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February 04, 1987 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-02-04

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4

OPINION
Page 4 Wednesday, February 4, 1987 The Michigan Daily

4

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

LETTERS:
Criticize gov t, not

peoples

Vol. XCVII, No. 89

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.

Respect free speech

THE RECENT DISAPPEARANCE of
as many as 1,400 copies of the'
Coalition for Democracy in Latin
America newsletter, The
Democratic Alternative, illustrates a
disturbing trend toward inter -
ference with free speech on
campus.
The newsletters were destroyed
or taken in several locations which
indicates deliberate, malicious
intent. The incident is especially
condemnable as it was the very
first issue of the newsletter, and
only a handful of students had an
opportunity to read and evaluate the
information before it vanished. In
addition, the MSA Peace and
Justice Committee refused to put
The Democratic Alternative on its
reference table in the fishbowl.
Although this was the first issue
of CDLA's newsletter to be
destroyed, five issues of The
Michigan Review in the last year
have suffered a similar fate. On
countless occasions Diag banners,
the shanty, and other media have
been defaced and removed,
demonstrating that intolerance,

apathy, and sheer myopia are
rampant at the University.
Such actions are abhorrent
violations of the foremost right to
freedom of expression. These
actions rob not only the right to
free speech, but also steal an
inestimable amount of student time
spent writing and distributing the
newsletters, rebuilding the shanty,
and painting banners. Further, all
of these groups face tight budget
constraints.
In light of this disturbing trend,
the University as a whole must
strive harder to assert and protect
the free communication of ideas.
Campus security should make a
concerted effort to investigate and
deter those attacking our most basic
rights. The University and
members of the community should
respect the right to express
opposing opinions. Above all, each
member of the University
community, whether student,
faculty, or staff, must respond to
would-be censors and vandals with
increased responsibility and verbal
interference.

To The Daily:
Seldom has a letter appeared
in the Daily which is as full of
disinformation and deceit as
Harry C. Nelson's letter of
1/20/87. It was in response to
a cartoon by Andy Bering
commemorating November
29th as the International Day
of Solidarity with the
Palestinian People. The
cartoon asked "Why is this
West Bank Palestinian in jail?"
Nelson, for reasons known
to many of us, believes that
November 29th should not be
celebrated and that the
Palestinian in the cartoon is
deservedly in jail. He then
lists all the acts of terror which
have been committed by "the
Palestinian." Nelson does not
refer to individual Palestinians,
but to an abstract cartoon
which is meant to depict a
people and a nation. At the
same time, he fails to offer any
of the same methods of
analysis for the Israeli
Government. His demented
logic is that all Palestinians in
the West Bank are somehow
responsible for the acts of
individuals even if they are
conducted from outside the
country (i.e., all the guerilla
actions listed by Nelson were
taken by refugees from outside
the country and not by people
from the West Bank).
Consequently Palestinians
should pay collectively.
This line of reasoning is
similar to that used by the
Nazis when Jews were blamed
for the demise of the German
economy, or by Americans
who herded Japanese-Americans
like cattle into concentration
camps during World War II.
Unfortunately Nelson is not an
anomaly. There are many
people in Israel and outside it
who think like him and bring
the Zionist-Arab conflict closer
and closer to a dreadful end.
There are a number of issues
which Nelson chooses to
exclude in his rather shoddy
argument. The first, of course,
is why the Palestinians, in
struggling to regain just a
fraction of their human rights
from the Israelis, have resorted
to violence. I know of no
people on the face of this earth
who did not resort to violence
when faced with losing their
land or way of life. The Native
American Indians, the Jews of
Nazi Germany and the
Vietnamese all resisted the
threat of an external force
destroying their way of life.
Why would the Palestinians act
any differently? I realize that
innocent blood was spilled by
people on both sides who had
nothing to do with the conflict.
Perhaps a more reasonable
assessment of this tragic

phenomenon is that these acts
are a symptom of a grand
problem which began with the
partition of Palestine on
November 29, 1947. This
eventually led to the creation of
the state of Israel while
simultaneously displacing
hundreds of thousands of
indigenous Palestinians. Since
their displacement from
Palestine, hundreds of
thousands of Palestinians have
been living in about 60 refugee
camps scattered throughout the
Middle East.
A second issue is the
incalculable damage that has
been done to the Palestinians
living inside the occupied
territories who, after
witnessing the dispossession of
their brethren, must now
slowly watch themselves
become aliens in their own
country. According to Israeli
planner Meron Benvenisti,
Israel now possesses over 50%
of the West Bank and intends
to capture all of the territory.
Finally, Nelson gives us no
indication as to the number of
Palestinians killed by the
Israelis. Nelson seems to
suffer from amnesia or mental
fatigue on this point. Perhaps
he believes that Palestinian
lives are not as important as
Israeli lives. If we look at
statistics compiled by MIT
scholar Noam Chomsky in his
book, "The Fateful Triangle," a
Palestinian life is worth
1/100th of an Israeli life. For
each Israeli killed 100
Palestinians have been killed.
That equals out to 1000
Palestinians for every 10
Israelis and 10,000 Palestinians
for every 100 Israelis. I
usually don't like to dwell on
gruesome statistics, but in this
case it is necessary.
Nelson also for some
strange reason seems to have
blotted out the invasion of
Lebanon by Israel in which
20,000 people perished (The
McBride Commission headed
by former Nobel Peace Prize
recipient Sean McBride and The
International Peoples Tribunal
in Tokyo concurred that the
invasion of Lebanon by Israel
was an act of genocide.) and
Sabra and Shatilla where 4000
refugees were massacred by the
Phalange with the assistance of
the Israeli Defense Forces. The
Phalange, by the way, are
trained, funded and armed by
the Israelis similar to the way
in which our own government
funds and trains the Contras in
Central America. Among
other massacres are those at
Kibya and Deir Yassein,
perpetrated by Israel's
notorious leaders Menachim
Begin and Arik Sharon.
Mr. Nelson's shadowy

excuses for Israeli human t
rights violations are not new<
tactics. They have been used t
countless times by Zionists t
and apologists for the state ofi
Israel since its inception.
Nelson however is obviously
Borowosky ha
To the Daily:
When I read Mark '
Borowsky's editorial in the fall,
I thought it was humoroous.
However, I wasn't expecting a
sequel. I think Mr. Borowsky
made a poor decision in writing
about New York fans again. He
had already made his opinion
perfectly clear. Also, I believe
the editor was wrong in
choosing to print the article.
The author of the article and
the editor should know that I '
am not a New York fan. As a
reader, it seems obvious that
Mr. Borowsky holds a personal '
grudge against New York fans.
It is unprofessional, not to '
mention boring for the readers,
to let this grudge continue to
interfere with his writing. I am
a sports fan, and I enjoy
reading editorials that deal with
important issues in sports.
Why don't you stretch your
Alternatives to
To The Daily:
We write this in response to
the Daily's editorial of January
29th. We agree, anyone in -
terested in volunteering their
work towards improving the
world should critically evaluate
the real motivations of the
Peace Corp. The Daily's edi -
torial raised some of the
important questions one should
ask. It suggested that such
thinking people consider al -
ternatives to The Peace Corp.
The Institute for Food and
Development Policy (of "Diet

s gr

-Mojahid David.
February 2
idge

very green at this game.
Certainly he could try to come
up with more ingenious ways, p
to cover up such tremendous
injustice.

brain, Mr. Borowsky, and write.'
about the escalating salaniesin
professional sports, illegal'
recruiting, the problems of
beinga student-athelete, or
drugs in sports. You could
even write about something
closer to home, such as the
outstanding job Gary Grant has
done this season, the integrity
of Bo Shembechler, the
shrewdness of Don Canham, or
the fun, competition, and
camaraderie to be found in
intramural sports here at
Michigan. These are just a few
of the things that readers might
find interesting. I believe the"
editor should have realized that:
this article had been written
before, and he/she should not,
have allowed it to be printed.
-Richard Siegel-
January 29

Peace Corp

ry'

Tax time, for B onzo

for a Small Planet" and "Food
First" fame) has available a
pamphlet entitled: "Alterna -
tives to The Peace Corp. 4
Gaining Third World Experi-
ence." Send $3.00 plus 15%
for postage and handling to:
The Institute at 1885 Mission
St., San Francisco, CA 94103.
(This letter is by HAP-NICA,
a local group providing
agricultural material aid to the
people of Nicaragua.)

BEGINNING WITH THE President's
19841 tax cuts--the largest in U. S.
history-Ronald Reagan's refusal
to increase taxes has been a
hallmark of his presidency. In his
State of the Union address last
week, the President reaffirmed his
opposition to higher taxes as a
means for reducing America's
budget deficit.
Largely as a result of Reagan's
refusal to ask Americans to pay in
full for the government services
they expect, the deficit
(optimistically estimated to be $200
billion in 1988) is so massive it
threatens our country's long-run
prosperity. It is obvious that the
United States can no longer wait to
reduce the deficit, which means it
can no longer afford not to raise
taxes.
Right now raising taxes is an
option the President refuses to
consider. Reagan's deficit
reduction plan consists of deep cuts
in domestic programs while
maintaining large defense
expenditures. This approach is
neither practical or humane. His

1988 budget calls for reduced'
funding for child nutrition,
Medicaid, student scholarships and
the environment. This domestic
miserliness leads to increased
misery and is not a panacea for
eliminating the deficit.
Instead an increase in taxes is a
more responsible way and the
following revenue producers seem
most reasonable:
-increase user fees for federal
services-for example, corporate
jets are not charged for air traffic
control services costing taxpayers
$400 million a year;
*raise sale taxes on liquor and
tobacco products;
-increase income taxes-keep it
simple and progressive;
-above all, the influx of new
revenue should be specifically
applied to decreasing the deficit;
America is a rich country, yet
without more funds our
government will not be able to
respond to the needs of its citizens.
In this land of BMW's and VCR's,
an equitable tax increase should
cause no great hardships.

-Margaret Reeves
February 1

4

Don't print Borowosky

To The Daily:
I had the extreme displeasure
of reading Mark Borowsky's
article (Daily,1/28/87) today
and was prompted to write this
letter. After the World Series,
the editorial page was filled
with arguments that served no
purpose other than to please
Mr. Borowsky and for this
reason I am not going to
comment on his unfounded
article. However, I would like
to criticize you, the staff of
The Daily, for publishing
sensationalism in article form
and thus giving support to
such drug store journalism
rather than placing it on the

editorial page where it belongs.
I had heard prior to arriving
at the University that it had
one of the better quality student
newspapers and that its alumni
work on the staff of many great
journals across the country.
This is undoubtedly true. Your
paper has decided that it would
prefer to be a tabloid than a
reliable reporter of news and,
by printing such quality
sensationalism, I am sure The
Star and The Enquirer will be
wanting to hire you all upon
graduation.
-Jon Casson
February 1

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