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November 23, 1987 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1987-11-23

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4

OPINION

Page 4

Monday, November 23, 1987

The Michigan Daily

4

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Crime or duty: Israeli debate

Vol. XCVIII, No. 53

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.
Give 'Tell S omeone' teeth

THE DECISION BY University ad-
ministrators to hire legal counsel for
two women named in a slander suit
filed by a visiting professor accused
of sexual assault should be com-
mended. This action would pre-
serve the integrity of the Univer-
sity's "Tell Someone" campaign
about sexual assault, whereas the
University Board of Regents' in-
struction to the Executive Officers
to reconsider this decision under-
mines the University sponsored
campaign.
Thomas Rosenboom, a Dutch
author and writer-in-residence at the
University, has been charged by a
woman student with fourth-degree
criminal sexual conduct. Kata Is-
sari, a counselor at the Sexual As-
sault Prevention and Awareness
Center, made two telephone calls to
Rosenboom's employer, the chair
of Germanic Languages Depart-
ment, to discuss the incident of al-
leged harassment. Rosenboom is
now charging the student and Issari
with slander. He is seeking
$10,000 to compensate for emo-
tional distress and damage done to
his reputation.
The Affirmative Action Office's
"Tell Someone" campaign, publi-
cized by posters around campus, is
designed to encourage all members
of the University community to in-
form University authorities about
incidents of sexual or racial harass-
ment. It is encouraging that John
Ketelhut, the University attorney
who decided to hire legal counsel
for the women in consultation with
other University administrators,
recognized the University's obliga-
tion to protect individuals who use
this grievance procedure from such
civil suits.
The regents so far have failed to
recognize this obligation. At their

meeting Friday, several regents
suggested that paying for legal de-
fenses of students and employees
would set a costly precedent. The
regents should be willing to set a
precedent of protecting members of
the University community from
racial and sexual harassment. If the
regents do not, then students or
employees, who follow University
policy in reporting sexual assault or
racial harassment, will pay the price
in court.
The regents' hesitation to provide
these women with University sup-
port sends a very clear message to
all potential victims and assaulters:
if the victim does "Tell Someone,"
he or she may only be invoking the
psychological abuse of a slander
suit, and will have to stand alone.
The regents instructed the Execu-
tive Officers to evaluate the decision
to defend the two women and sug-
gest a comprehensive policy for the
future; the Executive Officers
should establish a policy that man-
dates University legal support for
individuals (and the counselors in-
volved) who use the "Tell Some-
one" program. A coherent statement
is needed by the administration to
prevent the threat of civil suits to
intimidate assault victims into drop-
ping charges. It should not be left to
the University attorney to person-
ally assess the legitimacy of a
complaint.
Clearly, it is possible that some
will use "Tell Someone" to make
malicious accusations. The validity
of an accusation is decided in the
criminal and civil courts, however.
To preserve the effectiveness of
"Tell Someone," the University
should be willing to defend all
students and employees who use
the program.

In September of 1986, Israeli nuclear
technician Mordechai Vanunu disclosed un-
reported information about Israel's atomic
weapons program to the "The Sunday
Times" in London. Soon after the "Sunday
Times" article on October S, Vanunu was
discovered missing. On November 9 Israeli
authorities announced that they h ad
"apprehended" him for espionage. In De-
cember, Vanunu informed journalists in a
message written on the palm of his hand that
he had been abducted in Rome by Israel's
Secret Service and brought to Israel. Va-
nunu is awaiting trial in a maximum-secu-
rity Israeli jail, under charges of aggravated
espionage, helping an enemy in wartime and
disclosing state secrets. His brother, Meir
Vanunu, is traveling throughout the United
States and Europe to publicize his brother's
case. He spoke recently with Opinion Page
staffer Gayle Kirshenbaum.
.y y >r
Dialogue.
Daily: What is your brother's present
legal status?
Vanunu: His preliminary trial on Au-
gust 30 of this year was one of closed doors,
e inws comp y c t. No
lowed. Amnesty International asked to place
an observer in the court room, but their re-
quest was refused... .The courts have used
the Eichmann case as precedent for justifying
the kidnapping, but the govermentn
stood by him in the trial and ready to shut
.w .
his mouth, which the Israeli press reported.
There will be American experts at his trial in
December - Richard Falk, head of the In-
loe.AnsyIternational eatetaktoalen
possibl ar wSagan wil testify on h
ob gation to morality against government
They have instituted psychological war-
fare to break him down, but he has main-
tained a quiet shout with a 35 day hunger
strike in February. When they ask him for

who did he spy, he answers that he acted as
an individual. He went alone to do this in
London. He never said he was guilty; he
doesn't regret what he did: he still feels he
did the right thing.
Daily: Why did he feel compelled to do
this?
Vanunu: What was the need of revela-
tion? There were many rumors, within the
CIA, saying Israel had 60, 80 warheads. The
Washington Post said it had 81 nuclear
weapons. In Israeli society there is no
opportunity of discussing the issue of nu-
clear weapons - the information has been
kept from the Israeli public, and the Knesset
(Israeli parliament) has no opportunity to
discuss it, for a secret group of people
manage it all. Mordechai revealed informa-
tion to the government as well as the peo-
ple. Now there are members of the Knesset
who want to meet with Mordechai and raise
these issues, but the Security Services says
no. The reason is the same as before for not
allowing this; if the government knows de-
tails they will be able to intervene. The nu-
clear lobby works in private. It took an
outsider to inform them.
His background is important to under-
stand his decision. He had studied philoso-
phy and geography. He had been part of a
political party called "Compus," defending
Arab rights and calling for a Palestinian
state. He had acted against the Lebanon war
and refused to serve in the army; he had
pacifist attitudes. He had studied the effects
on ecology of nuclear development, acid
rain. .. .As a result of all this he went out
of Israel to raise these issues, risking his
life. He never told his family what he was
planning to do.
Daily: How has the Israeli press and
public responded to your brother's case?
Vanunu: The officials have disinformed
the public, to put the Israeli people against
him. They are presenting him as the worst
possible traitor. They have given my
brother no voice, and would not initially
publish his letters to the press. During the
first six months, the whole press establish-
ment worked to move away from the nuclear
weapons story and focused on only the per-
sonal.
The Israeli public sentiment is turning
more objective. There have been more
positive articles in papers in the last three

months. The image is changing from a
traitor to a man fighting for his ideals. But
the public is not yet willing to express this
clearly, or develop any real defined ideas of
moral obligations concerning nuclear I
weapons.
Recent investigations of the Shin Beth
(Israeli internal security service) of its
torturing an Arab man to make a testimony,
and revelations about Palestinian killings
show that the trust of this department is
breaking. These cases, this information
wouldn't have been there until recently.
Usually in Israel when things are brought to
the public, actions are taken to correct things
- through a process. There is a severe
division of the people between the right and
left - maybe more will go left.
Daily: What has been the response in
this country and the rest of the world?
Vanunu: International support has
built in the last eight to 10 months, but
there is not enough in the United States.
The media in the United States doesn't allow
enough information to come in, for the pur-
pose of not embarassing Israel. In a matter
of human rights in Russia there would be
lots of noise. Israel is different: it can break
human rights laws. It can create the danger
of a nuclear arsenal.
My brother is now being adopted by anti-
nuclear groups. He was nominated by 35
members of the British Parliament for a No-
bel Prize in 1988. He has been given awards
by peace foundations in Europe. U.S. sup-
port though is very important in building
anti-nuclear movements. The Middle East is
special: it is a high-risk area for nuclear year.
The London newspaper, The Guardian,
published this statement of my brother's on
August 24, 1987. I think it is important to
understanding this... ."An act like mine...
teaches citizens that their own reasoning is
no less important than that of their leaders.
Don't follow them blindly on crucial issues
like nuclear weapons." Also, in June, 1987,
Ha'aretz (a Jerusalem newspaper) printed a
letter from my brother, which serves as more
explanation. ' "By my action I showed that
the individual still has some power in the
case of the unlimited power of the estab-
lishment. The individual can expose the
dark machinations of any regime in the
world, in any sphere, by means of civil dis-
obedience, for the sake of the general wel-
fare."
-I
Clal equality
hat with Ignorance.
s you'll -Cornelius D. Harris,
like so MSA Minority Affairs

LETTERS

Color blindness is not ren

SAPAC heightens safety

LAST WEEK THE Sexual Assault
Prevention and Awareness Center
(SAPAC) initiated another campaign
to inform Ann Arbor residents about
the pervasive problem of rape. By
canvassing local neighborhoods, the
SAPAC volunteers hope to spread the
disturbing fact that rape, either di-
rectly or indirectly, affects everyone.
In addition to consciousness-rais-
ing, efforts to increase safety should
be reinforced.
Since its inception in early 1986,
SAPAC has' repeatedly attempted to
convey tie facts about rape and its
prevention to students. Unfortu-
nately, 34,000 students are too many
to be reached easily by SAPAC. Ad-
ditionally, too many students are un-
receptive to SAPAC's message.
In the past, SAPAC has tried to
spread its message primarily through
presentations in the Fishbowl and,
more recently, has taken its pitch to
individual houses in the Greek sys-
tem. Students, however, are often too
apathetic to take SAPAC's lessons
seriously.
SAPAC's novel door-to-door cam-
paign will address this problem.
Twenty-two SAPAC volunteers will
carry pamphlets with important in-

hear this message at their own front
doors.
In switching from large, public
presentations to private appeals off-
campus, SAPAC has also redirected
its focus from the avoidance of ac-
quaintance rape to precautions against
rape in less familiar circumstances.
The volunteers alert students to the
fact that the Housing Code requires
landlords to provide sturdy windows
and door locks for their tenants.
Canvassers remind students that
assertiveness and awareness are ef-
fective deterrents to rape. They add
that women should not have to restrict
their activities to prevent rape. In-
stead, they urge that everyone, not
just women, make an effort to prevent
rape.
This door-to-door effort is one of
many steps within the last two years
to significantly bolster student's
safety. Better campus lighting and
new emergency phones have certainly
alleviated some fear of walking at
night. Safewalk and the Niteowl sys-
tem have also contributed much to-
ward the movement to "take back the
night."
With SAPAC volunteers scouring

To the Daily:
Ignorance. It's incredible that
a university supposedly devoted
to education could allow the
type of ignorance displayed by
Mr Kushner in his letter
"Racists Shouldn't Accuse
Others" (Daily, 11/16/87).
Realizing that at the present
time there is no form of anti-
racist education here, I will do
my best to educate you, Mr.
Kushner.
I think we can agree that it
doesn't take being white to be
obnoxious. Nevertheless,
racism is a power relation and
considering who's in power, I
believe it is extremely hard, if
not impossible, for a minority
to be racist. In seeing that
UCAR is an anti-racist
organization, you assume that
it's anti-white. If you would
have taken the time to look
into the group even on the
most basic level, you would
see that UCAR is a MULTI-
RACIAL organization,
meaning white as well as Black
and Asian and Hispanic. If the
group supported the notion that
white equals racist, this would
not be possible. You just got
an F in Getting Facts Straight
101.
You don't see overt racism
on this campus because it's
become a part of this
university just as it's become a
part of this country. You are
the type of mislead boy who
believes that someone must
constantly stand in front of you
and harass a minority in order

we're supposed to ignore this
to create more unity? Get real.
You also just flunked Harsh
Reality 261.
The original reason Black
organizations formed was
because it was the only
alternative. We weren't allowed
in the all-white Panhellenic
Society. Now that we've
established our own versions of
these societies which have
characteristics unique unto
themselves, you ask for them
to disband to prove that they're
not racist. You, who are not a
minority, have decided that the
racism which your society
could not see, even when the
Black Greek system was being
formed, is now nonexistent
because you say so. Why don't
you just think about it. How
about asking the Panhellenic
Society or the Interfraternal
Council to disband and unite
with the Black Greek
Association? Congratulations.
You've got an A+ in Double
Standards 101.
True equality does not lie in
ignoring color. To do that
would be to ignore the basic
fact that this country's
forefathers committed genocide,
against Native Americans. To
do so would be to forget that
the railroads that made cross
country travel a everyday
occurrence for whites were
built by Asians, who in turn
were treated like dirt. To do so
would be to deny the fact that
the rock and roll music you
listen to so often was created
by t. r whnfflrl..t n4f an ..p ivr

coffee. Understand tt
your kind of attitude
end up graduating,
many other students,
well rounded Deg

The Daily welcomes letters from its
readers. Bringing in letters on personal
computer disk is the fastest way to publish
a letter in the Daily.

with a
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November 17

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