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January 27, 1986 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1986-01-27

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a

OPINION
Page 4 Monday, January 27, 1986 The Michigan Daily

41

bre 3ui4jCian 4ai,
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Israel sets own

parameters

Vol. XCVI, No. 82

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, M! 48109

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

Student verification

THE PUBLIC Interest Resear-
ch Group in Michigan
(PIRGIM) needs student support.
Beginning February 5, the group
will be scattered around campus
gathering signatures - about
17,000 they hope - to return their
contribution plea to the student
verification form. From 1972 to
1985, the SVF carried a section
which, when signed by the student,
pledged a two dollar donation to be
collected with tuition bills. The sec-
tion was added when PIRGIM's
popularity convinced the Regents
that the group merited special at-
tention, and, after 13 years, it was
dropped when student interest
seemed to fizzle.
Now PIRGIM is struggling to
regain its position on the form by
raising student awareness and
gathering signatures. Many
students will wonder what
PIRGIM is, what it does, and what
makes -it different from any other
student organization.
PIRGIM is a state-wide student
administered group with sister
groups in states across the coun-
try. It addresses environmental,
consumer, and community issues
without a specific focus or bias. In
1976, PIRGIM aided in the passage
of the Michigan Bottle Bill which

has changed both rural and urban
environments. In 1980, the group
developed Night Ride, a low cost
cab service for safe late night tran-
sportation.
Currently, PIRGIM works on a
number of projects. Its "Toxic
Right to Know" campaign would
inform workers, community mem-
bers, and legislators about toxicity
levels of workplace substances
which are potentially dangerous.
The frequency of industrial ac-
cidents confirms the necessity of
such a bill. PIRGIM also recently
developed the long-awaited West
Quad-Barbour-Newberry escort
service which they hope to expand
to the entire campus.
PIRGIM, however, has been
criticized for its treatment of
student workers. The real impact
of its programs on the community
has been questioned. PIRGIM
isn't unique among student groups
which have organized successful
and important measures over the
years.
But, PIRGIM is making an effort
to clean up its act and reach the
student population. When it has
sufficiently demonstrated a con-
tinued commitment to community
service, PIRGIM will have earned
its place on the SVF.

By Andrew I. Gareleck
and Lisa G. Bardach
In a recent letter printed in the Michigan
Daily, a connection was made between
Zionism and apartheid that cleary demon-
strates the illegitimacy of such a position.
Many years ago, a discovery of a small
flock of Dodo birds, thought to be extinct,
was made. An international conference was
.called in order to discuss vital issues facing
the Dodo. According to the story, the con-
ference proceeded as follows: the French
representative submitted a paper entitled
"Romance and the Dodo," while the Ger-
man representative submitted one called
"Introduction to the Methodology in the
Study of the Dodo." The Arab League
representative submitted "The Zionist Con-
spiracy and the Dodo," and the Soviet
representative submitted "The Elders of
Zion and the Dodo." A Third World
representative submitted "Israeli
Repression of the Dodo," and a non-aligned
representative submitted "Israeli
Atrocities against the Dodo."
The Israeli representative was going to
submit "Options for Helping the Dodo," but
due to the international political climate,
was forced to submit "The Dodo and the
Jewish Problem."
The conference came to a close after
passing two resolutions. One stated that
Zionism is a racist expression and another
condemned Israel and South Africa.
Needless to say, the Dodo soon became ex-
tinct.
Although this example is fictitious, it
exemplifies one of today's most serious
problems. As anti-Israel rhetoric grows,
issues of great importance are being put
aside for the sole purpose of discrediting
Israel as an equal in the family of nations.
Anti-Israel propaganda has become so
despicable that anti-Zionist propagandists
find themselves hiding behind the curtain of
an unrelated and vital issue, the anti-apar-
theid movement. The Arab League, Third
World, and Soviet-bloc propensity to con-
stantly denounce Zionism is not limited to
international conferences. The anti-apar-
theid movement in the United States has
provided yet another forum for enemies of
Israel to spread their cancerous propagan-
da.

We question the legitimacy of criticism
regarding Israel and South Africa. If a
writer concentrates his argument on the
issue that Zionism is a racist ideology, then
his criticism is legitimate. If he concen-
trates his argument on the issue of trade
between Israel and South Africa, then his
criticism is legitimate. If a writer concen-
trates his argument on anti-Israel rhetoric
rather than the future of South Africa, his
criticism is legitimate.
To support ourselves, we would like to
take a closer look at Zionism in comparison
with the racism that exists in South Africa.
Simply put, Zionism is the national
liberation movement of the Jewish people.
Zion is the center of Jewish hope and belief,
and as such, has remained the focus of
Jewish prayer throughout time. The
ideology of Zionism contains, neither
reference to race nor the advocation of
discrimination. The composition of Israel's
population (Ethiopian Jews, Indian Jews
and other Jews of all races) evinces the total
incompatibility of Zionism and racism.
Zionism is a reaffirmation that Jews are a
nation, not a race. Modern Zionism grew in
part as a response to anti-Semitism. Yet the
U.N. General Assembly passed a resolution
equating Zionism with racism as part of a
plan to delegitimize Israel as an equal to all
other nations. Unfortunately, the strategy
of perpetuating a lie in order to deprive
Jews of equal political rights has proven
successful throughout history. Adolf Hitler
popularized the idea that not only are Jews a
race, but an inferior one as well, and his
modern contemporaries have adopted this
pattern.
The "evidence" that anti-Zionists use as
proof that Israel is a racist state is the Law
of Return. Israel was founded as a shelter
from oppresion for Jews around the world,
and therefore, any Jew who immigrates to
Israel is granted immediate citizenship un-
der this law. This certainly does not mean
that others are excluded. The process of
becoming a citizen for non-Jews who im-
migrate to Israel -Christian, Moslem,
Bahai, and others - is in fact more liberal
than that in the U. S., most other Western
countries, and especially the Arab nations.
Another argument frequently posited
deals with the situation of Israeli Arabs. If
we may quote from Israel's Declaration of
Independence: "The State of Israel...will
promote the development of the country for
the benefit of all its inhabitants; will uphold

the full social and political equality of all its
citizens, without distinction of race, creed or
sex; will guarantee full freedom of con-
science, worship, education and culture;
will safeguard the sanctity and inviolability
of the shrines and holy places of all
religions....
Indeed, Israeli Arabs have the longest life
span of any Arabs in the Middle East, the
lowest infant mortality rates, and the most
sophisticated and extensive system of
health care and education. Bedouins, other
Muslims, and Druse serve in Israel's
parliment, and all Israeli citizens, including
Arabs, have the right to vote in parlimen-
tary elections.
As for the argument dealing with trade
between Israel and South Africa - yes,
there is trade between the two. However,
this trade is minimal when compared to
that of the Western countries or of Black
Africa. The fact that 46 Black Africa states
trade with South Africa certainly does not
mean that they are supportive of apartheid,
yet anti-Zionists maintain that Israel's
trade with South Africa constitutes
agreement with and support of apartheid.
According to the International Monetary
Fund, Israel's trade with South Africa
amounts to less than 1 percent of South
Africa's total trade. In 1983, South Africa
exported 1.55 billion dollars worth of goods
to the United States (8.2 percent of its total
exports). Without going into a detailed
report of trade figures, the evidence clearly
shows that Israel's trade with South Africa
is minute, especially when compared to that
of many other countries. To single Israel
out on this issue is purely to condemn Israel
as being a supporter of a racist ideology,
which is simply not the case. Israel's policy
on apartheid has been consistant, as stated
by Israeli Ambassador Benjamin
Netanyahu's speech to the United States on
November 21, 1984: "Israel categorically
condemns racism in all its forms, including
apartheid...Israel has repeatedly expressed
its revulsions of and opposition to apartheid,
both in world forums and directly to the
government of South Africa."
As seekers of truth and justice, we must
condemn those ignorant people who so
unhesitatingly juxtapose Zionism with
racism. Such a comparison demonstrates a
regretable lack of information, and
proponents of this school of thought must
never be allowed to lay out the parameters
in which Israel should operate, for it is
Israel who will define those parameters.

0
6
0

Fighting back

AT DARTMOUTH and at Har-
vard last week, student ac-
tivists proved that ad-
ministration policies can be
changed, with a little bit of energy
and effort. And the administrations
at these two universities, for their
part, displayed an uncharac-
teristic sensitivity and flexibility
in listening to and acceding to student
demands.
At Harvard, students displayed
their anger when the university
covered up the heating vents with
tent-shaped iron grills last Mon-
day, forcing away street people
who kept themselves warm by
congregating near these vents.
Students, some of whom have been
regularly feeding these homeless
victims, went and took the grills off
the vents and also opened up a
daytime homeless shelter in the
basement of the dormitory behind
which the vents were located.
Students protested the univer-
sity's actions and convinced the
administration to remove the grills
permanently. Student action won't
solve the homeless problem in
Cambridge, but it has helped to en-
sure the continuation of some
stopgap measures that keep those
streetpeople warm during the cold
winter months.
At Dartmouth the situation was a
little bit stickier. On Tuesday,
twelve students, ten of them staff-

members of the Dartmouth
Review, a paper that has recently
published issues insulting
homosexuals, blacks, Native
Americans, and Jews took
sledgehammers to shanties built
by a group that wants Dartmouth
to divest its holdings from com-
panies that do business in South
Africa.
The twelve claimed that they
destroyed these shacks in order to
beautify campus for the annual
Dartmouth Winter Carnival. On a
campus which is known to be a
predominantly white male-
dominated institution, one hundred
students staged a thirty hour sit-in
at Dartmouth President David
McLaughlin's office to gain his
support to change Dartmouth into
a more accepting, comfortable
place for minorities and women.
On Friday, classes were can-
celled so students could attend a
special symposium on racism,
sexism and toleration of dissent.
Problems of the homeless in
Cambridge and intoleration at
Dartmouth are indicative of large
social injustices, but these won't
change if people are overwhelmed
and immobilized by the feeling that
they can't make a difference.
Students who acted last week are
an admirable example of people
working together effectively to
change the problems in their im-
mediate environment.

Gareleck and Bardach are LSA seniors
and members of the American Israel
Public Affairs Committee.
Bermn

I
Via pn
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"THIS BIRD SR EADY FoR ANY THREAT To OUR NATIONAL scCRI7y/
FOR EXAPLE, AN AIR Tb GROUND ifSSILE LIKE TISW LL TRACK AND
DF-STROY ANY SENATE SVUco2MIT TE THAT EVEN TINKS AoVT
CL O SING1OUR TAX LoolIoE S."
LETTERS:
Not Israel but A rabs are aggressors

1
s e1/.l.

To the Daily:
In many political situations,
when an impasse results, one side
or both often resort to propagan-
da. The propaganda is usually
based on sensationalism,
irrational thought, and outright
lies. Clearly Hilary Shadroui's
letter entitled "Zionism is racist
in Israel" (1-20-86) is one such
letter.
Ms. Shadroui appears to be
misinformed or else she is misin-
terpreting what she has seen. Her

acquisition of land occured
because the armies of five neigh-
boring Arab nations immediately
invaded the sovereign nation of
Israel with the sole purpose of
murdering every Jew in Israel as
stated by Arab League Secretary
General Azzam Pasha, May 15,
1948. "This will be a war of ex-
termination and a momentous
massacre which will be spoken of
like the Mongolian massacres
and the Crusades." The Jews of
Israel were threatened with

aggressors. How else can Israel
react when faced with the
following statements: "I want to
say that the only way for peace is
to erase completely the can-
cerous presence of Zionism."
PFLP Leader George Habash,
Reuters, Beirut, March 28, 1980.
"I shall make it perfectly clear to
you. We shall never recognize
Israel, never accept the usurper,
the colonialist, the imperialist...
We shall never allow Israel to live
in peace. We shall never allow it

feel that behind every wall there
might be a guerrilla who is
aiming at me..." Farouk Kad-
doumi, Head of the PLO's
political department. Interview
in Stern, West Germany, July 30,
1981.
I suggest that Ms. Shadroui
learn the facts and interpret
them from a rational standpoint
before stating her opinion. She
clearly has not done her
homework.

-

A o)))

-Steven Stryk

we"%.. - Ito - "A "',

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