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October 08, 2002 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-10-08

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, October 8, 2002

OP/ED

abl r irbiguu &zailii
420 MAYNARD STREET ANN ARBOR, MI 48109
letters@michigandaily.com

EDITED AND MANAGED BY
STUDENTS AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
SINCE 1890

JON SCHWARTZ
Editor in Chief
JOHANNA HANINK
Editorial Page Editor

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

A

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

NOTABLE
QUOTABLE

BONNIE KELLMAN MIXED NUTS

___________________________9. i r

Brater clarifies
position on prisons
To THE DAILY:
Thank you very much for
your coverage of the 18th Dis-
trict state Senate race. I would
like to clarify one point that
appeared in your story on Oct.
3: I did not suggest "releasing"
prisoners as a way of reducing
the corrections budget. My
point, rather, was this. Over the
past decade, 15 out of 21 of
Michigan's mental hospitals
have been closed, and many
former patients have ended up
in the criminal justice system.
Meanwhile, the 650 lifer law
has meant that many drug
addicts have swelled our prison
population, without catching
kingpins. Both people with
mental illness, and substance
abusers, if nonviolent, more
appropriately belong in treat-
ment in the mental health sys-
tem. This would result in
savings in the corrections sys-
tem, where we are spending
$20,000 per medium-security
prisoner a year, plus billions in
prison building.
Liz BRATER
Democratic nominee for the state
Senate in the 18th District
Rationale for anti-
Zionism matters
To THE DAILY:
The recent column on the
divestment conference (Divest-
ment Conference not about
divestment, 10 /07/02) makes a
critically incomplete deduction
about the relationship between
'anti-Zionism' and anti-Semi-
tism, beating the by-now tired
rhythm that opposition to Israel
(or more accurately, Israeli pol
icy) means opposition to Jews
and anti-Semitism.
What is key is not simply
that someone thinks Zionism is
a doctrine that is less than just
or morally praiseworthy; what
matters is - why - someone
thinks that is the case. People
draw issue with Zionism/Israel
not because they dislike Jews,
but because they reject the idea
of racially or ethnically exclu-
sive states. Showing displea-
sure through divestment
campaigns (which are, as the
article correctly notes, exercises
in discussion and debate rather
than practical implementation)
is simply another means for
showing displeasure with-a sit-
uation and style of policy,
including (but certainly not lim-
ited to) the policies of various
Israeli governments, that have
led to clearly unjust outcomes.
To put it differently, sup-
porting discussion about divest-
ment (or even if you wish to
accept the piece's argument,

being critical of Zionism) isn't
about wanting to reverse histo-
ry, but about seeking to amelio-
rate its injustices. The
declaration that helped start it
all, Balfour, didn't simply call
for 'the establishment in Pales-
tine of a national home for the
Jewish people;' a national
home was premised on the idea
that "nothing shall be done
which may prejudice the civil
and religious rights of existing
non-Jewish communities in
Palestine." And it's that second
part that remains unfulfilled and
demands continued focus and
discussion.
ALl IJAZ AHMAD
Law School
"Why Israel occupies
the West Bank
To THE DAILY:
The article Palestinians dis-
cuss effects of occupation
(10/07/02) in the Daily, though
eloquently written, forgets to
mention why Israel is occupy-
ing the West Bank and why
Palestinian houses are being
demolished. The "why" is usu-
ally considered a pretty impor-
tant question in America.
The first answer is easy, in
1967 (19 years after Israel's
independence), in what is called
the Six-Day War, Israel was
forced to defend itself in a pre-
emptive strike. Israel won and
significantly increased its land.
However, practically the day
after the war, Israel began try-
ing to negotiate the land back
for peace. This culminated at
the Camp David negotiations in
2000, when Israel offered the
Palestinians over 95 percent of
West Bank and Gaza. Palestini-
ans rejected, no counter-offer
made. Ask why!
The second answer I had to
look up to get the details. I
wanted to make sure Israel
isn't demolishing houses ran
domly like Palestinian suicide
bombers blowing up civilians
on the street, randomly. The
first result I got from Google
by typing in"Israel house
demolition" was representa-
tive and explained, "Israel's
policy of demolishing the fam-
ily homes of Palestinians who
carry out attacks on Israelis is
beginning to have a deterrent
effect, Defense Minister
Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said,"
reported the Manila Times.
Hmmm. So when Palestinians
complain their homes have
been demolished ... you
should ask why. Israel also
sometimes demolishes the
homes of both Palestinians
and Israelis who build houses
without a permit in the West
Bank. Regardless of what the
reason, there usually is one
and it's important. So ask!
MK GIVENTAL
LSA senior

Minority groups
and Daily should
collaborate
To THE DAILY:
I am writing in regard to the
recent rumors surrounding vari-
ous boycotts of the Daily, but in
particular those brought about
by the various minority com-
munities on campus. While I
am by no means speaking on
the behalf of anyone but
myself, I believe that such boy-
cotts are in haste and possibly
even m error. As a minority stu-
dent, I believe that while it is
the Daily's responsibility as a
newspaper that has opted to
represent the greater campus
community and thus must be
more cross-culturally conscious
and inclusive in its selection of
newsworthy events, it is also
the responsibility of said
minorities to bring occurrences
in their respective communities
to the Daily's attention.
The minorities who have
made accusations to the Daily
on the basis of its seemingly
occasional "racist" bias are not
necessarily completely wrong,
but they must realize that boy-
cotting the Daily by not reading
it, or even worse, by not provid-
ing quotes for articles, will not
solve the problem. Instead, they
will force the Daily to go to sec-
ondary sources for their articles
surrounding the minority com-
munity, and therefore decrease
the quality of the paper. In
short, by refusing the Daily our
quotes, we are simply adding to
the problem we set out to
protest in the first place. On the
other hand, the Daily must be
aware that there are more things
surrounding the minorities on
this campus than racist remarks
and discrimination.
Although by choosing to
represent the minority commu-
nity as disadvantaged and dis-
criminated against, the Daily
does bring to lightseveral nega-
tive circumstances that mmnori-
ties must constantly face. It also
doesn't hurt that racial problems
are always fodder for interest-
ing reading. But, in doing so,
they are also boxing us into the
stereotypes that we are forced
to fight (i.e., that we are only
disadvantaged and discriminat-
ed against and nothing else).
The Daily does little to fairly
and consistently represent the
rich and varying culture that the
minorities of University bring
to campus. If the minority com-
munities wish to change things,
we need to re-evaluate the ways
in which we have chosen to do
so. At the same time, the Daily
must recognize that there is
more that goes into being a
minority than discrimination
and disadvantage.
SARA ALLOY
LSA sophomore

Altarm "cloIomJ.
with "supea
loud. GtLarwm2)

Wcater tobe
poured over 43A e.,

"We need
a little
more sin."

".s"
' ""i'; "iY:'
"ylpT"\"
"s a .99."'

be'xtexN o ve.r

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- nV 3 m ;u
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0

49

. 9.9.9 . .. :

- Doug Kelbaugh speaking of the plans to
improve students' quality of life on North
Campus by adding more entertainment,
retail and dining options, as quoted
in today's Daily.

Jl

mot.

-

VIEWPOINT
India shares culpability for South Asia's troubles

0

BY SABIR IBRAHIM
In his viewpoint about the crisis in
South Asia, Democracy, not Kashmir, core
issue in South Asia, (10/07/02), Utpal Mun-
shi seeks to attribute the poverty and tur-
moil plaguing the region solely to the
"militarization of Pakistan" and its inabili-
ty to sustain a functioning democracy.'
While political instability and military dic-
tatorship in Pakistan are indeed among the
causes of South Asia's problems, Munshi's
analysis is an oversimplification of a com-
plex situation that cannot be described in
terms of one factor to the exclusion of all
others. In seeking to place the blame for
the turmoil solely on Pakistan and its histo-
ry of autocracy and dictatorship, Munshi
seems to have ignored a whole range of
contributing issues and problems (particu-
larly those in which India is implicated),
each of which plays an equal part in prolif-
erating the crisis.
Among these is the disturbing rise of

Hindu fundamentalism in India, whose
horrific consequences became evident this
past spring when angry Hindu fundamen-
talist-led mobs slaughtered up to 5,000
Muslims in Gujarat and destroyed the
homes and businesses of thousands more,
leaving them confined to relief camps and
shelters across the state. Evidence indicates
state and police officials may have been
complicit in the violence, which comes
amidst growing support for Hindu funda-
mentalist movements who seek to trans-
form India into a Hindu nationalist state
and whose adherents occupy key positions
in state and central governments as well as
in the army and police.
Also not addressed by Munshi is India's
role in the Kashmir conflict. While it is true
that Pakistan's interests in Kashmir are most
lilely not motivated by a sense of compas-
sion or sympathy for the Kashmiri people,
India has repeatedly refused to allow Kash-
miris the self-determination guaranteed to
them by U.N. Resolutions and international
law. This, coupled with the numerous, well-

documented atrocities and human rights
abuses - including widespread rape and
kidnapping - committed by its occupation
force of 600,000 indicates that India seems
to be imposing its vision of Kashmir as an
"integral, inseparable part of India" at least
in part by force.
I am not attempting to play the tired
old blame game in which supporters of
India and Pakistan trade accusations and
insults. The above-mentioned issues are
just two of a plethora of economic and
political problems plaguing the subconti-
nent; consequences of colonialism and
partition for which India, Pakistan and
others share the blame.
However, Munshi's effort to gloss over
one side's role in prolonging the crisis and
attribute it entirely to the other contributes
neither to building a constructive dialogue
nor to a resolution of hostilities.

Ibrahim is an Engineering senior and
chair of the Muslim Students
Association South Asia Task Force.

VIEWPOINT
Invest in peace, invest in Israel

BY DAVID POST
The upcoming Second National Student
Conference on the Palestinian Solidarity Con-
ference is a primary example of why peace in
the Middle East has not yet been achieved.
Unfortunately, in similarity to what is currently
occurring in the Middle East, one of the sides in
the dialogue on this campus refuses to work
toward peace. The mission statement of the
Palestinian Solidarity Conference does not
advocate peace or suggest ways to improve the
lives of Palestinians. In fact, the three central
campaigns advanced by the organizers of the
conference are: 1) divestment from Israel, 2)
ending the United States' aid to Israel, and 3)
the Right of Return. Notice that all three cam-
paigns are aimed at destroying Israel through
both internal and external methods.
If the organizers of the conference wanted
to be constructive they would concentrate on
policies that improve the prospects for peace
and conditions for the Palestinian people. As
you may know, one of the main goals of the
-... r ..-+ . . ra r .it-c o

defend itself. If this conference was focused on
improving the lives of Palestinians the organiz-
ers would have developed a plan for a wide
spread investment campaign in the Palestinian
economy and political infrastructure-not pro-
moted a policy that attempts to undermine
Israel's ability to exist.
In addition to undermining Israel's right
to exist through the promotion of divestment,
the conference also rejects the continuation
of the Jewish State through its support of the
right of return of Palestinian refugees. The
influx of millions of hostile Palestinian
refugees into Israel would certainly under-
mine the Jewish character of the nation,
effectively turning Israel into another Arab
state. Although most experts on both sides
-acknowledge the impossibility of the right of
return as part of any two-state solution, the
conference supports this policy in hopes of
destroying the Jewish State. If the conference
organizers' main focus was the creation of a
Palestinian State, and not the destruction of
Israel, would have used 'the conference to

for liberation." Through the current uprising
suicide bombings have not resulted in any
political gains for the Palestinians-violence
has only resulted in checkpoints and continu-
ing hardships for innocent civilians. If the
members of Students Allied for Freedom and
Equality wanted to improve the lives of Pales-
tinians they would certainly take a stance
against suicide bombings and violence that
continues to hinder the peace process and
instead advocate a two-state solution based on
peaceful political negotiations.
I am just as troubled with the messages pro-
moted by SAFE as the ideals that they choose
to ignore. The conference does not promote
constructive dialogue; it does advocate destruc-
tive propaganda that prevents mutual under-
standing. The conference does not propose
constructive ways to alleviate the suffering of
the Palestinian people; it does provide many
recommendations for ways to destroy the only
state in the Middle East that allows freedom of
speech and protects civil rights. The conference
is not concerned with constructively promoting
solidarity with the Palestinian people by

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