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July 14, 1967 - Image 2

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1967-07-14

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Purely Commentary

Israeli Potpourri—Notable Medley
About Heroism, Enemies, Friends

Schools in Israel: Heroism of University, Hebrew
Technion, ORT, Boys Town Faculty, Students
Heroism was a common denominator in Israel. Young and old were
ready to make sacrifices to retain life for state and people.
The reason for emphasis on the courage of students in Israel's
higher institutions of learning is that many of the students and faculty
are non-Israelis. Yet all shared alike in the struggle for liberty and
justice.
The story of the Hebrew University and Technion student-faculty
share in the battle has already been told. Many of the incidents will
be recapitulated in the decades to come. Their story is duplicated
among the research scientists at the Weizmann Institute and among
faculty and students at Tel Aviv University.
Rabbi A. S. Linchner, the man who inspired the founding of the
magnificent and creative Boys Town near the Hebrew University in
Jerusalem, was a saddened man when he called us from New York
the other day to inform us that five of the students and one member
of the faculty are among the dead.
Dr. William Haber and Harry Platt, the Michigan members of a
'Devotion Between Comrades'
In his address of acceptance of the honorary doctorate awarded special delegation to Israel, who returned from a survey tour last
him by the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, on Mount Scopus, the week, were filled with admiration for the courage of the ORT schools'
original location of the university from which the rightful owners had students and teachers.
ORT has received a report from Eleanor Finkelstein on the activ-
been barred by Jordan for 19 years, Maj. Gen. Itzhak Rabin reviewed
the events that marked Israel's victory last month and he made this ities of the Jerusalem ORT during the week of the war. A part of her
report
outlines activities that will be recorded with glory. She stated:
comment:
To be a war veteran at 19 is not at all unusual in Israel; to be one at 17 is
"Whoever has not seen a tank crew continue its attack with
somewhat special. in this special class are scores of ORT seniors, topflight
Its commander killed and its vehicle badly damaged, has not seen students in mechanics and electronics who,. although not in actual combat, never-
decisive contribution to Israel's magnificent victory
sappers endangering their lives to extricate wounded comrades from theless, made a direct and Jordan
and Syria in the war just ended.
toe armies of Egypt,
before the war broke out, these ORT seniors volunteered for services
a minefield, whoever has not seen the anxiety and the effort of the over Even
in
essential
defense
industries
and vital civilian posts where regular staffs
entire air force devoted to rescuing a pilot who has fallen in enemy
had been seriously depleted by the extensive mobilization of military reserves.
A particularly proud group these days is the one from the ORT Vocational Cen-
territory, cannot know the meaning of devotion between comrades in
ter in Jerusalem, for they rightly feel that they—and their school—bad a share
arms."
in the defense of their beloved city when it came under Jordanian attack.
Eight of the ORT Jerusalem seniors took over production and supervisory
In a simple statement, Gen. Rabin explained the heroism that was
in defense industries; 13 became the backbone of the maintenance staff
inspired by a people's determination not to be exterminated, never Jobs
in the huge mechanical complex of Hadassah Hospital. They worked like fiends,
again to be faced by conditions that could have meant—had Israel lost cheerfully disregarding the clock. At Hadassah, they slept and ate on the
premises.
And they delivered a performance so precise and skillful that their
—other Auschwitz and Dachau and Treblinka annihilation camps.
eredeve one a permanent job.
offered
present
Many of the heroes who fell in the Israel war on the combined
our maintenance plant run so smoothly," says their chief at
Hadassah. "Never have the charts; graphs and gauges that record the function-
forces of an overwhelming army of enemies were the commanders. An ing of the boilers, ventilating system and electrical network shown such a
Israeli commander leads: that's why he has a following; he leads steady line."
words were as welcome as war medals to ORT Jerusalem's Director
because he has his back to the wall—to the sea!—in an encirclement Max These
Ringart and Technical Director Ivan Livni. They eased the strain of
of antagonistic nations. That is why the story of the War of June 5 those high-tension weeks during which the two men had to put forth a cease-
effort just to keep the school going.
will be recorded among the most courageous demonstrations by a less Thirty
teachers out of a staff of 40 were called up. With the aid of engi-
neers, above military age, from civilian life and girl students from the Hebrew
people with a will to live.

Desecrations on Mount of Olives
An Age ice Frances-Presse report from Jerusalem reveals that
gravestones from the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives were
removed to build Jordanian army camps at Al Azarlya and Sur Bahir.
The report states: "Newsmen who toured the camp, on the road to
Jericho, saw dozens of gravestones, their inscriptions still legible, in
walls and floorings."
Based on experiences, Christians and Arabs who have lived away
from the terrorism of Arab rule now have cause to be thankful that
holy places will be under Israeli rule, that freedoms will be guaranteed
and the abuses of the past will be wiped away.
There is no doubt that the fair-minded at the United Nations knew
and understood the situation, else all the resolutions that aimed at
undermining Israel's position might not have been defeated. It's the old
story, as taught by Lincoln: "You can't fool all of the people all of the
time . .. "
*

Poor Hussein!
Hussein, as the grandson of Abdullah who was assassinated be-
cause he wanted to make peace with Israel, himself faced death when
he was an eyewitness to his grandfather's death at the hands of an
Arab assassin. A bullet struck a medal on his chest—that's how Hussein
survived. Ile was in danger of death many times, and Nasser threat-
ened him time and again. Ahmed Shukairy was his enemy. Yet Hussein
fell victim to the wiles of both Shukairy and Nasser. Now he is the
poor little king who threatens Israel and is himself in such great
trouble!
This tiny king's role was depicted in a Column-One-Page-One
Comment in the June 28 issue of the London Daily Mail and News
Chronicle whose description of "The Fading Charm of King Hussein"
was described as follows:
The appealing manner of King Hussein of Jordan has lost
something of its appeal. The admiration has worn a little thin.
The soft charm, the dignified pathos, the air of bravely defy-
ing the lightning, came over as well as ever in his television inter-
view the other night. But there was something not quite right.
Many viewers sensed this. Recalling recent history they may
have felt that the king was not so frank as they had always
imagined—not to be trusted as far as they thought.
Questioned about false reports that British and American war-
planes had assisted the Israelis in the desert war, he said: "I
would not like to accuse people. I have no proof."
Yet if a taped recording of a telephone talk between Cairo
and Amman is correct, Hussein knew all about this lying propa-
ganda, because he concocted it with Nasser.
For years Cairo radio had hounded him and called for his
"extermination." Yet on the eve of the conflict the king was in
Cairo embracing Nasser and hissing him on both cheeks.
Such weathercock conduct does not commend itself to the
British. Some who watched the interview may have reflected that
Hussein is king by grace of Britain which created Jordan, and for
years ran it.
Jordan has never been a viable state. It lives largely on
British and American aid, which accounts for two-thirds of the
annual budget.
Such dependence has not, however, prevented Hussein from
spreading damaging falsehoods about his benefactors. Nor has it
stopped his current begging-bowl visit to the U.S.
In a speech to the UN he has threatened to renew the war
—a rash and foolish utterance. The welfare of his people demands
that he seek peace with Israel—the only sensible course for all
the Arab countries.
It must be said for Hussein that he is in an extremely difficult
position. He is the puppet of conflicting forces and bitter rivalries
which have swept the Middle East for 50 years.
But this does not alter the fact that he and other Arab leaders
must, sooner or later, sit round the table with the Jews. Nor does
it lessen the responsibility of the Powers.
The situation which has led to three local wars can be traced
to the contradictory British promises to Jews and Arabs during
World War I. But Britain was not alone at fault.
Both France and Russia joined with her in signing the Sykes-
Picot Agreement which carved up the Middle East. The U.S. cannot
cry "holier-than-thou" either, for she refused the Palestine man-
date, preferring to pass by on the other side.
Now, if Russia will play and Western aid is generous, comes a
chance to take this frenzied region off the boil. It will mean years
of patience, a lot of statesmanship and a load of forgiveness.
But it can be done. If it is not done the Middle East will boil
over into the rest of the world.
The poor Hashemite monarch! He had such a wonderful oppor-
tunity to retain a role in Jerusalem, to share a road between Israel and
Jordan. He chose war! And now he has his punishment.

2—Friday, July 14, 1967

University, and by imposing triple schedules on the regular staff that remained,
instruction was maintained on a fairly normal level. The real problem was one
of discipline. Virtually every boy was in a state of exhilaration. This gen-
erated terrific energy, but it was anti-study energy and it had to be directed
toward some constructive activity.
On that fateful morning when -Jordanian shells began falling on Jerusalem,
a considerable number of students were actually in the classrooms. Because
of some confusion concerning the warning siren sounded by the city, the
race for the shelters did not begin at once. Only when the din of firing
turned sharp and crackling did the actual situation become clear.
Then Ivan Livni dashed into the courtyard and sounded the alarm by beat-
ing on an iron column that had been placed there for such a purpose. Within
five minutes, all students and teachers were in their assigned places in the
shelters.
The ORT Jeru :stem Center was in a direct line of fire, standing as it does
on the narrow street that is part of the famous No. 9 bus route that ran
across undivided Jerusalem in the old days (and will now run again across
reunited Jerusalem). From the shelters, students could see shells piercing the
walls and windows of the Electronics Building. A heavy shell fell directly
into the emergency exit of the shelter in the Mechanics Building. The force
of its explosion blew a hole in the wall, shattered all the rear windows and
scattered broken glass and metal around the yard. Providentially, the shelter
was empty at the time, for somewhat earlier when there had been a lull in
the shooting, the students had been sent home.

An indication of the manner in which ORT students prepared for
action before the outbreak of the war was given in a report submitted
by Joseph Harmatz, ORT general director in Israel, who wrote:

By Philip
Slomovitz

Now Israel Needs
Safety From Friends

Acquired security from enemy
attacks, Israel now urgently needs
protection in the arena of friends.
The period of admiration may have
ended. There was general acclaim
for Israel in the hours of triumph.
Now we are beginning to hear
repetition of calumny. The refugee
issue is being exaggerated. The
status of the Israeli Arabs is mis-
represented. Even Drew Pearson,
who is better informed than he has
indicated, has potrayed the status
of the Arabs in Israel as being so
appalling that all would have to sit
down and weep. The truth is that
Israeli Arabs are today the most
affluent of all Arabs everywhere,
that they have been provided
schooling for the children, elec-
tricity and water for their villages,
jobs for the jobless.

The newspapers are filled with
letters to the editors maligning Is-
rael and the Jews. The truth is
that the Red Cross has received
aid for prisoners of war and for
refugees from Israel and not from
the Arab states. In 19 years the
Arabs have not given a dime to-
wards the upkeep of refugees-70
per cent of the United Nations
Relief and Works Agency funds
come from the United States.

Prisoners of war and the refu-
gees are being fed by Israel and
the International Red Cross has
affirmed the truth. But the Arabs
have not permitted Red Cross rep-
resentatives' visits to Israeli pri-
soners of war.

And too many are being misled
by false propaganda, with the re-
sult that some who have hailed
Israel's victory now are unfriendly,
are spreading the false propagan-
da against Israel, are shedding
crocodile tears over the poor, van-
quished Arabs who, as losers,
would like to dictate the peace—
but without meeting "the enemy"
face to face, as is proper and to be
expected in the striving for peace.

That is why we now compelled to
pray: "Protect us from some of
our friends!"

*

Our first concern was for the safety of students and teachers in the schools.
Consequently, all existing shelters were readied and where non-existent, or in-
sufficient, new ones were built as well as trenches. Instructions were issued
as to how to organize classes in case of air-raids and the students were told
how to behave to and from school in such circumstances. Temporary replace-
ments were appointed for any school principal or teaching instructor called up.
Fire-extinguishing equipment, stretchers and thousands of sand-bags were
distributed to the schools. All this without restriction of cost involved, as cus-
tomary in such emergencies.
We next turned out attention to keeping the schools functioning, in spite
of the shortage of teaching personnel who as from the first were called up
in the hundreds. In some schools, only two or three teachers remained. To
meet this situation, all non-mobilized staff were called to fill In their places
and in addition, students of the higher classes were turned to teaching the
lower grades. What is more, school principals were asked to seek outside
personnel and engage temporarily some teachers for those tasks that could not
be filled in by our own forces—this again regardless of the heavy strain on
our budget.
A wave of volunteering passes over Israel, the like of which has not been
felt in ages—anyone who can do anything, offers his services. We. in ORT,
have fitted well into the spirit. Hundreds of students were mobilized for
various jobs in various parts of the country. Some went to work in the mili-
tary industries, the aircraft industries and in electronics, to replace those
called up. Many youngsters are busy digging trenches, others, still, help out
in kibutzim and moshavim where there is an acute shortage of working hands.
Our students are also found in the postal services. •

Annihilation? By Whom?
Especially disturbing are letters
of the type that was written by the
former president of Union Theo-
logical Seminary (Henry P. Van
Dusen) to the N. Y. Times. He
had the gall to follow the Arab and
USSR line of equating Israel with
the Nazis and to imply a threat of
"annihilation" by Israel. All Israeli
actions — post-war — have been to
aid the refugees, to assist in re-
union of families, and Arabs have
rejoiced to be able to travel freely
from the territory won by Israel
into Israel. Yet a theologian speaks
Such reports are multiplied a thousand-fold and more. They are of "murderous and tragic holo-
part of the story of modern Maccabean heroism. Now it is to be caust" possibilities involving Is-
hoped that the courageous will have the freedom to carry on peaceful rael! Once again, Israel would be a
efforts of reconstruction for the benefits of the entire area. They have nice guy if he could be pitied. But
the ability to solve the refugee problem, to establish a happy relation- to grant him the right to protect
ship with neighbors, to encourage trade for the entire area, to teach his life with his own means?
a lesson in amity to the nations who scramble for power in the UN Heaven forbid! . . Somehow we
and who are embittered by religious differences. If only the enemies refuse to believe that all Christians
subscribe to the Van Dusen view.
of Israel will work with Israel for these peaceful solutions !
• • •
• • •
• • •

The Internal Controversy — Israel's Most Serious Problem

Israel will face so many problems in the months—the years—to come, that her friends
will be staggered, her enemies may gloat, the citizens of the embattled state will have so
much to contend with that they are not to be envied.
There will be the issue involving the refugees, the need to defend the borders, the com-
pulsion to keep tens of thousands alerted in a permanent army to prevent renewal of a
war more deadly than any yet experienced.
Most serious of all in the immediate future will be the internal challenges over poli-
tical supremacy. On the eve of the war it was already evident to those of us who were in
Israel that the clamor was for Ben-Gurion and Dayan and Peres. Yet it is so obvious
that the preparations for the war were made by Eshkol and Rabin and Hod and that they
are the heroes, that the great hero on the Diaspora front, at the UN, is Abba Eban.
Now there is a sad division, and even Mrs. Dayan comes to our shores to build up
a stronger case for her husband who, undoubtedly, had a role in victory, but who came in
for the glory at the tail end.
Jews outside Israel must not be misled by claims that seek to build up a new cult of
hero worship. The truth is that the hero in the new Maccabean victory is the people of
Israel, and that its guide were the chiefs of staffs who had built up the defensive machine
during the years of their command—especially the last five years. Let credit go where
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS credit belongs and let's hope politics will not prove detrimentally divisive in Israel.

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