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March 01, 1968 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1968-03-01

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Purely Commentary

Facing the Issue vis-a-vis the Crime
Wave, Threatened Riots, Dangers to Our
Children . . . Watts Anti-Israel Incident

Quest for a Guaranteed Pleasant Summer
Research into our experiences of last summer, studies of race
issues in the large cities, may, eventually, bring forth the basic facts
which should lead to peace and to amity and to true good neighborliness
among Americans.
In some communities findings are increasingly disturbing. In our
own community, in spite of threatening conditions and of bravado
among some extreme elements who contribute to fears and to frictions,
there is great hope that we will come through with glory rather than
with terror and with approaches to the issue involving the racial situa-
tion that are certainly not in the American spirit.
It has been revealed that the riot here of last summer was the
result not of the rebellion of the poverty-stricken but rather of the more
affluent and of the better-educated. Which should indicate that tension
can be expected from rabble rousers sooner than from the ordinary
folk who seek betterment in their lives in a peaceful Way. The trend
is in the direction of healing the 100-year wound, of providing the
means necessary to assure wholesome conditions for the mass of
people that has been oppressed and discriminated against until now.
The solution does not lie in flight from city to suburb, and certainly
not in suspicions. The law of the land gives blacks as much right as
whites wherever there is housing, and open housing, like high educa-
tional standards, are inevitable in our future social planning.
There is one thing lacking: an all-out effort on the part of Negro
leadership to teach their masses the values of cooperation with the
law-abiding American community, to strive for good neighborliness, to
assist in creating good will, to fight as vigorously against crime waves
as all of us must for racial equality and social justice, It stands to
reason that the erasing of crime must stem from improved living con-
ditions among the masses of our people. It is also a realism that not
all crimes are committed by Negroes — and we know from statistics
that many of the most inhuman acts have been committed by whites.
But the Negro is more easily subject to accusation and to suspicion of
criminality in the large cities. Therefore Negro leadership owes a
responsibility to America and to Americans to make it a major aim tb
join in the educational effort among Negroes to assist in enforcing the
great demand now emerging in our midst of assuring a peaceful com-
munity existence.

and Jacobs arranged a meeting for him in the Los Angeles Watts—Cen-
tral Avenue—area with a group of Negroes, headed by Tommy Jac-
quette. Promptly, Jacquette, to the delight of his associates, shouted:
"You know the trees you got planted all over Israel from the Jews
here in Los Angeles, well, they should have our names on them, not
the Jews' names. The money for the trees comes out of my back,
out of the back of every black brother in the ghetto!"
It's a long article, and we are not so thrilled with the Evron
performance, just as we are not so happy over the revelation about
Negro anti-Semitism: what Jacobs reveals is not merely anti- Israel-
ism, it is anti-Semitism! The disturbing factor is that the Jacquette
attitude would encourage violence, theft, property destruction—on the
ground that everything a white man possesses comes off the Negro's
back. The poor Jewish merchant who happened to go into a risky
business in a Negro area now must pay a heavy price: a Detroit reli-
gious spokesman wants Negroes to take over the neighborhood, and
the Watts leader's interpretation is that it's his anyway!
The Newark report on the recent riots indicated that of the 1,200
business establishments that were damaged during the unfortunate

so realistic when they allude to possible abandonment of livelihoods
and investments by business in the ghettoes as "unrealistic." A merchant
is primarily concerned with his and his family's safety, and if riots
should continue there will be drastic changes in operation of businesses

The NY Times obituary also contains this revealing set of attitudes
among the elder Hursts and their daughter Fannie: "The parents
were Jewish, but Mr. Hurst felt that the family had to be extra careful

occurrences approximately 90 per cent were Jewish owned. If the Watts

claim is to be applied, Negroes have a claim to them and Jews should
not squawk about losses.
It just isn't the American way of judging men and of submitting
to social standards that call for observance of the law of the land!
Yet we wish to believe that what Jacobs revealed about Watts
represented the viewpoint of a minority of Negroes. And if our hope
for a retention of a state of decency is to be justified, the men on top
in the Negro world must speak up! There has been too much silence
among them whenever extremists advocated destructive ideas! And
their silence has been interpreted as assent! How soon will such

acquiescence to lawlessness abide?

Fannie Hurst and Her Jewish Attitudes
In the death of Fannie Hurst America loses a very popular and
romantic writer. She was creative even if not a literary genius, and
she knew how to judge and to portray life among various elements in
this country.

She was, of course, Jewish, and there is an element of the ridicu-
lous in the obituary announcement that "her parents were Jewish."
her husband, marriage to whom was kept a secret for a number
The Newark Report
Students of the race issue will find cause for disturbance in the riot of years because of a feeling that keeping separate apartments and
when they desired was a way of "keeping the dew on the rose."
reports from Newark, N.J. The concluding fact that 90 per cent of the
Her husband, Jacques S. Danielson, a concert pianist, also was a
1,200 stores that were ruined in the 1967 riots were Jewish owned and
New York Times story of Miss Hurst's life and her marriage
that most of the specialty shops are doomed, the revelation of the
extreme anger at society over what has happened and the accusations to Danielson states that "his father had been court sculptor for the
of flight from the city by Jews after the riots are major factors in the Czar of Russia but, growing fearful because of the pogroms there, had
brought his son to the United States when the boy was 16. The pianist
analytical statement.
One wonders whether the researchers in Newark are themselves never forgot that in his youth he had seen fellow Jews spat upon

in many areas.
Experiences in Detroit teach us quite pragmatically to know
that crime in the ghettoes is not directed against whites alone. It is
painful to hear of the scores of attacks by Negro law-breakers upon
their own people. Interviews with the man on the street here have
revealed a fear on the part of Negroes as much as among whites to
walk freely at night — some even fear attacks in broad daylight —
and the problem of ending the crime wave is not a Negro but an
American problem. Nevertheless, when fears of riots are mingled
with panic over the crime wave, the dangers multiply and the
fears and suspicions become uncontrollable.
In the Newark report there is a rejection of the charge that Jews

have fled from the city into the suburbs after the riots. On a general
basis it is both unwise and futile to deny that the trend towards sub-
urbia has existed and continues to exist in many communities. But
that "flight." if this term is applicable, began long before the deteriora-
tion of the large cities' Jewish communities. Non-Jews started it by
going first to areas suitable for summer residences and which event-
ually became year-round residential sections - then with the expansion
of expressways, they moved towards the smaller communities. Jews
followed the trend, and the movement became more rapid with the
magnified race issue. Much of the flight was unwise, but as it gained
momentum it became inevitable.
Now we we need adjustment. The average Negro citizen wants
peace and security as much as his white neighbor. But talk is primarily
directed at the element of fear, and those who should strive to eliminate
panic are not speaking. The Negro extremist won't be silent, his more
moderate brother seldom asserts himself. There has to be a balance
in Negro ranks as much as anywhere else. When Negro leadership
takes hold of the situation, we'll have a pleasant summer even if the
temperature will be hot.

Protection for School Children
A major problem in our community has been the "hold-up" system
by youths against unprotected children in our schools. Youngsters have
been held up for coins, some have had their watches taken from them,
others had to give up their lunch or other spending money. Judge of
Probate James H. Lincoln comes to the rescue. He has issued an order
on the subject of "loitering and disturbances in schools by juveniles
who have no right to be therein." It is a firm statement aimed at ending
disturbances in schools, warning that juveniles who have no business in
a school where they are apprehended will be automatically subject to
arrest and to "conveyance to the Wayne County Youth Home." Perhaps
this also will end hold-ups and the molesting of children.
Judge Lincoln's action is especially commendable because it has
been charged that our public officials, including judges, are playing
politics by appeasing the large Negro voting community. Judge Lincoln
plays good politics in the honorable direction by acting firmly: he
should get a heavy vote of thanks from the Negro community as well
as among whites for a firm stand against lawlessness, a stand that is

vital for all citizens.

Is Watts Anti-Semitism Typical of Negro Attitudes?
We would be blind as bats if we ignored the many dangers that
lurk on the horizon. An aspect of Negro anti-Semitism becomes appar-

ent in an article in today's issue of Commonweal, the Catholic magazine.
The labor writer, Paul Jacobs, (author of the recently published "Pre-
lude to Riot"), deScribes a shocking attitude in an article in that issue
under the title "Watts vs. Israel." He had been told, in Washington,
by Minister of Israel to the U. S. Ephraim Evron, whom. he had be-
friended, of an interest in inquiring into the Negro anti-Israel attitude,

not to go in for any display that would set them apart from other
people. Mrs. Hurst had a low opinion of Russian Jews. Young Fannie
suffered embarrassment that her Jewish background seemed to set
her off from schoolmates."
Is this what caused Fannie to turn to the anti-Israel, anti-Zionist
American Council for Judaism some years ago? She abondoned this
vicious group a bit later and more recently aided numerous pro-Israel

causes. She supported Hadassah. She gave a $360,000 fund for cardio-
vascular research, in her husband's memory, to Yeshiva University's

Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
In view of her parents' attitude, and her own "Jewish embarrass-
ments" in her youth, one wonders whether a lack of proper Jewish
environment in her childhood could have been responsible for her

But she did make a lot of money writing about people who influ-

enced her life, and Jews certainly contributed to her plots. And Jews
were among her admirers. She was a great success and it is well that
her anti-Zionist prejudices vanished not too late.

The Late William Phillips: His Role During Holocaust

Only three weeks ago, in our review of Arthur Morse's "While
Six Million Died," (published by Random), we called attention, in
passing, to the role of William Phillips, who was undersecretary of
State under Cordell Hull and who was an accomplice in the State
Department's attitude of failure to come to the aid of Jews who were
doomed to destruction by the Nazis.
Our review referred to the hypocritical attitude of Senator William
H. King of Utah who introduced a resolution for an investigation of
the treatment of Jews and Catholics in Germany. But, as Morse states
in his revealing book: "`A few days later Senator King met Acting
Secretary Phillips at a dinner party. He took Phillips aside and ex-
plained that his resolution was meant only as an expression of the
feeling of many people, not as a basis for action. As Phillips noted in a
memo for the file the next day, King said 'that he, naturally, did not
expect to push his resolution, and that if I had an opportunity to tell the
President that was his idea, he would be very glad to have me do so.' "
It is saddening that this occurrence needs to be mentioned again,
in recording the fact that William Phillips passed away, Feb. 23, at
the age of 89. He was not a friend of Israel. He was antagonistic to
ideas to provide defense for Jews under Nazism. He was a member of
the American section of the Anglo-American Committee on Palestine,
in 1946, and as the New York Times states in his obituary: "Later
that year he joined the opponents of the British partition plan, declaring

By Philip

by young successors in Jewish in-
stitutions, on many fronts in Jew-
ish life. The latest change in an im-
portant area is the succession of
Morris Berthold Abram, president
of the American Jewish Committee,
to the presidency of Brandeis Uni-
versity. He will assume the post
held by a noted scholar and his-
torian. The retiree, Dr. Abram
Leon Sachar, is a distinguished his-
torian. Brandeis University grew
to national importance under his
guidance. Dr. Sachar emerged as
one of the very great organizers,
as a financial wizard who gathered
much support for the university

he headed and in the course of it

drew to the faculty very able educa-
tors, and the student body grew
in numbers.
There is no doubt that Mr.
Abram is highly qualified for his
new post. He has a good back-
ground as a student, as a leader
of men, as one who can inspire his
followers. He also has risen high
in Jewish ranks and has fought
courageously for human rights as
this country's spokesman at the
United Nations.
An interesting fact not to be
overlooked is his family relation-
ship. There is no doubt about Mr.
Abram's staunch Jewishness. But
as a close friend of his pointed
out, he is "a devout Jew who mar-
ried a Methodist girl." Their daugh-
ter Ruth, now Mrs. Herbert Teitel.
baum of New York, is a 1965 Bran-
deis graduate. There is no reason
for feeling other than that all of
the Abrams are and will remain in
the Jewish fold. But the fact is
that (as "Our Crowd" by Stephen
Birmingham convincingly indicates)
the older Jewish American families
do not remain in our fold. A pre-
vious general chairman of the Unit-
ed Jewish Appeal not only entered
into a mixed marriage but his en-
tire family now is outside the Jew-
ish fold. Of the many important
American Jewish families who
played important roles for Jewry
and for America the few who can
be said to have retained Jewish
affiliations are the Strausses and
the Rosenwalds. Of the national
committee of 250 prominent Amer-
ican Jews who supervised the cele-
bration of the 250th anniversary
of the Jewish community in Amer-
ica, in 1904, few, if any, of their
descendants remained Jews.
We now have a new situation.
Mixed marriages are on the in-
crease. The one hope we have is
that those who marry Jews will
enter our ranks. Then we shall be
enriched. Otherwise we shall sur-

vive with smaller numbers.

• • •

King Hussein: So Much Cheek!

It's amazing how much cheek
King Hussein possesses! He keeps
advocating Israel's destruction and
when he gets a licking he changes
his tune. Then, when he meets
with the extremists, he goes back
to his old tactics. That's what
seems to be happening now, after
the beating he got, again, two
weeks ago.
In spite of his dependence up-
on Israel to survive—if it were not
for Israel, Syria or Egypt would
swallow him up, and annex his
kingdom with great speed! — Hus-
sein keeps raising destructive is-
sues. He keeps forgetting that
Jerusalem is the Hebrew for City
of Peace and that it is the City
of David, and now he makes new
claims through the UN — that the
that he was not aware that the United States had become 'the tail to Wailing Wall is Moslem property.
the British kite on the matter of Palestine or any other international
Poor Hussein! In his frantic ef-
matter.' "
forts to undermine Israel he has
In recording his death we do not include his name among the tongue in cheek, he magnifies
libertarians. He was a distinguished member of our State Department, cheek in approach to the world
but he had failed to act in defense of justice. While he antagonized the
fighters for freedom there were others who supported the Zionist idea. powers (often fooling the statesmen
The late Bartley Crum distinguished himself among the defenders of in Washington), and he fails to ad-
Jewry's right to survival. The late James G. McDonald certainly was mit that it was in Jordan that a
among the freedom lovers and the Christian Zionists in whose ranks major pledge was defiled: that of
we are still fortunate to count men like Reinhold Niebuhr, Carl Her- letting Jews get near the Western
mann Voss and others. William Phillips and Cordell Hull were in the
opposite camp. It is unpleasant to have to say that even while they had Temple (Wailing) Wall for 19
years. He doesn't realize that the
denied that they were enemies, they certainly were not friends.

19-year-old abuses have ended.
Morris Berthold Abram: New Brandeis U. President
A new generation is coming to judgment. Younger men are assum-
ing important posts in world affairs, and the elders are being replaced 2—Friday, March 1, 196$

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