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July 01, 1966 - Image 2

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1966-07-01

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Purely Commentary

The Zionist Bogey . . . Some Diplomatic Nonsense

The Faisal "incident"—that's the way of branding an insult in
diplomatic terminology — renewed another. canard: the labeling of
everything the Arabs and their friends dislike about Jews as being
Zionist. That's how hatred is drummed up and facts are distorted. It
has been a way also with some diplomats who have found the means
of harming Israel by resorting to the myth that it is Zionism that is
at fault: otherwise, they and the Arabs will tell you, they love the Jews!
This places a new responsibility on Zionists: to educate people
to understand that Zionism is a libertarian movement out of which
has grown independence and freedom for the hundreds of thousands
who have been rescued from humiliations and homelessness.
Out of the Faisal scandal have grown other nonsensical myths
and misrepresentations. For instance, one U.S. "official" is quoted
as having said: "For Faisal, being banned in New York is like an
author being banned in Boston." How clever! It would be well to
know who this official is who is so smart—whether he also happens
to be among the "officials" in Washington who don't give a tinker's
damn whether Americans of the Jewish faith are banned from serving
with the American armed forces stationed in Saudi Arabia. How about
such bans, Mr. American official? Anyone who holds such views had
better hold his tongue and change his tune when he does speak —
unless he stops interpreting for this country. There ought to be an
end to diplomatic nonsense, even if our chief representative in the
United Nations, who is a Jew, is under compulsion to attend a re-
ception for Faisal.

*

In Defense of Faisal .. .

Let this be said in defense of the Saudi Arabian King: he did,
indeed, utter a very common reply to a very common enquiry about
Israel, the Jews and the Arabs. If he hadn't said what he did, he
would have asked assassination by one of his coreligionists. That's the
tragedy of the situation: that an old enmity has been perpetuated.
But he could have kept his mouth shut. He is hated by Nasser and
other Arabs, and friendship with Israel wouldn't have hurt him: a
"no comment" would have made him a hero. Now he can go back
home and be a hero for the record among those who seek Israel's
destruction. That's the Middle East political reason for Faisal's out-
burst of hate. And that's the defense "officials" have available for
him . . .
Faisal made an effort to "clarify" his stand. Then he resorted
to the old trick of repeating the enmity against Zionism, not Judaism.
Terminologically he may fool a lot of people, as Nasser is doing all
along. But Jews, at least, should not fall prey to such nonsense. The
Arab opposition is to. Jews—all Jews—because all Jews—except the
self-hating anti-Zionist, anti-Israel (some also call it anti-Jewish)
Council for Judaism—are pro-Israel. *
All we can hope is for an early peace—and that peace will have
to be made with all Jews—and that includes all Zionists.

*

*

An Insult to All Americans

The founding fathers of this republic would have scorned the
attitude of some of the legislators who were ready to condone Faisal's
insult to all Americans and who maintained that protocol called for
continued extension of courtesies to the visiting potentate. They would
not have tolerated a visit by a man who claimed courtesies but who
would not return the courtesies.
Faisal said "we consider those who provide assistance •to our
enemies as our enemies." This puts every person in the White House,
in the State Department, in both houses of Congress to the test. There
is an established American policy of support for Israel's security and
independence. American aid has gone to Israel as well as to the Arab
states. It stands to reason that the U.S. is Israel's friend. Therefore,
in Faisal's words, this country is his enemy because it is a friend of
his enemy.
How far will people go in claiming "courtesy" for a person who
is discourteous? What makes a man like Senator Fulbright say he
would rather not mix into New York politics when this is an American
matter of fair play and common decency?
The implication throughout has been quite clear: • that it was a
matter of New York politics, of the involvement of Jewish votes in
an election that was to come up in a few days (the Tuesday after
the Faisal slur). If it is politics, what about the bar set up against
Jews serving in the U.S. armed forces who are discriminated against
in Saudi Arabia? Is this also a matter of votes, or is it an outright
act of discrimination against Americans of the Jewish faith? What
about the misuse of refugee relief funds — 70 per cent of which come
from Americans' tax dollars — which have been used to finance the
formation of an army — the so-called Palestine Liberation force — that
now threatens to fight with the Viet Cong against our boys in Vietnam?
Isn't there a limit to abuse of privileges, to appeasement of crimes
— especially when insult after insult is heaped upon this country?
Our representatives in the United Nations had opportunities to
insist upon serious efforts to induce Arabs to talk peace with Israel.
They failed to act. Now they would have us be nice to a potentate
who lives off our dollars when he insults Americans. Our President
took time to learn an Arabic salutation for Faisal. It would have been
much better if there were direct efforts to say to the Arab guest: your
salutation speaks of peace: let us see you act in its spirit.
The pity of it is that the warmongers from the Middle East con-
tinue to be blessed by the White House and the State Department. When
the Russians meet with the saber-rattlers they know how to call their
bluffs, but our spokesmen in Washington continue to function under
spells of what may be unjustified fears for a USSR influence in the Mid-
dle East. Even if there is cause for fears of the Kremlin, it does not
justify condoning abuse of American and world Jewries by an Arab
potentate.

The 'Eternity' of Our People

In his farewell address as retiring president of the American
Jewish Congress, Dr. Joachim Prinz evidenced a sense of despair
when he said:
"We no longer can say with any certainty that there will always
be Judaism, that we are an eternal people."
This statement amazed many. It still amazes us. We speak so
often about Nezakh Israel," about the eternity of Israel — an incon-
testable fact in history. How, then, can one say that there is no longer
the certainty about an eternal people? We recite from Psalms, lo omuth
ki ekhyeh — I shall not die but live. How, then, can we negate it
with doubt?
Dr. Prinz made a strong appeal for extension of educational

2 Friday, July 1, 1966



The Faisal Matter: Old Canards
Revived About Zionism and Ju-
daism ... The Survival Debate

By Philip
Slomovitz

efforts among our youth, and he was right when he spoke about our
youth who are willing to march and to demonstrate for the solution
of American problems but who "do not know enough about Jewish
history and tradition to understand that these are great Jewish issues
as well, and they are not concerned enough about their Jewish-
ness to care."
Out of his doubt there therefore emerged a lesson for our youth—a
lesson that can well begin with the elders who must show the example
to our youth. Unless and until the elders are able to reconstruct the
Jewish home and make out of it again a • temple of knowledge and
inspiration, a source of pride in Jewish learning, giving encourage-
ment to the re-establishment of Jewish ranks that are motivated by an
intellectual Hebraic aristocracy, we may experience doubts intermin-
ably.
Nevertheless, there is not too much cause for despair, as long as
there are the handful of knowledgeable Jews who keep that banner
of learning aloft.
An Israel Technion professor, Yehuda T. Raddy, who teaches the
Israeli students in Haifa the Bible and Hebrew, has described his
experiences interestingly to indicate that there are those who come to
Israel without knowledge, but that there also are those who are steeped
in learning. Let us quote him:
Of the students coining from behind the Iron Curtain there
were seine who had never heard of the Decalogue, while others,
though born well after the Communist takeover, had acquired in
secret an astonishing amount of Jewish lore and Hebrew culture.
All these students have apparently been through thorough indoc-
trination in Marxism at school, but without exception seemed to
have been completely untouched and even irreverently ironical
about it. Which should make a teacher rather skeptical about the
efficiency of education — or perhaps only about the totalitarian
brand of education?
The biggest difficulties were encountered by the students from
Iran. On the other hand, the students from North Africa, who
according to the current Israeli prejudice are supposed to be slow
of learning, were among the best. A student from Tunisia had
occasion to correct me several times when I slipped up in quoting.
A few students from South America came with a thorough ground-
ing in the Bible and were, in fact, close runners-up at the Interna-
tional Bible Quiz for Youth. Once I had casually mentioned in
class that the descendants of Maimonides did not distinguish
themselves as scholars after one century; after the class one of
the students walked up to me and protested that he was a scholar.
ship holder in Aeronautical Engineering and at the same time in
possession of a pedigree leading back through 25 generations to
that sage! In the course of another lecture I happened to mention
that the 1,000-year-old Torah scroll of Aleppo, which was pre-
sumed to have been lost during the anti-Jewish riots there in 1948,
had mysteriously turned up a few years later in Israel and that
nobody- knew how it had been saved and smuggled out of Syria.
One of my students interrupted me to say that the feat was per-
formed by his elder brother. Lastly, when in the course of answer-
ing a question, I admitted that I could not remember the exact
location of a certain Midrash in the Talmud, one electronics stu-
dent from Casablanca interjected: "Tractate Sanhedrin, page seven-
teen, at the bottom!" All together, it has been a heartening exper-
ience for me to see that so much Jewish learning is still being
fostered in many parts of the Diaspora, even in countries notorious
for their anti-Jewish prejudices and persecution.

UJA Emphasizes
Urgent Cash Need;
Fisher Makes Plea

GENEVA, Switzerland—A grow-
ing backlog of unmet needs, oc-

casioned by lack of funds, threat-
ens to overwhelm overseas migra-
tion and welfare agencies set up by
American Jewry and to affect the
health, welfare and safety of tens
of thousands of Jews in Israel,
Europe and the Moslem countries,
Max M. Fisher, general chairman
of the United Jewish A p p e a
stated after a meeting with tl
executive heads of four beneficiar,„
igencies of the UJA Joint Distri-
bution Committee, Jewish Agency,
World ORT Union and United Hias
Service — all of which have their
European headquarters in Geneva.
"The agencies whose work we
support are living on a hand-to-
mouth basis, meeting only the most
urgent of their clients' needs and
putting off or neglecting large
areas of service because of the lack
of immediate cash," Fisher said.
"They need assurance from us of
a steady flow of additional income
if they are to cope with the con-
tinuing demands of men, women
and children who have not the
means to take care of themselves
in the countries in which they live,
and of those whose life and safety
depend on them being moved from
their countries of origin to more
hospitable havens elsewhere."
The meeting with Fisher was
called by Charles H. Jordan, direc-
tor general of JDC, major welfare
agency serving needy Jews over-
seas.
The most pressing need of all
the agencies, according to Fish-
er, is additional cash. "Although
our campaigns in the United
States are well ahead of last
year, the flow of cash is some-
what behind," he said. "It is
necessary to call upon the com-
munities who have done so well
in their campaigns on our be-
half to make as much cash as
possible available to the United
Jewish Appeal so that these
agencies we serve can receive
the money they need so
urgently."
Among the most urgent needs
cited by the Agency leaders were:
expansion of vocational training
facilities for newcomers in Israel,
for North African Jews who have
settled in France, and to meet the
rising demand for technological
skills in Latin America; develop-
ment of services for handicapped
children in Israel; more assistance
for secondary education in the
Moslem countries- and the welfare
needs of thousands of aging Jews
in Poland and other Eastern Euro-
pean countries.
Fisher warned that the UJA,can-
not hope to meet its financial cow
mitrnents to these agencies or C:_
scale commensurate with thet
needs unelss it can raise a mini::
mum of $40,000,000 in cash by
June 30.
The Agency Directors esti-
mated that more than 100,000
Jews in North African and East-
ern European countries have al-
ready indicated their desire to
migrate to Israel and other
countries and that 150,000 more
are planning to leave in the next
few years.
"Lack of money is not the only
thing that keeps people waiting
where they are but we must not
allow a situation to develop which
prevents them from finding new
homes because we do not have the
money to help them," Fisher said.

-

How deep-rooted is Jewish practice among my immigrant stu-
dents? This is very hard to say. Nevertheless, the proportion of
the observant among my students seems to increase from year to
year. Though I am myself well on the traditionalist side, I never-
theless remember two occasions when I clashed with some of my
students. Once, when on the authority of Maimonides I interpreted
a difficult passage as allegory, a civil engineering student from
Paris asked to be excused from my course, because he was hurt
in his literalist attitude. On another occasion an Israeli student left
my class in the middle of a lecture. Later on it transpired that he
had considered offensive my remark that Moses, Elijah, Ezra,
Hillel, Rabbi Yohanan Ben Zakai and Rabbi Akiba were said to
have lived up to the age of 120. Elijah had not died!
Of course, these incidents were the exception. While knowl-
edge among the new immigrants ranges from nil to a good Tal-
mudic education, the Israeli-born students bring along with them
a fair Biblical education from high school with good literary appre-
ciation but with little understanding of, and reverence for, Rab-
binical Judaism and Jewish practice. Moreover, while I have only
to allude to the problems of Jewish life to be immediately under-
stood by the immigrant students, these problemS are completely
incomprehensive to the Sabras (native born). Nevertheless, the
very small percentage of failure in the examinations and the re-
markable proportion of students who obtain top marks would
indicate that the course in Bible and Jewish history is being
well accepted by the students. It may well be advisable to introduce
a course in "Jewish Thought," to be made obligatory for the
Sabras. In this connection I am glad to see that a course on "The
Idea of the State in Jewish History" has been initiated this year
by Aluf Rabbi S. Goren, the Chief Chaplain of the Israeli Defense
Forces, and another course on "American Jewry and Judaism"
by Rabbi S. Lilker. Such courses might perhaps help some of our
students to decide whether they are Israelis or Jews! In any case,
it seems to me that the Technion is rendering a valuable service
by reserving a large part of its Humanities program for Judaism
and IsraeL
I do not know how the other teachers in the Humanities pro-
gram feel about it; but my lectures at the Technion on the Bible
and Jewish History are certainly my most cherished working hours Jordan Says 'No Tanks'
of the week.

This is so vitally interesting! There are those from Russia who
come without knowledge. There are the others who are so well in-
formed that their knowledge offers encouragement that from their
ranks will come great leadership, that they will keep alive the spirit
of Jewishness, that the eternity of Israel is assured by them and by
their inspiration.
For American Jews there was a lesson and a challenge in what the
retired American Jewish Congress leader had to say to his constitu-
tents. But even in American Jewish ranks scholarship is not dead. We
must not lose confidence. Somehow, we wish to separate the chaff
from the grain in Dr. Prinz's statement and to retain, as a positive
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS affirmation, the phrase: there will always be Judaism.

to U.S. for Big Bargain

BEIRUT (ZINS)—The newspaper
Al Muhrar, published here, charges
that the Patton tanks the United
States agreed to sell to Jordan con-
sist of old broken-down vehicles,
and that this has become the most
"notorious -affair" in the history
of arms transactions.
The paper adds that as compen-
sation, the United States has now
shipped to Jordan, free of charge,
a transport of exchange parts.

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