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October 16, 2002 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-10-16

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, October 16, 2002


~~brtt £ibitnfliltj


SINCE 1890

Editor in Chief
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.

We signed the
ballot with our
blood and not
with pens."
- Iraqi citizen and teacher Madiha Ahmed,
on yesterday's vote to re-elect Saddam
Hussein for another seven-year term, as
quoted by Reuters. Voting officials hope that
Hussein will receive 100 percent of the votes;
he received 99.96 percent of the vote in 1995.



The divestment con
e study at a divestment opponents as enemies of intel- must be more efforts to increase interac-
uWniv e r s it y lectual freedom was as silly and counter- tions between Palestinian and Israeli youth
scarred by productive as the claims that divestment and to encourage collaboration between the
emotion. The recita- supporters are terrorists. Holding the entire civil services of the Israeli government and
tion of the Statement anti-divestment movement responsible for the Palestinian Authority. When a peace
on Freedom of Speech the actions of a few disaffected and irre- agreement is brokered, both people must
and Artistic Freedom sponsible individuals is a rhetorical conceit be ready to abide by its tenets.
is not a formality, but that you would expect a man of Ibish's To return to the Divestment Confer-
a necessity before any intelligence to reject. His arguments were ence, Hatem Bazian delivered a speech
speaker with even a particularly laughable when remembering Saturday morning that unintentionally
tincture of controversy. Slurs and insults that Snehal "Conservatives Need Not exposed the failures of divestment. Bazian
are hurled with little thought or concern. Enroll" Shingavi would be speaking later quoted George Washington's Farewell
The New Tribalism is alive and well at the in the day. Address in an effort to bolster support for
University. Playing into Ibish's position were the divestment. Washington's isolationist poli-
The one debate that is perpetually mired actions of Adi Neuman and Richard Dorf- cies are both a contemporary impossibility
in rancor is the future of Israel and Pales- man. Their frivolous and Constitutionally and morally degenerate. Outlining areas
tine. A partial explanation for why Samuel baseless lawsuit would not even be worth where divestment could occur, Bazian
P. Huntington's oft-criticized "Clash of mentioning, except for the great harm it called for the cessation of collaborative
Civilizations," even for those who disagree has done to pro-Israel groups. Fortunately, academic programs between the United
with it, is a useful tool for generating sup- most pro-Israel forces on campus were States and Israel. Bazian seeks to construct
port for your political causes. Too often willing to stand up against the small cadre barriers between people and limit the
questions of Middle East politics are por- of intellectual thugs. exchange of ideas and cultural practices.
trayed as existential struggles for the sur- One more incident merits mention. On That is the essence of divestment, a
vival of a way of life, a religion, a culture the second floor of the Michigan League, measure to arrest interaction between the
or a people. As a result of this desperation, Al-Adwa Chicago were hawking T-shirts United States, Israel and the Palestinian
there was a fair share of nastiness and stu- with a stylized "Intifada!" sketching and Authority. If divestment ever becomes a
pidity on both sides relating to this week- the words, "Palestine will be free from the genuine possibility, the people of Israel
end's Second Nation Conference on the river to the sea" were emblazoned on the will be forced to look within their borders
Palestinian Solidarity Movement. To wit: shirt. To be fair, the shirts weren't big sell- to survive and a siege mentality will reign.
From his bully pulpit as editorial page ers, but everyone should recognize that not This is not a road to reconciliation.
editor and columnist for The Detroit News all members of the pro-divestment bloc Divestment is a sham. I urge "progres-
Nolan Finley was the most prominent critic seek an amicable resolution. sives" to reject it with the same urgency
of the conference. In two columns on the In our little corner of Southeast Michi- with which they reject the United States'
conference, Finley went through the laun- gan these tensions have generated a situa- murderous sanctions against Iraq. The
dry list of the checkered pasts of some of tion, which, despite its acrimony, cannot effects of divestment from Israel may not
the conference's speakers. Finley's even approach the level of distrust and be the same as the Iraqi sanctions, but the
attempts to expose the conference as a con- enmity between Israelis and Palestinians. intentions are equivalent. And until that
clave of anti-Semites were misplaced. Perpetual peace will not be the result of moment when they are willing to speak
Anti-Semitism is a red herring. If the idea diplomatic maneuverings between the against divestment, their cowardice speaks
of divestment is just, it doesn't matter if it Israeli government and the Palestinian volumes.
comes from a virulent anti-Semite or your Authority, but will require a groundswell
synagogue's rabbi. of mutual understanding between Palestini Zac Peskowitz can be reached
Hussein Ibish's categorization of ans and Israelis. To generate amity, there atzpeskowi@umich.edu.


Conference no reason to sue
'U;' lack of sustainability,
GEO better reasons
In response to the Oct. 10 article, Con-
ference lawsuit may go to judge, might I sug-
gest alternative lawsuits? We can start
with suing for the 330 tons of nitrogen
oxide emissions and the 38 tons of carbon
monoxide emissions in 1999, which
caused health risks and environmental haz-
ards throughout the county and the state.
Of perhaps we can sue for the University's
failure to take sustainability seriously by
investing in renewable energy and lower-
ing greenhouse gas emissions. I don't
believe environmental responsibility is
mentioned in our mission and vision state-
ment - can we sue for that?
How about suing the University for
failing to bargain fairly with the Graduate
Employees Organization? Do our lecturers
have a recognized union yet?
Let's sue for gross misappropriation of
funds - remember those chartered planes
the regents used during the presidential
search? While we're at it, we can tackle
those pesky clauses in the Statement of
Student Rights and Responsibilities (for-
merly the Code of Student Conduct)
whose interpretation of the legal rights of.
students is, at best, chilling. And we can
sue to prevent security cameras at the
entrances of our dorms, an Ashcroft-esque
breach of privacy rights. But don't sue the
University for allowing free speech. Real-
ly, that's the only thing it has going for it
right now.
Boycott unfounded; Daily
has 'leaned over backward'
to please organizations
As one who has continued to read the
Dailv vear in and vear out since araduatina

In my days in Ann Arbor, the campus
activists advocating boycott of the Daily
were the card-carrying Communists and their.
sympathizers. DejA vu. Despite that boycott,
the Daily survived and prospered. I'm certain
that today's Daily will do the same.
The letter writer was a Daily
Managing Editor from 1949-1950
Cole, Gitelman set poor
example' for students with
heated exchange in Daily
With their recent exchange of letters,
Professors Juan Cole and Zvi Gitelman
contributed to the unfortunate trend in
academia of placing the justification and
indoctrination of personal beliefs ahead of
the concerted, respectful search for truth.
At last year's Sept. 11 vigil, a representa-
tive of Hillel, Michael Brooks, eloquently
described higher education as a "sacred
conversation," the opportunity to listen,
present and examine passionately held
beliefs in an environment independent of
hostility and open to all opinions. Brooks
urged the University community to con-
structively channel the anger and passion
deriving from the tragedy into a civil
examination of the motives compelling
the terrorists to act and the appropriate
responses the nation and its constituency
should make to the event. Brooks also
warned that allowing the emotions created
by the tragedy to destroy this conversation
ultimately aids the attackers in succeeding
in their cause. With their exchange in the
Daily, Cole and Gitelman trampled on this
sacred conversation, resorting to puerile
hostile language and personal denigration
to argue their opinions.
The poor example these two supposed
leaders and guides of the sacred conversa-
tion set troubles me as well. At a moment
when tension peaks on campus between
Arabs and Jews, Dr. Cole and Dr. Gitelman
should model the proper method of examin-
ing and discussing the conflict rather than
smearing each other's character and beliefs.
How can the University exnect students to

Protests, grandstanding
made conference a waste
I must say that I am angered and ultimate-
ly disheartened with those who claim to be
enlightened students of this fine University
this weekend. Two university students sued
to prevent the conference on Palestine from
occurring, ultimately threatening the academ-
ic integrity of this institution.
The University prides itself on encour-
aging open discussion of ideas and the
ability for its students to do the same. The
lawsuit that was levied this past week
threatened the ability for the University to
be a leader in the realm of free speech in
education. I was further saddened by the
waste of energy by both the pro-Palestinian
and pro-Israeli factions this past week.
People spent more time arguing, protest-
ing, grandstanding and wasting intellectual
and physical energy that could be used in
peacefully resolving the conflict to get at
each other's goats.
I stand not with Israel. I stand not with
Palestine. Divisive grandstanding is waste-
ful, to put it simply. And any attempt to
attempt to justify it by either side is a poor
and useless excuse to waste energy and
prolong a conflict that, if both sides were
actually willing to work toward it, could
see a peaceful resolution within our life-
times. However, as expressed this week-
end, it seems as if another generation of
people on both sides of the conflict have
been brainwashed into attempting to
destroy each other instead of figuring out
how to live peacefully with one another.
LSA senior


. .._ .u . . - .. z-~


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