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October 10, 2003 - Image 4

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9

4 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, October 10, 2003

OP/ED

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420 MAYNARD STREET
ANN ARBOR, MI 48109
letters@michigandaily.com

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

LOUIE MEIZLISH
Editor in Chief
AUBREY HENRETTY
ZAC PESKOWITZ
Editorial Page Editors

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.

NOTABLE
QUOTABLE
I don't think
telling people to press
the 'Shift' key is a
violation."
- Princeton graduate student Alex
Halderman on SunnComm Technologies
Inc. 's intention to sue him due to a paper
Halderman wrote on strategies for
bypassing the company's CD protection
software. The quote was reported by
Reuters yesterday.

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COLIN DALY THE MICHIGAN DALY

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My Sharona
DANIEL ADAMS I WIN

4

h erever
we stand,
we stand
with Israel," is the
phrase stamped onto
hundreds of T-shirts
donned proudly each
year by student activists
on campus. I never get
over how silly the people
wearing them look, so
convinced that they have a firm grip on the
snafus that are the ongoing Arab-Israeli wars.
Personally, I took a class on the conflict
through the Political Science Department and
left with more questions than I had answers
for, but these students apparently have all the
answers, and the T-shirts to prove it. I suppose
it must be nice to be so enlightened and world-
ly - to know exactly who is to blame for a
half-century of violence. Where do I sign up?
Really, these shirts serve two functions:
first, to create the appearance of a united
pro-Israel group on campus, and also to piss
off local pro-Palestinian factions. Why else
would you make a special effort to wear
such a blatantly nationalistic statement, and
one that is potentially confrontational, as a
manner of casual dress? Such is the true
nature of the Israeli-Palestinian debate in
Ann Arbor, the intensity of which is nearly
unmatched in its ability to spark fervent stu-
dent reaction. Take for example the issue of
University divestment from Israel.
For starters, the likelihood of the Uni-
versity following through with divestment is
extremely remote at this point, as it doesn't
appear that this is even an option being con-
sidered seriously by University officials.
Divestment has virtually no potential to
alter in a significant way the plight of the
Palestinian people. It has little deterrent
effect on the Israeli government, and equal-
ly remote financial repercussions. Nonethe-

less, it remains one of the most hotly con-
tested issues on campus, and dearly impor-
tant to those who advocate it. I could
probably spray the Diag in green and white
sparkle paint and draw less outrage than if I
were to weigh in one way or another on
divestment from Israel.
Unfortunately, the actors directly
involved in the conflict suffer from similar
misplaced priorities. I wasn't a bit surprised
that Ariel Sharon rationalized his attack on
terrorist elements inside Syria on Sunday as
a response to terrorist attacks on Israelis, as
if that alone justified the raid. A Sharon
adviser, Dore Gold, said it best in The New
York Times, "Israel had to send the message
that it cannot be repeatedly struck with
impunity."
I would remind Gold that Israel has been
attempting to send this message with brute
force for decades, and yet the terrorists
aren't getting the message. Israel is not get-
ting any safer. Every time there is a suicide
bombing of some emotional or violent sig-
nificance, Sharon uses his military to pin
prick the terrorist elements believed to be at
fault, then calls it good in the name of
national defense and kosher apple pie.
Then after the bombs stop falling, and
another half-dozen terrorists are sent back to
hell, six new civilians take their places in
the line. While it may have a been a "just"
attack, it did nothing to advance the security
of the Israeli population, or for that matter
the populations of the region as a whole.
Sharon and others don't seem to realize that
more important considerations are for the
collective good: how are policy decisions
going to impact the terrorist threat? Is
another "successful" Israeli attack going to
thwart or deter terrorism? Eventually, Israeli
leaders will have to learn that while bombs
and bullets are effective against the human
flesh of the terrorists, they are utterly use-

less against the terrorism itself.
Swept away yet again in this attack were all
notions of a U.S.-led peace plan. Even if Presi-
dent Bush wanted to stop the attack, his hands
were tied. After two years of shaking a stick at
the international community, using vague justi-
fications for his own military endeavors, and
launching two invasions, the United States has
no ability to put the brakes on the retaliatory or
preemptive strikes of its allies. We started this
"war on terror," and I'm sure Sharon was
happy to oblige in widening it.
So regardless of potential reservations,
Bush bit his tongue and said nothing, as
his "roadmap to peace" was blown to
ashes by American planes and American
bombs. If it weren't so bloody awful, it'd
be funny: Unilateralist U.S. policy
designed to exercise American autonomy
has instead left U.S. officials with a short-
ened list of diplomatic options. Now, when
someone else decides to follow our lead
and shoot first, all we can do is watch and
pray the situation doesn't worsen.
I ask those who stand for Israel, what do
you have underneath those T-shirts? Is it a
love of Israel or a love of peace? Careful
with your answer, for the two are not mutu-
ally exclusive. On the contrary, I would
argue that for Israel to have its security, it
must first have its peace - not the other
way around. If it is guarantees that you
seek, there will be none forthcoming from
the families of the men Israel has just
killed. There will be no solution, no peace,
and no security in the Middle East until
those who choose the narcotic of national-
ism opt instead to set it aside in favor of
concession and negotiation. Standing with
Israel is noble, yet it must be subservient to
a dedication to peace.
Adams can be reached
at dnadams@umich.edu.

4

4

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Columbus Day a symbol
of miseducation, racism
and ignorance
To THE DAILY:
We are concerned about the widespread
shock and internal anguish the Columbus
Day chalkings seem to have provoked, as
recorded by the Daily (Memory of Columbus
challenged by chalkings written around
campus, 10/09/03). In particular, Bobby
Raham's apparent fears of critically think-
ing about history are a point of concern.
People should be reexamining American
history because, as it is written in public
educational institutions, it is Euro-centri-
cally biased. People need to know the truth.
"Columbus's contributions changed the
course of history." Is that alone a reason to
celebrate him? Currently, it is a big deal to
bring up Hitler and his Holocaust; those
who effect "great" change on the world do
not always effect changes that are great.
Columbus was, perhaps, a determined
explorer, but he had no real qualities of
greatness that led to him encounter, not
"discover," the peoples of a continent
unknown to his people, he was just lucky.
"Everybody makes mistakes?" Sure, in
the case of Jefferson, social context can be
understood. That is, it is hard to expect
people of that time and status not to own
slaves and be racist; even so, societal
expectations do not justify his actions.
However, encountering people with a total
lack of respect for their humanity is another
matter. And had Columbus and his conquis-
tadors done anything worth "looking past"
the mistreatment of those people, there
might be reason to allow a few "mistakes,"
but not the death and enslavement of thou-
sands and thousands of indigenous people.
On the discussion about whether or not
Columbus himself committed genocide, we
could all collect sources and debate. How-
ever, comparable to Hitler, Columbus cre-
ated an elaborate system of enslavement
and eradication of native people.
The "contributions that changed the
course of history" that Columbus made also

Columbus Day is not just a holiday
about a man that "discovered" America, it
is a symbol of the miseducation of our
youth, it is a symbol of racism that still
exists and it is a symbol of the ignorance
and marginalization that Native Americans
and people of color face everyday all across
this country.
NICKOLE FOx
LSA senior
NASA co-chair
DANIELA GONZALES
LSA junior
La Voz Latina
AIME KooPMAN
LSA sophomore
NASA co-chair
PILAR PARISH
LSA sophomore
NASA treasurer
NICOLE SMITH
LSA senior
NASA secretary
RICARDO VALLE
LSA senior
La Voz Latina co-chair
Reader clarifies comments
regarding Columbus Day
To THE DAILY:
For the first time, I found myself
offended while reading comments a jour-
nalist reported to be mine. For this reason I
feel the need to clarify my opinion, as it
was misrepresented in the Daily's article
on the anti-Columbus chalkings (Memory
of Columbus challenged by chalkings written
around campus, 10/09/03). I did not mean
to imply that we should ignore the negative
in historical figures. Nor did I mean to
minimize or deny the terrible slaughter of
Native Americans that was a result of the
arrival of Columbus and other Europeans.
My mention of Washington and Jeffer-
son was intended to illustrate the tendency
among liberals to concentrate solely on the
negative aspects of our founding fathers,
and now of Columbus. Despite the fact that
they were less than perfect, the contribu-

of those they interview.
I also commend the Native American
Students Association and La Voz Latina
for their activism and their effort to ensure
that students properly understand historical
facts.
BOBBY RAHAM
LSA sophomore
Article on abortion omits
important facts, obviously
biased in favor of Life Chain
To THE DAILY:
With the intent of deconstructing the
misrepresentations of the pro-choice move-
ment, as well as addressing a few other rel-
evant points, we are writing in response to
the Daily's article Abortion foes try to keep
issue in spotlight (10/06/03).
The authors of this article have a clear
bias on behalf of the Life Chain group.
While we cannot deny the possibility that
pro-choicers might throw bottles at anti-
choice protesters, nowhere do they men-
tion the anti-choice protesters who
habitually harass women seeking abor-
tions, to the point where clinic escorts
must physically intervene to protect the
woman from the protesters.
Just as anti-choicers would not want to
be stereotyped as hostile fanatics who mur-
der abortion providers, we also want to
convey that the bottle throwing of one pro-
choice person does not represent the entire
movement.
Also, we would like to clarify that it is
not our intent to demean anti-choicers.
Our quotes in Monday's article were not
printed in their entirety, which may lead to
the false impression that we do not respect
anti-choicers' understanding and expres-
sion of their beliefs. On the contrary,
although we disagree with their beliefs, we
affirm their right to exercise their First
Amendment rights. What we do not affirm
is their oversimplification of the complex
issues surrounding reproductive health.
Life's decisions are affected by a myri-
ad of experiences that no one can catego-

I -- I

J

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