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January 13, 2014 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Monday, January 13, 2014 - 5A

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycomMonday, January 13, 2014 - 5A

ACTIVIST
From Page 1A
estinian civil society in 2005
specifically because the Unit-
ed Nations has been unable or
unwilling to help Palestinians
attain rights under the hegemony
of the U.S. government and Con-
gress," he said.
Barghouti highlighted state-
ments made by United Nations
officials that he said deemed Isra-
el, by international standards, an
apartheid state, drawing compar-
isons between Israel and apart-
heid South Africa. In his lecture,
he accused the Israeli govern-
ment of being a racist regime,
pointing to the lack of an official
Israeli national identity as evi-
dence of discrimination.
"If you recognize an Israeli
nationality, that means equality
for Arabs and Jews within Isra-
el, and that cannot be allowed,"
Barghouti said of the Israeli gov-
ernment's motives.
Students Allied for Freedom
and Equality sponsored Barghou-
ti's visit to the University. SAFE
collaborated with the Jewish
Force for Peace and the Students
for Justice in Palestine at Uni-
versity of Michigan, Dearborn to
host his lecture.
The lecture followed last
month's controversy over
#UMMockEviction, and a month
after the American Studies Asso-
ciation and Association for Asian-
American Studies endorsed an
academic boycott of Israel.
"We are trying to generate
some kind of action for the Uni-
versity to divest from companies
that profit from Israeli occupa-
tion," said LSA senior Yazan
Kherallah, a SAFE member.
However, following the ASA
endorsement of BDS, University
SIERRA CLUB
From Page 1A
giving him a 22 percent approval
overall. However, several factual
inaccuracies were reported after
the scorecard's initial release.
The group dropped four bills in
question on Jan. 8, changing the
ranking to 25 percent approval.
The scorecard was released
a week before Snyder's annual
State of the State address, during
which he will outline his agenda
for the next legislative year. Mike
Berkowitz, legislative and politi-
cal director of the Sierra Club
Michigan Chapter, said the rat-
ing's timeliness should prompt
Snyder to weigh environmental
issues more seriously.
"We hope that Governor Sny-
der will see this and reflect with
his team the impact that his deci-
sions have had on the environ-
ment," Berkowitz said. "We think
that he has not been primarily
concerned with that."
Public Policy prof. Barry Rabe
said the Sierra Club's low score
may come from ideological dif-
ferences between themselves and
the governor on approaches to
environmental policy.
"On this one, the Sierra Club
has probably taken one of the
more aggressive stands of any
environmental group against
any further development of fos-
sil fuels - the use of coal, oil and
also natural gas," Rabe said. "The

President Mary Sue Coleman
and Provost Martha E. Pollack
released astatement opposingthe
academic boycott.
"At the University of Michi-
gan we are committed to global
engagement at all levels and
believe the free exchange of ideas
is essential to advancing knowl-
edge and strengthening mutual
understanding," Coleman and
Pollack wrote in their statement.
The administrators' stance
was criticized at the event Fri-
day. Asian-American Studies
Prof. Scott Kurashige, the open-
ing speaker, expressed his disap-
pointment with the University
within the first few minutes of
the program.
"I'm proud of the leaders of
AAAS and ASA," he said. "I'm not
as proud of the Michigan presi-
dent and provost, who rushed to
issue their statement denouncing
our resolutions by slavishly par-
roting the press releases others
had drafted before them."
Barghouti's speech explored
how Palestinians face difficulty
in obtaining access to education
in Israel.
Barghati's remarks were con-
tested during a question-and-
answer session later in the night.
While Barghouti has Master's
degrees from Columbia Univer-
sity and Tel-Aviv University, one
student called his stance hypo-
critical, questioning Barghouti's
involvement in the Israeli educa-
tion system he admonishes.
"Palestinians living under
oppression with Israeli IDs who
pay tax to the Israeli system of
oppression, to the apartheid
state, have no choice but to use
the services of the oppressor,"
Barghouti said.
University alum Amer Zahr
was a Palestinian activist when
he attended school in the late
Sierra Club has probably gone
farther than most other major
mainstream orgs. in making that
a signature focal point."
In contrast to the Sierra Club's
pro-conservation stance, Snyder
emphasized his belief that energy
and the environment that pro-
tecting the environment does not
mean abandoning the develop-
ment of energy resource in a Nov.
2012 address.
"We have many success-
ful companies that have safely
produced oil and natural gas
in Michigan, while protecting
Michigan's waters," Snyder said
at the time.
Snyder spokeswoman Sara
Wurfel characterized the score-
card as erroneous, adding that
in contrast to the Sierra Club's
scorecard, the governor has done
many things during his tenure to
help the environment.
"Gov. Snyder is working to
ensure a Pure Michigan for
years to come - a place that all
will want to live, work and play,"
Wurfel said.
A similar scorecard, main-
tained on an ongoing basis by the
Michigan League of Conserva-
tion Voters, ranks Snyder higher,
characterizing 72 out of a total of
124 tracked actions as positive, 24
as neutral and 32 as negative.
The one major policy refer-
enced on the scorecard that the
Sierra Club and Snyder did agree
on was the creation of a regional
transit authority, which will

'90s and early 2000s. He said he
recalls attending pro-Israel dis-
cussions at Hillel and noted that
Friday night's discussion seemed
canned. Zahr also pointed to a
change in the climate of activism
on campus.
"What I heard today was talk-
ing points to poke little holes in
the debate, rather addressing
humanitarianism as a whole,"
Zahr said.
Some felt that the Q&A creat-
ed a one-sided atmosphere. LSA
sophomore Erica Mindel, the
president of Israel - Leadership,
Advocacy, and Dialogue, said she
felt there was not much room for
conversation.
"I went to the event tonight
to listen and ask questions,"
she wrote in a statement to The
Michigan Daily after the lecture.
"I felt that the speaker's response,
but especially the audience's
reaction, shut down the opportu-
nity for discussion. As a student,
I felt our academic institution
was overtaken by closed-minded
community members."
Barghouti explained BDS's
mission prior to the Q&A, focus-
ing on addressing what he said
are oppressive Israeli policies. He
emphasized that although BDS
is an anti-Zionist movement, it
strongly opposes anti-Semitism.
History Prof. Victor Lieber-
man teaches a course on the
Arab-Israeli conflict and said the
BDS movement oversimplifies the
complicated political and socio-
logical situation within Israel.
"The occupation embodies a
reciprocal dynamic over many
years inwhichvisceralinsecurity,
provocation and a zero-sum men-
tality have captured both sides,"
Lieberman wrote in a statement.
"Without nuanced perspectives,
stable political solutions seem to
me unlikely."
bring a unified public transit net-
work to Southeast Michigan.
Public Policy prof. Elisa-
beth Gerber, one of Washtenaw
County's representatives on the
regional transit authority, said
the creation of the authority
should be seen as a major success
for the governor.
"The state legislature has
attempted 33 times to pass leg-
islation to create a RTA," Gerber
said. "This is try number 34. I
would say that his political lead-
ership was essential - it wasn't
the only factor that helped pass it
this time, but I think without him
it would not have passed."
The RTA is projected to be
a positive development for the
environmentibecause of its role in
shifting people away from travel-
ing using individual vehicles.
None of the policies on the
scorecard directly relate to stu-
dents, but Rackham student
Charlotte Jameson, who is study-
ing environmental policy and
planning, said the governor's
environmental track record
should still be seen as important.
"I think the whole argument
about this is setting the stage
for future generations and really
should resonate with people my
age and younger," Jameson said.
"It sounds kind of cliche to say
that because it's generally over-
hyped in alot of communications
and organizations, but I think it
really does matter."

LAND
From Page 1A
University in isolation," Kosteva
said. "The city may be experi-
encing a short term loss of some
of those tax revenues, Kosteva
said, but through most of the
efforts of the University, there
has been a demonstrable long-
term gain in taxable value in the
city."
The University has created
more than 9,000 jobs since 2001,
and without the University,
property value in Ann Arbor
would likely have suffered tre-
mendous losses in 2008 and the
years that followed.
"During the recession, Uni-
versity communities were better
insulated against property value
declining," Kosteva added.
Speculation has already

begun as to how the University
will be using this property, or if
the city will purchase the prop-
erty and look for private inves-
tors and new business to buy the
land later on. Edwards Broth-
ers, Inc. - the fifth-largest book
and journal manufacturer in the
country - currently owns the
property, and the building that
stands on it will likely be demol-
ished.
"We don't have any specific
plans for the site," Kosteva said,
"With that being said, it is also
apparentthat it is in the immedi-
ate proximity of major portions
of the Ross Athletic Campus as
well as the South State com-
muter lot, so I think that there
is a reasonable assumption that
if the University were successful
in acquiring it, part of the uti-
lization of this property would
be to support the Ross Athletic

Campus."
University spokesman Rick
Fitzgerald said in December
that the property could expand
the Athletic Department facili-
ties, as it sits in a prime location
for University expansion.
"When strategic pieces of
property like this become avail-
able, it makes good sense for the
University to pursue properties
that would be in such strategic
locations," Fitzgerald said.
City Administrator Steve
Powers is in the process of
assessing the city's strategic
options for the Edwards Broth-
ers property, and the Ann Arbor
CityCouncil is expectedto make
a final decision in February. City
Council members have already
begun looking for other pro-
spective buyers, though there is
no indication what other parties
might be interested.

Berlin synagogue feud
captured in viral video

German government
has scrutinized the
community's rising
expense requests
BERLIN (AP) - Under the
golden dome of the Berlin syn-
agogue, elderly worshippers
traded shoves and obscenities
flew. A man held up his phone
to film the ruckus; the leader of
the city's Jews snatched it away.
Then punches began to land in
a chaotic scrum, a man rammed
a table into another's stomach,
and demurely clad women put
each other in chokeholds. Police
had to be called to restore calm.
The ugly scene, described
in interviews with witnesses
and seen on an Internet video,
is indicative of a Berlin Jewish
community in crisis - riven by
cultural rivalries, its finances
under official scrutiny. It's hard
to say who is at fault, but the
feuding is fed at least in part by
a clash between an old guard of
German Jews dating to before
World War II, and a growing
presence of relative newcomers
from the former Soviet Union.
What is clear is that the
10,000-member Jewish Com-
munity of Berlin, having experi-
enced a stirring post-Holocaust
rebirth, now fears it's in dan-
ger of falling apart. And Berlin
authorities are so alarmed by
alleged financial irregularities
that they have suspended mil-
lions of euros (dollars) in subsi-
dies the community has enjoyed
for decades.
"The quarrels highlight
the demoralization that has
been taking place in this com-
munity," Lala Suesskind, who
headed the Jewish Community
of Berlin until February 2012,
told The Associated Press. "The
community is in such a hopeless

situation that even violence and
intimidation are being used.
That's unprecedented."
At the center of the storm is
Gideon Joffe, who was elected
nearly two years ago as com-
munity president, and whose
leadership style has alienated
members even as he comes
under official scrutiny of his
financial management.
The brawl in the famed Neue
Synagoge on Oranienburger
St. erupted last May after the
Berlin Senate, the community's
main source of funding, made a
stunning announcement: It was
cutting off payments for the
community's salaries until Joffe
explained why his latest budget
included an 11 percent increase
in subsidies for personnel costs
- a jump of about 600,000
euros (more than $800,000).
Joffe refused to give details of
where the money would go -
or even the number of staff the
community employs.
The city responded by block-
ing the funds - and the commu-
nity was unable to pay salaries.
Joffe declined to be inter-
viewed, but his spokesman,
Ilan Kiesling, speaking to the
AP, said: "A small group from
the opposition is trying again
and again to create a bad atmo-
sphere in public, even though
the community's institutions
are working very well. The
opposition does in no way
reflect the entirety of this com-
munity."
The Senate pays about 5.5
million euros a year toward
community salaries - 40 per-
cent of the total - and can't
calculate the budget without
knowing exactly how many
employees are involved, city
officials said. Estimates provid-
ed by Joffe of between 300-350
persons on the payroll are too
vague, they said.
"We are happy to provide

money to the Jewish commu-
nity. We're eager to support its
growth, and due to our histori-
cal responsibility we're will-
ing to be generous," said city
spokesman Guenter Kolodziej.
"After the war, the rebirth of
Jewish life was worth its weight
in gold.
"However, we are obligated
to control how the money is
being spent, and we weren't
able to do so."
Joffe has sued Berlin over
the interruption of subsidies
and a decision is expected this
year. Meanwhile, a temporary
court order obliges the city to
pay what it owes under previous
agreements, but it is still refus-
ing to hand over the extra 11
percent demanded by Joffe.
The overall amount of public
money the community receives
is determined by the deal it
struck with the Berlin state par-
liament in 1994. It entails pay-
ing the community a lump sum
for employees' salaries and fur-
ther contributions for schools,
nursing homes and synagogues
- adding up to 18.5 million
euros a year.
That treaty followed the fall
of Communism in 1989, when
some 200,000 Jews from the
former Soviet Union were
allowed to settle in Germany.
Julius Schoeps, a member of
a prominent German Jewish
family, says he quit the organi-
zation because he was fed up
with Joffe's leadership. But he
added that the overall problems
were long in the making, stem-
ming from the huge sums Berlin
doled out over the years without
demanding a full accounting. "I
told Berlin lawmakers years ago
to check where the money is
going, but they always replied
they were too afraid to be
depicted as anti-Semites to con-
duct any thorough controls," he
said in an interview.

DIABETES
From Page 1A
founded in 2004 with a $44
million gift from Bill and Delo-
res Brehm, frequent Univer-
sity donors. They have also
sponsored the construction of
the Brehm pavilion at the School
of Music, Theater and Dance.
However, the center's
researchers do not work in the
same place. Instead, researchers
are joined through the Brehm
Coalition, a group of nine senior
scientists with labs at eight dif-
ferent universities across the
country.
Dorene Markel, director of the
Brehm Center, said such a coali-
tion was unprecedented in diabe-
tes research.
"The Brehms actually had this

idea of forming the Brehm Coali-
tion - sort of a dream team of
scientists who would work as if
they were all co-located, except
they wouldn't be," Markel said.
"It was formed to really have a
team of scientists who would
work together in a way that really
had not happened in diabetes
research before."
While many members of the
Brehm Coalition are already
funded independently by JDRF,
Markel said this will be the first
time JDRF has funded the coali-
tion as a whole. In response,
Markel said the coalition will
ensure that JDRF will be an
active participant in the research
process.
"We have suggested that this
be a learning exercise where
the JDRF scientific members
and the JDRF will participate,"

Markel said. "They can help drive
where the research goes, and be
an active piece of the research,
which is not something that
JDRF has been invited to do
before."
Markel added that the finding
of immature beta cells raises a
list of questions that can only be
answered by probing further into
the biology of Type 1 diabetes.
"Why do these beta cells stop
producing insulin?" Markel said.
"Are there going to be treatments
down the road that we can then
develop based on what we discov-
er about how the beta cells actu-
ally are impacted by diabetes?
This is actually throwing a whole
set of new approaches to better
understand what's happening to
the beta cells in Type 1 diabetes
so that we can ultimately have
better treatment."

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