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Orange County Focus

MISSION VIEJO : College Newspaper Protest Planned

December 19, 1989|WENDY PAULSON

An Orange County organization that helps fight anti-Semitism announced plans to stage a protest Wednesday against a Saddleback College student newspaper that recently published items critical of Israel's nuclear arms policies.

Shalom International president Frank Eiklor said Monday that the group's local affiliate, the Orange County Christian Task Force Against Anti-Semitism, has invited prominent Jewish leaders to join in a protest at the office of Community College President Constance Carroll.

He said demonstrators would demand a retraction from the newspaper for a commentary and editorial cartoon by journalism student Michael S. Boren published Dec. 7 in the Lariat.

Boren's editorial, which he said was meant to show the dangers of nuclear warfare and Israel's participation in purchasing nuclear weapons, was critical of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The last line said that if Israelis "are indeed God's chosen people . . . it would seem that God might have made a better choice." An accompanying cartoon by Boren depicted a menorah with nuclear warheads in place of candles and the caption, "We Wish You a Happy Holocaust."

The newspaper's opinion page editor, Lee McCormack, refused earlier retraction requests from the college administration, citing First Amendment rights to freedom of speech.

"We are not asking for a weak apology for offending someone," Eiklor said, referring to an editor's note apologizing for the commentary and cartoon.

"That is like yelling 'fire' in a theater and then saying you're sorry that people were killed because of it," Eiklor added. "This is not just a Jewish issue; it's a moral issue."

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