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November 16, 1987 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1987-11-16

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4

OPINION

Page 4

Monday, November 16, 1987

The Michigan Daily

f d

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Israelis are not

Vol. XCVIII, No. 48

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.

A

MSA should clean-up

ILECTIONS for the Michigan Student
Assembly will soon be over, but not
soon forgotten. Even if the winning
crndidates fail to transform campus
lie, their posters will linger, remind-
iig the entire campus of the election
lang after it's over.
>This doesn't have to be the case.
When the Ann Arbor City Council
holds elections, candidates are held
responsible for taking their posters
oTf bulletin boards, telephone polls,
kiosks, and any other place they can
be found.
The city requires candidates to re-
move all posters within 18 hours after
an election. Clearly,, not all candidates
acknowledge this requirement but
there is a fairly effective enforcement
mechanism. Councilmembers are
quick to needle each other during
council meetings before constituents
when they've seen out-of-date
posters.
Since assembly candidates have a
Fairly limited area in which to cam-
paign, it's much less work for them
to remove their campaign propaganda

By Noah Finkel
Last Thursday two lawyers, Mona
Rishmawi and Mazen Qutby, spoke at the
University protesting the treatment of
Palestinians in Israeli-occupied territory
(Daily, 11/12/87). The two said the Israeli
government commits "crimes against hu-
manity" in the course of its occupation of
the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
True, no apology can be given by anyone
concerning Israel's oppression of civil lib-
erties and civil rights in the territories.
Military occupations are always offensive
and this one is no exception. Israel should
plan now on a transfer of the occupied
territories to end this oppression.
But Rishmawi and Qutby go a bit too far.
Israel's 20-year occupation is terrible, but to
call it a "crime against humanity" is just as
offensive if not more so. These two are now
the ones that need to apologize.
The reason is that the phrase "crimes
against humanity" is the term used for
crimes committed by the Nazis in carrying
out the Holocaust. When the war criminals
Noah Finkel is an Opinion page staff
writer.

from public view than it is for city
candidates.
Given the small to nonexistent
campaign staffs of most assembly
candidates, it would be unreasonable
for the assembly to require candidates
to remove their posters within 18
hours as the city does. A week would
probably be appropriate.
Whenever one puts limits on cam-
paigning it raises free speech ques-
tions. This is clearly not a concern'
when the election is over. Also, the
assembly rules have already set re-'
strictions by prohibiting candidates
from putting posters on glass.
The Public Interest Research Group
In Michigan received a lot of criticism
following the election last March.
Opponents questioned how PIRGIM
could call itself an environmental
group when its advertisements and
campaign posters littered the campus.
PIRGIM made a good faith effort to
clean up after themselves which other
candidates should emulate.
The assembly should send a mes-
sage to constituents that MSA cares
about cleaning up after itself.

went to trial for the mass mur
Jews, this was the name of the
which they were prosecuted. Now,
phrase "crimes against humanity
people immediately think of the H
To equate a military occupat
Israelis (certainly the main vict
Nazis) with the systematic mur
million people because of theiri
insulting to all of the stude
University who lost relative
Holocaust.
Unfortunately, military occupa
common thing in this world. Th
mean in any way that what the Is
excusable. But by most star
occupation is relatively gentle.'
for example, engaged in a much h
During their occupation of Europ
were people deprived of civil lib
they were also rounded up and t
death camps where few survive
actions do not come close to these
To make a comparison betw
1987 and Nazi Germany 1945
_ what Rishmawi and Qutby in e
ludicrous. To do so belittles thes
the victims of the Holocaust. Th
is one of the single greatest trag

'crim~inals~
der of the The Israeli occupation of the West Bank and
crime for Gaza Strip, which does create needless
, when the suffering, is not in the same class at all.
y" is used, How can the subject of a military occupation
[olocaust. even be brought up in the same breath as the
ion by the genocide of six million Jews? What
ims of the Rishmawi and Qutby have done is slap those
der of six who have suffered so greatly in the face.
religion is They owe all Jews, and all humanity in fact,
nts at the an apology.
es in the Those two and their Palestinian brethren
deserve a homeland, but to say something so
ations are a offensive hurts their chances. It would help
tat doesn't them to play on Jewish guilt (which has
raelis do is helped thus far shape Israeli public opinion)
idard therather than on the tactics employed by these
dards the two demagogues. The "crime against
arsher Na.' humanity" statement makes people scornful
e, not one. of Palestinian claims and so is a
erties, but counterproductive means to a worthy end.
hrown ,into And maybe more importantly, Rishmawi
ed. Israel's and Qutby trivialize the Holocaust. Out of
ed srael's. this unprecedented tragedy many positive
eatrocitieslessons have been learned. But categorizing
veen Israel the plight of the Palestinians in the 1980's
, which is with the plight of the Jews in the 1940's re-
ffect do, is moves the Holocaust from its outstanding
suffering of status. Thus less will be learned about it and
e Holocaust something similar could happen again. That
edies ever, would be a true "crime against humanity."

LETTERS:

Racists shouldn' t accuse others

ICondom machines unsafe

SHE DRIVE TO INSTALL condom
:mra chines at Michigan State
;University dormitiories has led to a
similar call here. While the motives
are for the most part admirable,
installing condom machines in
University residence halls is unnec-
essary and potentially dangerous.
The impetus for this drive is obvi-
ous. With the rise of AIDS and most
recently the discovery of a penicillin-
resistant strand of syphilis, the entire
world is focusing on "safer" sex.
Condoms are considered by experts
to be the best protection against
* spreading venereal disease except
chastity. Also, condoms are among
tthe most popular means of birth
control.
Those who call for the installation
of condom machines argue con-
cvincingly that there is a significant
sexually active student population,
. and the convenience of condoms
readily available in the dormitories
will only aid in protecting these stu-
dents and the entire University
community.
At first glance, this seems like a

solid argument. However, there are
other factors which weigh against
condom machines. First of all, re-
search done for the Michigan State
campaign showed that condoms left
sitting in vending machines are more
prone to rupture and leakage. This is
obviously very dangerous for those
who depend on condoms as their
primary or only source of protection.
A second argument against the in-
stallation of condom machines at the
University of Michigan is that con-
doms and other forms of birth control
are readily obtainable in the campus
area. Every pharmacy a n d
convenience store on central campus
sells condoms. Thus, the availability
of protection here is not a serious
problem, unlike the less commercially
developed campus at Michigan State.
The effort to encourage "safe" sex
is admirable. However, the drive on
this'campus should be focused more
towards education and awareness.
For the potential dangers involved,
the convenience of condom machines
in dormitories is not worth it.

To the Daily:
The Black Action Movement
and The United Coalition
Against Racism are right. By
the definitions and standards
they imposed last year, racism
is overt on this campus.
However, I am not sure who
this racism is directed at: Are
blacks the object o f
discrimination and prejudice on
this campus, or are whites?
BAM and UCAR have ex-
pressed the belief that there is a
racist attitude towards blacks
running rampant throughout
the administration, faculty and
student body. I beg to differ.
One night last week, around
one a.m., on the first floor of
the UGLi, near the microfilm
readers, I was the "victim" of
racism for the second time in
less than a year here at the
University. I was working
late, writing a paper at a desk,
as were more than a few other
students nearby. A black cou-
ple walked into this area, sat
down by the microfilm readers
and began a discussion in
louder than conversational
tones. Believe it or not, at this
hour, all areas of the library are
quiet and this night was no ex-
ception. Until they walked in.
The people around me re-
sponded to their talking with
annoyance and repeated shhh's,
all of which proved to be of no
avail. This situation com-
pounded itself when another
black guy entered and joined
their discussion. A new chorus
of shhh's arose, again yielding

nothing. It was at this point
that their talking became more
than a nuisance and annoyance
and turned to intolerable. I de-
cided to do something about it.
I got up from my desk and
walked the fifteen feet to where
they were sitting, and very po-
litely asked them to either keep
their conversation down or to
please go out into the lobby. I
then thanked them, assuming
that they would comply with
my simple request, and began
walking back towards my seat.
Whereupon they felt the need
to respond. One asked if they
were too loud, another asked if
they were disturbing me. I re-
sponded yes to both queries.
The black girl's response, to
my response, was: "Well that's
too fucking bad. It's too late
to be studying anyway, you
want quiet go somewhere else."
I did not really feel the need to
dignify that with a response, so
I let it slide. As I resumed my
seat, the second black guy
looked over at me, stared me
right in the eye, and said
something along the lines of:
"Next time you come over
here, I'm going to bust you in
the mouth, and knock you on
your honky ass."
Now, I am wondering
whether or not you see the ab-
surdity, and ridiculousness of
these unprovoked responses and
attacks. In addition to how
oppressed and upset BAM and
UCAR would be had the situa-
tion been reversed and "nigger"
replaced "honky."

Am I to believe that, because
of this incident, this is the
prevailing attitude of every
black person on this campus?
Well, according to BAM and
UCAR's response to two re-
grettable, yet isolated, racist
incidents last year, yes I
should. Now, this position is
almost as absurd as the com-
ments made to me by the ob-
viously angry and ignorant
black guy who "attacked" me.
It is wrong, and ridiculous, to
blow these isolated incidents,
such as this one and the two
last year in the dorm and over
the radio, out of proportion and
use them to characterize this'
entire university. How can
that be countenanced and justi-
fied?
There is no overt racism on
this campus, directed at blacks
or whites. And I do not be-
lieve this solely because no
one has ever anonymously
asked to see my tail. Did you
ever think that maybe it is
black people, and not the white
people, on this campus who
segregate themselves. They
have their own societies, study
and meeting rooms in the
dorms. Their own Fraternities
and Sororities. separate (but

equal?) from The Interfraternity
Council and The Panhellenie
Society. They want their own
student union, and last but not
least, the thing which is most
offensive, they wear shirts de-
liberately designed to separate
themselves from the main-
stream: "BLACK, by popular
demand." Can you imagine the
backlash, fury and cries of
white supremacy that would
arise if white were substituted
for black on that shirt?
I am not denying that black
people may have a right to
criticize their position in soci-
ety, or that racism does exist.
However, I feel-that maybe
they should look at their own
feelings, attitudes and methods
of proposed change, before-
hand. How can a racist criti-
cize and condemn acts of
racism? True equality, rests on
the feelings within that there
are no differences, that every-
one is the same, regardless of
color, or anything else. How
can they expect to achieve this
if it is they who are constantly
beating society over the head
with the fact that they are
black, and different from the
rest of us.
-Steven Kushner
November 9

Anti-racist groups too strong

Zinn
p a
tf
r-
\ o\ r

Ginsburg wrong to smoke pot

To the Daily:
This letter is in response to
the Daily's editorial on the
withdrawal of Douglas
Ginsburg as a Supreme Court
nominee. The editorial stated
that a candidate should not be
judged on the basis of his
moral standards or past social
behavior. The editorial also
implied that the fact that
Ginsburg smoked marijuana
should not be grounds for his
withdrawal. I feel that the
editorial missed the key point

of the issue. Ginsburg knew
that smoking marijuana was
against the law, and the fact
that he smoked it showed his
basic disregard for the law.
Such contempt for the law is
clearly not appropriate for
someone who wanted to hold
one of the highest legal
positions in this nation, and
this fact alone should be
adequate grounds for his
removal.
-Inder Soni
November 12

To the Daily:
I am writing this letter
because I am concerned with
the immense power that the
anti-racism movement seems
to have amassed at the
University of Michigan and in
the Ann Arbor area. Anti-
racism rallies seem to be
almost a weekly occurrence on
campus, sparked by any small
racist incident. The argument
for these grand actions is that
any isolated incident is
evidence of a greater pattern of
racism in our society. This
may well be true, but I feel
that racism in America is on
the decline with no help
whatsoever from the all to
severe judgment placed upon
America by these black groups.
The anti-racism craze has
taken on an overI;aring
presence and is shaping up to
be a witch hunt, the
McCarthyism of the eighties.
Last year because of a racist
flier and a racist joke told by a
stupid disc jockey the
University of Michigan. was
dragged thrc sgh an enormous
ordeal, where even president
Harold Shaniro had to bend to

his or her past record, he or she
is automatically demanded to
give up his or her job and a
series of excessive requests are
demanded of his or her
employer. Take for instance
the case of Ann Arbor high
school teacher Dale Greiner
who is currently in trouble for
making a racist statement to
his class. Mr. Greiner was
wrong. He made a statement
which deserves an apology and
also punitive action; but to ask
him to give up his entire career
because of one isolated incident
is foolish and unjust. One
should consider a person's
record before making an
indictment against him or her.
It was also strange to hear
that one of the demands made
of the group was to make black
history a mandatory subject at
Ann Arbor public schools.
Should we also make Jewish
history required? Or Albanian
history for that matter? Or are
blacks the privileged minority
in America?
The point that I wish to
make is that fighting racism
with radicalism does not work.
The black community grouns

4

Don't kill The Cat in the Hat

To the Daily:
I would like to respond to
the malicious. attack on the
poetry of Dr. Seuss made by
Professor Carolyn Balducci in
"Cat in the Hat turns 30, kids
still like it" (Daily, 11/12/87):
WhatIv, ot caO a ,o W .nn

Then take some Rolaids to
try to calm it.
Although you may think it
vile,
It does its job - it makes
kids smile.
Now maybe you don't feel
cL.....

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