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February 17, 1989 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1989-02-17

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Friday, February 17, 1989

Page 4

The Michigan Doily

Anti -Arab


must not be tolerated

By the Steering Committee of
'the United Coalition Against
Last year headlines in most U.S. papers
contained news of the Intifada, the mass
Palestinian uprising in the occupied tern-
tories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip,
and the brutal repression with which the
Israeli government responded. Given the
United States' longstanding and close
relationship with Israel, these events trig-
gered intense debate and dialogue in the
United States, particularly in Jewish and
Arab communities.
Yassir Arafat's speech to the United Na-
tions General Assembly renouncing
terrorism and recognizing the existence of
the state of Israel, and the United States'
promise to open communications with the
Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)
have raised the level of debate even further.
The national media, the United Nations
and the U.S. Congress have all been
forums for this issue, as well as the Daily.
The Baker-Mandela Center will create
another forum for this discussionton
Friday, February 17. It will focus particu-
larly on the Intifada and anti-Arab racism
inside both Israel and the United States.
.The Intifada was initially portrayed as
another aspect of what we have been urged
to view as ubiquitous "Arab terrorism."
Television footage, despite Israel's attempt

to suppress it, has proven this myth false.
What millions have witnessed are scenes,
resembling the streets and townships of
South Africa, of Palestinian children hurl-
ing rocks at heavily armed Israeli soldiers,

houses razed, civilians arbitrarily rounded
up and interrogated, water cut off and, over
an eleven month period, more than 400
Palestinians killed.
Comments by Israeli officials and sol-
diers vividly illustrated the racist anti-Arab
ideas which underlie Israeli policy toward
Palestinians. To clarify our meaning, it
may be useful to offer a partial definition
of racism. One key feature of racism is
when a particular racial or ethnic group is
distinguished from the rest of humanity
and designated as inferior or mote malevo-
lent - and is treated accordingly.
This attitude toward Arabs is reflected in
Israeli Cabinet Minister Abraham Sharir's
comment that "the Arabs are born liars."
Israeli soldiers' descriptions of Arabs as
"sneaky" and "a bunch of terrorists" and
comments made by Israeli officials that
Arabs are "naturally prone to violence" are
additional examples of such racist views.
Moreover, it is not only a view held by
some Israelis, it is one echoed in the na-
tional and international media. Casual ref-
erences to Arab terrorism abound, imply-
ing that violent acts by certain individuals
reflect something intrinsicabout an entire
ethnic group. If this were not the implica-
tion, why is the race or ethnicity impor-
tant? It can only be to suggest that
something is a fundamental characteristic
of the entire group.
The only way the current Israeli policies
against Palestinian self-determination and

the gross violation of Palestinian human
rights can be justified is by dehumanizing
Palestinians, and by extension all Arabs,
as a people.
The reality behind the Intifada is a grim
one and has fueled the anger of young
Palestinians, many of them born since the
1967 occupation began. In the occupied
territories, hundreds of thousands of
Palestinians have been denied food and
medical care, 'protesting youth are beaten
daily and the frequent use of "harmless"
weapons such as tear gas and plastic bul-
lets have caused hundreds of deaths.
This is the oppressive reality that is the
backdrop to the Intifada.
In responding to anti-Arab racism and
the ongoing plight of the Palestinian peo-
ple, we must do several things:
1. Reaffirm the right of self-determina-
tion for Palestinians and all people.
2. Critique Israel's inhumane policies,

especially in relation to U.S. aid to Israel,
which totals over $3 billion dollars per
year. It is not an Arab/Jewish issue but a
political and moral one.
3. Recognize that criticism of Israel is
not synonymous with criticism of all
Jews. Thousands of Jews, both inside and
outside of Israel, have protested Israeli
4. Place the struggle against anti-Arab
racism within the larger context of fight-
ing overall anti-Semitism (against both
Arabs and Jews, both Semitic peoples).
While many Jews have embraced
Zionism and uncritical support of Israel as
a response to persecution of Jews, anti-
Semitism and the horrible legacy of the
Holocaust, what must be reaffirmed in the
1980s, is that "... never again", the pledge
of resistance against anti-Jewish violence,
must mean never again to any people,
including Palestinians.


In an eleven month period, more than
400 Palestinians have been killed in the
occupied territories.
with many of the children being chased
and brutally beaten as a result. What was
not seen, but heard of through other
sources, was the collective punishment
meted out to entire Palestinian villages:

Brown bag discussion
CENTER Palestinian Uprising
The Ella Baker-Nelson Mandela Center for Anti-Racist Education, a student organized
and run alternative resource center, is sponsoring a series of weekly brown-bag discus-
sions. This week's topic is "The Palestinian Uprising." Bring lunch, drink coffee (free),
and participate in the stimulating, informal discussion. Today at 12 noon in the Baker-
Mandela Center, first floor of East Engineering, Room 3.


be £ftbigaUy
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

El Salvadoran government cannot tolerate free vote:
Election fraud

VoL. IC, No. 99

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

a '

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.

:w .

a Alcohol's
Pletoric and media hype in the last few'
ygars has almost entirely ignored one
of the nation's most serious and
pervasive drug problems: the officially
sanctioned use and abuse of alcohol.
.The promotion of alcohol (and to-
iacco) is not uniformly distributed
across the different sectors of society.
In Detroit, where 63 percent of the
.population is Black, a recent survey
found that almost half of 895 billboard
advertisements promoted alcohol or to-
bacco use. But in nearby suburbs -
predominantly white - only 25 per-
,cent of the billboards advertised these
products. This inequity is behind a new
campaign to ban alcohol and tobacco
billboards in the Motor city.
A look at national advertising trends
reveals the racist tendencies of alcohol
:and advertising companies. In fact, the
evidence of direct and deliberate cam-
paigns to promote alcohol use specifi-
cally in Black communities is over-
In 1985, 26 percent of all regular
-billboards in major cities were designed
.to sell alcohol to Black consumers, a
'figure exceeded only by tobacco ads.
Additionally, 74 percent of the national
total spent on billboard advertisements
for beer, and 92 percent spent promot-
:ing malt liquor, targets Blacks.
Weighed against the unequal access
to health care, employment and educa-
tibn in many Black communities, the
results of this imbalance are startling.
For example, while Black people in the
United States continue to drink less per
person than their white counterparts,
'they suffer disproportionately from al-
cohol related illnesses - particularly
liver disease, which kills Blacks at a
rate twice that of whites.
To deter criticisms of their advertis-
ing policies, some alcohol companies
have supported events and promotions
.designed for minority communities.

racist attack
However, companies spend far more
on promotions than programs. And the
motives for the promotions themselves
are highly suspect, with continued ef-
forts dependent on a favorable return
on investment.
One of the most prominent and suc-
cessful companies to offer this sup-
posed support is the Adolph Coors
company, which in 1984 launched a
$600 million investment campaign in
Black and Hispanic areas. In return, as
The New York Times reported, several
community leaders agreed to "take
positive visible action to eliminate the
misconceptions of Coors." Subse-
quently, Coors' Community Relations
Director John Meadows wrote that ef-
forts to "reciprocate the support of the
minority market" had been a success.
"As a result," he said, "sales of our
product have increased and our markets
have expanded." Beneath the public
relations facade of investing in these
communities, Coors bought an image.
In a culture where consumption is so
affiliated with success, the open pro-
motion of alcohol abuse is not surpris-
ing. Alcohol companies spend more
than $60 million a year on billboard
advertising, and about $700 million on
television promotions. They must be
held accountable for the effects of their
Alcohol's corporate racism takes its
toll directly on the Black community,
and the problem is getting worse. The
liver cirrhosis mortality rate among
people of color doubled between 1960
and 1970, while declining among the
general population. While alcohol and
tobacco advertising persists, at least an
equal amount of resources must be di-
rected toward educational and health
care efforts to counter the destructive
effects of these drugs. Attitudes and
standards regarding alcohol will not
change as long as the alcohol industry
keeps its corner on the information

by Gus Teschke
Second in a series on El Salvador
The recent electoral history of El Sal-
vador is characterized by fraud and U.S.
interference. In 1972 and 1977, the mili-
tary took power following elections. In
1982, a coalition of right wing parties
won a majority of the Constituent As-
sembly. Since they were linked to the
death squads, the U.S. forced the assembly
to appoint an unknown, Alvaro Magafla,
president. In 1984, the U.S. spent mil-
lions of dollars to insure the victory of
"moderate" Jose Napoleon Duarte.
Salvadorans seeking to change an unjust
economic status quo have not been able to
do it through the electoral process. They
have taken up arms instead.
The guerrilla coalition, the Farabundo
Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN),
has consented to participate in the upcom-
ing march presidential elections if they are
honest. The FMLN has solid civilian
support and has made the Proposal because
they know they can win clean elections.
It provides an analysis of recent Sal-
vadoran history, enumerates conditions for
a fair election, and what the FMLN will
do. Here is the complete text of the pro-
The FMLN Proposal to
Convert the Elections to a
Contribution Toward Peace
The general command of the Farabundo
Marti Front for National Liberation con-
sidered that:
1. The previous five elections have not
resolved the fundamental problems of the
2. Our people no longer believe in elec-
tions because they consider them fraudu-
lent and because elections have not been
able to end the conflict and resolve the ex-
tremely serious economic crisis which
deepens the social struggle
3. There exists a total dependency of our
country on the United States which has
forced the traditional parties, the Christian
Democrats and ARENA, to seek the ap-

proval of the U.S. government in
that of the Salvadoran people.
4. The tendency toward fraud a
among legislative, judicial, execu
military powers converts the de
electoral law into an unresolvab
lem. This turns the next elections
detonator of a major political c
will lead to a definitive power vac
5. The intensification of violenc
comes from the increase of re
against the people who demand so
their problems, places a dilemm
the armed forces, that of com
genocide and provoking an insurre
waiting for a power vacuum anda
rection caused by hunger.
6. There exists an internation
ronment in which most regionalc
are being resolved by means of
As a last effort to avoid the s
plosion by providing the election
higher purpose so that they can co
to a lasting peace, the FMLN m
following political proposal.
To postpone the elections sched
March 19 and hold them approx
six months later. We propose1
them on September 15, the day of
tional independence, and to carryo
said elections under the followin

nstead of 1. Respect the activity of the parties and
electoral organisms throughout the na-
nd crisis tional territories.
tive, and 2. Respect the mayors if they disengage
ebate on themselves from the plans of the army.
le prob- 3. Decree a truce beginning two days
into the before and continuing until-two days after
risis that the elections. Withdraw any military pres-
uum. ence from the towns and voting places.
ce which 4. Call upon its entire social base to
pression participate in the electoral activity, en-
)lution to couraging people to support for the plat-
a before form and candidates of the Democratic
nmitting Convergence.
-ction, or 5. Accept the legitimacy of the electoral
an insur- results.
6. The FMLN would accept, in order to
al envi- facilitate the implementation of this pro-
conflicts posal, that the present government remain
negotia- during the whole transition period.
An electoral process held under the con-
)cial ex- ditions that we propose would make pos-
s with a sible an irreversible political solution the
ontribute conflict, transforming it into a tremendous
akes the contribution towards peace. This proposal
contains elements that are obviously dif-
luled for ferent from the existing legal order which
ximately the forces in power constantly accuse each
holding other of violating.
f our na- We propose to place peace above the
out these laws now in effect, and we say to those
g agree- forces with decision making power, that if


'There exists a total dependency of our country [El Salvador]
on the United States which has forced the traditional parties,
the Christian Democrats and ARENA, to seek the approval of
the U.S. government instead of that of the Salvadoran people.'

1. An immediate cessation of assassina-
tions, abductions, and repressions against
demonstrations, strikes, and all activities
of the popular movement, and complete
respect by the armed forces for the elec-
toral activities of all parties.
2. Guarantee that the army, paramilitary
squads, and security forces remain inside
their garrisons on election day, and that
they have no participation in the election.
3. Integration of the Democratic Con-
vergence into the Central Electoral Coun-
cil, the formation of a Monitoring Coun-
cil for the election, made up of religious,
humanitarian, and civic organizations that
would assume the role of maintaining or-
der on election day, and would convene and
coordinate all international observers.
4. Establish an electoral code which
would represent the consensus among all
5. Establish the right to vote for all
Salvadorans abroad and guarantee, with
international support, the conditions so
that they can exercise that right.
6. The United States government must
remain outside of the electoral process and
not provide sunnort to any nartv.

the war continues, their economic and po-
litical interests are on the road to collapse.
The conditions in which the present
elections are going to be held cause them
to be illegitimate, and for this reason the
FMLN has rejected them, and if these
conditions are not modified, the FMLN
will maintain its position of accompany-
ing the people in rejecting this current set
of elections. These elections aggravate the
war; our proposal contributes to peace.
The FMLN calls upon all of the social
forces of the country to take a position on
this proposal and expresses its willingness
to discuss it immediately with the gov-
ernment, the Legislative Assembly, the
Armed Forces, and all political parties.
The Archbishop of San Salvador, Mon-
signor Arturo Rivera y Damas can con-
tribute to convening of these talks that
would strengthen the effort towards na-
tional consensus that the Church has pro-

Comandante Roberto Roca
Comandante Schafik Handal
Comandante Joaquin Villalobos
Comandante Leonel Gonzalez
Comandante Ferman Cienfuegos


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