Daily business staff’s decision to suspend ads is ‘censorship’

To the Daily:

In the article, Campustruth.org ads spark controversy (03/24/03), the Daily’s Jeff Valuck is quoted as saying, “We must reconsider running the ads if the community does not want them.” Mr. Valuck, we do not live in Egypt, and you are not a dictator. We cannot suppress free speech in advertisements simply because the message may not be in accordance with our own. Furthermore, there is a constituency of students on this campus who agree with the advertisements, and Valuck has no authority to determine that “the community does not want them.” We are fighting a war to protect the precious right of dissent, and the Daily is setting a scary and dangerous precedent by censoring the material which it prints. Whose voice will be censored next? I have personally filed reports with the American Civil Liberties Union and Anti-Defamation League against the Daily for its suppression of campustruth’s right to free expression.

The hypocrisy of those who don’t like the ads is both ironic and offensive. They seek to silence free speech in advertisements that highlight the moral difference between legitimate Israeli acts of self defense, and the wanton, murderous acts of Arab terrorists. How ironic that under the guise of “academic freedom,” these same people invited Islamic Jihad terrorist Sami Al-Arian and Holocaust revisionist Norman Finkelstein to campus this year. It is nothing shy of revolting that they support the rights of such vitriolic anti-Semites to speak on campus, but refuse the right of campustruth to tell it like it is: The Palestinian Arabs celebrated Sept. 11, and make national heroes out of murderers of Jews. The root of the Arab-Israeli conflict is the concerted, organized and intentional campaign in Palestinian government-controlled mosques, schools and media to incite its Palestinians to murder and hate Jews. Calling for the censorship of advertisements is a flagrant violation of the freedoms of our great nation, and is further indication of the vile hatred of America that exists within the Palestinian community.

Rick Dorfman

LSA senior

The letter writer is the president of Michigan Student Zionists

Daily business staff should discontinue publication of ‘racist’ ads altogether

To the Daily:

I just wanted to send a short note of appreciation for the Daily’s decision to suspend publication of the racist advertisements from a non-University organization that were promoting prejudice against the Palestinian people in the paper.

Everyone I’ve spoken with who saw the ads was surprised to see them in the first place, particularly with the allegations of racism leveled against the Daily last term. Why is the image and reputation of our school’s paper being tarnished in this way?

I sincerely hope you print an apology, and an explanation for why the ads were pulled to show the University that the Daily will not sully itself by allowing bigoted outside parties to advertise in our school paper.

Abdul Shaikh

Law student

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