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February 18, 1988 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1988-02-18

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4

OPINION
Page 4 Thursday, February 18, 1988 The Michigan Daily

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

PLO is the real villain

I

Vol. XCVIII, No. 97

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.

Dems hypocritical reversal

SPEAKER of the House Jim Wright
(D-Tx) is sponsoring a bi-partisan
effort to resume aid to the Contras.
Though this new package is in-
tended for "non-military" supplies,
allegedly to be delivered by private
agencies such as the Red Cross, it
represents a hypocritical reversal in
policy and further impedes on the
sovereignty of Nicaragua.
Although Reagan administration
officials refuse to cooperate with
Wright, House Democratic leaders
are expected to propose a bill by the
end of this week. The new package
circumvents the earlier stand against
aiding the Contra rebels as well as
violate the spirit of the Arias Peace
Plan.
For seemingly political reasons,
the Democrats are sponsoring a
proposal similar to the one they re-
cently worked so fervently to de-
feat. They must be afraid that they
will be blamed for " l o s i n g
Nicaragua," especially in an election
year. They also do not want to be
accused of being soft or of leaving
an "ally" in the cold. As a result,
they lack the courage to pull out of
Nicaraguan internal affairs.
These are unacceptable excuses.
Lives are at stake on all sides of the
conflict and continuing aid only
prolongs the suffering.
Reagan's proposal called for $43
million dollars in renewed aid over
four months. It also included
$36.25 million dollars in non-mili-
tary supplies, such as trucks and
helicopters, and another $3.6 mil-
lion dollars for weapons. In this
context, "non-military" supplies
means anything but the bullet.
Wright proposes to send $3 mil-
lion dollars a month over a three to
nine month period. The aid would
also be for non-military purposes,
although it is unclear whose defini-
tion will be used.
Even if Congress approves
strictly non-military supplies
(excluding helicopters, etc.), the aid
Sex laws
SUNDAY'S PROTEST of Michi-
gan's anti-sodomy laws, sponsored
by the Lesbian and Gay Rights
Organizing Committee (LaGROC),
represents an ever-growing oppos-
ition to laws, such as these, that
violate the fight to privacy and other
basic civil liberties.
These anti-sex laws ban certain
sexual acts deemed by the state to
be acts of "gross indecency." The
specific sexual acts included are oral
and anal sex, mutual masturbation,
and the practice of homosexuality.
Breaking this law could mean up to
fifteen years in prison with repeat
offenders facing the possibility of a
life sentence.
In general the anti-sex laws of this
state are ridiculous. They blatantly
disregard civil rights and attempt to
deny basic freedoms of choice.
Further they try to dictate and regu-
late non-violent private behavior
that has not been proven to harm the

collective good of the community.
The laws are also feckless in other
capacities; the enforcement of such
laws is next to impossible. In order
for law enforcement agents to make
sure that everyone is abiding by
these stipulations, they must moni-

package will, nonetheless, most
likely help the Contras obtain mili-
tary supplies. The main cost of ob-
taining arms is price the Contras
pay for delivery. Since Congress
would pay for the delivery of non-
military aid, the Contras need only
mix their cargos with military sup-
plies. Hence they will have free de-
livery for all military materials.
Furthermore, since there is no ac-
countability for the shipments, there
is little reason to believe that the
CIA will honestly send only non-
military goods. Thus, the door is
opened even wider enabling the
Contras to receive unaccountable
weapons from the CIA.
The Contras could also sell the
"non-military" aid to other countries
or third parties in exchange for mil-
itary supplies. Thus any shipment
can be made into an opportunity to
receive more arms and any non-
military aid can be turned into mili-
tary supplies. The ambiguity is too
easily manipulated by those in
charge of implementation.
In addition, Wright's package is a
violation of the Arias Peace Plan.
The plan prohibits any aid to be
given to an irregular force in Central
America. Since the United States
recognizes the government of
Nicaragua and does in fact have an
embassy there, the Contras indis-
putably qualify as an irregular
force.
It is hypocritical of the Democrats
to stand against the Contras one day
and sponsor aid for them the next.
If they are opposed to the Contras
because of the atrocities the Contras
have committed, then the Democrats
should not waiver now. But if it's a
political battle between the Republi-
cans over who gets credit for send-
ing aid to the Contras, then both
parties should lose. Hopefully, no
one will support Wright's proposal
for Contra aid, basing the decision
on reasons of principles, not poli-
tics.
discriminate

By Noah Finkel
For the sake of public consumption, it
is often desirable to think of every conflict
in terms of a villain and a hero, a bad guy
and a good guy, a Goliath and a David.
The recent violence on the Israeli-occu-
pied West Bank and Gaza Strip has
understandably resulted in Israel casted as
the villain in its respective conflict.
Now that we have our villain, a hero is
needed. The PLO, and its peace-loving
leader Yasir Arafat, has filled this hero
vacuum.
This is due to Arafat's recent implica-
tion that he will negotiate with Israel in
accordance with all U.N. resolutions. Now
the Israelis have no excuse for continued
oppression and the PLO, along with the
"people it legitimately represents solely"
(the Palestinians) are the ones who want
peace. The PLO has become, at least in
the public eye, the party that is the hero in
its respective conflict. Isn't that strange
after all those terrorist acts perpetrated by
the PLO?
Do not get me wrong: Arafat's implied
concession is certainly welcome. But
much skepticism is in order about his
"heroic" gesture of goodwill. Doubt is
also necessary regarding the new popular
image of the PLO as the peaceful hero to
the conflict.
This is not to say that Israel should not
be thought of as the villain. Yet many
myths must be shattered in regards to the
PLO as the conflict's "good guy:"
1. The PLO wants peace. Many
have claimed that the recent fig leaf sent
out by Arafat is not the first and that he
and his organization have repeatedly sent
out offers of conciliation.
It is true that the PLO has told some
that it wants peaceful negotiations in order
to resolve its problem of lack of self-rule.

But the PLO has not told anyone this who
has any meaningful authority regarding the
Mideast peace process.
And for every statement about the
PLO's desire for peace, the PLO issues at
least two inflammatory statements of
rhetoric. A look at the Palestinian
National Council's Covenant's (written in
1968, reaffirmed in 1974 and in 1977)
more bellicose articles attests to this:
Article 9: Armed struggle is the only
way to liberate Palestine.
Article 15: The liberation of Palestine is
a national duty to repulse the Zionist, im-
perialist invasion from the great Arab
homeland and to eliminate the Zionist
presence from Palestine.
Article 19: The partitioning of Palestine
in 1947 and the establishment of Israel are
fundamentally null and void.
(The Palestinian National Council,
which authored this covenant, is the
"parliament" of the PLO.)
Which statements of the PLO should be
believed?
2. Past Israeli actions have
served to radicalize the PLO. This
theory states that the terrorism practiced
by the PLO is the fault of Israel's
withholding of Palestinian human rights.
But if one looks at the history of the
PLO, a different result is found. Founded
in 1964, the PLO originally served as a
military organization with the purpose of
buying time for the Egyptians, Syrians,
and the Jordanians to wage a new war
against Israel. At this time, Israel did not
even possess the West Bank and Gaza
Strip.
In 1968, the PNC came out with the
covenant cited above which codified its
terrorist actions.'
The PLO did not need any time to be
"radicalized." Indeed, the early seventies
marked the high point of the PLO
campaign of blowing up school buses,
kindergarten classes, and Olympic teams.

Since then, terrorist acts have relatively
subsided. A possible cause of this may
have been the strength with which the Is-
raelis handled the PLO. Far from
radicalizing the PLO, Israeli force
probably has served to instead deter the
PLO from further atrocities. . 4
3. Israel, not the PLO, has been
the party which has historically
impeded negotiations.
There can be no question that the PLO
is the party which has most often
stonewalled peace efforts.
In 1978's Camp David Accords, the in-
volved parties offered the PLO a plan for a
five-year autonomy period on the West
Bank and Gaza Strip followed by negotia-
tions on Palestinian sovereignty. The
PLO declined on the offer.
This should be no surprise. Extremist
PLO members have done all they can to
remove the possibility of any peaceful
settlement of the conflict. In 1983, Issam
Sartawi, a leading PLO-member and advo-
cate of reconciliation with Israel, was as-
sassinated by PLO radicals who disagreed
with his "softness."
These radicals are by no means a
minority within the PLO. Reconciliation
is in fact prohibited in the Palestinian Na-
tional Covenant's Article 21 which states
"The Palestinian people, in expressing it-
self through the Palestinian revolution,
rejects every solution that is a substitute
for the complete liberation of Palestine."
Add to this the Article that says Palestine
is not just the West Bank and Gaza Strip,
but the whole of Israel, and it is clear what
the PLO's real goals are.
This is not to say that under no situa-
tion should Israel negotiate with the PLO.
The point is that it is a misconception to
view the conflict in the occupied territories
as a case of "bad guy" Israel and "good
guy" PLO. No conflict, this one
especially, is that simple. Often, guilt is
shared by many parties. And often a
conflict is one of two "villains."
"4
r4acism
students and the administration in such a
way that they couldn't avoid the issue.
While it was only mildly disruptive it was
nevertheless the kind of militant action it
takes to get things done around here. A
problem honkies have is that we're always
so busy meditating on our navels or
shooting our mouths off with our lop-
sided opinions that it takes a crowbar
knocked over our heads before we notice
that someone else is trying to get out
attention. We don't hear what minority
students and faculty say about institutional
racism, or if we hear we don't comprehend.
Racism blinds us to the scope of its
means of oppression because racism is a
fundamental mechanism of our collective
psychology. We remain blind to the
results of our thinking, remain blind to
racism and are in no position to judge
what's racist or not, who's living up to
Martin Luther King's legacy or who is
not.
Miller's glib attempt to place himself in
the shoes of a Black man, just to support
his gripe about the tactics of a young civil
rights group, is pathetically presumptuous
and annoyingly petty. It almost makes me
wonder why UCAR ever bothered to
apologize for the name-calling Miller
reports.

Noah
Staffer.

Finkel is a Daily Opinion Page

Whites

By A.C.Townsend
As a Caucasian, I've lived all my life in
the soul of white arrogance. Even though
the multitudinous manifestations of this
arrogance, its contempt for all things not
Euro-American in origin, have at times
been invisible to me, I still find myself
flabbergasted that someone like I.
Matthew Miller could ever have the
audacity, under any circumstances,to
appropriate to himself the suffering that
my kind and his have perpetrated upon
people of color in this country. While
criticizing UCAR for blocking the
Fishbowl's main entrance with their
pickets this gentleman writes, "...they ac-
costed others and infringed on their natural
rights of choice. I felt as though I might
have been a Black man in Mississippi
punished for trying to sit in the front of a
bus two decades ago.....
Listen up - you haven't put in the
time, you haven't faced the troubles, you
haven't paid the dues that would allow you
to say that and convince me that you
know anything about what you're talking
about. I've got friends from my hometown
that never made it to class through the
A.C. Townsend is a 1984 University
graduate.

blind to
Fishbowl because my racist school system,
undervalued their achievements,
discouraged the expression of their talents
and counselled them into a vocational
track. The middle-class white brats were
coddled through college prep and told that
if they flunked algebra to get a tutor and
try again because no one can get anywhere
without lots of math. Now I'm talking
about Black people loaded with savvy and
intelligence who would have been college
material if they had been white. One guy
I'm particularly thinking of earned good
grades through elementary and junior high
and got turned off by the 10th grade with
all the bullshit he and his cousins had to
face day-in and day-out. The last I heard,
he worked construction, supporting his
wife and children in a half decent job, but
far from making the contribution his
potential promised. This man was a chum
from kindergarten through graduation and
it hurts- because I know the biggest
reason why I've got a B.A. after my name
and he doesn't is that after grade school
people treated me differently than him and
had different expectations of each of us.
You had to go through the back door for
once in your putrid life. He and other more
deserving men and women never got in at
all.
UCAR's blockade confronted white

dards and values on the people of
this state. Voters should expect a
better form of justice.
More specifically the anti-sex
laws focus on homosexuals, espe-
cially gay men. The laws represent
another attempt by the ruling
majority to discriminate against a
group that represents values and
practices divergent from the so-
called "norm" of society.
The anti-sex laws only serve to
perpetuate the public's indifference
toward sexual diversity. Just as
racism has become institutionalized
in this country due in part to igno-
rance and indifference, so has ho-
mophobia. A clear example of this
is the University's exclusion of
homosexuals from Regental Bylaw
14.06 outlawing discrimination
against people on the basis of race,
color, or religion, and veteran sta-
tus. Without the inclusion of
homosexuals in this bylaw the Uni-
versity fails to represent the entire
community that is present on this
campus.
Pressure legislators to repeal the
laws. Sex laws discriminate and
perpetuate homophobia. They rep-
resent the consciousness of an

LETTERS
UCAR needs thanks and criticism

I

To the Daily:
What are people remember-
ing when they think of MLK
Day this year? Are we grateful
for the work that UCAR put
into the alternative education

events? Are we appreciative of
students who are willing to
talk with us about difficult is-
sues? Are we inspired by the
1500 people who honored Dr.
King by linking arms and

Cartoon is offensive

marching in the tradition of
non-violent protest? It is a sad
fact that groups which chal-
lenge the status quo are re-
membered for the inevitable
mistakes of a diverse organiza-
tion, not fortheir philosophy
and positive actions.]
In a Friday, January 22 letter
to the Daily, UCAR explained
the intent of the events of
MLK Day, including the pick-
ets, and apologized for actions
that were inconsistent with
UCAR's purposes. UCAR un-
derstands the importance of in-
suring that its message is re-

flected in its actions.
In order to be supportive of
continued work towards ending
individual and institutionalized
racism at the U of M, we need
to commend UCAR's accom-
plishments as we criticize its:
faults. UCAR has given us the
opportunity to learn of the:
racism in this institution and
begin to amend our general;
lack of knowledge of the his-
tory and concerns of people of
color. For this, we owe UCAR
our thanks.
-Jennifer Lloyd
January 25

To the Daily:
We are shocked and outraged
by the poor judgement of the
Michigan Daily Opinion Staff
in printing the political cartoon
which appeared on January 13,
1988. The cartoon equates the
plight of the Palestinians in
the Middle East with the Jews
in the Soviet Union. Granted,
this sectinof the nner istc

signed for free expression,
however no parallel exists be-
tween the two situations. The
Soviet government suppresses
not only therreligious rightssof
Soviet Jews but their emigra-
tion rights as well. On the
contrary, Palestinians are not
restricted in this manner by the
Israeli government, therefore

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