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October 21, 1966 - Image 2

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1966-10-21

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

Purely Commentary

By Philip Slomovitz

A Sad Chapter in Detroit Jewish History

A number of years ago, one of American Jewry's most eminent
educators, the late Hes Aleph (Abraham H.) Friedland, here for a
lecture at a dinner of the United Hebrew Schools, spoke of a peculiar
malady in Jewish life. Poet, historian, essaying, as well as a leader
in the Jewish educational field, Mr. Friedland described the status
of Jewish communal functions and pointed out that everybody is brave
when he can criticize some one in another community. But in his own
bailiwick the same man of courage suddenly becomes blind to realities.
He was himself a severe critic of inequities in his own community,
in Cleveland, and therefore had a right to speak as freely as he
did in Detroit.
The Friedland episode came to mind when the blind-as-bats atti-
tudes of a number of Detroiters became evident during the sad con-
troversies over the status of teachers in the Jewish schools of Detroit.
They wanted the matter hushed, yet they permitted the issue to go
to the State Mediation Board. They failed to negotiate within our own
portals, yet they squirmed when the issue was in the public limelight,
Now there are many who would forget and have this hushed up,
without realizing that a sad chapter has been registered in American
Jewish history by what had occurred in Detroit in the past few months.
It is to the credit of the rational elements that a just solution
has been arrived at, that the arbitrary and unreasonable act of firing
teachers has been rescinded and that negotiations between "manage-
ment and labor" in Jewish ranks will be conducted within our portals.
But in the meantime there was the "hillul ha-Shem" of public linen-
washing as well as of permitting a matter resolvable internally to turn
into a sensation externally.
It is our conviction that neither synagogue nor Hebrew school
managements have the right to permit a Jewish issue to be dragged
into a public court—and in the occurrences recently involved the
State Mediation Board could become the equivalent of a court. We
believe that in all matters involving management and labor there
should be a way of avoiding strikes and of mediating differences.
But issues affecting the Jewish community certainly should be resolved
without dragging disputes into the public limelight.
There may be unreasonable requests by teachers, but these must
be adjusted amicably, and it is most heartening that a new approach
appears to assure such action. But on the major theme, in the matter
of permitting an internal issue to reach an outside court, there is an
admonition in our traditional liturgical lore—"sof maaseh b'makhashava
tekhilla"—the end of an act must be based on previous practical
deliberations.
This is not "mussar"—it is in no sense intended as moralizing- -
sermonizing. It is an expression of hope that blunders will not again
be committed as readily as they were and that caution and pragmatism
will be linked with a determination to avoid errors that cannot, in
any sense, lend honor to a community.
There is cause for confidence that the disputes now will be ad-
justed, but the errors must be indicated. What has happened here
should be a warning to our own and to all Jewish communities never to
permit abuse of teachers who must be given fullest professional status;
there must not be the repetition of public accusations against veteran
educators of "insubordination" before a hearing is given to the accused
as well as the accuser; and such a hearing can and must be conducted
within our ranks, not in the market place.

Arthur Goldberg's Jewishness and Zionism

It was inevitable. Arthur Goldberg's Jewishness was due to be
discussed in the course of his United Nations activities, and his Zion-
ism is not to be ignored. Neither is it surprising that an Arab should
call attention to his Zionist sentiments.
Goldberg handled himself well. He did not deny, nor did he find
it necessary to apologize, for his association with the libertarian Jewish
movement.
The UN has become a platform for' an exchange of recrimina-
tions, and all sorts of abuses are heard from many quarters. The
pity is that the Big Powers are so hesitant to act when major issues
emerge to trouble the representatives of the nations of the world. If
the Western Powers could find courage to demand that the Arab states
sit down at a conference table with Israel, the difficulties possibly
could be adjusted. But there is Russia to be considered, and one won-
ders whether the USSR might not be induced to go along on a peace
agreement to end the Syrian border attacks.
It's amazing that the Arab spokesmen should have overlooked
the fact that Ambassador Goldberg has been following U. S. State
Department policies in relation to the Middle East and that, in the
main, they have been favorable to them. But one can't enter into
such disputes with people who are motivated by hatreds.
Meanwhile Zionists must be prepared to defend the status of their
movement out of which has developed security and frpedom for more
than a million Jews who have been saved from degredations in lands
of oppression. Just because a few young Zionists committed the blunder
of invading an Arab legation does not justify panic in the ranks. And
name-calling by Arabs shouldn't be incentive for discouragement. The
work of assuring security for Israel and an open door in the Jewish
State for homeless and oppressed Jews must go on without interruption.

*

*

Nobel Prize Winner S. Y. Agnon

S. Y. Agnon has been recognized in Jewish literary circles for
more than two decades. His novels, his short stories, have been among
the classics.
Now he is world recognized—as the current winner of the Nobel
Prize for Literature.
This recognition also is a mark of honor for Hebrew literature,
The Hebrew literary field has been replete with many scholarly works,
with noteworthy contributions to poetry, the narrative art, research.
Agnon is one of the world's greatest classicists. He writes in
Hebrew but his creative efforts are available in many languages,
and English readers have enjoyed him immensely. He will be
enjoyed even more now that world recognition is accorded him. His
choice for the Nobel Prize is cause for great rejoicing in Israeli
and Jewish ranks.

2—Friday, October 21, 1966

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

UN Unit Feeds PLO; Protests Registered
Against Military Training of Anti-Israel Force

(Continued from Page 1)
In addition to pinpointing the
fact that UNRWA is now feeding
the refugees in PLO, although
through "additional funds" total-
ing $150,000 presumably provided
by the Arab states, Mr. Michel-
more's report of failure on "rec-
tification" of his agency's registra-
tion rolls is expected to generate
as much heated debate here as
his section dealing with the ref-
ugees in PLO.
In his report, Michelmore told
the Assembly he had made
virtually no progress whatever,
due to the opposition of Egypt,
Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, in
his efforts to rectify the UNRWA
ration rolls during the last year.
The 1965 Assembly had given
him specific orders to undertake
such "rectification" of the relief
rolls, aimed at elimination from
the UNRWA rolls of the refugees
who are employed, sell-sustain-
ing and otherwise ineligible.
The UNRWA chief reported that
his "rectification" e f for t s in
Egyptian-held Gaza resulted in
cancelation of 4,625 rations out of
a total registration of 286,844. In
Jordan, he stated, the Amman
government had asked UNRWA
to defer temporarily all efforts at
cleansing the relief rolls which,
in that country, show a total
registration of 652,732. In Syria, he
declared, UNRWA is "satisfied"
that the ration rolls are "reason-
ably accurate," but he noted also
that UNRWA "has renewed dis-
cussions" with the Damascus Gov-
ernment for means to verify "the
presence in the country of persons
on the ration list." The number
of refugees registered by UNRWA
in Syria totals 123,306. In Lebanon,
where there are 120,750 refugees
on the UNRWA registration rolls,
Michelmore reported "the routine
work of verification is now pro-
ceeding normally, after a period,
noted in last year's report, when
the Agency was able to make
little headway."
In all four host countries, he
reported, the names of 33,607 per-
sons, including 30,192 ration recip-
ients were removed from the rolls
during the year. He reported that,
in the year under review, ending
June 30, 1966, there was a total
of 1,317,749 names on the UNRWA
registration rolls, as compared
with 1,280,823 the previous year.
He conceded that there are "mer-
chants" who continue to peddle
ration cards originally issued to
refugees.
As to the political situation posed
by the very existence of the Arab
refugee problem, Michelmore re-
iterated what he had reported
earlier to the effect that the ref-
ugees "continued to maintain what
they considered to be their lawful
right to return to their former
homes (in Israel) and to em-
phasize that the United Nations
had given them assurance regard-
ing repatriation or compensation."
He referred to a paragraph in a
1948 Assembly resolution as the
source of that "right" which the
refugees consider "unfulfilled." Is-
rael has always maintained that
the 1948 resolution gave no such
"rights" to the refugees. Michel-
more concluded his political sec-
tion by declaring:
"As year succeeds year, there
is no sign that the refugees are
becoming any less embittered by
their conviction that a grave in-
justice has been done to them. The
implications for peace and stabil-
ity in the Middle East of the con-
tinued existence of the Palestine
refugee problem thus remains as
grave as ever."
Mr. Michelmore presented a
budget for 1967 totaling $39,338,-
000, compared with estimated
expenditures of $37,831,000 in
1966 and actual expenditures of
$37,619,000 in 1965. The current
UNRWA mandate does not ex-
pire until 1969.
The budget figures, and Michel-
more's mention of the fact that
only a large contribution from
Sweden last year had rescued his

relief operations from collapse,
worried the Arab delegations here
particularly because they are pre-
pared to attack the United States
for not giving enough money to
care for the refugees, although the
U.S.A. contributes 70 per cent of
the UNRWA funds and has done
so consistently since the agency
was born in 1950.
The United Nations Relief and
Works Agency for Palestine Ref-
ugees admitted to the General
Assembly that it is providing ra-
tions to refugees who are mem-
bers of the Palestine Liberation
Organization, the group sworn
to make war against Israel and
receiving military training for
that sole purpose.
Strong objections to such
UNRWA activity was voiced by
many governments at the As-
sembly last year. Among the
opponents to UNRWA aid for the
PLO were not only Israel but
also the United States, which
contributes 70 per cent of the
UNRWA budget. However, Mich-
elmore reported to the As-
sembly:
"A special aspect of the question
of ration rolls deserves mention.
Doubts have been expressed by
some Governments about the
propriety of the Agency's issuing
rations which may be consumed
by young men in military training
under the auspices of the Palestine
Liberation Organization. The host
governments (Egypt, J o r d a n,
Syria and Lebanon) do not con-
sider that these doubts are well-
founded. In the light of these dif-
ferences, arrangements have been

made for special added donations
to the amount of $150,000 which
meets the total cost of any rations
consumed by the young men in
question.
"The Commissioner-General is
satisfied that these arrangements
provide a practical means of dis-
posing of the problem insofar as
the Agency is concerned. Contribu-
tors to UNRWA, who may have
been concerned about this matter,
may thus be assured by the
Agency that their contributions
will not be used to furnish assist-
ance to refugees receiving military
training under the auspices of the
Palestine Liberation Organiza-
tion."
It was noted that Michelmore
did not disclose the source of the
$150,000 worth of "added dona-
tions," which, it is believed, come
from the Arab countries. However,
it was observed that he has made
it clear that, whatever the source
of the extra funds, the monies
are being channeled through the
United Nations agency in the form
of rations.
A highly placed spokesman for
the Israeli delegation, asked about
Michelmore's statement regarding
the furnishing UNRWA rations to
military trainees in the PLO,
stated: "It is outrageous that the
United Nations lends itself as an
instrument in this sort of opera-
tion." A spokesman for the United
States delegation here refused to
comment on this issue declaring
that his mission will make its
statement on this issue in due
time when the Michelmore report
is debated.

Passion Play's Director Quits
Rather Than Keep Hate Text

BONN (JTA) — Hans Schwai-
ghofer, director of the 1970 Obe-
rammaergau Passion Play, has
resigned his post because of op-
position to his efforts to eliminate
anti-Jewish overtones from the
scheduled performances.
Deputy Mayor Arthur Haser said
Sunday that Schwaighofer had an-
nounced his resignation after be-
ing told at a meeting of the coun-
cil that most of the 5,000 townsmen
had rejected his plan to adopt a
substitute for the text that has
been used for the last century.
His resignation was the most
spectacular move in a debate rag-
ing in Oberammergau for years.
It has stalled preparations for the
next performance of the play,
which is presented every 10 years.
The old text portrays the Jews
as a "fiendish, bloodthirsty peo-
ple" from whom the "kingdom of
God will be taken away." Schwai-

ghofer wanted to abandon that text
completely, rather than expurgate
it as some had preferred.

Israeli Center Dedicated
in Children's Village

(Direct JTA Teletype Wire
to The Jewish News)

TEL AVIV — A new Bessie Al-
len Center, named for a Chicago
Jewish family, was dedicated at
Kfar Batya, the children's village
sponsored by the Mizrachi Wo-
men's Organization of America.
Members of the Allen family
attended the ceremony as did In-
terior Minister Moshe Shapira and
Walworth Barbour, the American
ambassador to Israel.
Shapira called on American
Mizrachi women to extend efforts
for construction of more cultural
centers in Israel to save Israeli
youth from cultural backwardness.

More Schools Needed in 5727

Israel needs more kindergartens and nursery schools where happy
youngsters like these can learn and play in safe surroundings. UJA
dollars, which do so much for the health and welfare of the rising
generation, also contribute to their cultural and educational life
through the UJA Israel Educational Fund, founded in 1964 to help
provide more schools and teachers, particularly in the high school
area.

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