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October 04, 1993 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1993-10-04

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, October 4, 1993

tw £id~4jn Imtti

-im Lasser

420 Maynard
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Edited and managed
by students at the
University of Michigan

JOSH Dulow
Editor in Chief
ANDREw LEVY
Editorial Page Editor

I.,

-~ I

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the majority opinion of the Daily editorial board.
All other cartoons, articles and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.

CAN T UNERSTAND II.
wHY ALL 1"ESE WRIE- / zTUN -r%
PEOPLE FRND ) -E ER TUN 70oi

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01

View Israel actions in proper context'

By ARI ROTENBERG
There has recently been a major
change in the political and social
conditions surrounding the Middle
East. The agreement that was
initiated a few weeks ago by an
historic handshake is nothing less
than an extraordinary and
unprecedented attempt to overturn
the legacy of a hatred which has
consumed two peoples for the better
part of fifty years. Although today's
accords espouse feelings of
uncertainty, the realization that it is
but the first step towards a peaceful
coexistence mandates excitement
from those within the region and
beyond.
Although I am indeed optimistic
about the future for both Israel and
the Palestinian Arabs, there are
certain factors that pose substantial
worry. An article by Katherine
Metres, in the editorial section of
the Daily (9/27/93), illustrates one
of my fears. In her own analysis of
the new accords, Metres engaged in
unmitigated and unjustified
chastisement of the state of Israel.
The historical inaccuracies and
misplaced contemporary criticisms
that comprised her attack point to
nothing more than an attempt to
publicize her own radical political
agenda. Such propaganda is
indescribably detrimental to the
advancement of a substantial and
negotiated peace.
Upon discussion of the "Arab-
Israeli Conflict," it is important to
identify the historical conditions
from which many of the
contemporary problems have
stemmed.
While presenting today's
lopsided percentages of Jewish and
Arab inhabitants on the land once
known as Palestine, Metres neglects
to identify two important historical
facts. The first partition of Palestine
occurred in 1921, when England's
Colonial Secretary, Winston
Churchill, gave all the land east of
the Jordan River to King Abdulah of
the Hashemite family. This area
referred to as Trans-Jordan, which
encompassed more than 80 percent
of the land within the original
Palestinian Mandate, was the
predecessor to what is today
Jordan- a country whose current
population is over 65 percent
Palestinian Arab. Also omitted from
Metres' historical account was
mention of the Arab's opposition at
every opportunity for negotiated
territorial division. In 1937,
England's Peel Commission (a body
that sought solution to the Arab-
Zionist struggles) recommended the
partition of two states: an Arab one,
to occupy the majority of land west
of the Jordan River; and a Jewish
one. The Zionists accepted the offer,
the Arabs refused. Again in 1947,

when partition was suggested by
the United Nations, the Zionists
accepted - the Arabs chose to
wage war!
Metres then addressed the issue
of Arab refugees. Her accusation
was twofold: A) Israel expelled
Arab inhabitants in 1948 and 1967,
and; B) Israel is breaking
international law by not adhering to
U.N. Resolution 242. However,
these allegations are void of factual
accuracy. First, Arab dispersion in
1948 was initiated by the
Palestinian Arab leader himself-
Haj Amin Al Husseini, the Grand
Mufti of Jerusalem. After the Arab
rejection of Partition, when the
armies of Egypt, Syria, Jordan,
Lebanon, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia
stood poised to push the Zionists
into the Mediterranean, the Mufti
warned Palestinian Arabs that
failure to flee from their homes
may cause them to fall casualty to
the imposing Arab onslaught.
Secondly, Resolution 242 has many
components. One such distinction
directly asserts that territory
obtained in defensive military
conquest is not subject to certain
regulations established by the
Resolution. The West Bank, Gaza
Strip, Golan Heights, and East
Jerusalem were acquired by Israel
after its defensive military victory
in the Six Day War of 1967.
Therefore, the unique status of
these territories puts Israel's
possession of them within the
boundaries of international law.
In regard to Metres' complaint
about the continued presence of the
Israeli Army in the autonomous
region, I ask only one question.
How and by whom should order be
maintained in an area where many
Palestinian inhabitants associate in
theory and action with Islamic
fundamentalists such as Hamas?
Members of this and other radical
Islamic movements have renewed
their vow to continue violent
opposition to any negotiated
agreement- opposition against
both Israel and the Palestine
Liberation Organization. Since no
Palestinian Arab infrastructure for
civil government exists in practice,
would a newly appointed and
armed Palestinian police force
control the radicals who will
contest their power? Since in the
past, no Palestinian terrorism has
ever been controlled or suppressed
by a Palestinian political
representative, I fear they will not
be able to do so now. Consequently
and unfortunately for the Israeli
army, they must remain in the
interim.
In addition to the problems
addressed above, Metres makes
three other unjustified accusations
whose mention in an editorial about
the peace accords is wholly
inappropriate. First, she points to

terrorist acts by Jewish radicals and
asserts that these fundamentalists
are protected by the state. There is
no merit in this maligning.
Although there have always been
Jewish radicals- ranging from the
Stern Gang and Irgun of the pre-
state days, to Rabbi Kahane's Kach
in modern times- who have
endorsed or perpetuated violent
tactics, they have never operated
within the boundaries of the Zionist
movement or Israeli government.
These fringe groups have never
been tolerated by the state, and do
not even have representation in
Israel's political assembly.
Next, Metres criticizes the
decision by the Israeli government
to close the territories, not allowing
Palestinian Arabs access into Israel.
What she neglects to say however,
is that closure was chosen because
it was the most humane solution to
reduce the only substantial category
of domestic violence- that being
continual Palestinian Arab terrorist
attacks on the private sector. Not a
week goes by in Israel without
stabbings and explosions which
victimize an innocuous Israeli
public.
Finally, Metres voices her
opposition to this summer's Israeli
air strikes on Lebanon. But instead
of pinning responsibility on Israel, a
more appropriate criticism would
scorn the originators of the conflict.
Hisbalah, an Islamic fundamentalist
group, has been operating within
southern Lebanon, using it as a
launching pad to bombard northern
Israel with the traditional means of
Arab opposition- missiles and
gunfire. In addition to Hisbalah,
President Assad of Syria, who has
maintained order in Lebanon'since
1976 with a bloody despotic fist,
should share the blame for not
stamping out terrorist activity
within the Lebanese borders.
In conclusion, I assert that
understanding the history in the
Middle East is essential before one
can engage in rational discourse on
the region. However, as the heroic
steps taken by Prime Minister
Rabin and Chairman Arafat
indicate, the history should not be
an issue in the current dialogue for
peace. The time for finger pointing
is past because it has proved to be
only detrimental and counter -
productive. The fact is that there is
a serious problem in Israel, one
made up of struggles for freedom,
legitimacy, and independence- to
these aspirations, a solution must be
found. Perhaps the accords signed
are incomplete, but their value is
indisputable. For the first time in
many decades, the Jews and Arabs
have taken a step in the right
direction- they have embarked on
a road that will hopefully end
bloodshed and hatred, they have
begun to agree on terms for peace.

"

0

0

MSU paper opposes U' bylaw change

The U-M Board of Regents' plan
to forbid any form of discrimination
against homosexuals is too broad-
based-it could potentially limit free
speech.
The university's bylaws currently
prevent discrimination on the basis of
color, creed, race, religion, sex, na-
tional origin, ancestry, age, marital,
handicapper, or Vietnam-era veteran
status. Additionally, in 1988, the U-
M instituted a presidential policy that
banned discrimination based on sexual

A policy like this ... should not be so broad as to
include free speech or roommate preference. There
ls certainly a recognizable need for some type of an
anti-discrimination policy for homosexuals in the
bylaws at the U-M. However, limits neqd to be placed
on what is included.

Rotenberg is an LSA senior.

Too many signs
To the Daily:
There is a big problem with
signs, posters, etc. being posted in
buildings where they don't belong.
There are other problems connected

anti-gay statements even for religious
reasons, and having a homosexual
roomate in the dorms would be insuf-

mind on sexual orientation, as long as
it is not threatening to a particular
person or group.

remove the marks left by the tape or
other crud used to post. There are
probably more problems that are
related, but the best solution is to
post only in authorized places.

in enormous savings to the
University - not just in cash, but in
humiliation as well. Consider: the
University, acting presumably on
Cole's advice, has adopted
positions over Hash Bash, research

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