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April 20, 1988 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1988-04-20

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'I

OPINION
Page 4 Wednesday, April 20, 1988 The Michigan Daily

Palestinian women
What has the Israeli occupation of 1
the West Bank and Gaza meant to r
the rights of Palestinian Women? T
In most societies women are subordi-
nate, so subordination is a matter of de-
gree. Women everywhere are oppressed by 1
patriarchal society. However, the occupa-
tion brought a new dimension of oppres-
sion for males and the whole society. The
occupation meant expropriation of family 1
land which decreased the income of the
family. The occupation also reduced the4
male freedom to organize.
All this is felt more severely by 1
r .women. Their husbands and sons may be
in prison or lose their jobs, so she experi-1
ences new forms of exploitation.
Women are also directly marginalized by I
the reproductive needs of the struggle. AsI
the deaths escalate there is an increasingc
demand for more children.
Because they are economically de- I
Daily Photo b ANDI SCHREIBER pendent on men?4
Partly so, but Palestinian women have
Julie Petry is a Palestinian woman who really participated in production. Tradi-1
tcgches sociology part time at Lansing tionally, peasant women participated in
Community College. She is a member of the picking of olives, fruit, and the sack-
the Palestinian Women's Association and ing of the almonds. Also in selling
toe Palestine Solidarity Committee. She chicken, eggs, and fruits. With the loss of
spoke with Opinion page co-editor Caleb land and the uprooting of the olive trees
Southworth. and other forces of production, women no

require
longer play that role; they have become
more of a burden. When you assist in
production you can at least pull your fair
share. When that assistance is taken
away, you are more dependent. So the de-
pendency of women in increased by that
oppression.
In the division of labor between men
and women, women typically occupy the
lower paid, less valuable domestic sphere.
What is the value of national lib-
eration to Palestinian women?
First of all, there would be a more sta-
ble economy; there would be a political
state from which demands can be made. If
I want my rights, there must be an
authority which grants those demands.
Now, if I want the right to vote, there is
no legitimate authority to go to and make
demands to vote or to work. Palestinian
women have no place to turn to. In a sit-
uation where Palestinians are in the pe-
riphery - in Syria, they're not Syrians;
in Jordan, they're not Jordanians; in
Lebanon, they're not Lebanese - they can
never have rights as Palestinians.
Without the umbrella of a national
state, demands and rights cannot be raised
[even if] they are social.
Are women able to make demands
in the other Arab states?
In Egypt in terms of political rights to
vote, the end of polygamy, and divorce
rights, these have been addressed. In Syria
and Iraq, too, the status of women has at
least changed constitutionally. Whether in
practice they have changed is something
else.
Does the demand for a state raise
consciousness of gender issues?
I think the consciousness of Palestinian
women is raised by the fact that they par-
ticipate in the struggle against the
occupation. They have also organized
themselves economically; they have made
room for taking care of children. Nursery
schools, for example, have been organized;
these have been unknown in the Arab
countries.
Palestinian women have organized
themselves for some minor economic in-

national liberation

. 4

dependence as well. The have small
industries such as embroidery and sewing
and have run literacy classes for women of
all ages. This is an attempt at self-devel-
opment and self-growth, so that the
women will be less dependent.
Does this result in increased po-
litical activity?
The nature of the struggle of Palestinian
women is political because of the nature
of the national struggle. The condition of
statelessness of the Palestinian people in-
duced a rise in the consciousness of men
and women. However, the women are
more vulnerable. For men political activ-
ity is natural; it is their roll to fight.
Politics for women is an abnormal roll, so
that if they engage in politics they have
already defied society and their socialized
roll. So for women to hold political
meetings, to be in prison, to go out and
throw rocks - this is something that is
not feminine and that is not expected. But
the Israeli occupation has made this a ne-
cessity for women.
Is there greater role for women to
play in the leadership of the
Palestinian Liberation Organiza-
tion?
I think so. We see obviously that the
women still have a subordinate roll within
the PLO. There are no women, for exam-
ple, on the executive committee of the
PLO, though they are represented with
several seats on the Palestinian National
Council. I think involvement will come
with the struggle of women; it will not be
granted and given and told, "this seat is
reserved for you."
How are women victims of the
occupying army?
There are many women in prison. For
example, there is a women's prison in Is-
rael with 28 cells, 21 of which are occu-
pied by political prisoners. This suggests
that women are involved more with
political offenses which are the direct re=
sult of the occupation. Just to give you
one figure, between 1967 and 1979 there
were over 1,500 women in Israeli prisons
for security violations. And this does not

include house arrests or women who are
under administrative detention.
I have not heard of prostitution, but I
have heard of cases of rape and illegitimate
births. Arab society reacts violently to
these incidents, usually by killing the
women. If a women is raped and bears a
child, it is considered a dishonor to the
family.
Is it different for a women to be
in prison?
Imprisonment for a man is, an honor to
the family; for women it is shameful. Im-
prisonment of women brings dishonor and
shame to the family. Women are abused in
Israeli prisons by bringing the family to
the prison [and] insulting her in front of
her family. Demanding that she take her
clothes off or making certain suggestions
that she would be sexually abused in front,
of her family are all abuses of women in
Israeli jails. Women have been tortured
and asked to remove their clothes in front
of their brothers and fathers to embarrass
the men.
Men in prison are also threatened with
abuse of their wives to extract confessions
which could not be obtained otherwise. So
the female is used to humiliate the male.
What are the educational opportu-
nities open to Palestinian women?
In the occupied territories there is at
least the opportunity for women to be in-
volved in Universities now as is true in
the other Arab countries. But women par-
ticipate in smaller numbers than men. .
Are there problems for women
students?
Yes, there are lectures at night and
women cannot leave the home at night
unless she is accompanied by a male rela-
tive. There is no such thing as dating. In
general, Palestinian women face more re-
strictions than men.
What will improve women's
rights in the Arab states?
Revolutions arise from objective condi-
tions, and so far the Arab countries have
not produced those conditions, such as an
economy which needs women to work.

4

S1
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
Vol. XCVIII, No. 136 420 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.
trolonging the bloodshed
r

wo WEEKS AGO, THE Soviet Union
announced plans to begin pulling out of
Afghanistan by May 15, indicating that it
finally decided to end its costly invasion.
Since the major antagonist appears to be
swppping out of the picture, this is defi-
nitely the most concrete step towards
resolving the eight year Afghanistan civil
war.
However, in an agreement signed last
week, the United States and the Soviet
Ulion both agreed to continue supplying
arms to their respective clients; ensuring
that both countries will play key behind
the scene roles in the next phase of the
Afghan war. This is sure to prolong the
bloodshed.
Afghanistan has been embroiled in vi-
olence for decades. It has not had a
peaceful transition of government since
1901. Currently, there are over five mil-
lion refugees scattered across the area,
predominantly in Pakistan, and over a
million deaths since the Soviet Union.
The roots of the present civil war trace
back to the mid-1970s when the United
States was trying to recruit the Afghan
Prime Minister Mohammed Daud to the
pro-western camp. The United States
partially succeeded when Daud began a
purge against the communists in his
country, resulting in top communist
leaders being imprisoned or killed.
Shortly after this purge in 1978, the
Afghanistan military backed by the
Soviets staged a coup - the April Rev-
olution - which brought the commu-
nists to power. Several months later as
the stability of the new government
worsened Soviets troops "intervened,"
supposedly at the behest of Karmal, the
new president.
This "intervention" amounted to an
Only one day left in which

invasion as the Red Army swarmed the
country. Opposition to the Afghanistan
government came to a head, and opened
the door to civil war; various rebel
groups were formed which successfully
battled the Soviets with very little foreign
aid.
The United States saw this as an op-
portunity to win public relation points,
and possibly gain an anti-communist
ally, so the CIA was authorized to pro-
vide support to the rebels.
Now, the end to the civil war is in
sight. Just as the United States learned
in Vietnam, the Soviets realize the cannot
suppress an entire population with mili-
tary coercion.
Nonetheless, a new stage in the war
may now begin. When the Soviet troops
withdraw, the seven rebel groups will
probably fight amongst themselves, as
they are doing to some extent today.
The CIA funds the most anti-commu-
nist factions, but they are also the least
compromising; they have already vowed
to continue fighting regardless of the
truce. While these and other mujahideen
groups have begun their struggle as true
mass-based organizations, the CIA
funds may have removed the American-
backed rebels dependence and represen-
tation within the populace. This has been
the case with other rebel groups such as
UNITA.
Both superpowers need to stop mak-
ing Afghanistan another battleground for
the cold war. Military aid to all parties in
Afghanistan must stop immediately, and
a coalition government should be set up.
The Afghan people have legitimate con-
cerns and problems which need to be
addressed.
to study for finals:

Bidding a fat and frisky farewell

(-. el

This is it, y'all. Fat Al's final column.
I had me'some mean ol' fun writin' these
thangs and I can't but hope that y'all had a
peck 'o fun readin' 'em. Yessir, it's been
fun but I'm gradgitatin' after eight long
years and it's time for me to be movin'
on.
I wish to hell I could say I was leavin'
town feelin' good 'bout things but dang-
git, that's 'bout as far from the truth as
sayin' cement is a right nice thing.
Yeppers, I hate to admit it on account
of I like to be an upbeat kind of dude but I
don't know if I could even recommend to
someone to come here at this point.
Coursin' we will be gettin' rid of Fleming
soon but who are these goons goin' to
bring us next? Ed Meese is probly goin'
to be in the job market before too long.
Hell, Reagan himself will be unemployed
come January. After all, the regents are
awful fond of retired, senile, power-hungry
old farts. I mean, hell's fire, they already
interviewed William Bennet.
And, geez, Manny Noriega's looking for
a new spot to run away too. In fact, I hear
Idi Amin is still searchin' for some poor
slobs to rule over. These fellers'd just love
it here, what with that spankin' new code
of student conduct and the opposition ra-
dio's already on the road to bein' shut
down. Ain't that usually the first step of
them crazy ol' dictators?
Calm me down, calm me down! Give
me a slap....
Ow! It brings water to my eyes when I
think of all them great Ann Arbor institu-
tions which have sailed off into the dark
recesses of my mind in the past few years.
Firstly, my three favorite music bars van-
ished: The Second Chance became the
perverse Nectarine Ballroom, Mr. Flood's
Party became an empty storefront, and,
most sadly of all, the great Joe's Star
Lounge - where I saw Los Lobos amid a
crowd of 100, was torn down to make way
for that ugly sonabitch building down on
Main and Huron.
And then there's Kresge's, Ralph's
Market - sign and all - and the U Cel-
lar. Hell, there ain't but one place left in
town that sells Pabst Blue Ribbon. (It's
the Beer Vault.)
Yeppers, I got to tell y'all the truth. I'm
glad I'm gettin' out when I am. Now, I'm
tryin' my damndest to be funny on ac-
count of how I know that's what you want
from your favorite fatso but this here is

is on the dial. (88.3 FM).
They say it costs too much but that
don't but show that these here folks can't
see any value beyond the bottom line. And
that's sad. That's real sad.
Now I wish I could say that at least I'm
feelin' right fine 'bout the bright young
students fillin' the ranks around here. But
all I can see is this joint becomin' an eli-
tist place where ain't but rich folks can
come. What's worse, the younger genera-
tion seems so damn conservative - and I
ain't talkin' politics neither. I mean that

FAT
AL

yourself up with some right fine jobs,
probly on Wall Street or somethin.' So,
have fun y'all but don't kid yourselves for
a minute. You ain't rebellin.: You're
playin' their game. And you let them set
the rules.
And you know just when I thought I
was out of here, that I was out of the
grasps of Fleming, Steiner and those evil
ol' clueless regents, they found one last
way to dump on me. They announced the
commencement speaker. My lord, what a
pathetic choice. I don't even 'member his
name danggit. But I know he's some pro-
fessor fella from Columbia. An expert on
Soviet relations I'm told. Well ain't that
,nifty?
Here we are ready to get the hell out of
here, filled up to the nape of our necks
with boring lectures from boring and
stodgy old farts and they bring us one
more. Before we can get out, we have to
endure anther boring lecture? On Soviet
relations? Gimme a fuckin' break. This
here place is 'sposed to be one of the,
finest universities in the country and this:
was the best they could do?
If they wanted a pompous ol' white:
haired dude why didn't they just hire John:
Houseman to get on up on that stage and:
pontificate?
Now, I'm readin' this sucker back and,
lordy lord, this here column ain't but a big.
ol' rag and it's probly not what you ex-'
pected. And now, I'm gonna tell you
somethin' else which is the height of bad,
timing. I got me a book on sale. It's;

in the real sense. I'm talkin' open minds
versus closed minds and what I see is
frightenin'. Too much damned respect for
authority.
Don't you little ol' whippersnappers
know that there ain't no rules? Don't let
anyone else tell you what's right and
wrong. Don't let them tell you what kind
of music you're sposed to listen to or
what kind of books you're sposed to read.
This here is a big, big world and that
should be what you figger out durin' these
here years. But all I see is a bunch of little

Cram day tomorrow

'Here this all you "deadheads" out there boppin' around and
talkin' 'bout peace, love, and understandin.' If you were out m
the Diag or on President Fleming's lawn tellin' him to piss on;
himself 'stead of runnin' around the damned country cloudin
your mind with chemicals or foggin' it with fungi, maybe some-
thin' would get done around here.'
Fat Al;*

TOMORROW MARKS the Uni-
versity's study day before final
examinations begin on Friday. To have
only one such day is a mistake and in-
dicates a lack of concern for academics.
Most universities have much longer
study/reading periods. In fact most high
schools at least have a week-end in
which to prepare. (Actually the admin-
istration does choose to count Saturday
and Sunday as study days.)
To allow only one day between the
end of classes and the first day of finals
dne nnt nrnvide students with ad-

giving students the last days of class to
review, they avoid the problem by ad-
ministering non-cumulativefinal exams.
Others exacerbate the problem by giving
finals during the last meeting of classes.
Some professors compound the
problem by assigning term papers to be
due during this last week of classes.
Students must devote their energies to-
wards these assignments.
The solution to the problem is simple
- schedule more reading days. The
administration claims that there is not
ennoh time toiaccommodate the extra

ass kissin' money grubbers linin' them-
selves up jobs and learnin' how to be de-
ceptive little cutthroats. Wake up and live!
Live ain't but once and it don't last but
70 or 80 years, tops. So you better live
each day like it's your last and you better
protect the rights you got cause if you
don't, they'll take them from all of us.
At vn, --e hi all v.."rinr hn,,c

available at Border's, Schoolkid's, Wazoo,
the HalfAss, and other right fine business
joints. Oh yeah, it's filled with my more
fun lovin' side - all my columns of the
year in fact.
Now I ain't stupid and I can right fine
see that I coulda done been a might less:
offensive to a whole batch of folks and
probly sold me some more books. But,

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