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March 13, 1989 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1989-03-13

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The Michigan Daily - Monday, March 13, 1989 -Page 5

Writer

dicusses

bias

in coverage of Israel

BY JOSH MITNICK
With a press corps of over 800
foreign correspondants, Israel is un-
der microscopic scrutiny by the
world media. Outside of Washington
and Moscow, it is host to the largest
amount of journalists in the world.
Because of a "double standard" in
the news media's coverage of Israel,
the world holds Israel to a higher
standard than other nations, said
Wolf Blitzer, Washington bureau
chief for the Jerusalem Post.
Blitzer's speech, entitled
"Perception and Reality in Middle
East Reporting," was the keynote
address of the fifth annual Israel
Conference Day held at Rackham
Amphitheatre.
"Israel, from the beginning, has
never been perfect," Blitzer said.

Now, Blitzer said, Israel is
suffering from a role reversal of im-
ages because the media's once perfect
image of Israel has been shattered.
The world's honeymoon with Israel,
he said, has ended.
"When any society is scrutinized
as much as Israel's is, it is bound to
have imperfections," he said.
Because jounalists are free to
cover and go where they want, he'
said, "it is easy to be a journalist in
Israel.
"There is a tremendous intensity
of reporting in Israel because there
isn't a lot of opportunity in other
parts of the Middle East," Blitzer
said. "News is where there are news
people."
Blitzer added that the current
Arab-Israeli conflict is naturally at-

Labor union author Jane Slaughter, professors Robert Brenner, and Howard
unions and the economy at "Labor and the left" a symposium held on Friday.

Kimeldorf

tractive to the media. "When Third
Worlders kill other Third Worlders,
it isn't given news coverage. But
when a Jew kills an Arab - that is
a big story."
It is to Israel's credit that there is
so much self-criticism and there ex-
ists a "free flowing debate" over the
current situation, he said.
"I am convinced that if the Israeli
public believes there is an opportu-
nity for peace, they will grab it,"
Blitzer said, citing the Israeli pub-
lic's acceptance of peace with Egypt.
Despite current media perceptions
of an Israel reluctant to come to the
peace table, Blitzer predicted that if
the if the government fails to take
the initiative in what is percieved by
the public as a viable solution, there
will be a new government.
"I'm personally happy they're not
only dealing with the riots. Some-
times we can show other things be-
sides politics and troubles."
LSA senior Marc Berman, presi-
dent of the Union of Students for Is-
rael, described the conference as
"thought provoking."
"There's not enough discussion of
Israeli culture or other aspects of I-
raeli politics on this campus,
Berman said.

.Workers see decline in power

BY FRAN OBEID
Eastern Airlines is an example of
how management exploits workers
through the "team concept," a labor
union author said in a speech Friday
at the Michigan League.
Jane Slaughter, an author and
staff member of Labor Notes maga-
zine, said Eastern Airlines received
4 much praise for implementing
cooperation methods between man-
agement and labor that appeared to
advance the power of the worker.
Eastern's machinists union
workers had four union seats on the
company's board of directors, and
supposedly "control on the job," said
Slaughter. "This did not stop Eastern
management from selling the airline.
to arch union-buster Frank
Lorenzo.
"Luckily, the machinists were not
so disorientated to 'cooperativeness'
to prevent them from doing what
they are doing now," she said, refer-
ring to the machinist union strike at
Eastern.
Slaughter was one of four speak-
ers at a symposium titled "Labor and
the Left," which was sponsored by
Against the Current, a socialist

magazine.
Slaughter said labor is losing
power in the face of management,
noting a decline in yearly wage in-
creases. "Wages increased on average
in 1981 by 9.8 percent, while in
1988, wages increased by just 2.6
percent."
Midterm contract agreements,
concession demands, and permanent
replacements for striking workers are
further examples of how labor has
been recently losing its power, she
said.
Other methods in which man-
agement and labor work together,
such as quality-of-work-life, are
supposed to increase productivity and
make workers feel better about their
jobs.
But Slaughter said these methods
actually degrade workers.
While management touts multi-
skilling as a method to teach work-
ers a variety of skills and increase
self-esteem, in actuality it is
"designed to require as little skill as
possible... Multi-skilling does not
mean you are any more skillful,"
said Slaughter.
University Assistant Sociology

Prof. Howard Kimeldorf also agreed
that labor has been losing power in
recent years.
"Fewer than one in five workers
belong to a union" now, as opposed
to one in three in 1954, he said.
"Unions are starting to mirror man-
agement. The labor movement can
either grovel for respect or it can
strike out militantly."
University Economics Prof.
Thomas Weisskopf said different
segments of society have recovered
at varying paces from the economic
crisis of the early 1980s.
"Capitalism is in a terrible kind of
boom," he said. "The system has an
uneven form of recovery whose un-
fairness is demonstrated every day."
Robert Brenner, a prof. of history
at UCLA and editor of Against the
Current, said there is now a crisis of
overaccumulation, so instead of
companies leaving the market, they
reduce workers benefits.
"If workers are going to be sub-
ject to an increasing capitalist offen-
sive to cut costs, the idea that they
will be willing to cooperate is not
only analytically wrong but politi-
cally very dangerous," Brenner said.

Israel
Continued from Page 1
in contemporary Israeli society.
"In regard to women's issues, Is-
rael is like any other western coun-
try," said Benziman. Dotan ex-
plained that Israeli women need to
gain economic and political power if
they were to make any progress.

Israeli author Nava Semel deliv-
ered an emotional and sobering dis-
cussion of the problems that children
of Holocaust survivors have in con-
fronting their parents about the past.
Semel explained that in her
childhood, the subject of the Holo-
caust was treated as a "forbidden
land." "We were told by parents,
'This is not for you,"' said Semel.
Rivka Sidon, an Israeli citizen
who attended the conference, said,

Berman said.

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Minority
Continued from Page 1
with."
Micco was the only Native
American at the conference.
Some people were disturbed by
the fact that the conference excluded

whites, calling it was a case of re-
verse discrimination. But the mem-
bers of the conference said this was
not the case. Certain seminars were
closed to whites, and they had other
seminars tailored to issues con-
fronting them to attend.
"People get offended when people
of color get together around their

persecution," Blackman said. "We
are responding to racist actions and
have been forced into a room to-
gether to fight against these ac-
tions."
A majority of the participants
expressed their desire to have more
conferences of this kind.

._.a
-,.

Meese.
Continued from Page .3
Land zoning, and its effects on
land use, was also discussed.
"Zoning often instead of making
land use more efficient in its alloca-
tion, it makes it less efficient...
, Commonly practiced is large lot
zoning," said Yale Law School Prof.
Robert Ellickson. "Suburbanites
promise they will make metropoli-
tan areas go much farther than 'they
would, but it raises the price of
housing and segregates people by
social class."
~ -

Meese praised the Federalist
Society's values as "the continuing
growth upon and the look back at

first principles, and then applying
those principles of the Constitution
to contemporary situations."

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