Anti-Palestine ad in Michigan-Dearborn paper draws harsh criticism
By Nick Meyer | Saturday, 03.26.2011, 08:30 PM

A full-page advertisement titled "Wall of Lies" regarding beliefs on the subject of Palestine placed in last week's (March 15) issue of the University of Michigan-Dearborn's student newspaper, The Michigan Journal, has been met with strong criticism from students, faculty and staff.

The advertisement, which has been linked to the Sherman Oaks, CA-based David Horowitz Freedom Center, shows graphics of a wall with ten separate descriptions of "lies" told about the Israel-Palestine conflict and contains strong messages of anti-Arab, anti-Palestinian and anti-Muslim nature.

"Intolerance is a cancer; it sucks the vitality, the glow, even the life out of good people as surely as a tumor," UM-D Vice Chancellor Stanley E. Henderson about the contents of the advertisement.
The ad has been published at other colleges including UCLA and Boston University as a response to "Israeli Apartheid Week," a movement  held in March each year that has been growing in recent years across the country to spotlight the gross injustices committed against the illegally occupied (by international law) Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The Michigan Journal's editorial in its March 22 issue in response to concerns about the ad noted that the viewpoints expressed do not represent their viewpoints and that the newspaper welcomes Letters to the Editor and columns in response (sent to themichiganjournal@hotmail.com). The editorial also said that the "disappointment is understandable and respected" over the content of the ad.

Michigan-Dearborn Vice Chancellor Stanley E. Henderson also wrote a response column to the ad.

"Intolerance is a cancer; it sucks the vitality, the glow, even the life out of good people as surely as a tumor," he said in the opening paragraph before later calling the ad intolerant.

"A one-sided view such as the "Wall of Lies" ad does not present a path for peace in the Middle East and it does not represent the core values of our campus," he added.

Imad Hamad of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee said that he has received calls concerning the ads.

"A few people have expressed great concern over these ads...in this case people need to know the source and knowing the source speaks for itself, (Mr. Horowitz) has offered nothing but bigotry and hate towards Muslims and Arabs and this is what he lives on and survives on," he said.

"Events like the latest unfortunate (Muslim "radicalization") hearings conducted by Peter King open the door wide for such voices to become more aggressive, as well as laws like Michigan's Arizona-style immigration bill."

Hamad said that the current wave of Arab uprisings has drawn the attention away from further bombings in occupied Palestine in recent days as well and said that the growing pro-Palestine movement, especially in academia, is important for spreading awareness due to lack of media coverage.

"The pro-peace movement in America is trying to showcase injustices impacting Palestinians and that's why it's necessary and important," he said.

ASU President Mahde Abdallah said concerns on campus remain over the printing, however, especially with the ad coming just three days before his group's annual "Empowering the Youth" dinner.

"I feel like the responses pretty much just covered for the university's lack of organization to go over what's being printed," he said.

Abdallah said that the University took a stronger stance against newspaper columnist and pioneering former White House correspondent (and Arab American) Helen Thomas' comments against Zionism than it did against the printing of the ad by Horowitz.

He added that the ASU is planning to publish its own response to the ad in the near future, however.

"What was printed is hate speech, false and not recognized as true, and we're planning our response to it" he said.   


By Nick Meyer

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