Here’s a synopsis of the lawsuit I plan to file against LSA sophomore Rick Dorfman:

Paul Wong
Ari Paul

Facts:

Mr. Dorfman has, on occasion, sought criminal proceedings against certain Arab students for simply standing in the same room as him.

Mr. Dorfman has had the audacity to be so un-American as to challenge the University’s right to sponsor free speech and assembly.

Counts:

Mr. Dorfman’s actions have made him a disgrace to the Jewish people.

Mr. Dorfman gives the ‘U’ a bad name.

Relief Requested:

Mr. Dorfman should make a formal and public apology to President Coleman and the University Board of Regents for filing a frivolous lawsuit against them.

Mr. Dorfman should make a formal and public apology to the Arab students he claimed were threatening him when they were doing nothing more than standing in the Angel Hall computer lab.

Mr. Dorfman should pay Ari Paul no less than $25,000 for making him ashamed of being Jewish and for giving him the knowledge that he attends the same school as a kid who acts like a kindergartener.

For those of you still wondering, I’m not being serious … about filing a lawsuit anyway. But I stand by every one of these points, and I want to make it clear to him that he is doing a horrible disservice to the people he claims to represent.

Everyone, at this point, knows about the lawsuit he filed against the University for allowing the Palestine Solidarity Conference to take place. His main beef with the conference was that it allowed people to publicly state that Palestinians are people and that Israel isn’t perfect (although his official point was that several speakers at the conference posed a threat of “terrorism”). And as every educated and reasonable person expected, the lawsuit was laughed out of court.

But what really irks me about the founder of the newly formed Michigan Student Zionists (the American Movement for Israel wasn’t Zionist enough for him) is an incident that not many people know about but that I alluded to in my lawsuit.

About a week before the conference, I was standing in the Angel Hall computer lab when I heard a deafening squawk that I quickly identified as Dorfman’s lawyer, Deborah K. Schlussel, an ultra-conservative talking head whose rantings are posted on the website of the Jewish Defense League (for those of you that don’t know what that is, it is, in short, “the only good Arab is a dead Arab”).

Schlussel and Dorfman went into the lab and got onto a computer. I called an Arab friend of mine (that probably makes me a self-hating Jew) and told him to come on over. I thought it would be fun to prove to them that criticizing Israel is not inherently anti-Semitic (the fact that I think this also probably makes me a self-hating Jew).

When my friend showed up with his cohorts, Dorfman saw us and ran out of the computer lab. He came back with the two DPS officers. One of the officers told us that Dorfman claimed that we had intimidated him, threatened him and blocked his path.

The truth is, we didn’t even say or do anything to him. We didn’t even come within 40 feet of him. The only contact that any of us made was that one of us went up to Schlussel and politely asked her if she wanted to participate in a public debate, which she devilishly declined. In short, Rick Dorfman actually believes that if Arab students are within 40 feet of him, then he is being intimidated and threatened.

This guy makes me want to sew my foreskin back on. The fact that he is so full of hate and ignorance offends me as a human being, but it offends me as a Jew when I see him on CNN claiming to represent the University’s Jewish community.

Though some groups like Hillel have quietly opposed his actions, I feel it’s time that someone make this very clear to him.

Rick Dorfman, your activity on this campus stands in firm opposition to the tenets of tolerance that Judaism is based on. It is time that you either change your ways or be quiet.

Because you are so devoid of compassion for other people, so full disrespect of those that choose not abide by your dogma, you and people like you leave a scar on the face of the Jewish community.

I’m not going to threaten you with a silly lawsuit or a sit-in or some kind of direct action, but I’m going to make a plea, from one Jew to another:

Either shape up or ship out.

As long as people like Dorfman file lawsuits challenging our civil liberties and call police officers to protect him every time an Arab enters the room, the fighting is not going to stop. People like Dorfman need to reform themselves, but they’re not going to do without reasonable people driving them to do so.

– Ari Paul can be reached at aspaul@umich.edu.

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