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October 08, 1987 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1987-10-08

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4

OPINION

I

Page 4 -

Thursday, October 8, 1987

The Michigan Daily

Edite aUtyfichigan
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

PLO shut-down correct

By I. Matthew Miller

Vol. XCVIII, No. 21

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.

PLO

'S

view suppressed

THE U.S. STATE Departnent dealt
a severe blow to the free speech
rights of all Americans last month
by closing down the Palestinian
Liberation Organization's offices in
Washington D.C. on the basis that
the PLO is a "terrorist" group. The
American Civil Liberties Union
(ACLU) is justified in taking up the
PLO's case.
As if to outdo the executive
branch, several senators are pro-
posing legislation to curtail all PLO
financed information in the United
States and close down the PLO
offices in New York's United
Nations building. This effort to
restrict the flow of information
within the United States is a
deplorable instance of the U.S.
government's preventing opposing
viewpoints from being heard.
More importantly, however, the
closing of the offices is denying
U.S. citizens access to a source of
information and news concerning
Israel and its occupied territories
from a perspective different from
that of the U.S. government.
The closing of the PLO offices is
also a belligerent violation of First
Amendment rights. The United
States cannot regulate the right of
U.S. citizens working for the PLO
to express a political ideology. By
attempting to do so, the U.S.
government sets a dangerous prec-
edent in regulating political rights of
organizations with which the
government disagrees.
The U.S. government is not just

concerned with ending the PLO's
influence in the United States, but
also in the United Nations. Mem-
bers of Congress from all sides of
the political spectrum are supporting
legislation which seeks to prevent
the PLO offices in New York's
United Nations from functioning
and prohibits PLO financed in-
formation, i.e. radio ads, news-
letters, from being disseminated in
the United States.
The justification for the PLO-
phobic attitude is that the PLO is a
"terrorist" group. The PLO has
been involved in other parts of the
world in many violent activities
considered, but so have many other
groups and countries - including
Israel - whose advocacy groups
are still at large in this country.
While this does not excuse any
"terrorist" actions, it does require
that the PLO be given the same right
to function here within the law.
The clampdown on the PLO is a
part of an ongoing purge against
Arab-Americans. Earlier this year,
several Palestinians were arrested in
a rare use of the McCarran-Walter
Act, a McCarthy era law which can
deport non-citizens who propagate
"the doctrines of world commu-
nism."
Arabs have lived in the West
Bank under military law and with
very limited forms of political
expression. Now it seems their
suppression is to follow them from
the Israeli occupied territories to the
United States.

On September 15 of this year, the State
Department announced that it had ordered
the information office that speaks for the
Palestinian Liberation Organization and
other Palestinian groups in Washington to
cease operations and liquidate its property
within thirty days.
According to the State Department, the
office, officially known as the Palestine
Information Office, can be legally closed
under the authority of the President or the
Secretary of State under the Foreign
Missions Act since the office is funded
directly by the P.L.O. State Department
spokesman, Charles E. Redman, said it
"demonstrates U.S. concern over terrorism
committed and supported by organizations
and individuals affiliated with the P.L.O."
The actual reason for the State
Department action stems from legislation
sponsored by Representative Jack Kemp
(R-New York) and Senator Charles E.
Grassley (R-Iowa) that calls for the
closing of both the Washington office and
the P.L.O. observer mission at the United
Nations. However, Mr. Redman said that
the United States has no intention of
closing the mission at the United Nations,
at which the P.L.O. is not a member.
A spokesman for Senator Grassley's
office, Colin Davis, said that the bill is
sponsored by fifty senators, including both
Michigan senators, Carl Levin and Donald
Riegle. The measure is presently in
committee but may be introduced as an
I. Matthew Miller is an Opinion page
staff writer.

amendment on a pending bill on the floor
of the Senate.
The United States is correct in finally
taking a firm stand to try to eradicate
terrorism. Though this action will not
hinder the P.L.O. in any way, since it will
most likely reorganize the office with
American raised funds backing it, the
United States is right to close an office
distributing propaganda of a proven harm-
ful organization.
Some of the latest P.L.O. actioiRs that
have warranted the State Department
reaction include retaining on the P.L.O.
'As the only democratic
stronghold in the most volatile
region in the world, Israel's
importance to the United
States and her allies is
immeasurable in terms of the
security of the planet.'
executive board Mohammed Abbas, who
is accused of masterminding the 1985
hijacking of the Achille Lauro cruise ship
where one American was killed; the
participation of Syrian-backed groups said
to have been involved in terrorism during
the April meeting in Algiers of the
Palestine National Council, which the
P.L.O. considers as its national legi-
slature; and reported contacts between the
P.L.O. and the terrorist Abu Nidal.
The United States must be commended
for its unwavering support of Israel's
sovereignty. Israel must be supported by

all nations that consider themselves even
remotely democratic. As the only demo-
cratic stronghold in the most volatile
region in the world, Israel's importance to
the United States and her allies is
immeasurable in terms of the security of
this planet.
It is a known fact that since the inde-
pendence of Israel in 1948, independent
Arab groups and the P.L.O. have tried
repeatedly to use violent cowardly tactics,
such as night raids on Israeli communes,
car bombs on busy streets, and attacks on
school buses, in an attempt to scare
Israelis away from their country.
The terrorism has extended outside the
state of Israel. For instance: a car bomb
placed in front of the Paris office of El Al
airlines, a machine gun attack on the
worshippers in an Istanbul synagogue, and
the brutal massacre of the Israeli Olympic
team at the 1972 Munich games. Are
these the actions of civilized people using
civilized diplomatic means to secure rights
for their people? Do they deserve
diplomatic recognition from the United
States? Have they done anything positive
for the good of the rest of the world?
The answer to all of these questions is
no. The closing of the Washington office,
though superficially meaningless, is an
affirmation of the rights of innocent
people not to be killed just because they
fly a certain airline or walk down a street.
This world should not be a place where
civilians fear for their lives on a daily
basis, like they do in Israel. The P.L.O.
has made a fine case for itself since its
inception, proving that it does not deserve
any respect from the world powers, nor
does it deserve the land that is now Israel.

Add to S. Africa sanctions

Narrowing choices

.The Department of Health and Human
Services (HHS) has proposed new guide-
lines prohibiting federally-funded clinics
from informing pregnant women that they
have the right to an abortion. This
proposal seems like a last-ditch attempt by
the President to please one of his most
vocal constituencies, the Right-to-Life
movement, before he leaves office.
Under current regulations, the clinics
present a woman with her three options:
having the baby and keeping it, having the
baby and giving it up for adoption, or
terminating her pregnancy. None of these
is recommended over the other options.
Already the Hyde amendment prohibits
funding abortions with federal monies.
Federally funded clinics are required to
keep any abortion activity distinctly*
separate from its federally-funded pursuits.
If one were to censor how a clinic's staff
may advise a woman, this would clearly
violate the staff members' First

Amendment right to free speech. It is
wrong to prevent the clinicians from
advising a woman of her legal rights.
Additionally, the new regulations in-
fringe upon women's ability to exercise
their right to obtain an abortion. Wheras
middle-class and wealthy women usually
have access to abortion information
through their personal physicians, the
women who use federally funded clinics
the most - lower-income women and
students - do not have other forms of
information available to them. Many of
them become pregnant in the first place
because they do not have the proper
information about contraception. These
women will have their choices about their
pregnancies, and their lives, narrowed
through cutting off of this information.
This move by the HHS is clearly
designed to curry favor with the Ne w
Right at the expense of free speech and the
ability of lower income women to exercise
their constitutionally guaranteed rights.

By Pam Nadasen
Thi4 is the first of a two-part series.
I feel its necessary to respond to the
opinion in the Daily, "South Africa
Sanctions Fail," (Daily, 10/1/87) which
is a very superficial analysis of the
situation in Southern Africa. At a point
in time in which the struggle is escalating
and Black South Africans are sacrificing
their jobs, their well-being, their families
and more often their lives, an analysis
such as Sean Jackson's is a barrier in the
dismantling of the apartheid system.
This system is one based on a need for a
large, cheap supply of labor for farms,
mines and industry. The Bantustans --
13% of the least productive land desigiated
for the Black South Africans who total
87% of the population -- is a chief source
of this labor supply because it contains
the unemployed as well as the sick,
elderly, and other "superfluous appen-
dages" (to use a phrase- of the Pretoria
government). The Bantustans are a
creation of the S. African government to
disenfranchise Blacks, but at the same
time to maintain the supply of labor.
Clearly, from the miner's strike this past
summer there is a large reserve of Black
labor available to the white industrialists.
The South African economy was built on
Black labor and as Jackson correctly
claims the economy is "the strongest on
the continent." But the reason for this
strength is the economic exploitation of
the majority, which Jackson completely
fails to address.
Pam Nadasen is a member of the Free
South Africa Coordinating Committee.

Withan understanding of the economic
basis of apartheid, sanctions are not just
"an easy way out for an America that does
not want to grapple with the frustrations
and complexities of South Africa and
would rather take a moral stand." The
issue of apartheid is a moral issue as well
as a political and economic issue.
I would like to reinforce the need for
us to take a moral stand, as the University
did last spring in honoring Nelson
Mandela. As a native South African I
understand the importance of showing our
solidarity with the struggle for freedom in
Southern Africa. But we need to do more
than that. We need to severe all political
and economic ties with the white South
African regime.
Sanctions are important morally, but
we must look beyond just the moral
implications of sanctions. Understand-
ably, the limited sanctions imposed by the
U.S. government last year did not force
the Botha regime to reform its inhumane
policies. We cannot expect to have an
effect on the Pretoria regime when we are
selectiye in penalizing them. Compre-
hensive, mandatory sanctions are necessary
in order to effectively pressure the regime
into making any fundamental change.
The Congress of South African Trade
Unions (COSATU) declared in July 1987,
"That selective sanctions packages as
currently applied will not be effective."
"COSATU supports comprehensive and
mandatory sanctions as the only sanctions
which are likely to bring effective pressure
which will assist in bringing about a non-
violent, truly democratic and non-racial
South Africa." Presently the sanctions
package includes a ban on importing
uranium, steel, iron and oil, prohibiting

loans by -U.S. banks to the S. A.
government, prohibition of landing rights
for S. A. Airways, and a prohibition of
cooperation with S. African armed forces.
But we are still buying diamonds from S.
A. Mobil and Shell refine crude oil and
are selling it to the police and military.
IBM, although officially "pulled out" still
provides products and :technology to the
secret police, who have detained and
tortured hundreds of youth under the State
of Emergency.
Current economic ties aside, Jackson
claims that the whole strategy behind
sanctions was to spur the S. African
regime to action now. Neither I, nor any
other ardent supporter of sanctions I know,
expected the regime to react immediately.
A policy of systematic racism and
oppression that began over three hundred
years ago cannot be destroyed in one year
with the limited sanctions that the U.S.
has enacted. The apartheid policy is
deeply rooted within the system--socially,
culturally, politically, and economically.
It will take more than such a half-hearted
attempt to challenge the apartheid system.
As for Jackson's proposal of using our
leverage within the South African
government to influence change, he
obviously has no understanding of the
history of U. S. influence in South Africa.
The U.S. government and corporations
have had the opportunity to "use their
leverage" since as early as the 1790s. But
the only result of U.S. involvement in
South Africa has been increased brutality
and an increase of the fascist policies of
the ruling National Party.
To be continued tomorrow.

LETTERS:
Daily coverage supported defendant

Chassy

TO CONOS

LANG.AGE 1+1v sins)
KLLL SUP~
iEMN

To the Daily:
I am writing to clear up
some points that John Lowrie
made in his letter to the editor
("Cover both sides of trial,"
Daily, 9/25/87). Lowrie con-
tends that the Daily displayed
biased reporting on the sexual
assault trial since it only
reported on the days that the
prosecution made its case. Had
Lowrie read the articles with
any analysis, he would have
seen that the Daily's coverage
was indeed biased, but biased in

testimony", as if she were
blubbering through a bunch of
facts. These are only two
examples of the Daily's ir-
responsible coverage.
A more informative and fair
approach (which the Daily
should still do at this late date)
would be to report on the
historical context of rape trials.
For example, instead of
focusing on (and, hence
endorsing) the strategies that
the defense is using, like
calling up the alleged victim's

that the Daily is "an anti-Greek
periodical." If the articles were
biased toward the alleged
victim, as he wrongly con-
tends, why would they be anti-
Greek? Isn't the alleged victim
also Greek? If such a bias were
anti-anything it would be anti-
rape. There are serious impli-
cations for this campus if

being anti-rape is being anti-
Greek. The fraternities should
quit blindly defending their
brothers and use this op-
portunity to do some internal
education around acquaintance
rape.

-David Fletcher
September 28

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