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October 02, 1982 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1982-10-02

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6

OPINION

Page 4
Israel must

Saturday, October 2, 1982.
share the

The Michigan Daily
responsibility.

By Sarkis Elm assian
The massacre of hundreds of Palestinian and
Lebanese civilians in Beirut shocked the con-
science of the world. In its wake, there are
three important questions to be examined:
1) Who was responsible for this pogrom? The
attempt by Prime Minister Begin and Defense
Minister Sharon to shrug off responsibility for
the massacres is clumsy at best. The extreme
right-wing Lebanese gangs that committed the
atrocity had a history of engaging in
massacres, and Israeli newspapers report that
Sharon actually helped them enter the camps
with full knowledge of what would likely follow.
Israeli sources have admitted that many
Israeli officials, two cabinet ministers among
them, knew about the massacres 36 hours
liefore they "intervened" to stop them. The
Israeli government clearly shares a large por-
tjop of the responsibility for the massacres.
2) Why were such massacres allowed to oc-
cur by the Israeli government? The memory of
the 1948 Deir-Yassin massacre, where 252
Ialestiian civilians were murdered in cold
B lood by Begin's Irgun terrorist gang is not yet
fbigotten. At that time, Begin claimed the ac-
P7~

tion helped create panic among Palestinians,
thus forcing them to flee from their homes
vacating the land for Jewish settlements.
In September 1982, Begin and Sharon
deliberately approved the much larger scale
massacre in Beirut precisely to spread panic
among the Palestinians so that they would flee
from Lebanon to distant places. In addition,
Begin and Sharon were aiming to terrorize
Palestinians everywhere into submission so
that they would not oppose the annexation of
the West Bank and the Gaza strip.
In this respect, what most people fail to
notice is that the Beirut massacre was not an
isolated event, but part of a pattern of
terrorizing the Palestinians during the Israeli
invasion of Lebanon. For this purpose,
thousands of Palestinian and Lebanese
civilians were killed in southern Lebanon,
especially in the refugee camps. Israef preven-
ted the entry of media personnel into these
camps for weeks until they had covered up the
atrocities that occurred there.
Furthermore, all males between the ages of
14 and 55 were taken into prison camps as
"terrorist" suspects. More than 10,000 are held
now in detention without any charges.

President Reagan's crocodile tears over the
victims in Beirut should deceive no one. The
fact that American arms shipments to Israel
never stopped (they actually increased .
dramatically) during the months preceding the
invasion, the fact that Sharon was in
Washington during the week preceding the in-
vasion, and the fact that Reagan endorsed the
Israeli goals in Lebanon, all indicate the ad-
ministration's foreknowledge and approval of
the invasion.
As such, Reagan is at least indirectly respon-
sible for the tragedy which has resulted from
the invasion.
- Why did the administration support the in-
vasion? It did so, simply, because it wants to
weaken all the nationalist forces which are
dedicated to democratic and egalitarian
government in the Middle East, and to thus
strengthen the rule of the authoritarian
regimes in the Arab world. These regimes, in-,
cidentally, provide a haven for the
multinational corporations exploiting the
resources of the area.
3) How could, such atrocities as the Beirut
massacre be allowed to occur? What kind of
mentality would condone such barbarism?

Successive Israeli governments and the media
have continuously labeled the Palestinian
fighters as "terrorists." They have so inter-
changeably used the words "Palestinian,"
"terrorist," and "PLO," that in the minds of
most Israelis "terrorism" and "Palestinian"
have come to be synonymous. All kinds of vile
acts and intentions have been attributed to
Palestinians, all with the ultimate political
purpose of depriving them of the right of self-
determination.
Palestinians have been so dehumanized in
the minds of most Israelis that they have come
to accept the notion that Palestinians don't
deserve a homeland. They accept the notion
that it is legitimate to annex the West Bank and
Gaza strip.
Such vilification of Palestinians has led most
Israelis to accept with equanimity the horrible
spectacle of the Israeli army's behavior in
Lebanon. It was exactly such racist ideas
spread by the Nazi media which allowed the
genocide of Jews and others to occur in Europe.
Unfortunately, a similar genocidal mentality is
dominant in the Israeli government. But, for-
tunately, circumstances do not allow them to
carry out their designs against the Palestinian

people.
Does the above statement mean that Israel
has become a fascist state? I do not think so, at
least not yet. That large segments of Israeli
society have rabidly racist and arrogant views
toward Arabs-that these Israelis would like to
expand the borders of Israel and dominate the
Arab countries neighboring them-is evident
by the fact that a majority of Israelis still sup-
ports Begin's policies.
Yet it is encouraging to know that a substan-
tial minority oppose Begin and call for a
genuine peace in the Middle East based both on
justice to the Palestinians and on security for
Israel. The 400,000 demonstrators in Tel Aviv
on Sept. 24 show that not all hope is lost for
peace in the Middle East.
It is the "Peace Now" movement, which
helped organize last week's demonstration,
which is truly working for peace. "Peace now,"
unlike the Labor or Likud parties, recognizes
that it is only when Arabs and Jews rise above
their prejudices that many common human
values can be seen. They are helping to pave
the long and arduous road for peace in the Mid-
dle East.
Elmassian is a doctoral student in the
School of Education.

Wasserman

'

diedatudetgatT et yhi
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Vol. XCIII, No. 21

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, M1 48109

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1 .
Unbalanced
P HE U.S. House of Representatives
killed the balanced budget
anendment last night, but not before
giving the amendment supporters a
chance to make as much commotion as
p>ssible.
The motives of the amendment sup-
p rters were clear and shameless:-
They resurrected their bit of economic
irisanity during the middle of the cam-
paign season to gain as much political
mileage as they could. They were
.hoping that somehow the public
pressure for lower federal deficits
worild force House members to support
the amendment or face political
problems in the upcoming election.
Fortunately, 187 members of the
House saw through the facade and
voted against the measure, killing it
until at least the next session.
"Voters across America should
count heads and take names,"
President Reagan rattled last night.
"In November, we must elect
representatives who will support the
amendment, then we propose it again
inthe spring."
.But neither the president's ominous
effusions nor the measure of public
support the amendment has garnered
can change the basic flaws in the
amendment.
Meagan's record itself offers a num-
ber of splendid arguments against a
Constitutionally-mandated balanced
budget. Reagan's enormous military

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6

expenditures have required substan-
tial federal budget deficits-the
largest, in fact, in the nation's history.
Yet the president, who repeatedly
promised during his campaign for of-
fice to balance the budget and who is a
vehement supporter of the amen-
dment, insisted that it was "absolutely
necessary" that the government incur
the debts for the military buildup.
Further, had the proposed amen-
dment been in force a year ago, it is en-
tirely possible that the current
recession could have been even worse.
Deficit spending-even on the
military-can help ease the severity of
a recession or speed recovery. Rigid
restrictions on such spending could
only serve to make economic downtur-
ns worse.
Even the portion of the amendment
which contains provisions for deficit
spending in emergencies is flawed: It
requires that three-fifths of both
houses of Congress approve the deficit
spending, effectively making the
federal budget hostage to the whims of
two-fifths of either house.
But the arguments against the
amendment itself were not the issue
yesterday, even though the amen-
dment lost. The real issue, at least for
the president and his allies, was the at-
tempt to take as much advantage as
possible of those too foolish to see their
real, political intentions.

BERKELEY, Calif. - In late
September I began my 25th year
of teaching at the University of
California in Berkeley and, as at
the beginning of every new
academic year, I have sought to
acquire a sense of the students'
mood. What struck me this year
is how quiet young people are.
At first I thought this un-
precedented absense of talk could
be a sign of self-concern or
apathy or persisting adolescence.
Yet it seems, on reflection, that it
could be their own way of sending
a message about the state of the
world to those who bear respon-
sibilities, including their
teachers.
IN THE LATE 1950s, the noise
came from the incessant loud
talk of students eager to climb
onto the ladder of success. Every
student knew that rank order of
achievement as measured by
grades was where it was at.
Then came the Kennedy years.
Students and younger faculty
were enormously excited by the
new prospects for doing good at
home and abroad with America's
most powerful weapon: its
technological and organizational
know-how. After the
4ssassination, a great sadness
descended, but hope was still
openly voiced that the Kennedy
promise could yet be realized.
The campus anti-war
movement was preceded in
Berkeley by the explosive Free'
Speech Movement of the fall of
1964; later, the tone of high-
pitched anger was to be heard.
The movement roared and ram-
paged for six years and then
abruptly faded after another ex-
plosion over the killings at Kent
State in early May 1970.
IN THE 1970s, the earlier
raucous voices were replaced by
different ones: women firmly
demanding equal rights,
ecologists speaking against the
spoiling of nature, preachers
telling of old and new
religions-and all over the cam-
pus the sound of music.

Why are
college
studen ts
so quiet.?
By Franz Schurmnn

t~il<V1 /
1970s, students decided while the
system was pretty big and
productive, it wasn't really for
them.
WHATEVER the changes in at-
titude, however, students
believed there was a pretty im-
pressive system out there, and
that it really did control things.
No longer. Like many older
people, students are not sure
whether anything really is under
control any longer. The unexpec-
ted twists and turns of the last
few years have convinced them
that the economy, for example,
may be incapable of even being
understood. However concerned
they are about getting a job after
graduation, 'marny more than in
the past suspect that the lifetime
career line may be a thing of the
past. If few are now worrying
about retirement, most know that
the chances are good that any
pension they may secure will be
eaten away by inflation.
But nothing more terrifyingly
suggests a world out of control
than the proliferation of nuclear
weapons thousands of times
beyond total planetary destruc-
tion. I have not detected any
visceral fear of war, such as
many of us felt in October 1962
during the Cuba missile crisis.
Students are not really expecting
an imminent apocalypse.
What they want is an effort by
leaders to get together and find
ways to dismantle nuclear ar-
senals. In effect, they want to start
a process of bringing the world
back under control again, so they
can again think, of having a real-
future ahead of them.
It may be this Quaker-like
quietness is really the sign of a
concern and commitment deeper
than that of students in the
earlier periods.
Schurmann, a professor of
history at the University of
California-Berkeley, wrote
this article for Pacific News
Service.

I
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By late in the decade, faculty .
members knew that a new
academic seriousness had retur-
ned to their students. They again
were interested in grades.
Enrollment in innovative cour-
ses fell off as students went back
to basics and even more into
those fields with real job payoff.
As the UCLA Higher Education
Resource Institute discovered in
a -recent survey, 64 percent of
U.S. freshmen are mainly in-
terested in education for jobs that
will make them well-off finan-
cially, as contrasted with 40 per-
cent in 1972.
But as campuses throughout
the country are seeing, students
everywhere today have another
concern besides making it in
computer sciences, engineering,
or preparation for medical and
law schools-nuclear war. In
some colleges, like Vassar, an en-
tire week has been given over to
discussion of this subject.
OLDER FACULTY have been
as puzzled by this quiet,
mushrooming concern about
nuclear war as they are glad that
the turbulance of earlier years is

gone. They know by now it isn't
political in any conventional
sense, some mystical pacifist trip
of the early 1970s variety. But
fuller explanations are rare.
-So I would like to offer one of
my own, based on reflections
over a quarter of a century of
teaching at one university.
Until recently, most
Americans, poor, middle-class or
rich, believed that their country
was under control; and while
there was plenty of turbulence in'
the rest of the world, we could
envisage it, too, coming under
control. Control did not mean
some iron hand running it all, but
a set of institutions animated by
sincere and educated men. In
principle, these institutions could
function'for the benefit of most, if
not all, of us.
In the late 1950s, students wan-
ted to get on track with this world
so they could make it to the top.
In the early 1960s, many students
saw the chance to make the world
a better place for all. A few years
later, many turned in rage again-
st a system they saw as a
repressive tryanny. In the early

0

A

LETTERS TO THE DAILY:
Apathy toward Five-Year Plan appalling

To the Daily:
I am appalled at the apathy

Plan" has been carefully timed
andworded so that many students
hnv hppn ad f hala-iratnf i-f i

money to the University. Ad-
ministrators, on the other hand,
are apttin mnne frnm thn

to the Regents, to other ad-
ministrators. You can write ar-
ticles for the multitude of student

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