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November 16, 1988 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1988-11-16

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6

OPINION

Page 4

Wednesday, November 16, 1988

The Michigan Daily

&be id igaut aigW
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Aid provides Israeli security

Vol. IC, No.50

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.

Regental
THE RETURN of incumbents Deane
Baker (R-Ann Arbor) and Nellie Vamer
(D-Detroit) to the University of
Michigan Board of Regents accents the
concentration of power these eight
people have over the University.
Elected for eight year terms in a
statewide election, the regents represent
neither the interests of Michigan voters
nor the Ann Arbor campus. They are
fundamentally unaccountable to anyone
for their decisions.
Rather than assuming the mentality
of responsive public servants, the
regents historically have sought to
make the University as autonomous as
possible - isolating it from the people
they supposedly represent.
The refusal to completely divest from
South Africa demonstrated that 'the
tegents sought to further their personal
agendas ahead of Michigan voters'
(who had mandated that all state funded
agencies divest) or students, faculty,
and staff.
The regents could have made a
principled statement that the University
would not accept state interference in
its curriculum. Instead the University
tried to draw the line elsewhere in order
to continue in its oppression of South
African Blacks.
The 12 percent tuition increase at the
beginning of this year 'further
demonstrates the regents' insensitivity
to Michigan constituents and the
campus community. This hike places
the University out of the reach of an
even greater number of Michigan res-
idents and taxpayers.
The regents routinely make
belligerent anti-student and anti-
education remarks at their meetings.
Baker has said he cannot tolerate the
lesbian and gay male students on
campus and claimed that students
favoring divestment were not in the
majority. Regent Phillip Power
asserted that members of the Daily did
not have the right to peaceful protest.
Regent Thomas Roach (and others) has
been a strong proponent of limitations
on student protest at University events.
Moreover, all of the regents have ac-
cepted without comment brutality on
the part of University of Michigan
Public Safety officers. Harold Marcuse
was attacked last year; students were

reprise

brutalized at President James
Duderstadt's inauguration; and, last
Friday, Public Safety locked people in
the stairwell of the Fleming building.
Students are attacked while the regents
silently raise tuition and invest money
in South Africa.
In recent years the regents have
managed to decrease faculty, student,
and worker input while increasing
administration contol over the
community. University Council - a
body composed of students, faculty,
and staff that made conduct rules -
was dissolved. Administrative threats
have been issued to the Michigan
Student Assembly, the Tenants Union,
Student Legal Services, and student
run radio stations WCBN and WJJX.
The regents are the product of an
esoteric and obscure partisan
nomination process which does not
involve popular input into who will be
the candidate.
To ensure accountability, students,
faculty, and staff must be allowed to
vote directly for the regents of the
University. This, combined with
shorter terms, would mandate that the
regents know the University
community and its concerns.
More important would be the
opportunity for members of the
University community to run for the
body which affects the structure of
their lives. Division of power by in-
terest - having students, faculty, and
staff serve as regents - is more logical
than creating an administrative class
which really has no interest in the
University.
This is the situation in numerous
other nations and even some schools in
the United States. The University of
Costa Rica, for example, is run by
students and faculty who agree to take
a break from their teaching or studies to
serve on the governing committee.
Similarly, three students were
allowed to participate in the Eastern
Michigan University presidential
search committee. A student chaired
the committee and the three students
received one vote.
The University needs a student
regent and needs the entire board of
regents to be accountable to the
community.

By John Blow
I have seen the Daily editorials argue
that Israel should negotiate with an
organization pledged to its destruction, and
now it comes as no great surprise that
they argue that the United States should
cut-off aid to the besieged nation (Daily
10/18/88). Nonetheless, it is appalling
that such a complete lack of perspective
can be maintained concerning what has
long been the most war-ridden region on
the face of the earth.
I ask those who now condemn Israel's
occupation of the West Bank and Gaza a
hypothetical question: suppose that Israel
were to withdraw from some or all of
these territories, and that an independent
Palestinian stateawere established. And
suppose, some number of years from now,
that we discover that the current rhetoric
from Al Fatah (the leading branch of the
PLO), and from Assad's Syria, is not
merely idle threat, that they really do plan
to destroy Israel "in stages" (Yasir Arafat's
political advisor, Hawi al-Hassan,
4/15/85), and that Israel again faces a
combined Arab assault from Syria, the
West Bank, and Jordan, perhaps with rein-
forcements from Iraq and Saudi Arabia, or
Iran and Libya. I ask these people, who
now find it so easy to be critical of Israel's
West Bank policies, where will they be?
Will they be on the battlefield to defend
Israel from annihilation? Will their sons
be sacrificed in defense of Israel's right to
exist? Will their daughters be anxiously
awaiting their husbands' return, or waiting
to learn if they even have a tomorrow to
wait for? Four times now Arab armies
have massed on Israel's border to destroy
the Jewish state, and to date, not one Arab
John Blow is a member of Tagar, a pro-
Israel activist group.

leader outside of Egypt has been willing to
acknowledge unambiguously, Israel's right
to exist. What has changed in the position
of Arab governments, since 1948, since
1967, since 1973, that Israel is suddenly
asked to gamble its very existence on the
hope that the Arab threats are merely
bluff? I ask the editors of the Daily, are
Jewish lives somehow worth less than
those of Arabs?
I have watched on the evening news, and
read in the New York Times as hundreds
of Black Sundanese are slaughtered by
their Arab brothers. I have waited by while

of aid that the United States gives to
Israel. Yet since 1986, U.S. aid to Israel
has been held constant at $3 billion per
year, including $1.2 billion in economic
aid and $1.8 billion in military aid. In real
terms, U.S. aid to Israel has been
declining with the rate of inflation.
Moreover, even this, seemingly massive
amount of aid pales in comparison to the
amount of aid that the Soviet Union
grants to their Arab client states. Soviet
arms transfers to Syria alone annually
doubled those of the United States to
Israel. And to put American aid to Israel in

I
I

'Will their sons be sacrificed in defense of Israel's right to exist?
Will their daughters be anxiously awaiting their husbands' re-

turn,
for?'

or waiting to learn if they even have a tomorrow to wait

thousands of Kurds are gassed and shelled
by Iraqi troops. And in horror I have read
through the grisly accounts of the
massacre of Christians and Moslems alike
in Lebanon, by each other, and by a
power-hungry PLO. I have waited, and
seen no outcry. No demonstrations in the
streets, no calls for investigations and a
halt to the atrocities were uttered in the
Moslem capitals of the world. And like-
wise, Israel's fallen, in war and during ter-
rorist raids, have been countered as incon-
sequential during the Daily's weekly tirade
against Zion. I ask, does Arab oil power
somehow give their governments an open
license to kill? Have we become, like the
Europeans, so blind and insensitive to Is-
rael's security that we now advocate, as
Britain did in 1948, abandoning the Jews
to whatever means of destruction the Arab
governments have in mind for them?
The Daily speaks of the "blank check"

perspective, it should be recalled that the
annual amount of U.S. aid supplied to
defend Europe comes to over $129 billion,
or nearly $10 billion per NATO member.
As for Israel's defense allocations from its
own budget, while the $4.6 billion that
Israel spends per year may seem like a
great deal at first glance, it falls far short
of the $16.2 billion that was spent on the
military just least year, by Saudi Arabia
alone.
How many times must Israel defend its
right to exist on the battlefield? Even Is-
rael's doves, such as Shimon Peres, ac-
knowledge that in any arrangement regard-
ing territory, that it must be' not only
"land for peace," but also "land for secu-
rity." I ask the Daily to better consider
their remarks in the future. If they are not
the ones who have to live with the conse-
quences of an untenable peace agreement,
they should not be the ones to dictate it.

Ia

ristalnacht revisited

4

By Dean Baker
As we pass the fiftieth anniversary of
Kristallnacht, the beginning of the mass
terror against Jews in Nazi Germany that
culminated in the murder of over six mil-
lion Jews throughout Europe, it is worth
asking whether such barbarism could again
take place. Unfortunately the answer

Israeli interrogation techniques routinely
involve beatings around the face, kidneys,
and genitals. They also include long
periods of sleep deprivation, water
deprivation, semi-starvation diets, and re-
peated subjection to ice cold showers. In
some cases individuals have been forced to
stand half naked for several days straight in
the hot sun and the cold nights, with

'What is truly striking about this situation is the extent of
acquiescence of the western nations and especially the United
States... [I]n the middle of such large scale barbarism not a
single national political figure has even suggested reducing U.S.
aid as a way of curbing Israeli repression.'

AVote Stud
- .Y
TODAY IS THE LAST day to vote in
MSA's fall elections. We strongly urge
students to vote for the Student Rights
Warty.
Student Rights has already worked
for the issues which the other parties
claim as objectives. Some other parties
have stated that they will fight for stu-
'dents' civil liberties by opposing the
'protest policy and deputization, but
members of Student Rights have been
working to educate students on these
issues so that effective opposition can
'.be built to the protest policy and depu-
tization of campus security.
Student Rights also recognizes the
# problem of racism and sexism on cam-
-pus, and they have an effective pro-
gram to combat discrimination by edu-
cating students about these issues and
by putting women and minorities into
positions of power. Six of the 17
members of Student Rights are mi-
norities while no other party has more
than two minorities. While only four
members of Student Rights are women,
no other party has more than three
women.
Student Rights is the only party
which supports a mandatory class on
' racism and sexism.
The mandatory class would be a sig-
nificant change that would, for the first
time in recent years, exemplify a com-

Lent Rights
Such a course would be an important
step toward redefining what it means to
be an "educated" member of our soci-
ety, which is what a bachelor's degree
from the University is supposed to
signify. Under the current require-
ments, a person may enter this Univer-
sity with a variety of commonly held
racist attitudes, and yet never find any
of these attitudes challenged in the
course of their formal instruction.
It is difficult to justify any other dis-
tribution requirements for the bache-
lor's degree while students are allowed
to graduate without having faced any
challenge to erroneous views on race
and gender that they may have assimi-
lated before (or after) entering the Uni-
versity.
Another issue of importance to the
future of the University is the deputiza-
tion of campus security officials. This
policy has never been intended as a le-
gitimate measure to protect students
from crime, but rather has been imple-
mented, along with other anti-protest
policies, with the purpose of stifling
dissent at the University.
On this issue, Student Rights has
taken a definitive stand against the dep-
utization policy. In their written plat-
form statements. only one of the other

would have to be yes.
In the Israeli-occupied West Bank and
Gaza strip, the Israeli army is displaying a
level of barbarism as it terrorizes the
Palestinian population that certainly
equals that of the Nazi thugs who were
turned lose on Germany's Jewish popula-
tion fifty years ago. The stories of brutal-
ity and torture are truly incredible. Young
babies being scalded with boiling water,
teenagers being beaten, dragged by jeeps,
and buried alive in sand, and elderly men
and women beaten and left to suffocate in
small sealed rooms filled with tear gas.
Dean Baker recently received his Ph.d.
in Economics from the University and
currently teaches in the Residential Col-
lege.

beatings taking place at regular intervals.
Tens of thousands of Palestinians have
received such treatment with the number
increasing daily. The Israeli government
routinely places whole villages under cur-
few, prohibiting anyone from leaving their
home, and sometimes cutting off electric-
ity, food, and water for days at a time.
Several thousand Palestinians, many of
them small boys, continue to be held
without charges, in what can only be
called concentration camps as they are de-
nied adequate food, water, sanitation
facilities, or medical care. Over four hun-
dred Palestinians have already been killed
by the Israeli army and the number is sure
to grow as the army regularly fires at un-
armed crowds.
As bad as the situation currently is, it is

likely to get worse. The probable Israeli
government coming out of their recent
elections promises to use even more force
to suppress the Palestinian uprising. It
includes parties that call for the mass ex-
pulsion of Palestinians from the occupied
territories.
What is truly striking about this situa-
tion is the extent of acquiescence of the
western nations and especially the United
States. The over $3 -billion annually
which the U.S. gives to Israel, along with
its military commitments, are essential to
Israel's survival. Yet in the middle of such
large scale barbarism not a single national
political figure has even suggested
reducing U.S. aid as a way of curbing
Israeli repression. Neither of the major
parties' candidates for president or for the
Congress or Senate here in Michigan have
done so much as raised Israel's actions as
an issue for public discussion.
Furthermore, there is little reason to be-
lieve that even if Israel were to adopt more
extreme measures (either mass expulsion
or mass extermination) that there would be
any serious objections raised by those in
power here.
The strategic importance of Israel to
U.S. "interests" or the fear of being tar-
geted by right-wing Zionist political ac-
tion committees obviously dwarf the sig-
nificatnce of the lives of the hundreds of
thousands of Palestinians in the occupied
territories. As was the case fifty years ago,
mass barbarism and murder will not
interfere with matters of real importance,
such as great power politics and re-election
campaigns.

e d

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Covera
of MSA

ge
.is

racist
To the Daily:
The coverage of the MSA
election by the Daily news
Staff can only be considered
racist. The Daily reported on
Monday, November 14 that the
current MSA had been criti-
cized by right wing groups for
giving money to a Jamaican
relief organization. In fact,
MCA iA vrk t ,ln "rntn- na;

for Jamaican hurricane relief,
and the Daily wrote and article
earlier this semester in which
MSA was criticized for not
giving money for Jamaican
hurricane relief.
There were also problems
with the listing of candidates
running for MSA. For Stu-
dents Rights party two of the
minority members were left off
the Daily's list of candidates
and one was listed as running
in the wrong school. For the
record, Avanish Bhavsar is
running in LSA, Ali Jahan is
running in Med School, and
Luis Vazquez is running in

Daily on Monday , and I asked
the Editor in Chief for a
correction of these errors; none
was printed in Tuesday's Daily
although there was plenty of
time to print a correction. I do
not find it surprising,
considering the Daily's racist
manner of covering MSA this
semester, that the mistakes
were not random mistakes, but
they were mistakes which
would only hurt people of
color.
It is also not surprising that
the candidate profile did not
consider people's position on a
mandatory class on racism and

issue because racism and sex-
ism are a problem at the Uni-
versity as well as elsewhere. It
is also important because Stu-
dent Rights is the only party
which wants to use education
as a means to combat racism
and sexism. The Daily news
staff apparently does not con
sider candidates' approaches to
combatting racism and sexism
to be important enough to
cover.
It is unfortunate that the
Daily news staff will not print
correction for coverage which
is biased against minorities.
-Bruce Belcher

F

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