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August 11, 1961 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1961-08-11

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS — Friday, August 11, 1961 2

Purely Commentary



The Sabbath Issue—Where It Is Flagrantly Violated

Our community's current problem, involving the contro-
versy over Sabbath programming at the Jewish Center, is mild,
compared with what appears to be almost total abandonment of
Sabbath principles in other cities, noticeably in the South.
A typical example is the election that was held on Saturday,
July 22, in Houston, Tex. The public spirited editor of the Houston
Jewish Herald-Voice, a national Bnai Brith leader, one of his
community's outstanding Jewish personalities, made this editorial
appeal for a "get out and vote on Saturday" on a civic issue:

"The citizens of Houston will decide Saturday what is to be done
with the Old City Hall block. The verbiage has been coining thick and
fast. Most everyone should know by now that the decision to sell or
not to sell to private interests is to be decided by the electorate We
believe it will be more beneficial to all citizens to decide to sell to
private interests. The majority of the City Council, the Mayor and
a great number of citizens are for the sale. Your vote should be
FOR THE CITY ORDINANCE. Be a good citizen. Get out and vote
on Saturday."

We have much less to • complain about here. In anticipation of
the Primary Election on Rosh Hashanah, a campaign already has
been launched to encourage Jewish voters to apply for absentee
ballots, and the City of Detroit is actively cooperating in this effort
to protect Jewish voters and to assist them in their participation
in a statewide election. On similar previous occasions, on a Rosh
Hashanah and on a Passover, Jewish voters were enabled to vote
by absentee balloting. Had a Saturday inflicted a similar hardship,
there is no doubt that the state and city governments would have
cooperated in enabling Jews not to desecrate a sacred day while
performing their civic duties. But in Texas it is "get out and
vote on Saturday."

'Soviet Jews Must Register as Jews'

In a letter addressed to the New York Times on the question
of the position of the Jews in the Soviet Union, Moshe Decter wrote:
In a recent dispatch Seymour Topping wrote that "at the
age of 16, when Soviet citizens are issued their internal pass-
ports, Jewish youngsters have the option of entering their
nationality as Jews or that of the republic in which they live."
The facts are otherwise.
In the U.S.S.R. a person's citizenship, pride and dignity
are molded by his nationality, which largely defines his self-
awareness, language, history, literature, mores and customs,
The internal "passport," which lists his nationality, is actually
his personal identity card, required for work, education, resi-
dence and travel.
To obtain it, the youth must produce papers which specify
the nationality of each of his parents. If both parents are of the
same nationality, he has no option; this applies to Jews as to
others. He has an option only if his parents are of different
nationalities; but this is marginal for Soviet Jews.
The Soviet Jews are required to register as Jews. But,
alorie among the many recognized nationalities, they are de-
prived of major cultural institutions, subjected to harassment
in the press, faced with educational and employment discrimi-
nation (subtly exercised through the identity card), and iso-
lated religiously, culturally and familially from other Jewish
communities inside and outside the U.S.S.R.
This tragic problem is touched upon by the eminent foreign
correspondent, Maurice Hindus, in his "House Without a Roof,"
the story of Russia 43 years after the revolution—his 14th book to
be published by Doubleday.
Hindus presents the views of the apologists for the USSR
as well as those who revealed to him the tragic position of the
Jewish people. He, quotes "a celebrated philologist" who was con-
strained to say:
"What a misfortune it is for my children that they have
to bear my Jewish name and that the fifth point in their
passports stamps them as Jews."
Hindus proceeds to explain: -
"The fifth point! The bane of Soviet Jewry, the ever present
reminder to them and to others that they cannot escape their
Jewish origin, however non-Jewish they may have become in their
thinking, and however deep their resentment at being officially
classified as Jews. Soviet law does not allow change of name or
nationality, though a child born_ of a mixed marriage may be
registered by the nationality of either parent.
"The fifth point on passports applies to all Soviet citizens and
was never intended as a discriminatory measure against Jews. Now
Jews _regard it as particularly oppressive to them as a minority
because it results in one discrimination after another. Cynically
some Jews speak of it as a certificate of 'fifth-class invalidism.' "
With an improvement in conditions since Stalin's death,
Hindus says, Russian Jewry's "hope is that it- will not worsen."
Russian Jewry's tragedy is akin to the horrors suffered under
Czarism. It is no wonder, as Hindus indicates, that so many believe
that Soviet nationalism is merely a rebirth of Czarist nationalism.

'Why is a Sputnik a Jew?'

Russian Galgenhumor

Maurice. Hindus tells of a conversation he had with a man
who spoke with anger about Soviet discrimination against Arme-
nians and Jews. It is explained in the course of Hindus' "House
Without a Roof" that the Armenians at least have an escape—
they have their own Armenian Soviet Republic. His new acquaint-
ance, whose name he does not reveal, said to Hindus:
"Armenians and Jews are among the brainiest people in the
country, and Russians have the gall to call us Armenians and the
Jews ugly names. I hear it all the time, even among university
students. Think of it—the Armenians and the Jews were highly
civilized peoples when the Russians were still barbarians, and yet
they dare to insult Armenians and Jews with slimy epithets. That's
the kind of 'internationalists' they are. Have you heard the anec-
dote about the sputnik being a .Jew?"
Hindus' Armenian acquaintance then told him the following:
' " 'Why is the sputnik a Jew?' one Soviet citizen asks another.
'Because it wanders around the earth and has no place to stop'
is the answer. I don't know who originated the anecdote. It must
have been a Jew. Only a Jew could speak of himself as having
no place here, and the reason he does is because Russians make
him feel that way. But Armenians don't. Indeed, we don't. Jews
in Erevan (capital of Soviet Armenia) feel at home as they don't
in Moscow."
The Jewish Sputnik story is typical galgenhumor—Jews jesting
over their own tragedies. It is humor on the gallows, and it reveals
the sadness of their status and exposes the inhumanity Of the Rus-
sian officials, whose new nationalism is such a threat to the peace
of the entire world.

Bank Leumi 'Warns Next Government
Must Act to Combat Inflation Danger

'largest' bank, the Bank Leumi,
Warned in a special report that
trends "exerting powerful infla-
tionary pressure" on Israel's
economy had accelerated in the
first half of 1961 and were
likely to continue to increase
during the second half.
"In spite of substantial prog-
ress in the spheres of produc-
tion, exports and foreign cur-
rency reserves, 1960 showed de-
velopments less favorable than
1959, due to the widening of the
gap in the balance of payments
on current account and a rise
in the general level of prices,"
the report said.
The report said that currently
"prices and wages are rising and
the deficit in the balance of
trade also continues to rise." It
predicted that since 1961 was
an election year, "there is little
likelihood that basic changes in
economic and financial policy
will take priority to the forma-
tion of a new government to-
ward the end of the year."
The bank emphasized that
once a new government is
formed, "the authorities will
have to face up to the urgent
task of deciding on a policy to
combat inflationary trends,
raise the level of savings and
improve the balance of trade."
The 1960 "monetary expan-
sion" has reached the point of
jeopardizing Israel's monetary
stability, the report noted, cit-
ing the fact that the money
supply rose in 1960 by 21 per-
cent, compared with increases of
10 percent in 1959 and 14.5
percent in 1958. In all three
years, the bank reported, the
accumuluation of foreign cur-
rency reserves and the expan
sion in credit to the public were
the principal reasons for the
expansion in the money supply.
Asserting that the single most
important factor in the rise was
the foreign currency reserve ac-
cumulation, the bank reported
that personal restitution pay-
ments from West Germany alone
"reached a total of some $101,-
000,000 in 1960." A large share
of this "was converted into local
currency, causing a marked ex-
pansion in the money supply."
The report said that the index
of consumer prices rose to 105.2
in 1960, which was four percent
higher than the figure at the end
of 1959. What was especially
noteworthy, the bank asserted,
was that "all the price increases
took place in the second half
of 1960, while the first half of
that year showed a continua-
tion of the 1959 trend of
The price rise was attributed
mainly to "a rise in demand
resulting from a higher level of
disposable income and an in-
creased rate of restitution pay-
ments, in addition, prices were
affected by the general rise in
demand in money terms due to
an expansion of the money sup-
ply which was not wholly offset
by the increased supply of goods
and services available from local
production and imports." Prices
were also boosted by the im-
position of new or additional
government taxes and duties on
a number of products.
"On the whole the 1960-61 esti-
mates for the Israel develop-

3.000 Israeli - Students
Attend • Foreign Colleges

(Direct JTA Teletype Wire to
The Jewish News)

JERUSALEM -- Three thou
sand Israeli students-are attend
ing colleges in other countries
two-thirds of them in the United
States, a survey by the Prime
Minister's office disclosed Tues
The data showed that 250 are
in British colleges, 200 in Aus
tria, 150 each in France and
Permany, 120 in Swiss
schools and smaller. .numbers in
Turkey, Japan, Yugoslavia and



ment budget indicated a 25 per- lateral transfers of foreign cur-
cent increase in comparison with rency to Israel jumped nearly
the figures of the previous year," 20 percent to $300,000,000 and
the report said. "This occurred that this increase was due mainly
in spite of the fact that the to "the net increment to resti-
revenue from the United States tution payments which reached
counterpart funds declined by the net figure of $98,000,000
40,000,000 Israel pounds (about in 1960."
$2,000,000) to a total of 100,-
The bank added that this
000,000 pounds and that from "stream of personal restitution
the counterpart funds deriving payments from Germany was
from reparations payments" de- likely to continue for several
clined by another 5,000,000 years, since it includes both non,
recurrent payments and pension
The banks said that the which will continue to be paid
main sources to finance the de- for some years to come." The
velopment budget had been report noted that reparations
expected to be the sale of payments from West Germany
debentures to Israeli investors to t h e Israel Government,
but a very large proportion though they increased slightly
of investment funds went during 1960 to $80,000,000, "are
into the purchase of common expected to contract drastically
during the next few years and
The bank reported that uni- are due to cease in 1964-65."

lai.o ■n■ aiwooms,.... m.pow ■ oem•fi .m.e.wwww.mw.. .mmemo•siss nalmemoiroam.o.ms uismalg

Boris Smolar's

`Between You

... and Me'

(Copyright 1961,
Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Inc.)

Jewish Bombshell

When Zionist bodies in this country charge the State De-
partment with yielding to the Arab boycott at the expense of
the rights of American citizens, it causes no surprise in Washing-
ton . . It is taken for granted that American Zionists should
fight the Arab boycott against Israel and against any American
aiding Israel . . . But when the American Jewish Committee, a
non-Zionist group, comes out publicly with strong accusations
against the Government of the United States, the reaction in Wash-
ington is quite different . . . The American Jewish Committee is
highly respected in GoVernment circles and any official worth his
position knows that the Committee would hardly ever do anything
that could be considered an attack against the Government . . .
It sounded, therefore, like a bombshell for many in Washington
when the leaders of the American Jewish Committee came out
with a "White Paper" accusing not only the State Department
but also the Defense Department and the Department of Agricul-
ture . .. What attracted even more attention in Washington was
the fact that the charges are strongly worded and documented to
a point that there can be no doubt about their validity . . . The
American Jewish Committee, in its "White Paper," pulls no
punches and charges the United States Government with "degrad-
ing the dignity of the United States" by giving in to the Arab
boycott against Americans.

Washington's Submissiveness

The first sharp step taken by the American Jewish Committee
against Washington's yielding to the Arab boycott is, by all indi-
cations, not the last . . . This is why the AJC's public attack—
which will have reverberations in Congress—is being studied se-
riously in Washington . . . The documentary evidence produced
by the American Jewish Committee about the traditional protection
of the rights of American Jewish citizens in Czarist Russia, in
Nazi. Germany and in other countries stands in accusing contrast
to the present departure by the United States from this tradition.
The American Jewish Committee considers Washington's sub-
missiveness to the Arab affronts a "loss of integrity and prestige"
which no self-respecting Government can afford . . . It therefore
urges "close scrutiny" by the American people of the present
course of our Government in tolerating the Arab invasion of
elementary American rights . . . It charges the U. S. Government
with accommodating itself to the Arab indignities even to the
extent of yielding to Arab bias in contracts for foreign aid ship-
ping, not to mention the surrender of basic American principles
by acceptance of the exclusion of American Jewish servicemen from
U. S. military units in Arab countries and by tolerating restric-
tions there on Christian worship by American soldiers . . . The
State Department and other government departments cannot
lightly dismiss the American Jewish Committee's charges because
of the prestige which this Jewish organization carries . . .Nor can
Arab diplomats in Washington dismiss the AJC document as
"Zionist propaganda" because the AJC is definitely known as a
non-Zionist group.

Jewish Witticism

I was never enthusiastic about Harry Golden's writing, al-
though his books are best sellers .. To me they smelled of a kind
of "nostalgic Judaism" presented in a way which often left a
certain taste . Completely different is David Schwartz' "Hanukah,
Latkes and Rothschild's Millions," published by Twayne . . . David
Schwartz possesses the gift of presenting East Side episodes as
well as other "nostaglic" Jewish stories with a witticism which
has a philosophical undertone . . . His whimsical accounts of Jewish
life and personalities are not only amusing but also thought-
provoking . .. They show that the author has a solid background
of Jewish knowledge and American history . . . Schwartz, who was
born in Georgia, is an expert in American history and has done
much writing in this field . . . He studied for the rabbinate before
he actually decided to make a living by writing .. . He worked
on a number of American newspapers and for years he has been
conducting a column for many English-Jewish newspapers including
The Detroit Jewish News, syndicated by the Jewish Telegraphic
Agency. Thus you have a person of erudition plus writing ability
. . . A book by any author who has these qualities should be inter-
esting enough for American readers . The collection of stories
presented by David Schwartz in his "Hanukah, Latices and Roths-
child's Millions" is characteristic of Jewish wit and humor and sb
is the author's style of writing.

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