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December 10, 2014 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Page 4A - Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
tothedaily@michigandaily.com
MEGAN MCDONALD
PETER SHAHIN and DANIEL WANG KATIE BURKE
EDITOR IN CHIEF EDITORIAL PAGE EDITORS MANAGING EDITOR
Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorial board.
All other signed-articles and illustrations represent solely the views of their authors.
Rolling Stone's disservice

especially after Israel's right-wing
Likud party took power in 1977,
many American Jewish progressives
identified with Israel's liberal Zion-
ists, who supported negotiations
with the Palestine Liberation Orga-
nization and the establishment of
a Palestinian state. But since the
failure of the Oslo peace process in
2000, liberal Zionism has been deci-
mated. Having reached a peak of
44-percent representation inIsrael's
Knesset in 1992, the parties of liber-
al Zionism now have only 16 percent
(Parties representing the non-Zion-'
ist left and Palestinian citizens have
9percent, leavingthe rest tothe cen-
ter, right and extreme right).
Today, Israel's ethnocratic nature
is becoming clear. It explicitly bars
its non-Jewish citizens from mar-
rying whomever they like, speaking
their minds and buying land and
frequently threatens them with loss
of their citizenship. It has subjected
Palestinians in the occupied terri-
tories to 47 years of military occu-
pation, abusing human rights with
impunity to make way for Israeli
settlers. The recent decision to seg-
regate buses in the West Bank has
made it impossible for even Israel's
greatest apologists to deny the
charge that it has instituted apart-
heid. Israel's leaders no longer talk
about resolution of the "Palestinian
issue" but only of its "management"
through divide-and-conquer tac-
tics and frequent "lawn-mowing"
assaults on Gaza that have killed

thousands of civilians. Israel can no
longer plausibly represent itself as a.
"light unto the nations."
As opposition to these policies in
Israel itself dwindles, the idea that
one can support Israeli policies and
peace at the same time -longheld by
many American Jews - is being rec-
ognized as untenable. While Ameri-
can Jewish institutions such as the
American-Israel Political Action
Committee enthusiastically support
the hard line of the Israeli govern-
ment, more and more progressive
young Jews are deeply aggrieved by
what Israel has become and no lon-
ger feel they have a place in these
institutions. The emergence of the
Open Hillel movement demand-
ing that voices critical of Israel be
allowed into Hillel, the most power-
ful Jewish space on American cam-
puses, signals a major crack in the
Zionist consensus.
The circle may be closing: Zion-
ism, or at least automatic support
for Israeli policy, is no longer a
consensus position among Ameri-
can Jews. This doesn't automati-
cally mean the end of U.S. support
for Israel; contrary to what some
"Jewish lobby" theorists believe,
the United States does not support
Israel only due to pressure from
the Jewish community. American
administrations interested in domi-
nating the most energy-rich region
in the world are loath to discipline
an ally that is, after all, beholden to
U.S. military aid and willing to act

as the United States' local gendar-
merie in time of need. In electoral
terms, the Evangelical Christian
right - which supports Israel for
messianic reasons tinged with anti-
Semitism - is a much larger and
more disciplined constituency than
American Jews.
Nevertheless, young American
Jews - especially students - are
a key constituency for Palestinian
solidarity. Like their parents, they
are likely to be progressive, but
unlike their parents,who remember
the "socialist" Israel of yesteryear,
they are less likely to accept the
contradictions of being PEP, "Pro-
gressive Except Palestine." The new
generation is beginning to chal-
lenge mainstream Jewish institu-
tions, weakening a key component
of the anti-Palestinian coalition in
this country.
American Jews must take this
challenge forward, and the Univer- 4
sity's new chapter of Jewish Voice
for Peace aims to do just that. To
honor the Jewish tradition of jus-
tice, there can be no exceptions to
fighting oppression. There can be no
tolerating the misappropriation of
Jewish identity to defend apartheid.
The new face of American Judaism
is coming.
Matan Kaminer is a graduate
student in Anthropology, an Israeli,
and a member of Jewish Voice for
Peace. Joel Reinstein is an Ann Arbor
resident and is also a member of JVP.

ate last week, when The Washington
Post began questioning the attention-
grabbing and now infamous Rolling
Stone piece, "A Rape on
Campus," the little prog-
ress society had made by
way of justice for victims of .
sexual assault took one step ,
forward, and about eight
steps back.t
Published online by
the magazine Nov. 19 and
appearing in the December
issue, the Rolling Stone LAUREN
piece was written by Sabrina MCCARTHY
Rubin Erdely, investigative
long-form narrative
journalist and contributing editor. Her piece
detailed abrutalgang rape of a woman referred
to as Jackie during a party at the University of
,Virginia chapter of Phi Kappa Psi's fraternity
'house in 2012. Erdely's piece also emphasized,
in large part, the university's failure to respond
to this alleged assault, as well as highlighting
the school'stroublinghistory ofindifference to
manyother instances of alleged sexual crimes.
A few weeks later, however, The
Washington Post reported that officials from
Phi Kappa Psi had been working closely with
.the police and concluded that the allegations
were untrue. Among other details, the
fraternity said there was no event at the
house the night of the alleged attack. A group
of Jackie's close friends had also begun to
doubt the account, noting that the details
of the attack had changed significantly over,
time. Rolling Stone's editors apologized to
readers for discrepancies in the story, issuing
a statement and posting it on their website.
Monday, The New York Times editorial board
published a piece claiming, "It is not yet clear
whether the discrepancies between Jackie's
account and reporting by The Washington
Post, among other news outlets, mean that
the story was only superficially inaccurate or
substantially false."
Putting the breadth of the discrepancies
aside, the byline atthe top of the article should
have perhaps been the first indication of a
potentially unsound report. Erdely focuses her
writings extensively about persons who have
alleged rape and bullying, and her personal
website attests that several of her articles are
in development as Hollywood films.
In 2011, Erdely authored a story for Rolling
Stone about child abuse within the Roman
Catholic Church in Philadelphia. As an
adult, the victim - referred to as Billy Doe -
recounted his abuse and accused his attackers
of a high-level conspiracy that drove him to
become a reclusive drug addict. These claims
resulted in criminal charges leading to the
imprisonment of two church employees and
a major civil suit against the church, though
reportedly, the conviction of one of the jailed
church employees has since been overturned
and new trials ordered for the other two
individuals.
Concern has been raised that either Erdely's
journalistic veracity may not be entirely intact,
or as a veteran, award-winning journalist her

discretion when choosing sources is flawed.
More important, however, are the devastating
consequences of her incomplete reporting.
One would hope that in publishing the
article, Rolling Stone intended to provoke a
much-needed, national conversation about
the prevalence and dire consequences of rape
on university campuses. Instead, the issue
has been entirely sidestepped and replaced
with discussions of journalistic integrity and
responsible reporting. Instead of spurring the
necessary discourse for legitimized change,
Erdely and Rolling Stone have done victims of
sexual assault an enormous disservice.
Now, survivors of assault and rape may
fear that when or if they tell their stories,
they will also fall victim to the example set by
Rolling Stone's increasingly fictitious article.
Survivors may struggle to see journalists
as advocates, assuming that his or her first
preference might be to exploit their hurt in
hopes of having another piece repurposed into
a "Hollywood film." The piece conditioned an
inherently skeptical society to further doubt
victims' reports and question their intentions
in sharing their story. For the future, "A Rape
on Campus" is now the all-too-convenient
scapegoat for those who refuse to accept
the increasingly prevalent statistics and
overwhelming personal accounts that are
not fabricated.
For me, however, the most chilling detail
of "A Rape on Campus" that now remains is
that this piece was written by a woman: In a
disservice to the members of her own gender
- the statistically higher victims of rape and
sexual assault - Erdely has preserved an
environment in which women are fearful of
speaking out against their attacker, for fear
that they too will be accused of simply "crying
rape." She has reinforced a culture that is
already prone.to be disbelieving of women.
It is insulting that another woman, with the
privilege of speaking to a national audience
would forego achieving proper representation
of her peers, presumably for the sake of her
own personal or professional gain. Erdely
seems to have cared so little about accurately
and precisely communicating Jackie's story
that she failed to interview the accused
- in essence, she failed to even attempt at
objectively uncovering both sides of the story.
Erdely held the profound opportunity to
stimulate a meaningful discourse concerning
sexual violence and assault on college cam-
puses, but in her perhaps misguided execu-
tion, she has succeeded only in crippling the
conversation. It is rare today that a survivor of
sexual assault isbrave enough to come forward
in such an unforgiving social climate, and it is
a shame that the opportunity was squandered.
Erdely abused her privilege, and has failed
both as a journalist and as an advocate of wom-
en's rights. Nonetheless, it is my hope as both
a woman and a member of the media that this
issue will be approached by journalists in the
future with not only integrity, but also convic-
tion and the utmost care.
- Lauren McCarthy can be
reached at laurmc@umich.edu.

EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS
Edvinas Berzanskis, Devin Eggert, David Harris,

r

Rachel John, Jordyn Kay, Jesse Klein Aarica Marsh,
Megan McDonald, Victoria Noble, Michael Paul, Allison Raeck,
Melissa Scho Ike, Michael Schramm, Matthew Seligman,
Mary Kate Winn, Jenny Wang, Daniel Wang, Derek Wolfe
Sleepin Atuus

MATAN KAMINER AND JOEL REINSTEIN I
Hillel, Israel and American Judaism

t the end of summera couple
of summers ago, the man-
agement at Valley Country
Club took my job
title of "server" in
the broad sense
and had me run-
ning odd jobs dur-
ing the big annual
golf tournament.
I puttered around
in a little gaso-
line golf cart, the
muffler exploding AVERY
sometimes like DIUBALDO
a gun and mak-
ing men in pas-
tel hats jump and miss their tees. I
spent one afternoon breaking blocks
of ice, swinging them over my head
in bags and smashing them on the
asphalt of the employee parking lot.
Marine birds kill their fish the same
way. On another day, I cut limes for
vodkagimlets.
The hours were long - before
sunrise until almost midnight - and
even though the pay was double for
the overtime, and I liked coming
home exhausted and sunburnt with
stains all over my khaki shorts, it
was a pretty raw deal. But at least I
earned my sleep. The little that I had.
I never sleep much in August -
which is not to say that I don't sleep
well, only that the sleep in August
is quick and somehow more restful
than it is in other months. It were
as if the miraculous power wielded
by dreams to restore the body, to
regenerate the mind, is atits height in
those last weeks of summer, and only
three hours in bed is enough to bridge
the gap between the 21 hours spent
in wakefulness before them and the
21 spent in wakefulness after. Why,
I can't say - perhaps it's something
about that month's transitory nature,
its fleetingness, which makes sleep
seem an unaffordable luxury. The
mouth of the year, which has been
closed in sleep all summer, begins to
open again for the start of the school-
term and is caught half at a gape in
August, that yawn of a month.
So, that August, the first after
my freshman year in college, I took
advantage of my surplus waking
hours by working, filling my pockets
with cash. I wasn't saving up for any-
thing in particular, and the money,
for as long as I was earning it, went
largely unspent. Nearly everyone my
age seemed to be off taking unpaid
internships in New York or rescuing
orphans in Cambodia - it was always
Cambodia. I never quite figured out
what it was which drew droves of
undergraduates, in their philan-
thropic fervor, to Cambodia - and
my range of expenses had narrowed
itself to early-morning coffees, lonely
movie tickets and little else. I with-
drew 100, one-dollar coins from the
bank and stacked them on my dresser

to make a little golden city. My par-
ents wished I had a girlfriend.
There was someone, a friend of
a friend, whose blue dress and taste
in Russian novels I had courted, on
and off, for nearly two months. But
she was maddeningly difficult to get
a hold of, reluctant or else terrified of
answeringher phone.We had met for
a handful of dates, and, on the last of
them, over Thai food in an industrial
neighborhood, I had promised to
take her to the reservoir where she
had never been.
That was my favorite place in
town, and, as a child, I had spent
summer weekends playing in the
sand with my cousins and climbing
the trees around its bank. It sounded
like a lovely place, she had said, and it
was perfectly romantic, especially at
night when one could watch the traf-
fic moving across the dam, the head-
lights of commuting bakers, night
guards and gravediggers shuttling
over the high ridge and into the city.
She'd be happy to see it with me.
But that afternoon in the Thai
restaurant had been two weeks ago,
and my phone calls and textmessages
had gone unanswered since then.
Maybe, I thought, she, too, had gone
to Cambodia.
Some mornings, I would wake
before work with a mysterious, lin-
gering optimism, as if I had won a
lottery in the night and then for-
gotten about it, and it wasn't until I
was halfway out of the shower that
I would remember the dream of the
previous night, the dream in which
she had appeared among all the other
half-formed and siren things which
populate dreams, all the dark forests
and crumbling teeth, and had offered
her hand for mine to hold. Recall-
ing this, once again seeing the day
before me as it was, stale and flat, I
would towel off, dress and drive to
the country club. And secretly some
part of me eagerly looked forward
to the next night, to the next dream,
to sleep.
The tournament was four days
long. On the last day, it rained,
intermittently in the morning and
then straight on through the night.
The golfers huddled under shelters
between lightning strikes while I
caught up on my deliveries: gin and
tonics to the cart girls, sandwiches to
the caddies. My golf cart didn't have
a roof. I was thin that summer from
being on my feet all day, but I looked
even thinner in the oversized red
polo plastered against my chest with
rainwater, the circles under my eyes
purpled like bruises.
After the winner was announced,
the management put me to work col-
lecting the coolers of booze left scat-
tered around the course like malaria
chests in the colonial jungle. A pair
of waitresses was dispatched in their
own cart to help me in the job, but

they split off right away, and I did
the work alone. It was dark then, and
I could hear music and silverware
fromtheyellowclubhouse onthehill.
Hiding behind a tree on the sev-
enth hole, I swigged from a bottle
of tonic and topped it off with Grey
Goose from one of the chests. The
other servers perpetually drank on
the job. It made them luckier with
tips, quicker to smile and t give
refunds, butt had never joined them
before, as I was too afraid of the cam-
era that hung just above the club bar,
its eye trained on the glowing liquor.
The rain didn't let up, and I hoped
the golf cart would catch a wheel in
the mud so I'd have to walk back to
the clubhouse and leave the job to the
waitresses who were almostcertainly
drinking beer in the women's
restroom by the pond. I was in a foul
mood, breathing hard through my
teeth and talking to myself, and to
them, who, in their absence, could
neither hear nor defend themselves
from my bitter complaints
and accusations.
The handles to the coolers were
smooth plastic, and I had trouble
hefting them onto the cart. More
than once, I lost my grip and the
coolers tumbled open, forcing me
to chase down the cans and bottles
on my hands and knees. Mine was a
ghoul's silhouette, looping over hills
and around sand traps, and I think
that Grendel, left to splash miserably
in his mere and hear the Danes at
their mead, had had some ideaofhow
I felt.
When I drove back to the
clubhouse and unloaded my cargo,
I saw that the rest of the staff had
gone home. Mark, the red-nosed
general manager, helped me empty
the coolers and store their contents,
at least a hundred thousand dollars
in crystal and labels, in the liquor
room. He spoke to me about running
a business, good management and
how to deal with hard customers. I
listened, dripping, thinking of sleep.
At one in the morning, the
waitresses showed up, drunk. Their
cart had run out of battery, they
said, and they had been stranded in
the rain waiting for the charge to
come back. I clocked out with three
whole coolers of liquor left to empty
and sort, leaving the rest of the job to
them, two hours' work at least, and
that was the firsttime I'd seen anyone
look at me with real hate, two pretty
girls who hated me, hated my guts,
but it didn't matter because I knew
there was another pretty girl who
didn't hate me, and I drove straight
to her, and we parked in a copse of
trees on the bank of the reservoir
and watched the lights of cars
track across the dam until morning
- Avery DiUbaldo can be
reached at diubaldo@umich.edu.

Lastspring,the Universitycampus was rocked
-by Students Allied for Freedom and Equality's
#UMDivest campaign. SAFE demanded
that the University divest from companies
involved in Israel's military occupation and
human rights violations against Palestinians.
Supported by 36 organizations representing
hundreds of students, its divestment
resolution before student government was
the talk of campus for the better part of a
month. Throughout the process, Palestinian
students described their experiences of
oppression and the University's complicity
in it.
Principal in opposing this campaign, as it
opposes similar campaigns across the country,
wasthe JewishcampusorganizationUniversity
of Michigan Hillel. Purporting to represent all
Jewish students, Michigan Hillel contributed
to tension on campus by pressuring Central
Student Government first to table the resolution
and then to vote against it after a student sit-in
forced a vote. Hillel chose to speak on behalf of
all Jewish students despite a Jewish letter of
support for the resolution as well as outspoken
support for the resolution from a Jewish
studentgovernment representative. Ultimately,
the resolution failed after hours of debate.
American Jewish institutions have not
always opposed Palestinian rights. The United
States is home to the world's largest Jewish
population outside of Israel and is Israel's
closest ally in monetary and diplomatic terms.
However, neither of these facts is the cause of

the other. Zionism, or the belief that Jewish
rights are best represented by a Jewish state
in historic Palestine, only came to dominate
American Jewish politics in the 1960s, long
after the establishment of Israel. It was around
this time that Israel, previously a French
and British ally, aligned itself more directly
with the United States, inaugurating the
"special relationship."
This is also when American Jewish groups
like Hillel, previously neutral on the issue,
became declaredly Zionist. Many claim that
the "Israel lobby," of which these organizations
are a part, is the reason for the United States'
support of Israel's occupation. The tail doesn't
wag the dog: Zionism would probably never
have become a consensus among American
Jews if succeeding U.S. administrations had
not decided to make the alliance with Israel a
cornerstone of their Middle East policy.
Many American Jews, whose ancestors fled
crushing poverty and discrimination in Eastern
Europe and who lost family in the Nazi Holo-
caust, have been strong supporters of social
justice in the United States. Jewish Americans
played an important part in the struggles of the
1960s and 1970s - civil rights, opposition to the
Vietnam war, feminism, etc. - and at the same
time supportedZionism.Atthetime, Israel pre-
sented itself to the world as an embattled egali-
tarian state founded by refugees and entitled
to solidarity.
As the occupation of the Palestinian ter-
ritories that started in 1967 deepened, and

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