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Students Assail Anti-israel Articles Published in Student Newspaper

January 23, 1973
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Jewish and non-Jewish campus groups are up in arms over the publication of a series of strongly anti-Israel articles in “South End,” the student daily at Wayne State University. The latest in the series written by Rev. John Nichoils Booth, interim minister at the First Unitarian-Universalist Church here, was embellished with a Star of David on which a swastika was superimposed to illustrate the writer’s allegation that Israel was emulating Nazi methods in its treatment of Arabs, it was reported in the latest issue of The Jewish News of Detroit.

Protests have been lodged with Dr. George Gullen, university president, and his associates. Dr. Gullen expressed shock at the material appearing in the tax-supported student newspaper. But he explained to a group of Jewish professors who met with him on the matter last week that state law and arrangements with the Student-Faculty Council prevented him from assuming control over the paper. He said his own letters to it went unpublished. The Jewish News Reported.

Dr. Gullen said the university’s Board of Governors would insert a full-page paid ad protesting the biased series. But campus groups such as Youth for Peace and Democracy in the Middle East which is led by non-Jews, the B’nai B’rith Hillel, Habonim and Hashomer Hatzair, contended that such a response would imply an abdication of the university’s role as publisher of an organ assigned for editorship to students, according to The Jewish News. They pointed out that South End operates on a budget of $72,000 a year provided by the university from tax funds allocated by the Michigan State Legislature.


Kathy McComsey, local chairman of the Youth Committee for Peace and Democracy in the Middle East, said that her group and the other groups planned to write letters of protest to South End. If these are not printed, she said they will make their case before the publication’s Board. The campus groups have expressed hope that the need to take the matter before the State Legislature can be avoided. They demand that the newspaper apologize for what they call its “shocking demonstration of a revived Nazi ideology,” The Jewish News reported.

South End has a history of publishing anti-Israel material in which many readers have detected anti-Semitic trends, it was reported. A series of articles on Soviet Jewry published last Nov. was said to have been tinged with anti-Jewish prejudices. The newspaper gave assurances at that time that it would alter its attitude in view of countervailing data presented to the editorial staff.

According to The Jewish News, the First Unitarian-Universalist Church had a friendly pro-Israel attitude before Rev. Booth assumed the ministry. His lectures and writings on the Middle East have been one-sided and biased, and Zionist spokesmen are believed to have blundered up to now by ignoring him and failing to reply to his allegations, The Jewish News said.

West Germany will send six of its star athletes to the Hapoel games in Israel this spring marking Israel’s 25th anniversary celebrations, it was announced in Bonn. Contacts have been made between Israeli officials and Bundestag sports exports. The costs of the athletes will be paid jointly by the German Interior Ministry and the Israeli government.

The Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry reported today that ticket agents at the Riga train station now check the internal passports of anyone buying tickets to Moscow. If the passport says “Yevrei” (Jew), the individual is sent to a supervisor to give an explanation for the trip, and must provide official documents to substantiate the reason. The SSSJ also reported that Boris Azernikov has been sent to a punishment cell for two months. The reason is unclear.

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