The daily Tar Heel. (Chapel Hill, N.C.) 1946-current, November 18, 1985, Page 8, Image 8
8The Daily Tar Heel Monday, November 18, 1935 CUtff flail nm ar 93rd year of editorial freedom Arne Rickert and David Schmidt Editor Editor Catherine Cowan Anjetta McQueen Janet Olson Jami White AndyTrinqa Associate Editor Production Editor University Editor Newt Editor State and Nationsl Editor Loretta Grantham Lorry Williams Lee Roberts Elizabeth Ellen Sharon Sheridan City Editor Business Editor Sports Editor Arts Editor Features Editor Larry Childress Photography Editor To the dth degree A policy living in infancy It's unfortunate and upsetting when it happens, but sometimes you don't know an experiment wont work until it explodes in your face. It hurts, and sometimes it hurts others just as much. Last Wednesday, it happened to The Daily Tar Heel. The editorial was called "Zionism lives in infamy." Though it has angered many people, I am not writing to explain the opinion it expressed, nor am I apologizing for it. Only the author has that right. And that's the point, I guess. It was an individual's editorial. Signed editorials under our new format do not reflect the opinion of the paper, and neither do they try to present the viewpoint of the student body as a whole. If that was anybody's perception, it was mistaken. But the fact that we left ourselves open to such an interpretation is our respon sibility, and our mistake. For that, I do want to apologize, and I want to explain. The only views endorsed by "the paper" meaning the majority of a group including the co-editors, associate editor and editorialists appear as the "board opinion," introduced two weeks ago at the top of the column. Each board member contributes to their content and or writes them. They're unsigned because we all stand behind them, not because the writers want to remain anonymous. But editorialists need an outlet for personal opinions that others might not agree with. If that's the case, critics have argued, then let them write columns on the right side of the back page instead of editorials. I disagree. Because of their commit ment to the paper and Arne's and my faith in their abilities, we feel that our editorialists deserve a privileged position on the back page to express their views. In the sense that they reflect only the opinion of the author, they are columns. But in the sense that Arne and I sanction their being presented (a power that we don't exercise over columns, because that part of the page is open, and we print what we get as space permits), they are editorials. We may even sanction editorials that strike many readers as ill-reasoned, ill researched or unfounded. That's the risk taken by anybody who expresses an opinion. Of course, because of their status on the page, we want those in the left column to be solid. Maybe some still will have faults. Nevertheless, they have a right to be heard. We learn by exchanging viewpoints. We also learn by mistakes. Editorial board background One caller about the Zionism piece also was concerned that whereas columns provided background about the author, no one knew about the edit writers. Here is the information. Arne Rickert, co-editor, a senior English major from Topeka, Kan. Catherine Cowan, associate editor in charge of the back page, a junior English and classics major from Fayetteville, Ark. Louis Corrigan, editorial writer, a junior English major from Atlanta. Sally Pont, editorial writer, a senior English major from Northford, Conn. James Toner, editorial writer, a senior English and Latin major from Westmont. 111. And me, a senior journalism and English major from Hockessin, Del. I can foresee a number of readers questioning the major similarity among us. If you ask me, though, the English discipline teaches one to write clearly and to write clearly, one first must learn to think clearly. Aside from related areas of composition, such as journalism, I don't think any other field can offer a better general training for someone who wants to write editorials. An editorial's role The recent editorial also raised a challenge that we've faced before: the belief that DTH editorials should repres ent the views of the student body. Not only do they influence the way readers outside the community perceive the campus, it has been said, but the DTH like other papers also must be answerable to its owners, the students. Though forced to pay for the paper, students, I believe, are subscribers of the newspapers and not shareholders or owners. On-campus residents must buy a meal plan, but that doesnt give them rights over ARA Services. Sometimes a subsidy is justified. The DTHs has been upheld by federal court rulings. But how do we justify this, in light of our editorials attacking the meal plan last semester? We questioned, and only briefly, the need for a meal plan; we did not judge its necessity. Our editorials focused on the lack of student input during the decision to implement the meal plan. But in the case of constitutional funding for the DTH, students had a direct voice through a campuswide vote in giving the paper a set percentage of their activity fees. Students have the right to petition to revoke such funding, too, as we witnessed earlier this semester. The consequences of an editorial policy that sought to reflect the tenor of its constituency would be a mess. Even if there were a way to gauge a campus consensus for every stance, especially on controversial issues, using an editorial to present a point of view that most readers already held would be pointless. I believe there is one thing above all else that an editorial must answer to, and that's the writer's conscience. To base it on anything else, or to subject it in every instance to a majority board opinion, is to relinquish our right to have minds of our own. DAVE SCHMIDT The Daily Tar Heel Editorial Writers: Louis Corrigan, Sally Pont and James Toner Design: Julie Braswell, Randy Farmer, Donna Leinwand, Stuart Tonkinson and Laura Zeligman News: Jenny Albright, Lisa Allen, Crystal Baity, Thomas Beam, Lisa Brantley, Loch Carnes Helene Cooper, Kerstin Coyle, Vicki Daughtry, Randy Farmer, Charles Fernandez, Jo Fleischer,' Jill Gerber, Todd Gossett, Wayne Grimsley, Mike Gunzenhauser, Kenneth Harris, Elizabeth Holler, Denise Johnson, Robert Keefe, Laura Lance, Scott Larsen, Alicia Lassiter, Donna Leinwand, Mitra Lotfi, Dora McAlpin, Yvette Denise Moultrie, Linda Montanari, Kathy Nanney, Beth Ownley, Rachel Orr, Grant Parsons, Gordon Rankin, Kelli Slaughter, Rachel Stiffler, Rachel Stroud, Jennifer Trotter, Elisa Turner, Kim Weaver, Laurie Willis, Bruce Wood, Katherine Wood and Karen Youngblood. Guy Lucas, assistant University editor, Rhesa Versola' assistant business editor. . -t . Sports: Scott Fowler and Tim Crothers, assistant sports editors. Mike Berardino, Greg Cook Phyllis Fair, Paris Goodnight! Tom Morris, James Suroweicki, Buffie Velliquette and Bob Young. Features: Marymelda Hall, assistant features editor. Kara V. Donaldson, Matthew Fury, Jane Mintz, Mary Mulvihill, Tara Reinhart, Laurie Rodgers, Liz Saylor, Denise Smitherman and Martha Wallace. Arts: Mark Davis, Aniket Majumdar, Alexandra Mann, Alan Mason, Sally Pont, Deanna Ruddock, Garret Weyr and Ian Williams. Photography: Charlotte Cannon, Dan Charlson, Jamie Cobb, Janet Jarman and Charles Ledford. ' Copy Editors: Lisa Fratturo, Bryan Gates, Tracey Hill, Gina Little, Cindy Parker, Grant Parsons and Kelli Slaughter. Artists: Adam Cohen, Bill Cokas and David Sumner. Business and Advertising: Anne Fulcher, general manager; Paula Brewer, advertising director; Angela Booze, student business manager; Angela Ostwalt, accounts receivable clerk; Doug Robinson, student advertising manager; Alicia Brady, Keith Childers, Alicia Susan D'Anna, Staci Ferguson, Kellie McElhaney, Melanie Parlier, Stacey Ramirez and Scott Whitaker, advertising representatives; Staci Ferguson and Kelly Johnson, classified assistants; Johnnie Parker, advertising coordinator. David Leff, office manager and Cathy Davis, secretary. Distributioncirculation: William Austin, manager; Tucker Stevens, circulation assistant. Production: Brenda Moore and Stacy Wynn. Rita Galloway and Rose Lee, production assistants. Printing: Hinton Press Inc. of Mebane READER FORUM Human rights: Tor the love of people' TV tVi Asii j-tp m ' To the editors Originally titled to encompass a week of Campus Y programs, Human Rights Week in its third year not only seeks to bring to the forefront human rights issues but also human concerns. Specifically, this years program addresses four areas: health, individual and group rights, international topics, and freedom of expression. Having themes each day strangles any incongruency of purpose and gives each day a completeness. The problem with planning a week that specifically addresses human rights is trying to determine what "human rights" are. Defining them would be easier if there were an alien force that somehow sup pressed humanity. Humanity could then quickly identify its rights. What are human rights? My definition of human rights is based on the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. It's an antiquated thought that at one time I found inscribed on wooden rulers, but not anvmore Failure to practice the Golden Rule is a violation of another's human rights. A person should be allowed to stay healthy enough in his environ ment, to be his own person (and if that includes membership into a group, so be it), to exist in the world around him peaceably, and to communicate his existence openly, without threat, to all. Those are the rights of humans. Of course defi nitions vary among those who are well fed, housed and employed. One professor who heared this definition found it "too narrow." He said, "Human rights is simply the right to life the right to live." . His definition of having the right to life relates to today's theme, "Health in Human Rights" and directly highlights the evening program, "Pro-life or Pro-choice," a debate between the UNC College Republicans and the Campus Y's Women's Forum Committee. The program will feature two films, "The Silent Scream," and "Planned Parenthood's Response to Silent Scream," as well as Professor Gregory Trianosky of the UNC Philosophy department, who will moderate discussion. "Health in Human Rights" does acknowledge the right to life with programs like abortion, teen sui cide, and euthanasia. Abortion, which conflicts with the freedom of the mother and the unborn child, and suicide and euthanasia (when an individual has willed in certain situations that his life be terminated) which conflicts with personal free doms, all test our values of human ity and our reasons for existence. Equally important, "Health in Human Rights" acknowledges hunmn ronrciw Is our right to qtav healthy affected by the arms race' or by high medical costs, and is this a human rights issue? What are the effects of child abuse, the Vietnam War and AIDS on society? We highlight these topics during the day as well. In sum, it would be unrealistic to expect the same activity of protest and defiance as the '60's after the completion of the week. Our goal is not to revert, convert, or divert anyone's attention from living. However, we want people to open themselves to the horrors many face and to help others who are less fortunate to live better. "For the love of people," the theme for the entire week, let's celebrate humanity. Addison Sweeney David Schnbrrenberg Campus Y Human Rights Week Committee ARMWPENOmCES TERRORISM Cf I A? f w VrtcrnrK f SANTA CIAUS AT fervent JWBD 37(7 r t TTfcBhagwsi 1 - . - ' rfVM The Y is hurting Steele To the editors: The Campus Y is a wonderful institution, with a remarkable record of accomplishment for freedom and social justice. It has been aptly called the "conscience of the University." . The spirit of the Y lives in the hearts and minds of the students. It is their idealism, their energy, their dedication, that has done these things. They are wonderful young men and women, and I love them. That is why the present con troversy is so distressing. It is difficult for me, as a newly elected member of the Y Advi sory Board, to understand why those who are in a position to do something about this problem won't do something about it. cant they see that the students are hurting about this? Thev are bewildered and frustruated by the way in which their interests have been ignored, their appeals have been rejected. I think it is clear that a mistake has been made, ' an error of judgement. It is an honest mis take, an action taken with the best of intentions. But if this mistake is not corrected, to the satisfaction of the students who have certainly been moder ate and reasonable in their appeals the spirit of the Y will be quenched. Please wont those who are in a position to do something about it, do something about it? Art Coulter Jr., M.D. Professor of Surgery and Bio medical Engineering 'DTH' editorial: tangled speech and twisted lode TT& mIhhu f, h;. u . "sarUy 1 have trouble taking seriously which are sometimes JeLv The Middle Eastern disDute is a touchy situation at best. Aside from arousing strong political feelings, the Middle Eastern controversy is also tied in with religion, two subjects that are intrinsically linked to one's emotions. Suffice to say that there will never be a consensus on who is right and who is wrong. However, when somebody employs the tangled speech and twisted logic which Sally Pont does in her editorial of November 13, it further complicates an already complex situation. Miss Pont should realize that many people are sympathetic towards the goal of Zionism, and furthermore, that while some fac tions of the Israeli government do favor strong military action, they are a minority. Miss Pont would do well to recognize that the actions of a few cannot serve to condemn the larger body. Just as the strong military philosophy of some Israeli politicians does not represent all Israelis, the actions of the Jewish Defense League do not necessarily represent all Jews, and for that matter, the Palestine Liberation represent all Palestinians Miss Pont seems to feel that the PLO is a moderate organization, rationally seeking a solution, but she shoots down her own argument by citing the atrocities committed by the PLO at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. Since the avowed purpose of the PLO is the annihilation of Israel, I fail to see why Israel is under any compunc tion to negotiate with them. anyone who is so clearly biased, but uniortunately, Miss Pont and peo ple who share her viewpoint need to be taken with the utmost serious ness. She seems to feel that the PLO's terrorist actions, perpetrated in the name of "sheer desperation," are entirely justified, while Israeli military actions against the PLO are "ethically unsound." Miss Pont, Zionists are not "maniacal" and the military actions sometimes necessarv are not the "blind irrationalities of prejudice" but are acts designed to insure the survival of the Jewish people. I don't doubt that you would dispute that a strong defense is necessary for the survival of a nation, but you are probably one of those people that think the Holocaust never happened, and that all Jews are simply paranoid. Eric Greenwald Carrboro Controversy at expense of accuracy To the editors: Sally Pont's editorial ("Zionism 'lives in Infamy," Nov. 13) demon strates the shameful willingness of the DTH to generate controversy at the expense of factual accuracy and logical soundness. The mere form of Ms. Pont's assertions that Zionism is "entirely militaristic and imperialistic," and that the "present plight of the Palestinians is indicative of Israel's insatiable desire to conquer and divide," should give notice that the author was motivated more out of prejudice than considered judgement. In fact, the origins of Zionism were unequivocally defensive, as its present-day proponents still adam antly maintain it is. Certainly "imperialism" and "legitimate self defense" are two sides of the same polemical coin. Perhaps they are both best discarded for a more sensitive consideration of the facts. As a first step, the plight of the Palestinians can be viewed as a creation of the Arab nations which turn their backs on their brothers to frustrate their claim to a home land. By so doing, the Arab nations Secure the benefits of having forced a burden of attrition upon Israel that bleeds the country's economic and manpower resources and sours the good will of the world. I think it is unfortunate that Ms. Pont and the DTH have been manipulated into furthering this ill will. Lance G. Isen School of Law iuiu uicu uauus on uieir oromers School of La Zionism is not and never has been racism, Sally To the editors: Ethinnian w ; u - . '. . . In Sally Pont's editorial of November 13, she reiterates and defends a vicious defamatory inter- pcwuuu oi zaonism. io set tne record straight, Zionism is the political movement to establish. a homeland for the Jewish people in Israel. It is named Zionism for the Jews desire to return to Mt. Zion in Jerusalem. Zionism is not, and never was, racism. The Jews are a people, not a race. There are Oriental Jews, Indian Jews, Caucasion Jews, and Black Jews. Zionism is not racist. Just last spring, Zionist movements raised money and the Israeli government risked the censure of its neighbors Ethiopian Jews in "ODeratinn Moses." These are black Jews that they brought to Israel. Is that racism? Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. Pont blames Israel for the sys tematic dispersion of Palestinian Arabs. She should check her facts. In 1948 the fledgling government of Israel pleaded with the Palestinian Arabs to stay and help build the new nation. It was the Arab nation who urged them to flee. The Pales tinian refugees between the PLO and Israel has brought too much death and tragedy to both sides. Pont's one sided condemnation of , Israel attempts to sanctify the murders by PLO terrorists of innocent tourists, school children and bystanders. Is the slaughter by the PLO of a wheelchair bound American Jew, Leon Klinghoffer, going to advance peace in the Middle East? Arafat has never renounced terrorism. There is plenty of violence and blame on all sides of this conflict. However, Israel does have the right to self-defense. It was passive acquiescence to terror that led Jews to the gas chambers of the Holo caust. Israel represents a new, fearsome image to many: strong Jews who will fight back. Pont's linkage between the Jewish i-'ticuac icaKue ana Zionism i false. The J.D.L. is a trulv bicoted. fanatic, Anti Arab organization. It no more represents Zionism than the Ku Klux Klan represents Democracy. Let us bury the slurs and slanders against Zionism. As a recent hemis pheric conference of Catholics and Jews did just last week, let us renounce the charge of racism, and focus on building a true, just, and lasting peace in the Middle East. Seth R. Reice Associate Professor Department of Biology American Professors for Peace in the Middle East Geneva: An important day for humanity By JOHN GIBBS With the summit conference in Geneva less than a month away, chances appear slim that any major settlement can be reached. President Reagan is doing well in the opinion polls at the moment, and is secure in the knowledge that most Americans have no great expectations for the conference. Gorbachev meanwhile, is free from any public opinion pressures, and seems content in simply trying to score a propaganda victory. Against this gloomy backdrop will be played out the drama at the summit in Switzerland. Certainly writing off the meeting as a failure even before it begins would be a mistake. As long as the two leaders are able to get together and discuss the issues, then there is always hope. Yet both sides appear miles apart in their goals for the conference. The Soviets are motivated primarily by a desire to put a stop to the development of the Strategic Defense Initiative or "Star Wars" program. This outrageously complex project would cost trillions of dollars, be ineffective against cruise missiles, be almost impossible to test fully, and not be operational until at least the next century. This does not even mention the fact that there is almost no chance that it will ever work like its proponents envision. Nonetheless, Reagan is captivated by the promise of a nuclear umbrella in space. Thus our most valuable bargaining chip will not be up for negotiations in Geneva. With "Star Wars" removed from the agenda, the summit could quickly break down into a public shoutine match. or the Soviets could simply walk out as they did at the last meeting. A conference in which nothing is achieved would not be incomprehensible. In fact the mood of the. two superpowers may augur such an outcome. The Soviets, despite recent overtures by Gorbachev, continue to prepare for the military confrontation with America which they consider tp be all but inevitable. Here in the United States, there is a continuing emphasis on defense spending in order to close the so-called "window of vulner ability" left by the Carter administration. This despite the fact that the United States was just as capable of destroying the world then as it is now. Obviously the. summit is not taking place at the most propitious moment. Neither super power appears particularly interested in arms control, and since that is the issue to be discussed in Geneva, the outlook is bleak. This should be a cause of concern for the entire world. Ours is a small planet which has been made even smaller by the fact that we now possess destructive forces capable of ending life on Earth as we know it. The summit in Geneva therefore, involves all of us. It places in jeopardy everything in life that is meaningful and important. These are the real bargaining chips to be haggled over. At stake are all the wonders of this vibrant, nurturing planet; the many centuries of human achievement, the perfect balance of unspoiled nature, the art, the literature, the architecture, and ironically, the expansive knowledge of man which has culminated in such perfect killing devices that we have now reached a point of mutually assured destruction if a nuclear war is ever allowed to happen. Unfortunately for all of us, man has never proven capable of avoiding war. Despite the tremendous advances made by the human race, we have failed to outgrow the primeval urge for combat. That the Soviet Union and the United States have avoided open conflict in the forty years since World War II is heartening. Yet we have played around the fringes of war for too long. We can only weather so many Cuban Missile Crises. That is why the Geneva summit is so important. It is at least a chance to begin the slow process of developing an understanding between two vastly different nations. Chances such as these do not come along that often. And with each failure we move one step closer to Armegeddon. The negotiators in Geneva may realize this fact, yet more than likely they are limited by their narrow aims and goals. Nonetheless, without overstating the significance of the summit, it must be noted that in trying to bring some sanity to the suicidal chaos of the arms race, the negotiators in Geneva are in effect, trying to preserve life on the only planet in the vastness of the universe known to support it. If the Geneva meeting fails, then we are all the poorer for it. And buried beneath all the post-conference talk of the tactical gains and propaganda victories will be a much greater loss. John Gibbs is a junior history major from Lynchburg, Va.