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November 17, 1967 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1967-11-17

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Incorporating The Detroit Jewish Chronicle commencing with' issue of July 20, 195I

Member American Association of English—Jewish Newspapers, Michigan Press Association, National Editorial

Published every Friday by The Jewish News Publishing Co., 17100 West Seven Mlle Road, Detroit, Mich. 48235
r. 8-9364. Subscription S6 a year. Foreign S7.

Second Class Postage Paid at Detroit, Michigan


Editor and Publisher



Advertising Manager

Business Manager


City Editor

Sabbath Scriptural Selections
This Sabbath, the fifteenth day of Heshvan, 5728, the following scriptural selections
in our synagogues:
Pentateuchal portion, Gen. 18:1.22:24. Prophetical portion, II Kings 4:1-37.

will be read

Candle lighting, Friday, Nov. 17, 4:50 p.m.

VOL. LIT. No. 9



November 17, 1967

Expose of Falsehood vis-a-vis Refugees

Several years ago, the distinguished cor-
respondent Martha Gellhorn exposed many
of the contentions that Israel was unfair to
the Arab refugees. She visited the refugee
camps and revealed the frauds that were
perpetrated, the fact that the lists were pad-
ded and the ration cards of refugees long
dead were used to acquire funds and food
provisions of the United Nations Relief and
Works Agency.
Mrs. Gellhorn returned to the Middle East
to restudy the refugee problem and to probe
into the charges that Israelis had killed civil-
ians and that there were atrocities. She re-
turned with these facts:

Before this recent conflict, an estimated 1,500,-
000 civilians lived in West Jordan, the Gaza Strip,
Syrian hill villages within the Syrian Mdginot Line
and the adjacent Syrian garrison town of Kuneitra,
and two Egyptian towns on the edge of the Sinai
desert. Those were the Arab civilian war zones.
Some 410,000 Israeli citizens also lived in war
zones: on their side of Jerusalem, under sweeping
Jordanian artillery fire for 52 hours; on populous
Israeli farm land along the entire Syrian frontier,
shelled by Syrian artillery for four days; in the
narrow waist of Israel from Tel Aviv to Natanya,
hit by- sporadic Jordanian artillery fire for two
days. Nearly two million civilians were therefore
at risk.
I submit that two hundred civilians, Arab and
Israeli, everywhere, throughout the war, is the
highest conceivable number of noncombatants
A 19-year-old Israeli soldier, hitchhiking back
to his post in West Jordan, explained this war per-
fectly: "The generals say and every soldier under-
stands we are fighting armies not peoples." It was
a war between armies, mercifully remote from the

These are facts well worth making note
of. There have been, there are and undoubt-
edly there will be a continuous flow of false
and misleading reports about populations and
atrocities. Unless the truth is preserved
there will be trouble not only in the Middle
East but on the international arena.
In her articles, which were published in
the Manchester Guardian, Mrs. Gellhorn
stated, exposing the spreading rumors of
atrocities by Jews:

the best part of a month I have
been listening to Palestinian Arabs

in West Jordan and the Gaza Strip.

"Bethlehem was bombed all day!" one
cries. But there is Bethlehem, intact and
rosy in the afternoon light. "The Jews
came to every house in Nablus, shooting.
Our youths defended their homes. - Two
hundred were killed, women, children,
boys, at least 200." And there are the
houses, solid, unmarked, of cut stone; and
on a later visit, calmer counsel reduced
the number of civilian deaths to 19: still
In a Gaza Strip refugee camp, a very
fat, pleasant-faced old man, surrounded
by his buxom wife and eight stout, healthy
offspring, announced with terror, "The
Jews shoot every man, woman and child
they see in the street." He had witnessed
this crime? No. Then he must have heard
the shots? No. The camp was an oasis
of peace.

The distinguished foreign correspondent
further indicated that Jordan had exaggerated
early claims by charging that 25,000 civilians
had been killed. She pointed out that there
is a measure of injustice in UN officials' deal-
ings with the issue and, indicating that the
"20 refugee camps are happily intact, un-
touched by war, she declared: "Israeli co-
operation with UNRWA was immediate and
obliging. One does not feel that the cordial-
ity is reciprocated. Since I was in the Gaza
Strip, the UNRWA high command there has
changed and no doubt improved. In West
Jordan, it seems to. me UNRWA is making

heavy weather of the Arab defeat, without
Of added interest in the description given
by Mrs. Gellhorn of the refugee camps. Her
description reads:

Imagination leaps from the term "refugee
camp" to the picture of a little Belsen, hordes of
hungry, idle people penned in by barbed wire. The
camps are nothing like that. They are simply poor
Arab villages or small towns, all different.
If there is enough land for the refugees to plant
trees and grow grape arbors and flowers, they look
livable and cheerful; if cramped for space, they
look like rural slums. But the residents have one
great advantage; UNRWA (United Nations Relief
and Works Agency) runs a welfare state for its
charges, the Palestinian camp refugees. Native
Arab poor enjoy no such special care.

Mrs. Gellhoni does not stop here. She
shows how UNRWA has served as a tool
for Arab propagandists and she makes these
UNRWA has always been treated like a sacred

cow. No one has ever made a careful neutral
study of the organization, toting up its successes
and failures and examining its methods, its finan-
ces and its political fallout. (I expect to be accused
of blasphemy as I write.) UNRWA is a bureau-
cracy composed of 11,419 Palestinian refugees and
118 Americans and West Europeans who are un-
derstandably and necessarily devoted to Arabs,
converts to a cause. Of course this bureaucracy,
itself preponderantly Arab, would have welcomed
an Arab victory and is far from joyful over the
For 2,300,000 Israeli Jews, 1,300,000 hate-in-
doctrinated Arabs (taught hate steadily in UNRWA
schools as well) make a pretty big Trojan horse.
Clearly Israel was not going to commit suicide. If
UNRWA could not devise, if the Arab govern-
ments would not agree to any program except
repatriation, UNRWA had to accept tacitly the
official Arab alternative: war to recover the Pales-
tine homeland. Was UNRWA totally opposed to
that unique solution for a refugee problem?
UNRWA's reports and handsome publicity bro-
chures are the basis for soliciting governmental
and private contributions to UNRWA. they paint a
heart-rending picture. As a side effect, UNRWA
thus confirms Arab propaganda. The refugees must
be kept desperate, in fact or on paper, or the
Palestine refugee problem disappears. Without
the Palestine refugee problem, there is no proper
Arab excuse for war with Israel, since Israel im-
pinges on no vital Arab interest.

Quest for Amity in Sandmel's
'We Jews and You Christians'

Seeking an answer to the question put to him by Christians,
"What is the attitude of you Jews to us?" conceding that neither he
"nor any other Jew can consider himself the official spokesman for
all Jews," Dr. Samuel Sandmel, professor of Bible and Hellenistic
literature at Hebrew Union College, has compiled an interesting set
of views in a new book, "We Jews and You Christians," which has
been published by J. B. Lippincott Co.
In it he declares: "I shall do the best I can to reflect us Jews, all
of us, and also to abstain from too great an intrusion of my own
dispositions and biases. I shall try to report on what Jewish attitudes
are, and not just what I would personally want them to be. I will
try to do justice to Jewish views which I know are different from
my own."
It is on this basis that Prof. Sandmel proceeds to touch upon
encounters, to explain Jewish approaches to many issues, including
the ecumenical, to analyze the various factors affecting interfaith
relations. He explains the difference between Christian and Gentile,
pointing out that the latter means any one who is not a Jew, and
he comments interestingly on "the parting of he ways," on the
Chrisian heritage rooted in Judaism and on the manner in which
Christians treated Jews. Here he points to the medieval "blood accusa-
tion," to the "Jew badges," to the pogroms. But he also makes note
of the opposition to persecutions among Christians and their repudia-
tion of religious bigotry and their recent declarations about Jews.
The fashioning of attitudes and the strains and tensions, as
compiled by Prof. Sandmel in his outline of historic events, in-
cludes references to the Vatican Council declarations, to the
issues that developed from the Middle East situation, and he
expresses the view that "much of the relationship between you
Christians and us Jews is sociological rather than theological."
He proceeds with this comment: "You find some of us not only
devoid of religious knowledge, but even of a religious interest,
at least in the sense in which you have a Christian religious inter-
est; you seem to want to discuss topics such as redemption and
salvation and messianism, and we seem to want to discuss economic
and social problems. The reason Is not that we Jews lack religion,
or are exempt from religious problems, but that the concerns which
are most immediate and pressing to us deal with the mundane
matters of our acceptability or even our safety. Moreover, we
differ from each other not only in theology, but in our respective
approaches to our different religions."
These differences, while there is similarity in ethics; the misunder-
standings; the assumption by each that "one of us is totally right and
the other totally wrong" are among the points reviewed and discussed
at length, and the author indicates that there are new chapters in
interfaith relations, that Christians and Jews share in a common world.
Yet, "there are many people who have little or no thirst to learn, and
are bereft of any desire to unlearn and relearn . . . " He states: "I
know many Christians, and no two of them are identical; I know
many Jews, and no two of them are identical. A heightened human
warmth, and sympathy, and the willingness to inquire about each
other could be gain enough."
Thereupon he touches upon the Jewish attitude and declares:

TEAR AFTER year, UNRWA states that 40 to 50
per cent of the refugees are destitute or near
destitute ("without resources" in my dictionary);
30 to 40 per cent are partially self-supporting; and
some 10 to 20 per cent are all right. Yet UNRWA
does not give money to refugees. Its direct aid
is a monthly ration of flour, pulses, sugar, rice,
oil amounting to 1,500 unbalanced calories a day.
If the destitute, without resources, had nothing
else to live on they would long since be dead,
instead of having a higher birth rate than other
Arab peasants, and healthier children.
Over half the refugees live outside the camps,
in private dwellings; they must be more than par-
tially self-supporting to pay for rent, clothing and
food (aside from UNRWA rations). Someone in
each family has to work for money, and they do,
"I have no great interest in raking up past grievances and in
and their work has benefited the "host" countries.
perpetuating them, and I know only one outcome to vindictiveness
Poverty is endemic in the Middle East (while the
you Christians need to confront each other in the light of today,
Arab governments waste vast wealth on arms);
an not carry over the misfortunes of the past."
Palestinian refugees, like non-refugees, have to
On the question of the future and the Jewish choice, Dr. Sandmel
combat that general affliction and the special
restraints put on them by Arab politics. But emphasizes that "we Jews have no intention of dissolving our Judaism,"
"to the contrary, we are committed to perpetuating it and to
UNRWA's picture of them does not stand up to
common sense or the refuees themselves in the deepening it." He concludes with "A Proposed Declaration: 'The Syna-
holds that its message must spread not by power or by might,
Mrs. Gellhorn shows quite realistically but only by the Spirit of God and in the love of mankind. The Syna-
that the refugees now can secure a square gogue and the Christian People," in which he asserts that "the Syna-
gogue is aware that the Christian assemblies, lamenting
deal if Israel will be given a chance to solve ing the Christian persecution of the Jews, have spoken in and
recent times
the tragic problem. If the world powers will in the same vein. The synagogue welcomes these pioneer utterances."
cooperate instead of being the willful wit- He concludes with a hope:

nesses to what is tantamount to a scandal,
"The Synagogue envisages the unity of mankind in a lofty
and if there will be a human approach based
spiritual bond, enabling men both to preserve the Institutions
on total cooperation, the most serious issue in
which they hold sacred and to transcend them."
the Middle East will be solved quickly. Mrs.
The proposed declaration to the Christians which contains this
Gellhorn has contributed efficiently towards summarized hope, the analyses of Christian and Jewish attitudes, the
a better understanding of the refugee prob- search for amicable relations—all combine to make the new Sandmel
work a serious study of interest to Christians and Jews alike. -

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