My friend Sam Woll has a viewpoint in today’s Daily on the participation of the American Movement for Israel in the V-Day event on the Diag titled “Strange bedfellows? Israel activism and V-Day”:

“Tomorrow in the middle of a rally that is being held to celebrate V-Day, and is in fact the symbol of a culmination of successful V-Week festivities here and around the world, will be an Israeli flag decorating one of the many student group tables. On that table will be 500 condoms. Need help making the connection? On the surface of the condoms is the text, “Israel: Itís Still Safe To Come.””

Meanwhile, the well-known local Palestinian activist Blaine Coleman (who has been in hot water for handing out a flyer at city council meetings reading “Israel – a Ku Klux Klan state, defended by a Ku Klux Klan City Council.” See this Ann Arbor News story) Has sent an email to members of the Michigan Daily accusing me of “silence” on this issue, which I first heard of this morning. Here’s his email:

“To the “Daily” Cheerleaders of V-Day and its Israeli Occupation component:
To the silent Michigan Student Assembly:
To the V-Day Bloggers who are strangely silent, too:

Today’s “Daily” makes it pretty clear.

There’s some kind of Gentleman’s Agreement at the “Daily”– Its editors really, really don’t want to criticize what Israel and its campus cheering section are doing.

Even when Israel comes to campus most obviously.

This is the same “Daily” that never reported on the massive Rachel Corrie event of a few weeks ago, when the murdered student’s parents spoke to hundreds, right here on campus.

Any excuse wil do, to maintain the editors’ silence.

A “Daily” staffer (who’s usually very anti-racist) recently told me, sorry, the “Daily” can’t realy editorialize about “international” stuff.

But today’s “Daily” carries a huge celebratory announcement of a CAMPUS V-Day event celebrating Israeli freedom to “do it”.

While Israel continues to “do it” to millions of occupied Palestinians.

Come on, guys!!

Don’t you have something to say about this?

In case you missed the Israeli V-Day event announcement, it’s in the February 12th “Michigan Daily”, on the Web at:

http://www.michigandaily.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2004/02/12/402b0f766d687

Israeli soldiers’ freedom to “do it” must be a lot of fun for the soldiers, but it’s no fun for over 3 million occupied Palestinian women, children, and men, who are only free to starve, and free to be robbed of everything, at gunpoint, by those Israeli soldiers. Those Israeli soldiers’ “freedom” is now being celebrated on the Michigan Diag, at an occassion supposedly reserved to celebrate and promote women’s freedom!

With more editorial silence by the Daily.
And with unusual silence from the normally anti-racist Bloggers like Goodspeed Update, Matt, Jenny, etc.

What does it take to break this silence on Palestine, and on Ann Arbor campus celebrations that exert considerable effort to deny what Israel is doing to Palestine?

–Blaine”

More important, perhaps, than all of this: the remaining V-Day events:

” THURSDAY, February 12

1. Clothesline Project, SAPAC Office, 9-12am

2. Performing the Border, Michigan Room, The League, 8pm

Come learn about the disappearances and murders of hundreds of women in Juarez, Mexico. This year V-Day is donating a portion of our proceeds to an organization that is investigating these terrible crimes.

FRIDAY, February 13

The Vagina Rally! Diag, Noon

Come learn more about V-Day, the international organization that produces The Vagina Monologues on college campuses all over the world, and that donates our proceeds to SAFEhouse and other international charities. There will be speakers, poets, musicians, dancers, hot chocolate, candy, and a whole lot of fun!

SUNDAY, Feb. 15

The Vagina Monologues, 2pm and 7:30pm, Power Center

Get Your Tickets Now at MUTO $10 for students, $15 for community members!!! Proceeds go to SAFEhouse.

Questions? E-mail bigv at umich edu”

Author: Rob