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January 08, 1987 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-01-08

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I

OPINION
Page 4 Thursday, January 8, 1987 The Michigan Daily
ThMcignDol

4 46, 31d)4rz1 1aiIQ
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
Vol. XCVII, No. 70 420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board
All other cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.

Arrested violence

Wasserman
IRAN PLAY S A LOT LV
LISYA FLAhYS
* * a
1
C4

THE ANN ARBOR CITY COUNCIL
has taken a strong stand against
domestic violence by approving the
mandatory arrest of spouse beaters.
The ordinance, sponsored by
Kathy Edgren (D-5th ward) and
effective May 1, mandates that the
police arrest when there is
"probable cause" in an abuse case,
rather than leaving the decision up
to each individual officer. Also an
on-call team of volunteers will be
notified every time police are
called.
Last year, the Ann Arbor police
responded to 282 cases of simple
physical assault and 89 cases of
felonious assault (assault with a
weapon or the threat of a weapon).
The ambiguity of previous statutes
caused the police to feel powerless
in incidents of domestic violence.
In the past, police have been
instructed to act as mediators,
without arresting or they have been
left to their own discretion. This
puts police in a difficult position,
often requiring the woman to file a
complaint which she may be
bullied out of by her abuser.
The new ordinance shifts the
focus to the police officer,
mandating that the law enforcer is
responsible to arrest the assaulter.
This also gives the police officer
protection as more police are killed
in domestic violence cases than any
other area.
The mandatory arrest ordinance
will remove the abuser rather than
the victim. This has been a
historical problem with domestic
violence cases. Many judges are
hesitant to remove the man (95
percent of batterers are men) from
the home. Police also often have

difficulty removing the batterer.
Instead they may take him for a
walk around the block, tell him to
relax, and send him back to his
wife, even if he is drunk or has
threatened to kill her. Such
scenarios are not surprising
considering that most judges and
police officers are men who may be
spouse abusers themselves.
According to the U.S. Attorney
General William French Smith in
1983, battering is the major cause
of injury to women.
Ann Arbor police chief William
Corbett has expressed concern
about inadequate overnight
facilities for offenders. In 1983
alone, 1,200 women were denied
refuge in Michigan because shelters
were full to capacity. In this
country a woman is beaten every
18 seconds and one out of three
marriages are violent; society needs
to respond with sympathy for the
victims. Though places such as
SAFEHOUSE in Ann Arbor are
essential, women should not be
forced out of their homes.
Domestic violence has
previously been categorized
beyond the realm of law
enforcement. The legal system
keeps women powerless by
refusing to recognize their
concerns. Marital rape is still legal
in Michigan. Violence against
women affects everyone.
The Ann Arbor police
department has been sensitive to
this issue and now city council has
recognized that domestic violence
is a crime similar to other violent
acts which will not be treated more
leniently because it takes place in
the home.

I

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Letters;
Response to IMPAC's political ads

Allow group housing

A REZONING PROPOSAL BEFORE
the Ann Arbor Planning
Commission can only serve to
exacerbate an already critical
housing shortage.
A neighborhood association
presented the Planning Commis-
sion with a proposal which would
prevent fraternities, sororities, and
co-ops from building or expanding
in the North Burns Park area. The
proposal limits group housing to.
21 lots in the neighborhood; the
other 45 lots in North Burns Park
would be rezoned to single or
double family dwellings. Alter-
natively, the city planning
department has proposed rezoning
38 lots to single or double family
dwellings.
Both proposals restrict student
housing in one Ann Arbor's off-
campus-student neighborhoods,
limiting group housing, the most
effective use of housing in terms of
density. The proposal changes the
neighborhood's current R2B
zoning status that allows group
housing to enter the neighborhood
by filing an application.
The neighborhood association
says that group housing causes
noise, litter, and parking problems.

more reasonable in that it would
allow at least seven more houses to
become group houses. While it's
understandable that families are
reluctant to raise children in a
neighborhood with a high student
population, the legitimate rights of
students should be considered.
The apathy and fatalism of the
Greek system in this controversy is
disturbing. The fraternities are
unwilling or unable to put up a
fight. Dennis Kavanagh, President
of the InterFraternity Council, says
he does not plan to attend next
Tuesday's public hearing on the
issue.
While the neighborhood
association does have more
influence than the Fraternities, this
is merely because the members of
the fraternities, and students in
general, have not organized
effectively to oppose the proposal.
If students showed at city hearings
and voted in city elections their
influence would be far greater.
This does not, however, relieve the
Planning Commission of its
responsibility to zone North Burns
Park in manner which takes in the
account the housing needs of
students.

To The Daily:
In the 11/21/86 and the
11/24/86 issues of the Daily, a
pro-Israel political action
organization, IMPAC, ran ads
which said that the Palestinians
don't want peace with Israel,
whereas Israel wants peace with
them. Not only are these ads
misleading, but they also bring
up the crucial issue of our
freedom of speech.
As the matter stands right
now, IMPAC, and con -
sequently other advocates of the
"peaceful Israel" image, have
more freedom of speech than do
people like myself, who
disagree, because IMPAC has
more money. This enables
IMPAC to buy conspicuous
ads in newspapers like the
Daily and give the readers
information which can't be
refuted unless the opposing
party can run a similar ad,
which in in my case means
spending money I don't have.
The only other option I have
to refute the ads is to I write a
letter to the editor with my
argument (like I'm trying to do
right now). In this case, I'm at
the mercy of the editor, who
may orrmay not want to print
my refutation because (s)he
may not like my opinion, or
(s)he may not be able to fit it
in, or (s)he may not like the,1
way I comb my hair, and etc.
And if the editor does decide to
print it, (s)he may omit parts...
and you'll never know what
you missed. Advertising
political beliefs puts freedom
of speech and freedom of the
press into the hands of the rich
because only the rich have
access to the most effective
forms of the press.
Now that that's out of the
way, I will discuss the ads
themselves. The first one
implies that the Palestinians
want all Jews dead or expelled
from what is now Israel if there
is ever to be peace there. This
was undeniably the position of
most Palestinians during the
first several years of Israel's
creation, as the ad diligently
points out, but for. some time
now, this view has been
changed considerably as the
following cases will show. In
Nov., 1978, Yasser Arafat,
chairman of the PLO, gave this
statement to Paul Findley, a
US Congressman, who
conveyed it to the State
Department: "The PLO will

rights of the Arab people of
Palestine must be secured up to
and including, the estab -
lishment of their own state. It
is essential to ensure the
security and sovereignty of all
states of the region, including
those of Israel..." In a Paris
press conference on July 14th,
1982, Issam Sartwai, a
member of the Palestinian
Nat'l Council said, "...the PLO
has formally conceded to
Israel... theright to exist on a
reciprocal basis." What all
these quotes are saying is that
the Palestinians will recognize
Israel's right to exist and make
peace with it, if Israel does
likewise with the Palestinians
on the West Bank and Gaza.
Neither Israel nor the US
responded to any of these
attempts at peace, even though
the Palestinians were agreeing
to fulfill the requirement the
United States put upon them as
the price for "recognition." It
is clearly false to say that the
PLO does not want to or has
not tried to make peace with
the state of Israel.
Under light of statistics
published in the West Bank
Data Project, a book by Meron
Benvenisti, former deputy
mayor of Jerusalem,rthis isn't
surprising because Israel
actually benefits economically
from the oppressive occupation
of the West Bank and Gaza.
Now the second ad. This one
claims Israel wants peace and
the Arab nations don't. By no
means will I say that all Arab
nations are peaceful, but all of
the Arab states the United
States considers "moderate"
(and even some of the others
like Iraq) have made one sort of
proposal/statement or another
which says that they will
recognize a nation of Israel if
Israel recognizes a nation of
Palestine in the West Bank and
Gaza (according to The Fateful
Triangle by Noam Chomsky
and many other sources too
numerous to list).
Responses from Israel on such
attempts at negotiation or
peace were of utter rejection or
silence. Israel also will not
even negotiate the future of the
Palestinians with the PLO
itself, on the basis that it
doesn't represent the Pale -
stinians and that it is a terrorist
organization.
Both allegations are absurd.
According to the 5/24/86 issue

indicate that an overwhelming
majority of the Palestinians are
represented by the PLO.
As for the next assertion that
the PLO is a terrorist group,
you need only to look at some
statistics. For example, the
official Israeli police statistics
cited in the 7/16/82 Ha'aretz (a
large Israeli paper), 282 Israelis
have died in all terrorist acts
since 1967. In just one
"retaliation" by Israel on
7/17/81 against a PLO act of
terrorism, 450 Lebanese
civilians were killed in an air
raid (one of many over Beirut).
In another Israeli "retaliation,"
an air raid killed 209 people,
again, mostly civilians
(7/13/82 London Times). There
should be no doubt that Israel
has killed more innocent
civilians than the PLO it so
violently fights against. Yet it
is hypocritical enough to refuse
to negotiate with it because the
PLO is "terrorist." For these
reasons, it is ludicrous to say
Israel is peaceful because by
looking at its actions, we see
that it is just as violent,
aggressive, and terrorist (if not
more so) as its proclaimed
enemies.

IMPAC and other similar
groups are misleading us
intentionally or unintentionally
(who knows) by giving us
only a part of the story. I have
tried to give you the other half.
However, finding faults and
calling each other names, like I
have done, is not the solution
to the Middle East crisis. We
must first get our priorities
straight. At this moment, there
are ovet a million Palestinian
refugees living in miserable,
oppressed conditions on the
West Bank and the Gaza strip;
what we must first do is give
these people the same welfare,
employment, and educational
opportunities as the Jewish
settlers living amongst them.
This can be done through
economic pressure on Israel:
after all, we do provide over
20% of Israel's GNP. Then,
we must recognize that both
sides of the Middle East crisis
have and still do commit
atrocities, and only after all
this will we have made a
significant step in finding the
solution to the Arab-Israeli
conflict.
-Muzammil Ahmed;
December 4

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