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July 21, 1967 - Image 3

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1967-07-21

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Israel's Role: Good Treatment for POWs

HAIFA — More than ten years
ago, after the Suez-Sinai campaign
of those days, Israel also held
some 6,000 Egyptian prisoners of
war. Before their repatriation to
Egypt we provided many hundreds
of the officers and large numbers
of the enlisted men among them
with the opportunity to see Israel
as it really is.
I was one of the first observers
in Israel to report in the press at
the time on this magnificent proj-
ect. The prisoners were in effect
released from camp for a day in
the custody of civilian hosts. We
could take our guests wherever we
wished, or wherever they wished.
The purpose was to let them see
with their own eyes the nature
of Israel and its people.
* * *

Many of us who served as hosts
took our guests home for lunch,
and to meet the family. Our lan-
guage was English, and most of
the Egyptian officers spoke' it
surprisingly well.
The prisoners were dressed in
khaki clothing, without insignia.
They were permitted to walk the
streets with their hosts, to buy
newspapers or souvenirs. Many got
haircuts, at their hosts' expense.
Upon request they were .taken to
Arab villages, where they could
speak freely to Israeli Arabs - and
learn for themselves what life was
like here.
The project was a radical inno-
vation in the treatment of prison-

Israel Appeals
for Immigrants
71 *7
to Duna N at i on

festo calling upon "every family
in the Jewish people" to partici-
pate in the upbuilding of Israel
and ensuring the future of the
Jewish State was made public
jointly by the Israel government
and the executive of the World
Zionist Organization.
Noting that the events of recent
weeks had provided "a decisive
turning point in the history of the
Jewish people and of Israel" the
manifesto declared "A holy duty
to upbuild the country speedily
and to ensure the future of the
Jewish State now faces the Jewish
people. The inescapable call of
this hour is for aliya of the whole
people, young and old; a return
to Zion of the whole house of Is-
The statement urged that "every
family in the Jewish people" par-
ticipate "in this aliya movement
for the upbuilding of the land of
Referring to the historic events

of last month, the manifesto de-
clared: "The .Israel Army, a
people's army, daringly over-
came and vanquished vast hos-
tile forces who had gathered to
exterminate Israel. The enemy
siege was broken, the heritage
of our ancestors liberated and
Jerusalem deemed to become
once more a city that is one. The
fears and hopes of the entire
Jewish people were identified
with the fate of embattled Is-
rael fighting for its existence."

Every Jew, the manifesto con-
tinued, "felt that not only the
fate of Israel but the future of the
whole Jewish people was in the
balance for a second time in a
generation that has witnessed both
the agony of the Holocaust and
the wonder of resurgence. Among
the deeply stirred Jewish com-
munities throughout the world,
there was a fresh awakening of
Jewish consciousness manifesting
itself in a will to volunteer and
participate in the struggle for Is-
"In the present hour of deliver-
ance, though the time of danger
is not passed, new vistas have been
opened and immense challenges
present themselves."

ers of war. One foreign observer
here at the time commented that
the Geneva Convention had been
given new meaning.
* * *

The purpose was not to indoc-
trinate the men. One day of kind
treatment could not be enough to
undo the years of propaganda to
which they had been subjected
at home. We did not lecture them
or argue with them. The important
thing was to let them see with
their own eyes.
They could not understand why,
even after they had been identified
in public, Israeli children did not
spit on them or throw stones at
them. The relative comfort of the
Israeli Arabs was at complete vari-
ance with all that they had been
told. One of my "guests" stared
in disbelief at the serene streets
of residential and industrial Haifa.
He had heard over Radio Cairo
that the city had been bombed to
bits by the Egyptian destroyer that
had steamed into our waters.
Whereupon we pointed out to him
the former Egyptian ship, moored
at the docks, and now flying the
Israel flag.
Emphasis was on informality.
There was nothing bureaucratic or
even military about the sightsee-
ing. We were not armed. The


Friday, July 21, 1967-3

$632,784 to support Jewish educa-
$632,784 for Education
PHILADELPHIA (JTA) — The tion in Philadelphia. The budget
"guests" were on their honor, and
tops that for 1966-67 by $49,000,
it should be added that there was Federation of Jewish Agencies according to Frank L. Newburger,
has announced a record budget
never a single incident of any kind.
for the 1967-68 school year of Jr., federation president.
The only difficulty was that each
one wished to go back for more
trips, but their numbers made that
impossible. And soon thereafter all
JULY 24th thru AUGUST 7th
6,000 were returned to Egypt.
* * *
Was the effort worth while? Per-
Certified Master Watchmaker and Jeweler
haps no one will really ever know.
UN 1-8184
Upon repatriation all of them were
locked up in camps and subjected
to an intensive Egyptian re-indoc-
trination program. Yet no matter
how thorough the re-education, the
Meats and
fact is that these men had seen with
their own eyes and heard with
their own ears. They would never
again be able to accept unques-
tioningly the Nasser propaganda
line about Israel and the Israelis.
• Bar-B-Q Beef Ribs • Bar-B-Q Lamb Ribs
They would not necessarily be-
come good will agents for Israel -
but deep in their hearts they
• HAMBURGER PATTIES in three sizes
would know the truth.
Furthermore, in the event of
another war, they would not be
afraid to become captives again.
Would this perhaps explain why
so many prisoners have again this
time fallen into our hands?
That POW project was carried
Member Detroit Kosher
out after the 1956 Suex campaign.
WE DELIVER — UN 1-4770
Meat Dealers Association
Again, in 1967, we hold in stock-
ades a similar number of prisoners. WII ■0 ■000•■■■■■•■■
•"4 •00.44





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