Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

MPP does NOT endorse divestment from Israel

21. March 2006 • David Boyle
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(The Daily also mentions the issue in article Group asks ‘U’ to divest from Israel: Regent says University board will never support divestment; renewal of issue touches nerve in MSA campaign , but it is buried deep in the article, so I thought it would be good to “frontpage” the idea here on the Update.)

Good luck to all candidates! and good luck to the truth!



  1. This article belongs in a U of M blog, not an Ann Arbor blog. I, like most of your readers, am not a U of M student – if I wanted U of M news I’d read a U of M paper or blog. Could somebody please post more news that’s specific to the Ann Arbor Community? Some U of M news is relevant, but this (nor the previous post) have any relationship to the Ann Arbor community.


       —A Reader    Mar. 21 '06 - 12:36AM    #
  2. UM is in the Ann Arbor community, and Rob Goodspeed frequently posted on UM issues. You are aware of this? Other posters sometimes post on campus-related issues as well.
    When people are being slandered on serious charges re anti-Semitism, for you to imply this is unimportant, is completely unacceptable.


       —David Boyle    Mar. 21 '06 - 12:39AM    #
  3. David, that was Rob’s personal site. This is not.


       —Dale    Mar. 21 '06 - 12:42AM    #
  4. Students ARE part of the Ann Arbor community, and students DO read this blog.


       —Lindsey    Mar. 21 '06 - 12:43AM    #
  5. Dale, are you comfortable with false charges of anti-Semitism or hostility to Israel? That is relevant to ANY blog.
    Thank you, Lindsey!


       —David Boyle    Mar. 21 '06 - 12:45AM    #
  6. Also: see, e.g., Rob Goodspeed’s ARBOR UPDATE post Tom Hayden Turned Down Michigamua . So much for “David, that was Rob’s personal site. This is not.”; the above post is just one of his campus-related blogs here. Facts are crucial.


       —David Boyle    Mar. 21 '06 - 12:54AM    #
  7. David—you should know it is a logical fallacy to assert that Rob’s personal site is analogous to this one. Clearly, different customs govern Rob’s site and whom he is responsive to and the audience and tone of this site. Regardless of how I feel about MPP, Israel, or divestment, this is the point I was addressing.


       —Dale    Mar. 21 '06 - 01:20AM    #
  8. Yes, but he was posting it on Arbor Update, not Goodspeed Update. Am I correct?

    Also, if you feel I pushed your present (and valuable) post down the page too much; I can edit mine to show a little less above the fold, if you like. I try to be flexible…
       —David Boyle    Mar. 21 '06 - 01:28AM    #
  9. I don’t think it’s the screen real estate Dale takes issue with.

    Post UM News, but use an effing quasi-journalistic format… like Rob Goodspeed did! For all your criticism of the Daily you write like Allen Ginsberg’s slow kid brother sometimes. Seriously.


       —Hey Jack Kerouac    Mar. 21 '06 - 03:34AM    #
  10. That was funny!

    I am (relatively) amenable to that, I think. Thanks for the thots! :D “Allen Ginsberg’s slow kid brother…”
       —David Boyle    Mar. 21 '06 - 03:38AM    #
  11. David Boyle writes:

    “Dale, are you comfortable with false charges of anti-Semitism or hostility to Israel? That is relevant to ANY blog.”

    Well I decided to put that to the test by using Blogspot’s show-me-a-random-blog feature.

    Blog #1: SomeOldHippieCaughtAnotherHippieTrippingOnAcid. Yep, it’s relevant there!

    Blog #2: visitmyblog-123. Latest entry: “Things you don’t want to hear during surgery”. Entry before that: “Leonardo di caprio”. Yep, it’s relevant there!

    Blog #3: oBunyCooFMocQDE. Subject matter is dream interpretation. Yep, it’s relevant there!

    Blog #4: viva l’australia. Subject matter is Australia, language is French. Yep, it’s relevant there!

    Blog #5: Jeanz Creative Productions, Inc. Headline: “This is a space where I showcase my self, art and personality! Please respect whatever’s written in here, and let me know what you think!!”

    Well shut my mouth! Whether or not MPP endorses divestment of Israel is relevant to five out of five randomly chosen blogs. And here I thought David Boyle was immature and resorted to hyperbole to cover his inability to analyze.

    Does anyone have Juan Cole’s or Kos’ phone numbers? They clearly need to address this relevant topic on their blogs.


       —Terence    Mar. 21 '06 - 04:36AM    #
  12. Mr. Funny, if the blog owner were falsely accused of anti-Semitism, or anything, it would be relevant.
    Gotcha.


       —David Boyle    Mar. 21 '06 - 04:38AM    #
  13. christ, david, could you turn down the volume on your whiny infallibility?

    and to answer the inevitable riposte: no i do not give a fuck about some stupid fuck being accused of anti-fuckism whether falsely or truthfully, it is not fucking relevant. nyah.

    now there’s some new journalism for ya!


       —peter honeyman    Mar. 21 '06 - 04:51AM    #
  14. It is relevant. Slander is relevant.

    I am not infallible, although others may be…
       —David Boyle    Mar. 21 '06 - 05:07AM    #
  15. Where’ Blaine when you need him?


       —Brandon    Mar. 21 '06 - 05:12AM    #
  16. Ann Arbor townies are aware that their beloved city would be nothing without the University, right?

    “Ann Arbor news” and “University news” are fairly synonymous, considering that 40,000 residents of Ann Arbor are DIRECTLY affiliated with the University.


       —Suhael    Mar. 21 '06 - 07:07PM    #
  17. Yeah, I don’t get the complaints, other than that David Boyle posted it and people don’t like other things he’s posted.


       —ann arbor is overrated    Mar. 21 '06 - 07:22PM    #
  18. Me neither. Thanks for that.


       —David Boyle    Mar. 21 '06 - 07:25PM    #
  19. DB:

    Why are you prefacing this post with “slandered on serious charges re anti-Semitism”? Nobody has made that argument, and rest assured, if they do, they will be called out on it.

    I find it relatively strange that many people pre-empt any criticism of their viewpoints by inputting the whole “critics of Israel are called anti-Semites” argument.

    To tell you the truth, except for the far-right crazies, I’ve never encountered anyone who believed mere criticism of Israel was anti-Semitism, and most people I know decry such accusations, which as I far as I can tell, rarely if ever, happen.

    I criticize the occupation freely and no one calls me an anti-Semite or anything of the like. Nor would I tolerate it.

    So, DB, focus on divestment, and don’t try to silence critics.


       —Jared Goldberg    Mar. 21 '06 - 08:09PM    #
  20. As someone in the community who has never been a UM student and isn’t following the MSA election, I think it’s absolutely reasonable and appropriate for the Arbor Update folks to post bulletins about that election.

    Goodspeed’s authority is quite relevant because he founded this site, and intended it to be the local successor to Goodspeed Update. He did so because the local mainstream media have never bothered to create a worthwhile news site for this area.

    Arbor Update has sometimes faltered, and as a group blog the quality is (inevitably) uneven, but on the whole, I think it is carrying out the mission that Rob had in mind.


       —Larry Kestenbaum    Mar. 21 '06 - 08:40PM    #
  21. JG, I do not actually understand your point! Forgive me. Was not trying to silence anyone…whom did you think it was?


       —David Boyle    Mar. 21 '06 - 10:03PM    #
  22. David:

    I didn’t mean to sound harsh. I was referring to post #2:

    “When people are being slandered on serious charges re anti-Semitism, for you to imply this is unimportant, is completely unacceptable.”

    and # 5:

    “Dale, are you comfortable with false charges of anti-Semitism or hostility to Israel?”

    I mean, I think the “false charges of anti-semitism on critics of Israel” are just that: false. No mainstream author I know of nor organization simply calls any critic of the policies of the State of Israel an anti-semite.

    In many ways, I see it as people prefacing their arguments so they don’t have to answer to someone who may disagree.

    I’ve said this a million times, but in no way is criticizing the State of Israel tantamount to anti-semitism. I criticize Israel constantly (I find the occupation horrid and well-after its expiration date) as well as other domestic issues.

    But, I’m no raging anti-Zionist either. I see two sides to the issue, and when people put that charge out there, that all people who don’t think Israel needs to disappear call critics of Israel anti-semites, it puts everyone on the defensive, even people who support peace and justice for both peoples.

    Sorry about that, but it just bothers me. Maybe you weren’t doing it on purpose, but that’s what it seemed like.

    You’d figure Blaine would be all over this forum. I mean, its a forum ON divestment. Only one post. I’m shocked.

    I’m going to give this one last shot, and if it doesn’t work, at least I know its not possible, but Blaine, what do you think should be done to help solve the Israeli/Palestinian conflict? No rhetoric, no propaganda. I want to know what YOU would do.


       —Jared Goldberg    Mar. 22 '06 - 01:28AM    #
  23. Oh, I see. I agree with your points, actually. Was not saying that all critics of divestment, are themselves folks who falsely accuse of anti-Semitism.

    Maybe Blaine is getting tired, if you can imagine that…
       —David Boyle    Mar. 22 '06 - 01:32AM    #
  24. Hi David,

    Please feel free to discuss what is happening to the occupied people of Palestine.

    You don’t need me for that.

    You understand racism pretty well.

    As you know, millions of occupied Palestinians have no real voting power over their own occupation.

    That occupation still rules them, and is now starving them.

    Once you discuss that, you understand the push to explore divestment.

    You see why that Faculty-Student Divestment Letter, to the U-M Regents, has gathered so much steam.

    You understand the power of divestment resolutions.

    You personally have succeeded with one at the MSA.
    ———————————
    Look how well divestment worked with Apartheid South Africa, which (to quote Jared) really did cease to exist. Wasn’t that lucky for everybody?

    South Africa, like Israel, made lots of claims about being the “most democratic” country in Africa, etc.

    Like Israel, Apartheid South Africa had a Parliament, etc.

    Like Israel, South Africa set up separate toothless “governments” for the people it occupied with Kaspir military vehicles.

    But violent state racism is a nasty thing. The U.S. backed it, in South Africa, and much more so in Israel.
    —————————-

    So Michigan, and a zillion other campuses, ended up divesting from racism, at least in South Africa.

    Now I’ll leave the divestment discussion to you and other readers.


       —Blaine    Mar. 22 '06 - 03:57PM    #
  25. I knew it. Blaine, once again, you didn’t answer my question in the least bit.

    You just went on a rhetorical rant that frankly doesn’t mean anything.

    I tried to be civil and start a simple conversation with you, but you can’t handle it.

    Good luck with all your endeavors, Blaine. You’re gonna need it.

    By the way, when you misquote me like that:

    “Look how well divestment worked with Apartheid South Africa, which (to quote Jared) really did cease to exist. Wasn’t that lucky for everybody?”

    That’s grounds for a lawsuit. But, don’t worry, I’m not suing anyone. I’m just warning you, Blaine, DON’T MISQUOTE ME. In fact, DON’T MAKE STUFF UP EITHER.


       —Jared Goldberg    Mar. 22 '06 - 10:44PM    #
  26. “Blaine aside”, what are any recent insights etc., Jared? I’m sure you have some wisdom to add—any endorsements for MSA elections? (heh)


       —David Boyle    Mar. 22 '06 - 10:54PM    #
  27. I really would like to see others (not me) discuss Palestine, and how it’s being starved right now, simply for voting its conscience.

    Jared would rather have an argument about his own statement on “all people who don’t think Israel needs to disappear”.

    I honestly don’t see the difference between “cease to exist” and “disappear”, or how it matters to several million starving Palestinians right now.

    Again, are you, the reader, worried about the fact that the last entrances to Gaza, for any food shipments, are being choked off by Israeli troops?

    Do you, the reader, see how starving an already-occupied electorate kind of undercuts Israel’s claims to “democracy”?

    Are you, the reader, ready to consider divestment against an occupying power that would use starvation to change an election outcome in Palestine?


       —Blaine    Mar. 22 '06 - 11:46PM    #
  28. I think a part of the problem here is that some people are much too self-important…


       —paul    Mar. 23 '06 - 01:27AM    #
  29. What is “Meer Macatawa” Paul? Thanks.


       —David Boyle    Mar. 23 '06 - 01:34AM    #
  30. Speaking of peace in the Middle East:
    “The memorial service for Faz Husain will be held at Ann Arbor Pioneer High School on Thursday, March 23rd at 7:30 p.m. in the Schrieber Auditorium. Ann Arbor Pioneer HS is located at 601 W Stadium Blvd, Ann Arbor, MI 48103. For online maps and directions please click here) . For more information please contact Hello Faz Pizza at (734) 741-7777.

    I wish everyone were as peaceful as Faz! I hope he is “helloing” up in Heaven right now.


       —David Boyle ("Faz" Husain Memorial Service tomorrow at 7:30 p.m., Ann Arbor Pioneer High School)    Mar. 23 '06 - 02:42AM    #
  31. Sorry, the map link didn’t work: let’s try this .
    Thanks tinyurl.


       —David Boyle ("Faz" Husain Memorial Service)    Mar. 23 '06 - 02:49AM    #
  32. DB:

    I getcha. I did go off on a tangent there, and for that I apologize.

    My insights? My view generally hasn’t changed regarding divestment; I don’t view it as the best way to end the occupation and certainly not as a way to end the conflict. The occupation’s dimensions go beyond mere economics, so divestment isn’t the most direct way to push towards peace, if at all.

    As for the Student-Faculty letter urging the formation of the committee, like the resolution last year, is unlikely to get anywhere, unless facts on the ground in Israel or Palestine change drastically.

    Endorsements for MSA? Not really. I’m going to be honest: MSA is practically meaningless. It has little power, and the power it does exercise is wasted over dumb things. When students have a real stake in this city and university, not the token things we’ve been given, then maybe I’d be a little more passionate.


       —Jared Goldberg    Mar. 23 '06 - 06:03PM    #