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October 04, 1989 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1989-10-04

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*1

OPINION

Page 4

Wednesday, October 4, 1989

The Mhihgan Daily

Wbe £kihwua ?&d1y
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
420 Maynard St.
Vol. C, No. 20 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.
Pawns in their game

A Jewish idea of Israel

FH E U.S. Government has worked
hard for the right of Soviet Jews to
emigrate. In the past it accepted the
emigres freely. But now, as Gorbachev
and glasnost prepare to release more
than ever ---- 50,000 this year, double
that next year, compared to 19,000 in
1988 - the State Department has an-
nounced that it will apply tougher im-
migration standards and will turn away
more than three-fourths of those who
wish to enter. Why?
The Government was not motivated
by strictly humanitarian concerns when
it began to press Brezhnev to set Jews
free in the early 1970s. A coalition of
Jewish and humanitarian groups, with
the valuable support of The New York
Dmes, courageously took up the chore
of advocacy; they were met by a Nixon
Administration eager to show the world
how the Soviets persecuted their peo-
ples. Refugees from Cuba and other
Communist countries were given simi-
lar attention; those from Pinochet's
Chile and white-ruled South Africa,
none at all.
Each year, Congress decides how
many of those seeking to escape politi-
cal persecution it wants to let in. The
number ranges from 100,000 to
150,000, although Congress recog-
nizes, conservatively, more than ten
million.
The Immigration and Naturalization
Service chooses the pool which may
immigrate, applying a recipe which
ranks the afflicted by the degree of peril
they face - and always reckoning that
people in Communist countries are in
special danger. The unlucky ones who
fall into the bottom of the six categories
are stripped of the title "refugee," and
are generally refused entrance.
Until last year, Soviet Jews were ex-
empted from this whole process; but at
the close of his term as Attorney Gen-
eral, Edwin Meese changed that, and
for the first time the U.S. turned 20%
of the Soviet Jews away. Lamentable,
but not enough to raise a stir.
The Bush Administration has gone a
step further, and insisted that more
Soviet Jews be placed in the sixth cate-
gory. Now 75% will be rejected. The
Government has never claimed that
Soviet Jewry today are less persecuted:
it merely cites fiscal reasons. Last year,

it says, it cost $7000 to process the pa-
pers for each refugee, to fly them over,
and to settle them. Such mercenary ar-
guments are despicable: what cost a
human life, and with a budget in the
billions? In this case, they are also a
lie.
Processing the applications from
Soviet Jewry had been expensive.
Emigres were passed through Vienna
to Rome, where they waited news from
the United States. There are now
14,000 in limbo in the suburb of
Ladispoli, outside Rome. But there will
be no more. Gorbachev has allowed
the U.S. to streamline its operations by
deciding cases at the U.S. Embassy in
Moscow, while applicants remain in
the Soviet Union. The savings will be
about 75% per person (Th e
Economist, 9/9/89). No doubt the
U.S. can afford to take more Soviet
Jews; it has decided it doesn't want to.
The decision came at the request of
the Israeli government. Prime Minister
Shamir started asking the U.S. to re-
voke refugee status when he took office
(NYT 9/24/89). He has never hidden
his desire to have Jews immigrate to
Israel alone. Jews now leave Israel at
the rate of 20,000 a year, while the
Arab population inside its borders is
growing. Arabs promise to become a
majority in the Jewish state within a
generation unless Shamir is able to
swell the Jewish population. So the
American Israeli Public Affairs Com-
mittee spent $800,000 lobbying
Washington for the recent change in
status.
The problem is that the vast majority
of Jews leaving the Soviet Union don't
pick Israel as their first choice for a
new home. The Economist says that
some 90% want to come here; that es-
timate may be high, but the 14,000
Jews in Ladispoli speak for the broad
truth of the statement. All of them
could go to Israel immediately - the
Dutch embassy processes visas for Is-
rael in less than a day. All of them are
waiting to see if they can go to the
U.S. instead. Under the new policy,
they will be forced into Israel.
Jews have suffered enough in the
Soviet Union. For them to become
pawns of the Israeli and American
governments is inhumane.

By Israel Shahak
Dr. Israel Shahak is Professor of
Chemistry at Hebrew University in
Jerusalem. He is Chair of the Israel
League for Human Rights, a civil liberties
organization he has lead since 1970.
Shahak is a leading advocate of Palestinian
human rights and considered Israel's most
renowned dissident. He will be speaking
tonight on the present political climate in
Israel and also the nature and current status
of the Palestinian popular uprising. His
talk begins at 7:00 pm at 100 Hutchins
Hall in the Law Quad.
I will begin from the Israeli Jewish an-
gle by telling you what, in my opinion,
are the reasons why the Palestinian rebel-
lion broke out in December 1987. There
are very deep and immediate reasons,
which proceed from the changes in the
Israeli Jewish society in the spring or
summer of 1987, when Jewish chauvin-
ism began to increase enormously and in a
visible way. Out of many open manifesta-
tions, I will mention two.
Pogroms
From June to August 1987, a period
during which the occupied territories are
quiet - completely quiet - there were a
series of pogroms against Palestinians in
Israel itself. By "pogroms" I mean exactly
the common use of the word. In a given
neighborhood, usually quite a big neigh-
borhood, all of a sudden, all the flats or
houses or rooms rented by Arabs were
vandalized and burned. The Arabs were
beaten and expelled from the neighbor-
hoods. I mean all the Arabs - both from
the Palestinian territories and Israeli
Arabs. The police did not give any protec-
tion, and the neighborhoods became free of
Arabs. The Hebrew press at the time in-
vented, or re-invented, using Hebrew char-
acters, a German word, Arabien, which
means in German, "clean of Arabs," from
the German word employed by the Nazis,
Judenrein, "clean of Jews." They invented
the expression in order to refer to what
was happening - a process of
Nazification.
The "Transfer Proposal"
The second deep manifestation was what

e call the "transfer proposal." "Transfer,"
in the Israeli use of the word, refers to a
proposal which has been current in Israel
from July or August 1987, to expel all the
Palestinians - I emphasize, all the
Palestinians - from all occupied territo-
ries. By the way, I am not speaking about

'But there is also great hope. If the Palestinian people con-
tinue the uprising, a majority of the Israelis can be persuaded
to withdraw from the territories.'

similar argument would have gone in
Mississippi or Alabama 40 or 50 years
ago.
The second important argument made by
those people, who are much more serious
in their political approach than either
Kahane or the settlers, comes from the

0

Kahane, as you will see; I am speaking
about the "respectable" members of Israeli
society. Here the difference from Kahane
comes out. This is not proposed for so-
called reasons of security, but from so-
called reasons of principle.
The one who proposed this plan is
General Rahaban Zahevi, a very good
friend of Defense Minister Rabin. Only
last week he held a big symposium in Tel
Aviv about this proposal which was at-
tended by a former chief of military intel-
ligence, General Shlomo Gazit. Also at-
tending were the formal Central Command
of the West Bank, Uri Orr, and many other
distinguished figures from Israeli military
intelligence, retired of course, and even
from the literary establishment. Another
person who publicly supported this idea
last summer was Mr. Michael Dekel,
Deputy Minister of Mr. Rabin. And Mr.
Rabin, who could, under Israeli constitu-
tional laws, dismiss Mr. Dekel and simply
ask that Likud nominate another Deputy,
did not do it.
I want to emphasize, first of all, that
from last summer, the idea of expulsion of
all the Palestinians from all the occupied
territories was supported by important
people who are completely different from
Kahane, and completely different also from
the settlers. Second, this transfer idea is
always supported for reasons of principle,
not for reasons of security. One reason,
given both by Mr. Dekel and by General
Gazit, is opposition to assimilation. If
Palestinians remain in the occupied territo-
ries, then sooner or later there will be mar-
riages between Palestinians and Jews. And
since they believe that mixed marriages are
the greatest calamity for the Jewish people
that can be imagined - a proposition
which, I am afraid, is accepted by a good
half of Israeli society - this can be a very
strong argument. Try to imagine how a

history of Zionism. They make many ref-
erences to Ben Gurion, and to other leaders
of a socialist type of Zionism who sup-
ported expulsion. They point out that ex-
pulsion was not carried out only during
times of war, but also during the time of
absolute peace, such as the expulsion
which was carried out by Ben Gurion,
from 1949 to 1957. For example, near
Gaza there is a town now called Ashkelon
which once was called Majdal, and from
this town all the Palestinians - 15,000
of them - were expelled by an agreement
with Egypt in 1951, at a time of complete
peace.
The Future
Now, about the future. The question to
be asked is not so much about the Israeli
government, but about the Israeli Jewish
people. Even if there is enough pressure
from the Palestinian people or from other,
outside forces, we still are in great danger.
Half the Israeli Jewish people are prepared
to make a war, not only on Palestinians
but on other states, in order to effect this
transfer.
But there is also great hope. If the
Palestinian people continue the uprising, a
majority of the Israelis can be persuaded to
withdraw from the territories. But, I must
be clear, we are now no more than 15 per-
cent of the people with this moral consid-
eration. We might increase to 30 percent,
but that is not enough. However, by mak-
ing things unpleasant for our society, we
could capture the majority. Then it would
not be a question of an international con-
ference; we would speak directly with rep-
resentatives of the Palestinian people, just
as we did with Sadat.
The above was excerpted from an article
that appeared in the Covert Action
Bulletin, Summer 1988.

Mubarak

plan necessary

I

Where they go
Annual emigration of Soviet Jews to:
0o00s
' Israel
'~ United States

35

By Ori Lev,
The editorial "Camp David Revisited"
(9/27/89) claims that Egyptian President
Hosni Mubarak's ten-point plan for elec-
tions in the Israeli-occupied territories is
"a whitewash" and "a giant step back-
ward." I beg to differ. Mubarak's plan is
the outside impetus needed to start the
long stalled Middle East peace process.
Third party mediation, of which the
Egyptian plan is an example, is essential
to getting the two sides involved, namely
the Israelis and the Palestinians, to talk to
each other. The Mubarak plan is obvi-
ously an attempt to get both sides to
compromise and begin direct negotiations.
The Palestinians are asked to partic-
ipate in elections without the stipulation
that these elections will lead to the estab-
lishment of a Palestinian state. The
Palestinians are also asked to abandon
their demand that Israel negotiate directly
with the PLO. The Israelis, however, are
asked to accept the results of these elec-
tions regardless of who is elected, meaning
that if PLO support is as strong as the
Daily and others claim, the Israelis would
be obliged to speak with PLO supporters.
The Israelis are also asked to stop building
settlements in the occupied territories; the
Daily does not view this as a concession

but it is certainly a concession for the rul-
ing Likud party. Israeli troops would be
required to leave election sites on the day
of the voting and Israel would also be re-
quired to accept the notion of trading land
for peace.
The Daily claims that "the
Palestinians... have not been consulted"
about this issue. However, Mubarak dis-
cussed his peace plan last week with
Yassir Arafat, the head of the PLO, whom
the Daily recognizes as the sole representa-
tive of the Palestinian people. The Daily
also complains that no specific borders are
called for in the plan, and chastises Israel
for "refus[ing] to define its own (borders)."
The reason Israel does not have le-
gally recognized "borders" is that no Arab
country, with the exception of Egypt, has
been willing to sign a peace treaty with
Israel. Only ceasefires have been reached,
setting up ceasefire lines. This has been
the case since the establishment of the
State of Israel, and continues to be the
case today. It is the Arab countries who
have in the past refused to recognize Israel
and her borders, and it was the Arab coun-
tries, who, following the 1967 Mid-East
War in which Israel gained control of the
West Bank and Gaza, issued their "Three
No" declaration specifically stating: "No
recognition of Israel's right to exist, No

30
25
20
15
10
5
0

negotiations, and No peace."
It would be ridiculous, however,
if the Mubarak plan were to specify bor-
ders - that is what the negotiations are to
be about. But in order to have negotia-
tions, there must first be agreement as to
who is negotiating. The Mubarak plan is
an excellent way of forcing both sides to
compromise while not forcing either side
to give in completely. That is the only
way for negotiations to begin, and negoti-
ation is the only way out of the problem.

The Daily must abandon its unreal-
istic and simplistic notion that the Arab-
Israeli conflict is a black and white issue.
It must abandon its dream that the way to
solve the problem is for Israel to unilater-
ally accept all Palestinian demands and
leave the territories immediately and un-
conditionally. The only way to reach a
tenable solution is through mutually re-
spected negotiations and the Mubarak plan
is a positive step in establishing these ne-
gotiations. One can only hope that both
the Israelis and the Palestinians are willing
to compromise and take advantage of this
opportunity.

0

Ori Lev is a sophomore in the
LSA

college of

Crossing the

By Michael Weiss
For several years now the Daily has
come under consistent and repeated
criticism from Jewish individuals and
groups on campus regarding its anti-Israel
editorial positions. During the two years
of the Daily's coverage of the intifadah,
it's been accused of anti-Semitism,
insensitivity, and "Jew-baiting"on nu-
merous occasions.
During all this time, the Daily's con-
sistent response was that anti-Zionism and

decision to "drop the expressio
religion." It's a sad story and a
memoir of how one man's relig
to reach out to him. But I fail to
it's doing in the Daily.
What Cohen's piece does isc
Judaism. "I started looking more
the orthodox members of myf
the religious rites and practices w
served," writes Cohen. "I began
same differences between those
and my. life that I felt between
Tc. ..m oa dithe, 'tnrv n

thin line
n of [his] They, too, would be interesting stories.
poignant But these stories, rightly, would not get
ion failed printed. They have no place on the
see what Opinion page of a newspaper. Why, then,
was Cohen's bitter assault on his former
cut down religious beliefs given such prominence?
closely at I will say, to Philip Cohen, that he is
family, at mistaken when he says it is "nearly im-
ie had ob- possible [in the United States] to be a part
to feel the of the religion without supporting the
practices state [of Israel]." Zionism and Judaism are
n the Old closely linked, but they are not identical.
of Tcrni1 T.,,km ist n . , 1nttic- na nhi nhu i it

L.

19707274 76 78 80 82 84 86 8889*
e.s rn Jewish Committee *January-August

'I U

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