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October 06, 1967 - Image 25

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1967-10-06

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(Continued from Page 24)
last to be able to let their anti-
Jewish feelings swing freely
again without the embarrass-
ment of thinking themselves or
of being thought by others as
reactionaries.
One's right to live does not in-

clude one's right to deny life to
others. However indisputable are
the rights of the Arab refugees, if
their exercise is to be lethal to
others, the immediacy of their
justification is lost. So long as the
Arab leaders themselves tell us
that their insistence on the re-
patriation of hundreds of thou-
sands of refugees is intended as
a method of blowing up Israel
from within, even the invoked
right to repatriation is mere
camouflage for murder.
Israel would have to suffer from
a suicidal complex not to heed the
unending barrage of Arab profes-
sions of intent of which the two
following ones are typical. Said
President Nasser on September 1,
1960:
"If the refugees return to Israel,
Israel will cease to exist."
And Radio Cairo's Voice of the
Arabs stated on September 13,
1961:
"It is obvious that the return of
one million Arabs to Palestine will
snake them the majority of Israel's
inhabitants. Then they will be able
to impose their will on the Jews
and expel them from Palestine."
Even if by Arab standards this
latter statement is moderate, Is-
raelis can hardly find in it and its
equivalents an incentive for the
mass repatriation of the Arab
refugees. No doubt, if I had an-
other man's gun and he insisted I
return it at once so he can shoot
me, I would hardly let myself be
impressed by his, in itself justified,
claim of ownership.
Much is made of the alleged dis-
crimination against Arab citizens
in Israel. The sheer drama of
thinking a Jewish society to be
persecuting an ethnic minority in
its midst is so,diabolically fascinat-
ing that a Sense of morbid "artis-
try," if nothing else, may be
responsible for the grossest of
exaggerations. Then, too, the
united racists of the world find in
such stories an irresistible vindica-
tion of themselves.

The security problem posed to
Israel by its Arab citizens, many
of whom are openly hostile and
as such identify with the state's
enemies just across the so-near
border, is at least as formidable
as was that posed to Czecho-
slovakii by its Sudeten Germans,
who ultimately did dismember
the state. Tragic as are situa-
tions in which human rights
must be weighed as against
legitimate considerations of state
security, at least in Israel's case
there is the slight consolation
that it might, just might, be
preferable to be nowadays an
Arab in Israel than it was a
generation ago to be a Volga
German in the Soviet Union.
If the Arab refugees have not
lost title to their lands after nearly

two decades, as they most certainly
have not, the question arises
whether one ever loses title to
property of which one is forcefully
deprived. The Arabs say that one
never loses title. If this be so, the
historic question arises: when, at
what point, did the Jews lose their
title to Palestinian territory?
When Titus conquered them?
When their rebellion and brief in-
dependence in the second century
C.E. collapsed? When successive
foreign rulers up to the recent days
of the Turks and the British either
prevented or rendered difficult
their massive return?
Farfetched as is this historlologi-
cal argumentation, it cannot be
avoided if the discussion of Israel's
very legitimacy is not once and for
all considered anachronistic. The
fact is, however. that the question
of historic rights does have current
moral, if not proprietary, implica-
tions. While it can hardly deter-
mine titles to real estate, it can

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
Friday, October 6, 1967-25

serve as a reminder that the con-
sequences of the exile of the Jews
from their ancient land have en-
dured for 1900 years no less tragi-
cally than have the consequences
of the exile of the Arabs for the
past 19 years. And it is precisely
because there is a cause-and-effect
chain that ties together the Jews'
martyrdom and their loss of home-
land that their settlement in Pales-
tine is a return.
Historic criteria are, of course,
purely arbitrary, and that is why
a discussion of relative historic
rights can lead to no universally
acceptable conclusions. But less
controversial is the moral principle
according to which responsibility
for harm endures so long as the
harm and its consequences endure.
This merely means that the com-
munity of nations as a whole does
have a responsibility towards the
Jews for all that has been happen-
ing to them, particularly including
their decimation only a generation
ago. The community of nations
cannot adopt the attitude that
regrettable as is what has hap-
pened to the Jews, it bears no
responsibility for finding a solution
to their exceptional status, and
that even when the Jews them-
selves do find a solution in the
form of wresting for themselves

sovereignty, it has no obligation to
uphold it. Least of all could the
community of nations declare itself
neutral towards a political or mili-
tary process that would now make
possible the completion of that
genocide which Nazi Germany has
committeed on European Jewry.
If the veterans of all the per-
secuted peoples, the Jews, had no
right to emancipate themselves,
emancipate themselves, then cer-
tainly no other, relatively less
persecuted, group has that right.
Then all revolutions are inadmis-
sible, all anti-imperialist struggles
spurious, and the national libera-
tion movements unjustified. Israel
is the product of the first of the
national liberation movements—
one that dates back to before the
turn of the century—and its suc-
cessors cannot be justified with-
out it being justified. The triumph
of idealism represented by the
emergence of Israel in 1948 has
served as an inspiration and
source of strength to many peoples
of Asia and Africa that have
wrested their independence later.
Which big power's foreign office
finds it now expedient to rewrite
history and to tell us that dark
forces have alchemically syn-
thesized Israel just so it can be
in other peoples' way to freedom? !

Cheers, Boos Greet Stars of Film on Six-Day War

JERUSALEM — How Israelis
rate their heroes is being judged
these days on the amount of ap-
plause that greets each figure
who appears in the current film
of the Six-Day War, "Six Days to
Eternity."
Terrance Smith writes in The
New York Times that at a recent
showing in Jerusalem, footage of
Defense Minister Moshe Dayan
and former Premier David Ben-
Gurion drew loud cheering, but
Premier Levi Eshkol and Chief of
Staff Maj. Gen. Itzhak Dabin were
applauded even louder. Foreign
Minister Ebba Eban also did very

well on the applause barometer.
Some 500,000 Israelis have seen
the film, which also includes shots
of Arab leaders. Gamel Abdel Na-
ser was booed.

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