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November 15, 1989 - Image 4

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1989-11-15

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OPINION
Wednesday, November 15, 1989

Page 4

The Michigan Doily

Independence

for

Palestine

'"Now by virtue of the national historic and legal rights of the Palestinian people
in their homeland, Palestine, and the sacrifices of successive generations who gave
of themselves in defense of the freedom and independence of their homeland ... The
Palestine National Council, in the name of God, and in the name of the Palestinian
Arab people on our Palestinian territory, with its capital Jerusalem." Palestinian
Declaration of Independence: November 15, 1988.'

Today, Palestinians from all over the
world will be celebrating the first an-
niversary of the Palestinian Declaration
of Independence. Many years of
struggle against the foreign occupation
of their homeland and the denial of ba-
sic human, political, and national rights
have finally materialized into a clear
and undeniable message to the world:
the Palestinian people need and will ac-
cept nothing less than self-determina-
tion in an independent state in Pales-
tine.
In November 1947, the United Na-
tions (comprising almost exclusively
western powers) partitioned historic
Palestine - without consulting its
Arab inhabitants - into two states. As
a result nearly 500,000 Palestinians
found themselves residents of a Jewish
State, a state established on most of
historic Palestine.
The founders of the new country, Is-
rael, were not long content with what
they had achieved. They soon set out to
seize the remainder of historic Palestine
and drive the indigenous people off the
land. More than 900,000 Palestinians
were made refugees in a war of con-
quest, and they have never been
permitted to return to their homes.
Those who were able to remain within
what became Israel faced discrimination
and have since been relegated to the
status of third class citizens on their
own soil.
In 1967, Israel launched another war
of aggression, aimed at acquiring the
Palestinian land occupied, and held
with military force, by Egypt and Jor-
dan since 1948 - the West Bank and
Gaza Strip. As a result, thousands of
Palestinians were forced to leave
Palestine. Those who stayed have tried
to carry on with their lives under the
military occupation which continues to
this day.
The measures adopted by the Israelis
to control the Palestinians of the West
Bank and Gaza were even more re-

pressive than those of the Egyptians
and Jordanians. Policies and practices
were adopted to destroy all expressions
of Palestinian national identity and to
erase Palestinian history. Villages were
renamed, nationalist poetry and litera-
ture were outlawed and political leaders
and activists were exiled from their
homeland permanently.

formations. The Israeli government
goes on with its repressive and racist
policies, but the intifadah is forging
links between all Palestinians, and
bringing everyone - from the young
to the old, women and men - into the
struggle for freedom.
The role of Palestinian women has
changed dramatically in the last few

'But in December 1987, after more than twenty years of
military occupation, the intifadah, a unified Palestinian
uprising, emerged. Since that time, the intifadah has become
the voice of the Palestinian people and has forced the world
to see them as a people with legitimate political and cultural
aspirations.'

But in December 1987, after more
than twenty years of military occupa-
tion, the intifadah, a unified Palestinian
uprising, emerged. Since that time, the
intifadah has become the voice of the
Palestinian people and has forced the
world to see them as a people with le-
gitimate political and cultural aspira-
tions.
Now nearly two years old, the in-
tifadah has developed sophisticated and
liberating infrastructures for life under
military occupation. Though Israeli re-
pression of Palestinian self determina-
tion is nearly total, Palestinians have
found ways to seize control of their
own lives, usually at tremendous
physical risk.
Since the intifadah, the Israeli Iron
Fist has responded by increased brutal-
ity at every level. Over 700 Palestinians
- mostly youth - have been killed
and the rate of arrest is one in every
three. Administrative detention -- de-
tention without charge, trial or access
to legal advice - has been increased to
one year. Hundreds of people have
been made refugees through the demo-
lition and seizure of homes and land.
As the Intifadah enters its twenty-
forth month, Palestinian society con-
tinues to undergo tremendous trans-

years. Women have assumed roles of
leadership in the resistance and play an
essential role in the effort to create co-
operatives and alternative schools.
At the same time of its Declaration of
Independence, the Palestine National
Council formally accepted United Na-
tions Resolutions 242 and 338 which
implicitly recognize Israel. The accep-
tance of 242 and 338 as a basis for ne-
gotiations in addition to Arafat's deci-
sion to recognize Israel's right to exist
represent major concessions on the part
of the Palestinian leadership. It is clear
that the Israelis are not prepared to re-
ciprocate as they continue on their path
of rejectionism. Israel still refuses to
negotiate with the PLO, the sole, legit-
imate representative of the Palestinian
people; they refuse to discuss the pos-
sibility of returning one inch of occu-
pied Palestine and they continue the il-
legal seizure of land and property.
The message of the Palestinian peo-
ple today is clear: it is perfectly possi-
ble for there to be peaceful coexistence
with Israel, but it has to be based on
equity and on mutual recognition. In
spite of the many attempts by the Israeli
government to destroy all remnants of
Palestinian national identity, the in-
tifadah will continue.

4
The above painting by a Palestinian artist living in Gaza is a symbol
of the Palestinian struggle for independence. At the bottom he has
included the date 11/15/1988, written partly in Arabic - the day of
the Declaration of Palestinian Independence.

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan '<!.;.
420 Maynard St. A,.::;..:.....' .C.._.. .."
Vol. C, No. 51 Ann Arbor, MI 48109 e -
Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board. All other :": .:.:.:>::.:."
cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion :.:;,,. . 2 }' * '' " ":* .
of the Daily. I so Woo

'U' not for weapons

TODAY AND Friday the Lawrence
Livermore National Lab (LLNL) and
the Los Alamos National Labs
(LANL) will be recruiting physicists
and students at the University for em-
ployment. The LLNL and LANL are
the two principle nuclear weapons labs
in the U.S. They have designed every
warhead in the United States' nuclear
arsenal and are currently developing
the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI),
more commonly known as "Star
Wars" along with nuclear first-strike
weapons.
In light of the end of the Cold War
and the globally destabilizing effects
that their research is widely believed
to have, the activities of these two labs
must be described as dangerous. By
bringing weapons labs like these to
recruit and do research on campus, the
University irresponsibly promotes the
potential destruction that these
weapons represent.
These labs work to undermine the
process of strategic nuclear weapons
negotiations. While the United States
signs treaties with the Soviet Union to
eliminate intermediate and short range
nuclear weapons, these organizations

demic freedom. They argue that un-
classified research will become classi-
fied research and will restrict the ex-
change of information with foreign
colleagues. Many scientists conclude
that the University should try harder to
bring socially responsible organiza-
tions to campus that study issues like
the energy and environmental crisis.
These weapons labs are able to hide
behind a veil of ignorance when faced
with these charges because they work
for the seemingly benign Department
of Energy (DOE). However, close
analysis of the DOE budget reveals
that more money is spent on nuclear
weapons research than on energy re-
search. John Holdren, a physics pro-
fessor at the University of California
has called the DOE "the Department
of Nuclear Weapons and Energy."
One only has to look to President
Duderstadt and the Board of regents to
see why these organizations work with
the University. Duderstadt has worked
at both the LLNL and LANL and has
done significant research on laser fu-
sion that is valuable to the develop-
ment of new nuclear weapons. Two
years ago, the Board of Regents elimi-
nated a clause from the bylaws that
prohibited classified research that

0

The First Anniversay of th&
Palestinian Declaration of
Independence and voice your
support for the people of

Pick up tomorrow's
Daily for the second
installment of Mike
Sobel's four-part series
on the origins of the
AIDS virus.

LV ~UWXIF1 ~d k~1

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