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February 16, 1988 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1988-02-16

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Page 4

Tuesday, February 16, 1988

The Michigan Daily

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
Vol. XCVIII, No. 95 420 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.

Politics and pro-Israel lobby


By Muzammil Ahmed

Political famine

20 Ethiopian peasants who had
come to a feeding camp in Korem
last Monday were machine-gunned
to death by government troops
when they ran from the trucks that
were to take them to resettlement
camps hundreds of miles away.
Among the dead were six children.
p Such atrocities are the direct result
of forced Ethiopian resettlement
Large-scale resettlement programs
have a long history as a military tool
to pacify and control rebellious rural
populations. Ethiopia, which is
battling more than a dozen different
opposition movements, hides its
military agenda under the cloak of
"relief and development," deceit-
fully arguing that removing peas-
ants from "useless, degraded"
highlands in the North and inserting
them into "unoccupied, fertile"
lands in the South will alleviate
famine. Since 1984, nearly one
million peasants have been removed
from their homelands with plans to
resettle up to six million more.
Last week's massacre is only the
latest in a long series of atrocities
that have occurred during the im-
plementation of Ethiopia's ostensi-
bly humanitarian resettlement. Tes-
timony from refugees who have es-
gaped indicates that life in the reset-
tlement camps includes forced la-
-bor, misery, disease, and abuse.
Settlers, in return for food, are used
as armed militia to gather intelli-
gence and conduct search and
seizure raids on rebellious villages
in these "unoccupied" southern
The assumptions justifying reset-
tlement make little sense. Settlers
who are volunteers would not run
from the resettlement trucks. Peas-
ants would not be willing to die
when threatened with removal from
ecologically "useless" land. Insert-
ing millions of people into the last
remaining forested lands in Ethiopia
will exacerbate, not contain, an
ecological crisis of drought. It has
become clear that feeding camps lo-
cated in government-controlled

cities serve as bait to lure starving
peasants out of guerrilla-controlled
countryside. Food aid in Ethiopia is
used as a weapon to squelch politi-
cal opposition and transform inde-
pendent farmers into forced labor-
Since much of this donated food
is grown by American farmers, we
have a responsibility to understand
how our food aid helps manipulate
starving Ethiopians. A common
myth is that Ethiopia's brutal regime
simply redistributes the good will of
the Western world to the needy.
The motives of the West are not
as pure as they appear. Rather than
supporting the legitimate opposition
movements fighting for self-deter-
mination in Ethiopia, the State De-
partment has chosen to follow a
policy of appeasement with the
hope that Ethiopia's military junta
can be wooed back from the Soviet
The appeasement of the junta is
also an attack on groups such as the
Eritrean Peoples Liberation Front
struggling against the Soviet
The periodical "African Confi-
dential" reveals that references to
war as a factor in Ethiopia's
famines have been downplayed in
the American press so as not to dis-
please the ruling regime. By donat-
ing food aid and ignoring how it is
used against the hungry, the West is
an accomplice in crimes against
humanity, and the agencies acting
as conduits for this "aid" are placed
in the same moral position as
physicians who administer to the
tortured in Chilean prisons so they
can be dragged to the torture cham-
bers again.
Ethiopia has the largest standing
army in all of Black Africa. Forty-
three per cent of Ethiopia is a war
zone. Resettlement is a brutal means
of repression and is accomplished
with bullets from the East and food
aid from the West. The blood of the
20 hungry peasants killed while
running away last week is on the
hands of many.

The former member of Congress from
California, Paul "Pete" McCloskey was in
Ann Arbor on January 21 to give a lecture
on peace prospects in the Middle East. He
was the target of a massive smear cam-
paign by the pro-Israel lobby, which tried
to discredit him politically because of his
critical views on Israel. The following is
an interview with him about the pro-Israel
lobby in the United States.
Daily: First, what kind of a back-
ground and what kind of an experience
have you had with the Israeli lobby?
McCloskey: I was elected to the
Congress in 1967 - before that I was in
the Marine Corps - and I was the first
Republican elected opposing the Vietnam
War, which was at that time a platform of
the Democrat Party. I made the first
speech calling for the impeachment of
Richard Nixon, and I was in the Congress
for some 15 years.
W hen the Israelis invaded Lebanon in
1982, 1 was the one member of Congress
who asked for a vote to cut off of aid to
Israel under the same law in which we cut
off aid to Turkey when they used U.S.
funds to invade Cyprus in 1975, and I first
ran heavily against the Israeli lobby of the
United States, the AIPAC, which is par-
tially comprised of leaders from 33 of the
major Jewish organizations of America, I
have spoken out since then against the
false reliance on Israel as our only reliable
ally in the Middle East, and argued that...
the Palestinians have a right to a home-
land... under the same United Nation (UN)
resolution which allowed Israel to come
into existence in 1947.
Under the real definition of some
members of the Jewish community, any-
one who is against Israel is against a Jew-
ish state and is therefore anti-Semitic. I
would like to say that I necessarily, prop-
erly, and elsely refuse to being anti-
Semitic. I am not, I go around the country
trying to bring moderate Arab leaders into
agreement that Israel has a right to exist
with a partition of Palestine, and urging
Palestinians to recognize Israel within its
original borders, and urging Israelis to
recognize the Palestinian right to - what
I would say Resolution 242: that they
give up the West Bank and the Gaza and
the participation in the government of
D: Where do you think the Israeli
lobby gets its power? Is it money,
organization, support?
M: It's not so much money as people
say. What it is, is that in the American
electoral process, a politician like myself
who is elected every 4 or so years - that
politician is sensitive to what American
public opinion is, but he is 20 times more
sensitive to the small interest groups that
care so deeply on a given issue that they
will work to defeat him on the next elec-
tion. And the example of that is our most
recent election in 1986 where the Senate
changed hands. In 10 of the 12 elections
that were crucial, the margin of victory
was less than two percent. If you have two
percent of the people who care so deeply
on an issue that they will vote solely that
way, than in a year of apathy, when only
half the people are voting, that two per-
Muzammil Ahmed is a Daily opinion
page staffer.

cent becomes four percent, and essentially,
four percent controls most elections.
D: I'm sure you know about the recent
unrest in the West Bank and Gaza. What
sort of role do you think the lobby is
playing in portraying it to Americans?
M: Well, for the first time the lobby
doesn't know what to do, and doesn't have
a good way of doing it. They can chal-
lenge the networks - as they are - say-
ing its an unfair portrayal of Israeli vio-
lence and no corresponding sensitivity to
the poor Israeli people. There is no way
that the Jewish community in this country
in my judgement can justify the "iron-
fist" policy that prime minister has an-
nounced. And I would say that probably
the two worst institutionalized examples
of racism in the world today are apartheid
in South Africa and the treatment of the
Palestinians by the Israel.
Increasingly I think that the Israel's in-
terests are not only different from those of
the United .States, but hostile to United
States, because Israel wants the Iraq-Iran
war to continue, for example, since it as-
sures Iraq from any joining of Syria,
though if Iraq and Syria agree on some-
thing I'll probably join up with an Arab
church... [When] a newspaper or a televi-
'I would say that probably
the two worst institutional-
ized examples of racism in
the world today a r e
apartheid in South Africa and
the treatment of the Pales-
tinians by the Israel.'
-Ex-member of Congress
Paul "Pete" McCloskey
sion station comes out and says we are
critical of Israel, or they run night after
night of pictures of Palestinian kids being
brutalized by Israeli soldiers, the Israeli
lobby utilizes networking. The [lobby's]
network is capable of saying to ten indi-
viduals, get the word out, withdraw your
advertising from that newspaper, or
threaten to withdraw your advertising un-
less they present a "fair" presentation.
In San Fransisco, there was an eight
part series on the Arab world, and a public
serving station bought only the six parts
that were not deemed "favorable" to the
Arab side. Two sides were "favorable" to
the Palestinians, but the station didn't run
them because they knew that this
community is capable of generating all
kinds of letters to the editor, threaten to
withdraw contributions or support. And
you see the Israeli lobby right now saying
the media is unfair to Israel as they did
during the Lebanon invasion, but this
time I don't think they'll get away with it.
D: How do you think the influence of
the lobby has changed since Beirut. You
mentioned the invasion of Lebanon and in
my opinion the United States didn't do
much ,to criticize Israel. But now the
United States in the UN is supporting
resolutions against Israel, and abstaining
from others.
M: There has been increasing public
understanding that Israel is not right on
any number of issues. They were not right
in refusing to sign the nuclear prolifera-
tion treaty, they were not right in kidnap-
ping Mordechai Vannunu and trying him

in secret, they were not right in sponsor-
ing Jay Pollard and stealing secrets from
the United States, and they were not right
in the Irangate affair.
One of the most interesting things was
Senator Inouye who conducted the Irangate
trial, who recently disclosed that he on
behalf of his Jewish wife put aside $8
million in Congress for the education of
Jews in France. I can't believe the Ameri-
can people support that kind of activity.
But more than that Senator Inouye had in-
structed his staff in the Irangate hearings
that there was to be no hostility towards
Israel - no mention of Israel if they can
help it - because Israel was clearly at
fault, both at the beginning and during the 4
implementation of that whole Iran ques-
The problem is that every American
politician up till now has been afraid in
any way to be identified with criticizing
Israel for fear that the Israel lobby would
defeat him or her in the next election, as
they defeated Paul Findley, Chuck Percy,
probably Bill Fullbright. Any one who is
deemed insensitive to Israel has been de-
feated thus far. Jesse Jackson is the only 4
candidate among the presidential candidates
who even discusses the issue. There is a
deafening silence I would say in the presi-
dentiai race.
D: Speaking of the candidates, the next
election is coming up, and who else be-
sides Jesse Jackson do you think will
come out and speak up against Israel, or
do you think they need the support of the
lobby too much?
M: If you look at the statistics, Jewish
contributions to Democratic candidates run
as high as 50-70 percent of the money
which is contributed to the candidate. No
other Democratic presidential candidate has
ever dared to take on the Israeli lobby...
Republicans have generally attracted their
money from business and industry
sources, and have not yet been captive to
the Jewish community, but people like
Pat Robertson, for example, and Jack
Kemp, have courted the evangelical far
right, which now says that Israel is like
the 51st state from their standpoint.
Robertson he's really bizarre in his views,
but he has a significant following, and in
a year where there is a lot of apathy in the
United States, the man or woman who has
dedicated supporters in Iowa could be a real
challenge. Any caucus where maybe only
10 percent of the people turn out to vote
on the caucuses, you may only have 3
percent of the people for you,. but if your
people all turn out, you look very strong.
D: Recently, the Palestinian Informa-
tion Office was closed,-what kind if role
did the lobby play in that, and also, do
you think the lobby has any influence
over the courts to keep the offices closed?
M: No, I think the court decision will
be irrespective of the lobby... Essentially
those are Americans who are operating an
office on behalf of the PLO... I'm con-
vinced the PLO under Arafat is at least as
moderate as the Israeli government. To
call the PLO today a "terrorist" organiza-
tion is unfair. There are people under the
PLO umbrella who are out and out
"terrorists", and probably George Habash,
and some of the folks are still "terrorists"
in the sense that they will try to wipe out
Israeli army installations. The idea that the
PLO officially sponsoring hijackings or
things like the Achilles today - I don't
think so.

Save Tiger Stadium

baseball fan, is in serious peril of
losing Tiger Stadium. The move by
a few greedy, power-lusting indi-
viduals like Tom Monaghan and
Coleman Young to construct a con-
vertible suburban Monster Dome
must be stopped for moral, eco-
logical, economic, and sentimental
First of all, there is no pressing
need for a new home for the Tigers.
Tiger Stadium is getting on in
years, but it could still be refur-
bished for much less than a new
People complain about the ob-
structed seats, which do exist;
however, any seat in the stadium is
preferable to any seat in a dome,
which should never be used for any
sort of athletic competition. Be-
sides, the Silverdome is out in
Pontiac, and Tiger Stadium is one
of the increasingly few stadiums to
actually be in the city whose team it
It is possible that the proposed
Retractodome would be built in
suburbia. This means that some
land mass which could be used for
affordable housing or a new and

the athletes who play on it. Mon-
aghan's promises to keep a grass
field under the retractable roof will
undoubtedly be forgotten when they
realize how expensive it is to main-
tain life in a concrete womb.
Money is, of course, the main is-
sue for the Domino man. The added
expense of a new stadium-ap-
proximately $200 million- will in-
variably be passed on to the fans,
especially when cost overruns oc-
cur. More expensive parking, tick-
ets, and food are bound to come,
plus the cost of actually getting to
the stadium. All for the benefit of a
man who wants to spend $30 mil-
lion to build "The Leaning Tower of
Pizza" in Ann Arbor.
Moving the Tigers out of Detroit
would hurt the city economically.
There is an entire Tigers industry,
from vendors, nearby businesses,
restaurants, and parking merchants
to the hundreds of Tiger Stadium
employees who would most likely
lose their jobs when and if the
Tigers leave. Granted, the new
dome would create new jobs for
whichever suburb it ends up in, but
it is easy to see the importance of
keeping jobs and revenues in an
ecnnnmimliv menk rieiks Dent;,


Don't strengthen lab requirements

To the Daily:
Tuesday's (Daily, 2/9/88)
article on the proposed increase
in the Natural Science segment
of the LSA distribution re-
quirement included Chemistry
Professor Henry Griffin's
statement, "Given that society
places such a heavy emphasis
on science - how can our
students be graduating without
it?" He then goes on to pro-
pose that LSA students be re-
quired to take an extra three
science credits, including >ne
laboratory course.
While I heartily agree that
LSA graduates should have a
thorough knowledge of scien-
tific ideas in order to function
in today's world. I disagree that
this knowledge should come


vey of scientific methods course was extremely popular. course be instituted as an
ideas, but from a humani- I strongly suggest that, native to Prof. Griffin's
perspective (i.e., readings, whether or not the proposal for posed lab requirement.
ussions, and papers, not lab an additional three science -Suzanne Pi
eriments and reports). This credits goes through, a similar Februa
King wouldn' t have used such tactics

ry 9

To the Daily:
Please address the following
letter to UCAR. It's time
enough someone told you that
you are too radical. For a group
claiming to be the modern-day
successors of Dr. Martin
Luther King, Jr., you disgrace
his name. Have you ever
thought how he would respond
to the recent problems we have
had on campus? Certainly not
the way you have been doing.
He preached and utilized a

criticism is constructive. Yes, I
am criticizing y o u r
organization but not your
Your cause is valid and
deserves the utmost attention;
however, calling those who
challenge your actions "racists"
is not the proper way and only
impedes your goals. It was
necessary for me to go to one
class on Martin Luther King
day which happened to be in
Angell Hall. For violating the

man on a-megaphone. He is
the racist, not me! Had I not
had a test in that class, I would
not have gone. I did boycott
the rest of my classes that day,
but it was not for UCAR, it
was for Dr. Martin Luther
King, Jr. I would not roll out
of bed for today's radical
UCAR. You claim to be an
organization that upholds and
implements the ideals of Dr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Bull!
-Nick Mavrick I

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