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May 20, 1966 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1966-05-20

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Purely Commentary

By Philip Slomovitz

'Spurious Gestures' in God-Idea

Under the title "Giving God Public Recognition," Christian Century
recently carried an editorial in which it declared:
Acting on behalf of their state legislature, the Massachu-
setts senators—Leverett Saltonstall and Edward Kennedy—have
presented to the United States Senate two bills which purport
to give public recognition to God. The first of the bills—which
do not necessarly represent the opinions of the senators—
seeks for their state legislature the right to act on a consti-
tutional amendment permitting voluntary prayers in public
schools; the second would require that the post office depart-
ment cancel all postage with the words "For God and Country."
The Massachusetts legislature is well within its rights in seek-
ing a constitutional amendment permitting prayers in public
schools. But such a move, if it threatens to take hold, must be
analyzed and condemned for what it is, for it is in fact an
effort to repudiate the First amendment and to uproot the
deepest foundation on which the nation's edifice is set. The
second bill would establish a vast, mechanically operated,
national prayer wheel which, while the people sleep or go
about their work and play, would do their praying for them.
We have seen some queer and curious cancellations on in-
coming mail but none so piously inane, or so profane, as what
this bill proposes. If the nation really wants to give public
recognition to God let it abandon its unjust crushing of the
aspirations of little peoples in various parts of the world,
assume more of the burden of famine, disease and ignorance
blighting vast portions of the world and get on with the
business of ridding its own body of vice, corruption and bigotry.
God is recognized in obedience to his will, not in spurious
Only too often, our legislators seek to appeal to public prejudices
by expressions of fidelity to the Almighty. A "holier-than-Thou" atti-
tude frequently serves to undermine basic American principles. We
concur with Christian Century in rejecting "spurious gestures" that
are so unnecessary in a good society. But it is useless 'to hope that
the tactics of those who strive to impress everybody leads them to
legislate unnecessarily. Fortunately, the entire body politic is not
that sick.



Nazi War Trophies Go Back to Germany


(Copyright, 1966, JTA, Inc.)

House of Representatives Armed
Services Committee has recom-
mended restoration to West Ger-
many of captured Nazi war tro-
phies including a Panzer tank,
equipped with a flamethrower, of
the type used to liquidate the Jews
of the Warsaw Ghetto.
No opposition has been voiced
' in Congress. A number of Congress-
men, however, recently made
speeches in their home districts to
memorialize the 23rd anniversary
of the uprising against Nazi tyran-
ny. They deplored the armored
terror unleashed on the martyrs
of the ghetto.
The tank, known as a Panzer
Kampf-Wagen Mark 3, with flame-
thrower, was captured by the U.S.


Our Troubled Educational System

Revolts against educational practices, the failure of our voters to
recognize the need to provide means for improvement of our school
system and the refusal to make new paths for our teachers without
hindrance to their freedoms—these have created obstacles that continue
to disturb our communities.
In the course of evaluative studies of our educational standards it
has become apparent that many high school graduates do not know the
English language. Yet, practical efforts to solve the problem have been
interfered with.
Writing recently in Harper's, its editor, John Fischer, stated:
"This may sound Utopian, but I have hopes that the
colleges will someday refuse to admit any student who cannot
read and write. This would be a truly revolutionary step. For
most colleges, it would immediately cut enrollment by at least
half (thus solving the overcrowding problem). It would force
the high schools to teach English properly—and the taxpayers
to put up the money for it, if they want their little darlings
to get into college. . . . It would cut unemployment and relief
costs, since until a man has asquired the basic skills in using
his native tongue he has little chance to learn the other skills
necessary to earn a living."
This is not a new revelation. We recall our rhetoric class at Ann
Arbor, when 65 per cent of the first year university students hailing
from farming communities were compelled to engage tutors to help
them acquire a better knowledge of the language of our land. Condi-
tions apparently have not improved.
Yet, when the voters had a chance to approve means of providing
better educational facilities they didn't have the vision to vote posi-
tively on the issues. Which proves that our constituents have much
to learn.
A statement issued in behalf of the Civic Searchlight by its presi-
dent, Gaylord W. Gillis Jr., merits special attention as a guide for
future action. His statement declares:
"Only 20 per cent of Detroit's registered voters cared
enough about their school system to turn out at the polls. The
other 80 per cent—by staying home—turned their back on
this crucial public issue. Undoubtedly many of those 80 per
cent are parents of school-age children who have the most
to. lose.
"Americans insist upon public control of its Public School
System but apparently are unwilling to concern themselves
with its operation. Whatever the reasons were that voters
rejected the school propositions, at least they voted, and
by so doing exercised their responsibility to the community.
"To the 600,000 Detroit voters and 300,000 Wayne County
voters outside of Detroit who chose to go about their other
interests, and ignore this vital public issue, we can only hope
for their eventual enlightenment and participation.
"Detroit's public schools will, of course, continue and
some of our youngsters will go on to college. But, in the mean-
time, quality education has received a serious setback, and
college educational facilities for all must wait because 80
percent of the voters stayed home. They must wait until such
time as those 900,000 voters care enough about their chil-
dren and their community to get out and vote. When this
time comes, we hope it will not be too little—too late."
Our educational system already is in grave danger. The action
that was taken two weeks ago in Ann Arbor by the Michigan Associa-
tion of High School Principals, requesting its members not to accept
administrative and principalship positions in Detroit, was a protest
against "knuckling under" to student pressures, mob rule that was in
evidence here, and it could also have been applied to irresponsible
competition with the public school system in churches under the guide
of "freedom" aims. Those who have instituted the actions that prompted
the state's principals to act as they did ought to realize that the harm
will come to them and to the entire community unless we have genuine
cooperative efforts in education.
We need a re-evaluation of our needs and our schools, but it must
come the pragmatic and unselfish way. We pray that our great demo-
cratic educational system should not crumble.

Army. It is among trophies dis-
played at Aberdeen Proving
Ground, Md.
Another weapon to be returned
to the German Army under the
pending legislation is a captured
21 CM cannon, known by Hitler's
Wehrmacht as a K-38 gun.
Report No. 1518 of the Armed
Services Committee urged restora-
tion of these death-dealing arms to
the Germans. "The German artil-
lery school is celebrating its cen-
tennial anniversary on July 8 of
this year," said the report. It added
that "the Department of the Army
would like to have the legislation
passed in time to turn over the
gunS to the school prior to the
Defense Department officials
dismissed as irrelevant a press
query into the propriety of return-

Washington Provides Egypt a Copy
of U.S.-Israel Study on Desalination

United States government has dis-
cussed possible nuclear desalting
aid to Egypt and has provided
Egyptian authorities with a com-
plete copy of the joint American-
I s r a e l i engineering feasibility
study of a large-scale combination
power-desalting plant for Israel.
No firm commitments have been
made by the United States in re-
sponse to Egyptian indications of
desire for long-term loans or tech-
nical assistance grants to finance
desalting in Egypt. But U.S.
sources said the mattter was fluid
and might be covered in the $100,-
000,000 proposed for Egypt for the
new fiscal year apart from the
$150,000,000 in "food for peace."
Cairo is now studying the

findings of the U.S.-Israel joint
board as stated in the final re-

port of the engineers feasibil-
ity and economic study perform-

ed under contract by Kaiser En-
gineers of Oakland, Calif., in
association with Catalytic Con-
struction Co. of Philadelphia.

The joint board, established by
the two governments to oversee
the study, included Aharon Wie-
ner, director of "Tahal" (water
planning for Israel); Dr. Haim
Cats, the Israeli Electric Corp.;
and Dr. Shimon Yifta, of the Israel
Atomic Energy Commission.
U.S. sources said Egypt was ser-
iously studying the desalting prob-
lem and that It was easily under-
standable that Egyptian officials
would avail themselves of the Is-
raeli study. It was pointed out that
it did not matter whether the Uni-
ted States gave the full Israeli
study to Egypt because it is avail-
able from the U.S. Government
Printing Office for only $2 a copy.
The extent of United States co-
operation with Egypt in nuclear
desalting discussions was not dis-
closed although it is known that
officials of the U.S. Department of
Interior's office of saline waters
have been involved.
The American - Israeli joint
board last March 7 received the fi-
nal report on the feasibility study
and recommended that it be ac-
cepted. At that time it was learned
that the State Department care-
fully heeded the recommendations
of U.S. policy makers, concerned
about proliferation of unclear wea-
They thought in terms of In-
ternational Atomic Energy
Agency inspection of Israeli in-
stallations as a condition for a

Cost-of-Living Index
on Rise in Israel

TEL AVIV (ZINS)—The cost-of-
living index in Israel in the last
15 months climbed by 14.6 per
cent, according to a report by the
Central Bureau of Statistics of
the Israel government.
This means that for goods which
Israelis purchased in 1964 at 100
agorot (1 pound or 33 cents) they
are now required to pay 114 6/10

2—Friday, May 20, 1966

nuclear desalting loan to Israel

at liberal interest rates. The gov-
ernment of Israel, however, has
maintained that following com-
pletion of the study, Israel want-
ed time to consider all aspects
of the matter without regard to
the reported "conditioning" of
aid. Therefore, the project, ini-
tiated in June, 1964, has now
been placed in temporary sus-

U.S. officials said it was too
speculative and "premature" to
comment on whether aid to Egypt
would be conditioned on an Egyp-
tian agreement to submit to the
same non-proliferation and inspec-
tion requirements desired from
Washington circles considered it
ironic that Egypt was studying
possible utilization of aspects of
a feasibility study that Israeli
scientific authorities, helped draft.

ing Nazi weapons that might have
killed American soldiers. It was
pointed out that German artillery
was admired from a technical point
of view. "Emotional or political
considerations are not in our de-
partment," said an officer. He
added that U.S. troops are today
working closely with German
forces in NATO.
The House committee adopted
the bill, HR 11980, and V--
matter now goes before the I
house. The purpose of the le,
lation is to donate the weapons
for display in the German Ar-
tillery School Museum. Histori-
cal items cannot be given to for-
eign governments without legis-
lative authority.
According to the committee "a
precedent for this kind of donation
can be found" in a bill passed in
1954. It authorized the army to
donate some captured German
paintings of Australian troops to
the Australian War Memorial in
Canberra. This "precedent" waS
cited by Secretary of the Army
Stanley R. Resor, who urged the
committee to accede to German
wishes for return of the trophies.
Last year, at about this time, the
U.S. Army decided to ban celebra-
tions of the 20th anniversary of
V-E day by American personnel in
West Germany lest German sensi-
bilities be offended.
The U.S. Army's mission in West
Germany is to cooperate closely
with the new German army to de-
fend freedom. German forces are
today regarded as the most power-
ful and reliable European compo-
nent of NATO. Many of today's
German elite—a high percentage of
senior non-commissioned officers
and virtually all commissioned of.
ficers above the rank of major—,
served under Hitler. The U.S.
Army sees no point in recalling
the days of May, 1945, which Ger-
mans found unpleasant.

Boris Smolar's

'Between You
. . and Me'

(Copyright, 1966, JTA, Inc.)

COMMUNAL AFFAIRS: Jewish communities throughout the coun-
try are recommending some of their best leaders to serve on a new
body which will replace the Jewish Agency, Inc., which is engaged
in distributing funds for Israel raised by the United Jewish Appeal.
The reorganization of the Jewish Agency, Inc., which has been in
existence for more than six years, emerged after consultations between
the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds and the top
leadership of the Jewish Agency, Inc. It was felt that there was a good
deal of confusion in the minds of many Jews in this country over the
difference in the functions of the Jewish Agency, Inc., the Jewish
Agency in Jerusalem, and the American Section of the Jewish Agency.
Being a purely American body which supervises the allocation of UJA
funds for Israel, the Jewish Agency, Inc., agreed that it would be, in
the best interests of all involved to eliminate this confusion.
Hence, a widely advocated plan was developed to consolidate
Jewish Agency, Inc., with the United Israel Appeal — another Amen-
can body which was the original partner with the Joint Distribution
Committee in the formation of the United Jewish Appeal—into one
legal entity.
A great deal of the credit for the plan goes to Dr. Dewey Stone,
chairman of the Jewish Agency, Inc., Max M. Fisher, general chairman
of the United Jewish Appeal, and Irving Kane, leader of the Council
of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds. On the staff level, Gottlieb
Hammer, executive vice-chairman of the Jewish Agency, Inc., and Philip
Bernstein, CJFWF executive director, worked in closest cooperation.
• •

STREAMLINED STRUCTURE: The plan is aimed at widening the
base of community participation in the work of allocating UJA funds
for activities in Israel, as well as to provide a more streamlined
structure. It is in line with bringing American Jewry more and more
toward unification in its communal activities. Widest geographc repre-
sentation will be given to the communities in the newly-created body
which will be known as the United Israel Appeal.
As part of the revised structure, there will be a board of directors
of 200 drawn from all parts of the country. The board will elect two-
thirds of the executive committee of 27, and will meet periodically
to analyze and consider the major human needs to be met in Israel,
and what services should be provided by American Jews to assure the
greatest impact. The remaining third of the executive committee Will
be designed by the American Section of the , Jewish Agency.
One hundred members of this board will be nominated from among
names suggested by various communities — both large and small —
throughout the United States. The other 100 members will be drawn
from the national Zionist organizations which were the founders of the
United Israel Appeal and which historically have been responsible
for the work in Israel.
Federations and Welfare Funds have been invited to suggest to the
nominating committee the names of those individuals whose com-
mitment and dedication to the concept of overseas needs would qualify
them to serve on the consolidated United Israel Appeal Board.

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