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October 24, 2002 - Image 15

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-10-24

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12B - The Michigan Daily - Weekend Magazine - Thursday, October 24, 2002
ARi PAUL - OUGHT THE LAW

The Michigan Daily - Weekend Magazi
The search for another superstar
'AmericanRh

THE PEOPLE VS. DORFMAN

Here's a synopsis of the law-
suit I plan to file against
LSA sophomore Rick
Dorfman:
Facts:
Mr. Dorfman has, on occasion,
sought criminal proceedings against
certain Arab students for simply
standing in the same room as him.
Mr. Dorfman has had the audacity
to be so un-American as to chal-
lenge the University's right to spon-

sor free speech and assembly.
Counts:
Mr. Dorfman's actions have made
him a disgrace to the Jewish people.
Mr. Dorfman gives the 'U' a bad
name.
Relief Requested:
Mr. Dorfman should make a for-
mal and public apology to President
Coleman and the University Board
of Regents for filing a frivolous
lawsuit against them.

Mr. Dorfman should make a for-
mal and public apology to the Arab
students he claimed were threaten-
ing him when they were doing noth-
ing more than standing in the Angel
Hall computer lab.
Mr. Dorfman should pay Ari Paul
no less than $25,000 for making him
ashamed of being Jewish and for
giving him the knowledge that he
attends the same school as a kid
who acts like a kindergartener.
For those of you still wondering,
I'm not being serious ... about fil-
ing a lawsuit anyway. But I stand by
every one of these points, and I want
to make it clear to him that he is
doing a horrible disservice to the
people he claims to represent.
Everyone, at this point, knows
about the lawsuit he filed against
the University for allowing the
Palestine Solidarity Conference to

take place. His main beef with the
conference was that it allowed peo-
ple to publicly state that
Palestinians are people and that
Israel isn't perfect (although his
official point was that several
speakers at the conference posed a
threat of "terrorism"). And as every
educated and reasonable person
expected, the lawsuit was laughed
out of court.
But what really irks me about the
founder of the newly formed
Michigan Student Zionists (the
American Movement for Israel was-
n't Zionist enough for him) is an
incident that not many people know
about but that I alluded to in my
lawsuit.
About a week before the confer-
ence, I was standing in the Angel
Hall computer lab when I heard a
deafening squawk that I quickly

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identified as Dorfman's lawyer,
Deborah K. Schlussel, an ultra-con-
servative talking head whose ranti-
ngs are posted on the website of the
Jewish Defense League (for those of
you that don't know what that is, it
is, in short, "the only good Arab is a
dead Arab").
Schlussel and Dorfman went into
the lab and got onto a computer. I
called an Arab friend of mine (that
probably makes me a self-hating
Jew) and told him to come on over. I
thought it would be fun to prove to
them that criticizing Israel is not
inherently anti-Semitic (the fact that
I think this also probably makes me
a self-hating Jew).
When my friend showed up with
his cohorts, Dorfman saw us and ran
out of the computer lab. He came
back with the two DPS officers. One
of the officers told us that Dorfman
claimed that we had intimidated him,
threatened him and blocked his path.
The truth is, we didn't even say
or do anything to him. We didn't
even come within 40 feet of him.
The only contact that any of us
made was that one of us went up to
Schlussel and politely asked her if
she wanted to participate in a pub-
lic debate, which she devilishly
declined. In short, Rick Dorfman
actually believes that if Arab stu-
dents are within 40 feet of him,
then he is being intimidated and
threatened.
This guy makes me want to sew
my foreskin back on. The fact that
he is so full of hate and ignorance
offends me as a human being, but it
offends me as a Jew when I see him
on CNN claiming to represent the
University's Jewish community.
Though some groups like Hillel
have quietly opposed his actions, I
feel it's time that someone make this
very clear to him.
Rick Dorfman, your activity on
this campus stands in firm opposi-
tion to the tenets of tolerance that
Judaism is based on. It is time that
you either change your ways or be
quiet.
Because you are so devoid of
compassion for other people, so full
disrespect of those that choose not
abide by your dogma, you and peo-
ple like you leave a scar on the face
of the Jewish community.
I'm not going to threaten you with
a silly lawsuit or a sit-in or some kind
of direct action, but I'm going to
make a plea, from one Jew to another:
Either shape up or ship out.
As long as people like Dorfman
file lawsuits challenging our civil
liberties and call police officers to
protect him every time an Arab
enters the room, the fighting is not
going to stop. People like Dorfman
need to reform themselves, but
they're not going to do without
reasonable people driving them to
do so.
-Ari Paul can be reached at
aspaul@umich.edu.

Idol' in
Moto wn
By Jeff Dickerson
Daily Arts Editor
DETROIT - If you happened to be
near the Greektown Casino in Detroit
on Monday morning, you may have
noticed something other than the typi-
cal crowd of tourists and people start-
ing their work week.
More than 5,000 people lined up the
streets outside of the Atheneum Hotel
in downtown Detroit, hoping to take
the first step in becoming the next
Jennifer Lopez or Nick Carter by try-
ing out for the popular television
series "American Idol."
Doors opened bright and early at 8
a.m. Monday, but devoted fans of the
show lined up by the thousands long
before the first person auditioned.
"We got here last night about
10:30 and we waited all night," said
Mandy Dixon, 16. "It's been my
dream forever to be a singer. I want
to be the next Kelly."
Dixon was one of many who hoped to
get a good spot in line by arriving early.
"The first person in line got here about
11:30 in the morning on Saturday," said
Selena Norris, 17. "I heard there were
people who came as early as Wednesday,
but they gave up because of the cold"
Detroit is the first of seven stops on
the "American Idol" contestant search.
From there the search continues in New
York, Atlanta, Nashville, Tenn., Miami,
Austin, Texas and ends Nov. 17 in Los
Angeles
"American Idol" debuted on FOX this
summer and became a ratings phenome-

non for the fourth network, besting the
offerings by big time competitors NBC
and CBS. The program boosted the sag-
ing reality series trend, dominating the
coveted younger audience bracket.
The show is a "Star Search" for the
new millenium, but instead of perform-
ing for a star rating, contestants must
prove their talents to the "American
Idol" judges. Producer Randy Jackson,
'80s songstress Paula Abdul and British
producer Simon Cowell make up the
judges panel, each with their own way of
critiquing hopeful superstars.
Cowell quickly became notorious for
his brutally frank comments, often leav-
ing timid contestants in tears.
"I'm here to snot on Simon's face,"
claimed Andrew Papke, 17. Ironically
the judges were not in town on Monday.

The tryouts were simply preliminary
screenings where each person had mere
seconds to impress the representatives
from the show.
The judges will arrive in Detroit on
Friday to finalize the list of who will be
flying out to Los Angeles for the second
round.
For the second installment of the
series, FOX will be bringing on a fourth
judge, but that person is yet to be
announced. The see-through shirt wear-
ing, all smiles hosting Ryan Seacrest
will bring back his annoying personali-
ty as well, but co-host Brian Dunkel-
man will not be joining him.
The "American Idol" craze has con-
tinued since Kelly Clarkson was
announced as the winner last month as
viewers anxiously await the debut of the
new season airing sometime at the
beginning of next year.
"I figured this is an opportunity and
when you've got an opportunity knock-
ing on your door, you have to take it,"
said Megan Cox, 17. "I live too close
to pass this up."

EMMA FOSICKA/Dail)

Thousands battle the cold in an effort to be on FOX's hit show "American Idol."

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People flocked to the Atheneum fron
as close as Novi to as far away as Min
nesota. "I drove up from Toledo just tc
be here," said Michael Dow, 23. "I love
the show "American Idol" and I love tc
sing, so I thought I'd give it a try."
Many of those in line were students
some in college but most still in higl
school. A few even got permission tc
miss school. "I'm here just for the expe
rience," said Kim Maes, 16. "My mon
is the attendance clerk at school so I did
n't have to worry about skipping class."
From the seven cities on the searcl
tour, about 100 people will be asked tc
fly to Los Angeles where the they wil
then be reduced to 30. Chances are we
may see a local crowned as the nex
"American Idol."

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EMMA FOSDICK/Daily
Alejandra Garcia and Andrea Rivera were among those waiting in line.

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