
Britain and France.
Then again it all ended, fairly abruptly in the
1600s and the third period of world peace
began. It came to Japan and shortly thereaf-

econ omy
of the first atomic bomb in 1945. In World War
II alone, 55 million people died.
YET UNLIKE earlier periods of war when
economies shriveled, trade dried up and
global misery spread, the world economy did
not crumble in the post-1914 period. It boun-
ced back nimbly after World War L. ended. It
seemed to be mortally threatened in the 1930s
by the Great Depression, Nazi autarchy and
Soviet economic isolationism. Yet hardly was
the war over but that the world economy
resumed its development, and in a scant 35
years has come to form a globe-spanning
network that is making nationaleconomics,
including our own, redundant.
Yet now in the 1980s, pressures are again
mounting to break up the world economy.
Demands grow in many capitalist countries
to keep out foreign goods, nationalize giant
corporations and give the state greater
powers to direct investment. In the socialist
countries there is fear among hard-liners that
they have become too involved with the
capitalist world. And many developing coun-
' tries are using their new-found national
sovereignties to turn themselves into
miniature industrial states.
But the rub, as the economic historian Karl
Polanyi pointed out in despair during World
War II, is that the nationalization of
economies tends to mean massive warfare as
well as massive welfare. It was the confluen-
ce of these tendencies, Polanyi argued, that
brought about the carnage of 1914 and 1939.
As 1981 begins, it is not hard to find signs of
nations opting again for the national
economic route, with powerful governments,
huge armies, and massive bureaucracies
running the people. The Soviets, soured on
detente and mired in a Vietnam-style war in
Afghanistan, are crawling back into their old
militant isolationism with frontiers bristling
with troops. In Western Europe, left and right
demand a break-up of the Common Market.
Islamic Iran ponders becoming a self-
sufficient nation cut off from the West. And as
the Reagan Administration takes office, there,
are pressures for bigger military budgets
from the right and demands for relief and
reindustrialization for American industry.
from the left. Such sgns do not augur well for:
a peaceful future.
On the other hand if the world economy, for+

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