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June 17, 1966 - Image 29

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1966-06-17

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ZionistHistory,Story of Israel-Arab
Conflict in Informative Volumes

Zionist and Israeli history are
enriched by two volumes: "The
Covenant and the Sword: Arab-
Israeli Relations 1948-56" by Earl
Berger, published by University of
Toronto Press, and "To the House
of Their Fathers: A History of
Zionism" by Barnet Litvinoff, pub-
lished by Praeger (111 4th, NY3).
Much of what is related in both
volumes is, inevitably, repetition,
and is well known to those who
have followed the history of our
time. In each, however, there are
details about the developments in
Jewish ranks and in struggle for
Israel's independence, and about
occurrences in Israel that add sig-
nificantly to an understanding of
the emergence of Jewish statehood
and the movement that brought it
In both there are comments on
Zionism, that are, in their objec-
tivity, illustrative of the move-
ment's struggles and aims as well
as of the conditions which led to
success in spite of the difficulties
encountered in acquiring Jewry's
Berger, a former lecturer in pol-
itics at the University of Ghana,
Legon, and the Institute of Public
Administration, Achimota, now a
member of the staff of the Toronto
Globe and Mail, points out that
"Zionism was a failure until Hitler
came to power," that the vast maj-
ority of Jews, including Zionists,
were not interested in statehood,
that the mainspring behind mod-
ern Zionism and Israeli national-
ism was: "the persecution, the in-
security and the reaction against
hate and murder." He adds:
"The peculiar circumstances in
which the Israelis were forced to
live caused them to extract from
the great mass of widely varying
Zionist 'philosophies' a distinc-
tive nationalist doctrine, based
on the concept of an elite, in
which the influence of the Old
Testament, not unnaturally, was
Litvinoff, the well known Anglo-
Jewish writer, after reviewing the
battle that raged during the pro-
posal of Uganda as a haven that
was offered to Jews by the then
British Colonial Secretary, Joseph
Chamberlain, in 19Q2, tells of the
collapse of the idea after Herzl's
death and at the end of Chamber-
lain's term of office and he writes:
"No man came forward qualified
to assume Herzl's mantle, for he
would need to be, like his predeces-
sor, not only the champion of Zion-
ism but also its sacrifice. Max
Nordau shied away from the mis-
sion although David Wolffsohn
begged him to take up the task.
Zangwill in London went off in a
huff after the Uganda conflict to
found a private Zionist organiza-
tion of his own, whose objective
was Jewish territorial rights any-
where in the world. Richard Got-
theil of New York would actively
work for the movement only when
it could be made to coincide with
his annual European holiday. So
the leadership went by default to
Wolffsohn, who lived in Cologne,
and was from time to time assisted
by Jacobus Kann, a Dutchman,
Otto Warburg, of Berlin, and a
Polish journalist named Nahum
Sokolow. The headquarters of the
organization was moved to Vienna."
This comment on early Zionist
history is preliminary to other con-
troversies and conflicts that arose.
Wolffsohn is credited with hav-
ing "served his people admir-
ably." The roles of Arthur Rup-
pin, Chaim Weizmann, Sokolow
and other leaders are reviewed
with skill. It is indicated how
"the Jewish National Fund per-
severed with its land-purchases."
Many of the details in Litvinoff's
story are much more elaborate, and
more explanatory, than those in
the numerous other Zionist his-
tories. He leads the reader to the
latest developments in the move-
ment. In describing the tragedies
of the boats that brought to Israel
the so-called "illegal" immigrants,
he offers data not found in usual
sources. Describing the experiences

on the SS President Warfield which
Berger's conclusions are not
was renamed Exodus, he tells about
too hopeful . . . "If Israel still
the heroic role of the Christian exists, so do the boycott and the
minister, John S. Grauel, who gave
blockade," he asserts. He pre-
the warning to the British that the
sents both sides of the problem
Jewish refugees were determined and then asserts: "The possibil-
to acquire haven in Palestine.
ities for a settlement are un-
The "breakthrough to Zion," the likely to improve for some con-
siderable time. The older gen-
battle for independence, the role
of the traditionalists who await eration of Arab and Israeli polit-
icians may have been aggressive,
the Messiah, yet with Jerusalem as
the center of Zionist dreams, are but by all accounts the new gen-
eration is even more extreme and
admirably recorded. Litvinoff's is,
uncompromising and it, in turn,
as indicated, an objective account
is surpassed by the youngsters
of Zionism. The author does not
hesitate to point out that "Jeru- now coming up through the pri-
salem even now simmers with a mary and secondary schools. Ob-
viously peace must be a very
hundred unsolved problems, for
there are Jews here who look upon long-range goal."
the trumpetings of the tempoial
There are also these concluding
power of Israel as a profanity, and thoughts which deserve to be
they will not be part of it." He studied in viewing the existing
refers, of course, to the extremists conditions:
among the ultra-orthodox. Yet he
"For better or for worse Israel
emphasizes that in the establish- is here and any attempt by the
ment of the state, "in its progress West or the UN to carve her up
and evolution its mission will not as a prelude to peace is likely to
be obscured, nor its people disap- generate more difficulties than it
The appended chronology, the
"Nine years have gone by since
years of Zionist aspirations, 1'750 the last Arab-Israel war. Israel has
to 1949, is a most valuable ap- completed the final stages of her
pendix to Litvinoff's book.
project to draw the waters of the
Berger's "The Covenant and the Jordan River off to the Negev. This
Sword" is similarly significant. It, is the last source of water avail-
too, deals with past history, but its able to her, and she has made it
emphasis is on the events from the clear that she will have it. Each
rebirth of Israel until after the year as her population increases
Sinai Campaign.
she has that much less room for
Because he reviews all of the compromise and manoeuvre. The
details relating to Israel's relations Arabs have two choices. They can
with all of the hostile Arab states, cooperate with Israel in the use
and provides the basic data regard- of the river water, as was tacitly
ing the armistice and the differen- agreed upon with Eric Johnston in
ces that arose during the negotia- 1955, or they can carry through
tions in which Dr. Ralph Bunche their plans to divert the river's
played an historic role, he has pro- headwaters and invite war.
vided an historical account that
"The Arabs search for revenge
will be of immense importance to and self-respect, the Israelis for
the student of the Middle East and survival. For both the stakes are
the Israeli struggles for indepen- high."
The two volumes under review,
Much value must be attached Litvinoff's and Berger's, deal with
to the chapter dealing with the issues that will come up time and
refugees and to the admonition again. Zionism remains a vital
of the author: "The refugees did movement and its history is well
not think that repatriation meant worth recording. As presented by
living in a Jewish state. Repatria- Litvinoff it is most informative.
tion meant returning in a con- Berger's work adds many details
quering army, or as part of a vast to issues that will remain prob-
fifth column, or in some other lematic for a long time to come.
way involving the restoration of Both works should be studied and
the Arab homeland. There was
will be of immense value in private
no thought of loyalty to a gov-
and public libraries as reference
ernment of Jews, of submitting works of great merit.
to the heavy demands of planned
development in Israel, or of con- President of Union
sidering Israel as their country. of Latin American Rabbis
To them Israel was something Reports on Russia
ephemeral, something which they
LONDON (JTA)—Rabbi Abra-
had no intention of accepting. ham Hershberg, chief rabbi of
Nothing was ever done which 111exico and president of the Union
succeeded in educating the refu- of Latin American Rabbis, told the
gees to a more realistic appraisal Jewish Telegraphic Agency here
of the situation. They remained Tuesday that he has found, through
committed to repatriation while personal inspection, that "there is
it became less of a possibility no religious freedom in the Soviet
and more of a dangerous dream. Union."
This was largely the handiwork
Rabbi Hershberg was in London
of the Arab governments. They on his return trip from a visit to
were the ones who controlled the the USSR which, he said, he made
sources of the refugees' informa- not only on behalf of the Union of
tion, who encouraged the belief Latin American rabbis but also as
in repatriation in Palestine, who a representative of the Committee
provided the main opposition to for Religious Freedom, an organi-
resettlement, and who did so zation with headquarters in Mexi-
much to foster the refugees un- co City, of which he is a member.
rest and frustration."
Yet, he adds, they were ready
to negotiate with Eric Johnston on To Its Generation Its Law
a plan for resettling the refugees
When I visualize the coming
in Arab countries. He goes into
details about the Johnston plan, generations and imagine how these
the proposal that was made for a will wonder at our life and make
joint effort by Israel and the Arab mockery of it; how they will jest
states in utilizing the waters of at our wars and conquests, our
the Jordan River, and the failure pleasures and torments, even as
of the proposal.
we stand and wonder at the life
And he deals with the issues of past generations, and regard it
revolving around the boycott and with derision — I become aware
the Suez blockade, showing that of the hollowness and pitiableness
"the Israelis' failure to obtain re- of our being. Yet one comforting
dress of their grievances through thought puts me at east: Those
the armistice machinery, and the who come after us will in turn be
failure of the Security Council to accounted savages in comparison
deal with the problem effectively, with those who come after them.
whatever the reasons, threw the
Israelis back on their own re-
Since its inception in 1946,
UNICEF has shipped over 125,000
Thus, there followed the years midwives' kits, more than 3,000,-
of tensions, the Israel-Egyptian 000,000 vitamin capsules, and
conflicts which led to the 1956 more than 1,000,000,000 pounds of
war and the Sinai Campaign.
dried milk.

Friday, June 17, 1966-29

Our Lost Soul

A Hebrew legend tells: What is
an embryo like? It is like a scroll
all rolled up in its place, with a
candle burning at its head. It looks
forth and can see from one end
of the world to the other. Never
has a person any better time than
that time. He is taught the entire
Law. As soon as he goes forth into

The Jews of Poland
The Jewish community of Po ,
land, which dates back to the 9th
Century, today numbers some 30,
000 persons, nearly half of whom
live in the city of Wroclaw with
sizeable Jewish populations in Wal%
saw, Lodz, Krakow and Szczecin,
the air of the world, an angel

comes, slaps him on his mouth,
and makes him forget the entire
Law. .. .
Even after the moment of birth,
that legendary angel stands ready
to slap us, and make us forget our
own selves. We are perpetually
tossed back and forth between for-
getting and remembering, loss of
soul and recovery of soul. Hence
the lack of peace in ourselves.

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