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July 08, 1966 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1966-07-08

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Purely Commentary

A Zionist Faisal of First World War Era


(Copyright, 1966, JTA, Inc.)

By Philip Slomovitz

.They were met by Arab officers
with fruit and refreshments, and
escorted to the Arab general head-
quarters. Here Weizmann saw
among the Arab officers "Law-
rence of Arabia," who was to be-
come a friend of the Weizmanns,
often visiting the Weizmann home
in London in later years.
The Weizmann party, on arrival,
was told that they could not see
the Emir Faisal until morning. The
night was - cool and peaceful, with
the bright Mediterranean moon
lighting it up. Weizmann walked
about enjoying the s c e n e r y.
Around him were the mountains
of Moab. Below, as if in slumber,
lay the Dead Sea. In his auto-
biography, Weizmann indicates
that gazing -at the scene, he fell
into something of a trance, in
which he seemed to feel that the
past 3,000 years had receded, and
he stood again with his ancestors
in the land in which they had
resided. In his half dream state,
he was interrupted by a British
sentry, who said: "Sorry, Sir, but
you are out of bounds."
In the morning, at the meet-
ing with Faisal, Weizmann found

King Faisal may regard Zionists
and Jews as enemies of Arabs,
Argentine's military coup has brought tensions to the country and but there was a Faisal who thought
a nervousness among the country's half million Jews. The instability differently. He was the, man who
in the land is responsible for many uncertainties, but the arrests of first made the name Faisal famous.
Jews in recent days could have been the result of a spreading anti-
Faisal, the head of the Arab
army in the first world war, in
While anti-Semitism had been described as a national rather than which the Arabs gained their in-
a Jewish problem in Argentina—whatever that description may mean dependence from Turkey, was a
—the fact is that during President Arturo U. Illia's first year in office very good friend of Zionism. - He
there were 300 anti-Semitic incidents, and while Illia's Foreign Minis- was described by Dr. Chaim Weiz-
ter Zavala Oritz said, while on a visit in Washington, that the anti- mann as an "enthusiastic" Zionist.
Semitic reports are exaggerated, the spread of hatred against Jews has He spoke of Zionism as the "com-
been too evident there to be ignored.
mon cause" of Arabs and Jews.
Is Gen. Juan C. Ogania, who ousted Illia, motivated by anti-Semitism
Some contend that the Arab part
in his first acts as Argentina's ruler, during which he may have in the first world war has been
engineered the arrests of Jews? The coming few days should reveal vastly overdrawn, that its fight-
the true state of things there. The fact is, however, that the anti- ing really didn't amount to much.
Semitic -Tacuara is spreading its venom, that the Arab League periodical In all, the Arab army appears to
published in Buenos Aires, Nacion Arabe, has charged that "rich . Jew- have counted no more than a
ish capitalists" of Argentina sent all their money to Israel and has few thousand men. A great deal
spread the bogey of Jewish "double allegiance." These hate-spreading of its reputation no doubt sterns
proPagandists have created -an anti-Semitic atmosphere which has from the writing about it by the
aroused many fears and which now are expressed in the nervousness Britisher, T. E. Lawrence, the
resulting from the arrests of Jews and the threatened persecutions.
famous "Lawrence of Arabia," who
There is no doubt that Argentinian Jewry may be in trouble under has become something of a
the new rulers.
legend. However, what fighting
the Arabs did in the war was in
American Jewish Committee Back in NCRAC
the army headed by Emir Faisal.
Reaffiliation of the American Jewish Committee with the National He was the admitted leader of the
Community Relations Council creates a measure of unity in Jewish united Arab forces.
ranks. For 14 years the AJCommittee acted on its own. It stayed out
During the first world War, after
of the over-all picture mirrored in the NCRAC.
General Allenby had wrested
Bnai Brith and the Anti-Defamation League similarly had left the Jerusalem from the Turks, Dr.
NCRAC in 1952, but they returned to the fold last year.
Weizmann went to see the British
Now the ranks have been closed, all the major organizations are commander. He found Allenby not
joined in a common effort in the NCRAC—even if only for consultation overly interested in the Zionist
and coordination.
cause. Weizmann made it plain to
Thus, a real achievement was scored at the NCRAC sessions in Allenby that the latter's reputa-
Washington last week.
tion in History would fall or rise
with Zionist , success.
The Brandeis Anniversary
"General," said Dr. Weizmann
Fifty years have passed since Louis D. Brandeis became a mem- in effect, "you are to be con-
ber of the highest court in the land. He gained that role thanks to gratulated on your victory. From
the refusal of President Wilson to yield to threats. After a fierce con- the standpoint of the area, the
troversy in the United States Senate, President Wilson's appointee was Germans have scored much greater
confirmed and his services on the High Bench brought everlasting glory victories. Whatever special nature
to America's judicial system.
of the territory. you have con-
While the nation recalls the struggle over his appointment, at the quered—land hallowed because of
same time taking into account the many gifts to our judiciary made by its -ancient Jewish associations. If
the great jurist, it is not to be forgotten that anti-Semitism played a history-. assesses a . great value to
role in the opposition to Brandeis' appointment. It was overcome and your conquest, it would be because
now all the acts of venom are a discredit to those who opposed him.
of its significance in the Zionist
At the same time, the Brandeis anniversary is an occasion to recall program. Otherwise, • it will be
that he was the great leader in Zionism, that he assisted in the pre- but a small footnote in military
paratory work for Israel's upbuilding, that he pleaded -the Jewish annals."
cause whenever and wherever his voice could be heard. The anniver-
Allenby was not unimpressed.
sary of Brandeis' having mounted the rostrum of the U. S. Supreme He suggested that Weiz-rnann see
Court is, therefore, a glorious occasion to honor the memory of a the leader of the Arab army, the
great American and a great Jew.
Emir Faisal.
Accompanied by • a few British
Action 'Based on Knowledge and Not on Inertia'
officers, Weizrnann set out on
the journey which ordinarily
In his most informative work, "The Jew in American Literature"
would have required only a few
(Bloch), Dr. Sol Liptzin, the eminent American-Jewish scholar who
hours • by car. However, much
is now on the faculty of the Haifa Technion, suggests three alternatives
of the territory was still held
for responses by-Jews to the call for survival. In the preface of his book
by the Turkish army, so a long
he suggests:
circuitous route had to be taken,
"Since the founding of the Jewish state, members of the Amer-
roundabout Suez and the Sinai
ican Jewish community can freely choose between three alterna-
Peninsula. It took 10 days to
tives. They can migrate to the land of their biblical forefathers,
make the journey, half of it on
bringing to it their valuable American know-how, enriching the
water. The boat was an old
nascent Israeli personality with a precious American ingredient.
Or, they can assimilate into American. life and rid themselves rickety affair, • covered with
entirely both of the burden of Jewishness - and of the blessing of heavy layers of vermin. There
wasn't even a workable bath
this burden. Or else, they can continue a bicultural existence in
room. After the boat trip, the
Jewish time and American space, improving the quality and in-
party mounted camels for the
tensity of their Jewish living, buttressing themselves with Jewish
desert trip and, in part, even
religious and cultural institutions which would survive the ravages
of encircling non-Jewish forces, and striving towards a Golden Age the camels couldn't go. -The
party had to work. It was
of American Jewishness. The choice is an individual choice but
sweltering hot, and one of the
it is best based on knowledge and not on inertia."
officers fell sick with malaria.
There is realism in this frank statement. There are Jews who
Finally they reached a plateau,
desire to abandon their identity ,who are determined to sever all links
there was a pleasant breeze
with their people. They are free to do so,—but they should know why
they do it.
Prof. Liptzin makes the point that "since literature is a seismo- Elman Greeted by LBJ
graph of life, a survey of the changing image and role of the Jew
Li American literature casts light upon past and present attitudes of at 5,000th Performance
Jews and towards Jews and may stimulate further thinking on looming
NEW YORK — Mischa Elman
possibilities." This is true also of knowledge about a multiple of matters June 29 made his 5,000th public
relating to Jews. The chief point in Dr. Liptzin's analyses is vital: that appearance since his debut as a
Jews must be informed, else their action and stemming from ignorance, violinist at age 13.
The 75-year-old artist performed
are negative and certainly to be discredited.
before an en-
It is in relation to both the first alternative — which surely will
thusiastic a u d f-
involve only a small fraction in Jewry, and the latter — the vital
ence at Lewisohn
element that will continue a bicultural existence, that the emphasis
must be placed again and again and again on knowledge, on informa-
Stadium. Con-
tion, on a constituency that must he rooted in learning. Without a well-
gratulatory mes-
informed constituency we will be an ineffective, unproductive and in-
sage were re-
competent group — and that would surely belie all of our traditions.
ceived from
President John-
son and Gov.
The Truman Center for Peace
.,Rockefeller, as
It is most regrettable that former President Harry S. Truman will
well as Mayor
not be in Israel for the ground-breaking of the Peace Center to be
Lindsay and
established in his name. It would have been an occasion for deserved
and justified honors for the great leader who was the first to give Sens. Robert F. Kennedy and Jacob
recognition - to the State of Israel within minutes after the Declaration K. Javits.
One of his encores was played
of Independence. But the Truman Center will serve an historic purpose
and even in his absence the Truman name will be linked not only with in memory of Mrs. Charles S. Gug-
the new center but also with the State. That link already is historically genheimer, founder of the Stadium

Nervousness Among Argentinian Jews


the latter quite well informed
about Zionism and expressing
warm support for it. Faisal be-
lieved that the Arabs had much
to gain by Jewish participation
in the upbuilding of the Middle
East. He looked forward to a
renaissance of the Middle East
through the joint labors of
Arabs and Jews. At the end of
the meeting, Faisal suggested
that he and Weizmann be
photographed together.
The Zionists were disturber:Le —
subsequently—on the eve of th
Peace Conference—when a Park
paper published a report that --
Faisal had recanted his support
of Zionism. Felix Frankfurter, the
Supreme Court Justice, who at
the time took an interest in Zion-
ism as a co-worker of Brandeis,
went to see the Emir. Faisal,
denied the truth of the report that
he was against Zionism. Instead,
he gave Frankfurter a letter
warmly endorsing Zionism. Indi-
cating that Palestine was the. ori-
ginal home of the Jews, Faisal
closed the letter with the - sen-
tence: "We wish the Jews a most
hearty welcome home."

••• ■ •• ■ ••••,3• ■■•••■•■ Isoalowu....c......m.o.m.00nwo ■•■■ ••1111113 ■ 41•1111111.1)•• ■.■0■411.111 11 ■11 i1.11.• ■ •.: ■100

Boris Smolar's

'Between You
.. and Me'


(Copyright, 1966, JTA, Inc.)

CULTURAL INNOVATIONS: There are 18,000 Jewish teachers
in the New York City public school system. . .. They deal with tens
of thousands of Jewish children. . . . How many of this army of Jewish
educators had a Jewish education? .. . How many of them have any
kind of knowledge about Jewish literature? . . . Which of them can
read Yiddish to enjoy the books of great Yiddish writers who are
now being "discovered" and translated into English? . . . In enjoying
the production "Fiddler on the Roof"—the most successful play on
Broadway—which of them can boast of having read Sholem Aleichem,
the great Jewish writer on whose works the play is based? . . The
YIVO Institute for Jewish Research conducted two courses for teach-
ers of New York public schools seeking to acquaint them with the
riches of Jewish culture. . . . One course dealt with "Antecedents in
American Jewish Life," the second was on "100 Years of Jewish
Literature". . . And what happened? . . . More than 120 teachers
enrolled for each of the courses,: and many others had to be turned
away because of lack of space. . . . . This was the first time that
many of the teachers in New York's public school system have been
exposed to an array of impressive information about the Jewish cultural
tradition. • . . Its effect . on them has been quite profound. . .
the YIVO is planning to introduce similar courses for the coming
school year. . .. However, it is a question of securing funds for this
program. . . Comparatively speaking, not much money is involved—
perhaps $1,500 for each course. .. But YIVO's yearly budget is too
meager to even spend that little money for this program, which reaches
an important segment of the Jewish population. . . . Support for this
project must come from Jewish foundations—and there are so many
of them—established for charitable and cultural purposes. . . The
National Foundation for Jewish Culture, which is itself suffering from
lack of funds, was helpful in the experiment this year. . . . However,
it is not the function of this Foundation to initiate individual projects
of a local nature. . . . The involvement of the National Foundation in
the venture this year was intended primarily to serve as a demon
stration project which could be adapted by communities throughout
the country. • . . The course on "100 Years of Jewish Literature" %vat '
paid for by the Nathan Chanin Foundation, which was established V:
the Workmen's Circle, the Jewish fraternal organization popular}
known as the Arbeiter Ring.



QUIET FUND-RAISING: More and more Jewish personalities in
this country are taking an active interest in the scholarship fund estab-
lished by the Thanks to Scandinavia organization as an expression of
appreciation to Denmark, Sweden and Norway for saving Jews from
Nazi hands.... The fund is being raised quietly, without any publicity.
. . . However, the organization is receiving not only -contributions, but
also inquiries from interested persons all over the country who wish
to participate in paying tribute especially to the Christian population
of the Scandinavian land, Denmark, who stood courageously for the
Jews and prevented their deportation to Nazi death camps. . . . The
bulk of the contributions have come until recently from the New York
area, since the organization was established in New York. . . . But
now a group of about 35 people in Chicago is giving $100,000, with
one of the group making a contribution of $25,000. . . . Similarly,
a small group of about 45 persons in Philadelphia now contributed
more than $50,000, and will do at least as well as the group in
Chicago. . . . The inspirational force in the raising of funds for Thanks
to Scandinavia is the well-known pianist, Victor Borge, himself a
Danish Jew — he is completely dedicated to this cause and devotes
much of his time and energy to it. • . Richard Netter, the noted New
York - lawyer, is another moving spirit in the project to thank the
Scandinavian people by providing international scholarships for Danish
and other Scandinavian students.... The heroic story of how the Danes
saved all the Jews in Denmark from Nazi hands, just when the Nazi
occupational authorities were ready to deport them to extermination
camps, is well known. . . . Also well known is the fact that, when the
Danish Jews returned after the war from neutral Sweden—where they
were welcomed—they found their homes and all their belongings well
taken care of by their neighbors. . . . Their businesses had been main-
tained during their absence by their non-Jewish employes.

2—Friday, July 8, 1966



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