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March 17, 1989 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1989-03-17

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Page 4

Friday, March 17, 1989

The Michigan Daily

A history of struggle

The following editorial originally ap-
peared on November 12, 1987 in An
Phoblacht/Republican News
T HE CURRENT phase of the war in
the Six Counties, which enters its 20th
year in 1988 has wrecked many lives.
Our people are not to blame for that
war, no more than they are responsible
for the death and suffering which for-
eign interference has brought to our
land over hundreds of years. Genera-
tions of Irish people have tried to end
injustice and bring about change by
peaceful means and have been met with
British violence.
Twenty years ago the present phase
of nationalist resistance to British
sponsored injustice began with the
campaign for civil rights. It did not be-
gin with the Irish Republican Army
(IRA) going out to shoot British sol-
diers, but with ordinary Catholics de-
manding simple reforms within the
North - votes and houses -and jobs.
The guns and batons which were used
against them by the forces of the state
are now part of history. Many people
have died since, but the basic injustices

which existed then - the denial of civil
and national rights- are still main-
tained and defended with British guns.
If that was not the case, there would
be no IRA. There would be no support
for the IRA or any reason for the IRA
to exist. But the support and the reason
are facts and will remain so as long as
Britain continues to deny our people
the right to self determination.
Where there is oppression there will
be resistance; where there is armed op-
pression there will be armed resistance.
The position of Republicans has not
changed. But not because we want this
war. Our people have suffered be-
reavement, physical and mental injury
and long years of imprisonment. We
go on because the state of our country
demands it and because we know that
peace with justice cannot come short of
a free Ireland. Armed resistance to
British rule will bring freedom because
it is ultimately the most necessary po-
litical weapon against an armed aggres-
sor and the only one an aggressor will
heed. The experience of oppressed
people's all over the world and, most
of all, in our history, proves that.


4rE Etiigau adg
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
420 Maynard St.
Vol. IC, No. 114 Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board. All oth'ar
cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion
of the Daily.
Not just for festivities

IN 1983 Irish-American associations in
New York City named a member of the
Irish Republican Army (IRA) to be
marshall of the city's St. Patrick's Day
Parade. Many politicians and citizens
chose to boycott the parade on the
grounds that St. Patrick's Day is a time
only for festivities and not for politics.
But St. Patrick's Day has, "always
been a time to give voice to the national
pride that sustained Irish-Americans in
decades past as they fought against
discrimination in the U.S. -the same
pride that has been the underpinning of
800 years of Irish struggle against
British domination." (The Guardian,
That struggle today is waged in a
country artificially divided by the
"peace-keeping" forces of great Britain.
Many people, Protestant and Catholic,
recognize that the fight for self-deter-
mination and reunification of Ireland is
being led by the IRA, and that British
withdrawal from the country is the only
means to peace with justice.
Most people outside of Britain, and
many within, are uninformed and mis-
informed about the IRA. This is largely
because of a British Foreign Service
imposed press censorship which si-
lences virtually all news from Northern
Ireland and releases only news which
furthers its political ends. News
coverage focuses almost exclusively on
IRA attacks on British Army outposts
and British civilians.
Britain would like us to believe that
the members of the IRA are crazed
killers involved in a senseless holy
vwar. Yet no reports of the numerous
British crimes against the Irish people
are seen and no context is provided for
the activities of the IRA.
In the twenty years of the current
phase of the war, over 2,800 Irish
people have died. This is in a country
with a population of only 1.5 million.
Equivalent proportions in the United
States would mean 400,000 deaths.
.One in twenty Northern Ireland
homes has experienced a death or in-
jury by bomb or bullet.
Less direct, but equally violent, is the

legislation and the institutions which
have been created to "handle the prob-
lem" in Northern Ireland.
Britain has a "shoot to kill" policy in
Northern Ireland which mandates sol-
diers to shoot to kill anyone engaging
in suspicious or pro-IRA activity. Sol-
diers are under no obligation to prove
what such activity entails.
The British Parliament bans juries
from, hearing political cases in Northern
Ireland. Prisoners in Northern Ireland
can be held incommunicado for 72
hours and for up to 2 years without bail
while awaiting trial.
Britain claims 22 percent unemploy-
ment in Northern Ireland but does not
report the staggering 60 percent unem-
ployment in the Catholic ghettoes.
At the urging of Thatcher's gang the
U.S. Senate voted to remove the
"political offense exception" clause
from our extradition treaty with the
United Kingdom. Though we honor
this agreement with over ninety coun-
tries, the U.S. will now extradite pris-
oners for purely political reasons at
Britain's request.
Britain maintains that its presence in
Ireland is a "peace-keeping" one, de-
signed entirely to put down Protes-
tant/Catholic violence. In its own inter-
est, the British government perpetuates
the notion that the war in Northern Ire-
land is as simple as a territorial dispute
between Catholics and Protestants. It
reduces what is a complicated political,
cultural and economic issue to reac-
tionary violence, and denies its own
responsibility for using colonialist di-
vide and conquer tactics in pitting peo-
ple against one another for jobs, hous-
ing and control of their lives.
The unification of Ireland cannot
happen as long as Britain continues its
violent and destructive hold on North-
ern Ireland. In the words of an Irish-
American civilian,"Unless the British
and Irish governments address the dis-
crimination in housing and employment
and the appalling child mortality rate,
there will be no more 'lasting peace' in
North Ireland than there will be in
South Africa where, too, the people's
patience has run out."

Britain has been convicted by the European Court of Human Rights for torturing Irish political prisoners in t
Long Kesh prison near Belfast. A subsequent report by Amnesty International says the practice continues.
Criticism misses tepoint e

By Brad Kurtzberg, Ari
Blumenthal, Al Woronoff,
Karen Lawner and Andrew
Recent letters to the Daily by Dean
Baker and Randy Schwartz regarding the
recent protest by over 200 students about
the alleged anti-Jewish editorials of the
Michigan Daily have both missed the
point ofthat protest. I will address both-of
their letters for I feel they warrant a re-
sponse to set the record straight.
Mr. Baker and Mr. Schwartz were
gravely mistaken when they asserted that
the purpose of the protest was to stifle
political criticism of Israel. The reason for
the protest was we believe that the criti-
cism of Israel had gone beyond mere
political criticism and begun to slander the
Jewish people. Yes, it is very possible to
do one without the other. In no way was
this protest designed to stifle legitimate
political debate on this campfls, nor was it
trying to pressure the Daily into ending its
pro-Palestinian stance. Support of Pales-
tinian nationalism is not inherently anti-
Semitic nor did we ever claim it to be.
The authors responded to what they wanted
us to be saying or what they thought we
were saying, but they neglected to check
Brad Kurtzberg, Ari Blumenthal, Al
Woronoff, Karen Lawner and Andrew Jaffa
helped organize the February 21 protest of
the Daily.

the facts.
Mr. Baker accused President Duderstadt
of making "charges" against the Daily in a
"vague and slipshod manner.... citing
nothing." (Daily, 3/8/89). Baker then, in
turn, criticized the protesters while citing
absolutely nothing. He did not address the
fundamental issue of the protest.
Mr. Schwartz also failed to understand
the issues involved in the protest. He
"boldly" challenged anyone to show any
evidence of Jew-baiting or anti-Semitism
in Daily editorials. Let me now reiterate a
few examples.
First, by saying that the right to self-
determination is a legitimate one for all
peoples but not for Jews is exclusionary,
prejudicial and anti-Jewish. This is what
the Opinion page did on November 1,
1988 by calling Zionism racist. This is an
example of Jew-baiting, equating the vast
majority of Jews with the evil of racism.
With regard to Pan Am flight 103 and
the editorial of February 14, it is not that
the Opinion page speculated that Israel
might have been responsible for the
bombing that was so offensive, but the
way they did it. By citing as their main
evidence the fact that a group of Hassidic
Jews cancelled their reservations at the last
minute, they imply an international Jew-
ish conspiracy of terrorism. The editorial
suggests that Israel is blowing up planes,
telling only Jews to get off and the Jewish
community is doing nothing about it. To
imply an international Jewish terrorist
conspiracy is a scurrilous and dangerous

calumny against the Jewish people.
In the January 23 editorial titled
"Ethiopians Exploited" the Opinion page
staff sets out to criticize the Israeli Law Of
Return. This is a legitimate political issue
if the Daily wishes to raise it. Again,
however, it is the way the editorial chose
to raise it that was offensive and anti-Jew-
ish. By criticizing international Jewish ef-
forts to help Ethiopian Jews emigrate to
Israel, the Opinion page ignores the
suffering of the Jews in Ethiopia. These
people are persecuted because they are
Jews and like other Ethiopians, face a
large scale famine and starvation. To ig-
nore the suffering of Jews but to
acknowledge the suffering of another
group (the Palestinians) is prejudicial and
wrong. We believe that the only reason
the Opinion page does not acknowledge
the suffering of Ethiopian Jews is because
they are Jewish. Furthermore, to state that
Jewish international efforts to aid these
people, not just by Israelis but by Ameri-
cans and other nations as well, is just a
"ruse disguised as humanitarianism"
(Daily 1/23/89) and just part of a plot to
kick Palestinians off their land is incorrect
and ignores the major issue at hand.
No one has called for censorship of the
Daily. All the University community asks
of the Daily Opinion page is an open fo-
rum where all political views can be de-
bated, free of attacks on ethnic and reli-
gious groups. Only then will the Daily
Opinion page be a respectable forum for
legitimate political debate.


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Go to the Pow Wow

Protest the
To the Daily:
For the past eight years,
members of a Nazi organiza-
tion, the "SS Action Group"
have attempted to rally in Ann
Arbor. They will be demon-
strating here again this Satur-
day, March 18.The Nazis, the
Klan, and other fascist thugs
organize for a program of
genocide against blacks, Jews,
gay people, other minorities,
and anyone who stands in their
way. They stand for eliminat-
ing the basic rights of women
and all working people. Fas-
rk m is Qrnwin i t h TTI C

There will be an anti-Nazi rally
at 11 a.m. at the Federal
Building, on the corner of Fifth
St. and Liberty.
-Jonathan Payne
March 15
Praise for
the Prez
To the Daily:
In the Daily's editorial re-
sponse to Duderstadt's letter
("Prez should apologize,"
3/13/89), the Daily protested
Duderstadt's implication of ir-
responsibility, saying that
"cO .01 rnrrac. c.-h. 1 A nnt h

his concern - a perfectly
legitimate thing to do, espe-
cially when the Daily has been
accused more than once of anti-
Semitism. His feeling of
agreement with the charges is
apparent, but his point is not
to restate them. He does not
need to do so to express his
2. Duderstadt is also accused
of "abusing the powers of his
office to malign the Daily, and
... attempting to interfere in
its internal affairs." First of all,
Duderstadt is in no way abus-
ing - or even using - the
powers of his office in his let-
ter. He is stating his own view
of the situation, and he has ev-

not attempting to interfere in
the internal affairs of the Daily
any more than any other of the
Daily's critics. Nowhere does
he even hint at restrictive mea-
sures. The Daily introduces
Fleming's memo to associate
its threats with a letter that
contains none. The memo has
no relevance to the letter what-
soever, and should not have
been included in the editorial.
We should not make the
mistake of automatically as-
suming that anyone in power
is out to get us. Duderstadt's
response to the situation was
an appropriate one, and should
be encouraged rather than at-
tacked. As long as his actions
parallel his words, he owes no

The Ann Arbor Pow Wow has been a
tradition for Native Americans in the
area for over 17 years. This weekend
is expected to be the largest gathering
ini the history of the Pow Wow -
drawing craftspeople, dancers, and
drummers from all over the country.

Native Americans have historically
been marginalized and oppressed by
the United States government, and their
cultures have been consistently mis-
represented in the popular media. The
Pow Wow is a reaffirmation of culture
which helps fulfill a need of minority
cultures to preserve their cultural iden-
tities. This identity is essential to main-

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