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March 08, 1968 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1968-03-08

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Purely Commentary

Realities versus Fears in U.S. By Philip
Nasser Takes —:
Complexes . .
Great Editor for a Ride bf0/710VitZ
for speedy action in the direction of peaceful coexistence. Perhaps

Are We 'a Nation Divided'?

"Urban Apartheid" is the warning to America of an im-
pending danger in the report of the President's National
Advisory Committee on Civil Disorders.
Are we a nation divisible?
Is the threat of our being split into two societies, white
and black, real?
Are we about to revise the pledge to the Flag?
Will the Civil War be fought anew, on a racial issue?
The crisis for America is real and on an immense scale.
It threatens the very existence of this Republic, and there
is cause to pose the question of the people's status, of the
nation's security as an entity.
There is cause to turn back the pages of history, to
study anew the events of more than a century ago when
Abraham Lincoln declared his chief aim to be the preserva-
tion of this Union. This was the major aim. The Emancipa-
tion Proclamation came thereafter, as a major objective in
the preservation principle.
The background of the troubles is pragmatically eval-
uated in the commission's report. All the proposals are valid.
We need to exert all our efforts to eliminate want and
secondary citizenship among the oppressed elements of our
But all efforts must be on a basis of a nation indivisible!
Else. we will be turning back the clock, we will be destroy-
ing the unity of the nation, we will create a crisis that will
place us amidst the backward nations, within medievalism!
The next move must be in the direction of national
unity! We look to the President to take the lead, to bring
us back to amity in our own ranks, to restore the cooperative
spirit without which we may be doomed!

Muddled Arab Issue: Two to Make a Bargain
Israel's major problem, that of confronting the Arabs, is becoming
more muddled daily. The new citizens of Israel's enlarged territory
are faring better than ever economically. There is a booming business
and there is freedom of passage—under a measure of checkups and
controls, of course, to prevent spread of terrorism—between Israel
and Jordan.
Yet peace is remote. So-called "clandestine" sources indicate an
earnest desire on the part of many Arabs to come to terms with Israel
and to end the tensions. But these are not the on-the-surface and the
responsible leaders who are authorized to speak for the masses of
Arabs either at the United Nations or at an arranged peace conference.
When there is recognition that the approach to peace must be
a two-way avenue, that it takes both contending forces to make a
bargain, there will be a renewal of hopes for amity. In the interim,
there is the uninterrupted threat of Fifth Column dangers to Israel,
and under such conditions Israelis must conform to a military status
for self-protection.
There is no ignoring the basic fact that in considering the status
of the Arabs we deal not merely with those who are now part of
Israel but who were previously in Egypt and in Jordan, but also with
the Israeli Arabs. And while there was frequent talk about the loyalty
of the Israeli Arabs it could have been taken with a grain of salt.
The Druzes and the Circasians of Syria remained in Israeli terri-
tory. They are doing a brisk vegetable and fruit business on the Golan
Heights. They and the Bedouins are being trusted as honorable ad-
herents to an agreement with Israel for their just share in all of the
benefits Israel has to offer while they respect the law and do not
condone terrorism.
Other non-Jewish groups in Israel refrained from participating
in the war with Israel: there wasn't time for many of them to be
tested. Before they could have had a chance to act against Israel
the enemy whose ranks they might have joined was defeated. But
they did have hidden and often frank thoughts. A Hebrew University
student, confronted with his choice of loyalties in the event of a war
when he was interviewed by this commentator, in Jerusalem, less
than a week before the June 5 showdown , said that if there was to be
a war he'd be "neutral." He claimed a right to all Israeli benefits,
said he was loyal to the state of which he was a citizen, but he af-

firmed neutrality.
This student was not alone in such an attitude. A typical ex-
ample was the expressed attitude of Deputy Mayor Abdul Aziz
Zouabi who, in early August, in an interview with a New York Times
correspondent, pointed to "the difficult situation" faced by his
people—"it was like watching a fight between two of your brothers
and trying to decide which was in the right." That's realism in
viewing the Arab problem. Yet the Nazareth deputy mayor added:
"I'm afraid we are inclined to take our politics rather emotionally.
I think most of the people didn't want Israel to lose, but they didn't
want the Arab countries to lose either."
Under such conditions—and they are understandable—it is sheer

folly to speak unequivocably about "Arab loyalty." It doesn't exist
and perhaps should not be expected. And such a situation places
added emphasis on the need for a firm peace. on the urgency of
ending the state of belligerence. If we view any agreement, on any
subject. as demanding recognition of a two-way road to peace, then
there must be a confrontation. If that can be attained, there will be
an early solution to the grave world problem.
About the same time as the publication of the interview with
Nazareth's deputy mayor, Drew Pearson wrote a column that was
very critical of Israel's treatment of its Arab citizens. In a personal
note, after some debate on the issue, Pearson expressed these con-
tentions to us:
"First, the treatment of the Arabs in Israel was brought to my
attention by young Israelis. There was nothing unpatriotic in their
point of view. They were concerned.
"Second, the Jews have got to do more for the Arabs inside Israel
than in the past. They have got to do this in order to win over the
Arabs outside Israel to coexistence."
Criticism should be welcomed and often is valid. But there are
conditions to be taken into account which call for cooperation also on
the part of the Arabs themselves. On a friendly and cooperative basis
all problems can be solved. But they can not be eliminated when there
is a state of war and there is fear of a Fifth Column.

If the "clandestine" sources were

2—Friday, March II, 1961

we are getting closer to peace. One wouldn't believe it on the basis of
Amman-Damascus-Cairo-Moscow propaganda.

Rumors and Lack of Communications
If it is true, as is now being claimed, that the lack of communica-
tions has contributed to the spread of rumors about an ,--impending
hot summer in Detroit and of the possibility of a new rash of riots
in the months to come, then the city and state officialsi must be held

responsible for failure to act in forcing an end to the newspaper strike.

Why did the Mayor wait until this week to call the representa-
tives of the publishers and union leaders together to discuss ways of
effecting agreements?
Why did the clergy permit prolongation of the strike without taking
some action?
What's wrong with our leadership?
Now the newsboys, who have suffered greatly, some of whose
families depended upon the few dollars they earned weekly, are
threatening a strike. Surely, they must be compensated!
Primarily, the community of Detroit must be recompensated-
with a resumption of newspaper publishing: if we are again to have
an informed community that should strive for amity rather than
subsist on rumors.

Comfort for Nasser in Look Magazine Interview
"Nasser Talks" is the title of the sensational interview in Look
magazine, by its editor-in-chief, William Attwood, with President
Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt. Attwood had interviewed Nasser in
1957 after the Sinai Campaign, and the repetitive questions and answers
could well have obviated another quest for Nasserite opinion.
As he did 11 years ago, Nasser again would like an acceptance
of a status quo ante by Israel. He'd love it if Israel pulled out of the
territory over which he dominated prior to June 5. He'd like to return
to conditions of 1949 and he knows how helpless Israel would then
The Look article is most interesting. There is an impression that
Nasser would be willing to talk peace. There is even a reverberation
of rumors that Nasser was forced into his anti-Israel propaganda prior
to June 5. But there is such a lack of realism in the entire approach
to Nasser in the Look interview that one wonders what is to be ac-
complished by giving Nasser such a wonderful platform, thereby
granting him so much comfort at a time when it becomes urgent to
get parties together at a peace table and only Israel thus far has
told Dr. Gunnar Jarring of a willingness to meet with him for such
discussions with the Arab representatives.
Nasser said among other things: "Of course, if the Israelis sud-
denly decide to recognize the armistice agreement of 1949, we could
attend meetings with them on the commission relating to the agree-
ment . . (Neutralizing the Sinai) might be one of the things we
could discuss after the Israelis pulled back."
Clever! And in all the new Arab contentions they ignore, as does
Nasser, the fact that Israel accepted a partition agreement which
was nullified not because Israel did not plan to adhere to it but
because the Arabs waged war on Israel—and all of Israel's gains
were as a result of three wars!

From all indications, Look's Attwood was taken for a ride
by the clever Egyptian dictator. Attwood gave him an opening
with the type of question he posed and by ignoring the factual
data of an accumulated series of facts related to a combined Arab
threat to annihilate Israel. Nasser had a chance again to pose
as the great saint of the Middle East. But it didn't take very long
for the dictator again to show his colors. On March 3 he again
made it known, at a workers' rally in Helwan near Cairo, that the
Arabs would liberate all of the areas occupied by Israel.
And the Nasser admission that the U. S. and Britain were not
associated with Israel, in the Six-Day War, lacked what it needed:
an apology. But the State Department does not deal with apologies:
its arms soon will be opened wide for an embrace with the dictator
and his pals! In spite of the revealed fact that both Hussein and Nasser
had planned the trick of attempting to blame Israel's victory on Israel!
There is on the record that taped telephone conversation between
Amman and Cairo: has it been forgotten?
Nasser told Attwood: "There are about 3,400 Jews in Egypt.
In June, we arrested about 300 as suspected Israeli agents. Now,
there are only 150 still in detention. The others are quite free."
The Egyptian dictator has a chance to prove this by releasing
those who wish to leave Egypt. Reports of cruelties are yet to be
disproved. Nasser has lots to show for his actions to disprove that
he has been the warmonger. Now he is again the charmer—while
denying (without apologies) that the United States was a party to
Israel's military actions in June. The dictator gets some comfort
from the Look article. But he has not proven anything other than
repetitive claims that could be dated 1956 and 1957. And this is 1968!

Purim Quiz

(Copyright 1965, JTA Inc.)
Why is the Sabbath before
Purim called "Parshat Zahor"
(occuring this year on Satur-
day, March 9)?
This is because a special passage
from the Bible is added to the
usual reading for this Sabbath. The
passage from the Bpro- of Deuter-
onomy (25:17-19) begins with the
word "Zahor" ("Ter1—'1)er") and
spells out the biblical command-
ment to constantly remember the
fiendish deed of the Amalekites
who struck Israel from the rear
during their travels through the
wilderness. This practice is already
mentioned in the Tanaitic literature
and it is assumed that this practice
was instituted about the same time
the practice was instituted to cele-
brate the festival of Purim, or cer-
tainly soon thereafter. The Palis-
tinian Talmud (Megila 3:4) bases
this practice on the verse in the
Book of Esther (9:28) which re-
lates that: "These days should be
remembered and kept throughout
every generation, etc." It therefore
becomes not only necessary to
keep the observance of the festival
of Purim but to also have some
means of rememberance in ad-
vance of the festival. This remem-
brance was made in the form of
reading the passage asking us to
remember the infamous deed of
Amalek, which in turn brings to
mind the story of Purim with the
infamy of Haman, a descendant
of Amalek. Rashi (Megila 29a)
explains that this practice was ins-
tituted so as to bring together the
biblical command to "wipe out
. . . Amalek" with our practice
of "erasing the memory of Ham-
an" by drowning the mention of
his name with noisemakers while
reading the Megilla, or by rub-
bing of his name from the stones
which have been inscribed with it.
Stamping out Haman's name on
Purim with noise or with rubbing
thus becomes a means of observ-
ing the biblical commandment to
erase the name of Amalek.
Why is the day before Purim
referred to as the "Fast of
Jewish tradition calls for a fast
day to be observed a day before
Purim. This fast day is actually
not mentioned in either biblical or
talmudic literature. It was first
ordained as such in the Gaonic
period. The Sheiltot (VaYakhel
66) explains that this fast day com-
memorated the assemblies of the
Jews which took place on the thir-
teenth of Adar mentioned in the
Book of Esther (9:2). These as-
semblies were fast days. Some
say that this fast day is called
the Fast of Esther because Esther
had asked the Jews to fast for
three days (Esther 4:16). Those
three days actually were dated
after the date of Purim (actually
they occur during Passover). For
this reason some Jewish communi-
ties observe three days of fasting,
some time after Purim to com-
memorate these three days. The
Day before Purim thus is a special
fast day instituted by the Gaonic

Should the Name Hamantashen Be Changed?

What is wrong with hamantashen
is their name. Jews say of an anti-
Semite, "Yemach Shemo," "May
his name be erased," but instead
of that, we call these delicious
Purim cakes by name of the man
who sought our destruction.
During the First World War,
many Americans urged that the
name of saurkraut be changed to
Liberty Cabbage and some sug-
gested that when a person sneezed,
we should not say Gesundheit,
which is German, but Liberty.

She invited the king and Haman
to dinner and arranged for the
kitchen to be open when they ar-
rived, so the smell of the food
would penetrate their nostrils. As
they came in, Haman said jok-
ingly, "What's cooking?"
"Your goose, I hope," said
Esther laughing right back at him.
So they sat down and began eat-
ing. When they finished, and the
king loosened his belt, he ate so
much, Esther asked, "Did you en-
joy it?"
"It was scrumptious," said the
"Well, I am Hadassah," said
Esther, "and you know there is no
Hadassah meeting, without a
speech, but I'll make it brief."
"0 that's all right," said the
Xing. "Give us the whole Megilla."
Then Esther told all about Ha-
man's .plottings.

Why can't we call hamantashen
Liberty tashen or maybe Esther
tashen or Hadassah tashen after
the name of the lady who frus-
trated his nefarious s c h e rn e.
Esther's Hebrew name was Hades-
sah, meaning myrtle, and the
Hadassah organization is named
after her, although few seem
effective, we could have hope aware of his. .Hadassah- was or-
After the Philadelphia conven-
ganized by Miss Henrietta Szold on
tion had formulated the articles

of the Constitution, they were sub-
mitted to the various states for

ratification and there was very vig-

orous opposition. In Massachusetts,
one of the delegates to the state
convention, a preacher, said he
would not support ratification, be-
cause the Constitution had no men-
tion of God.
Another delegate retorted that
by the same argument, one should
not accept one of the books of the
If you can show me a book of
the Bible which does not mention
God," said the preacher, "then I
will vote for the Constitution."
So the Book of Esther was
brought in and the preacher had
to keep his promise and vote for

If the Book of Esther does not
mentipn the name of God, it is
very revealing of man. What could
be more revealing than this story
of the susceptibility of the human
spirit .to -prejudice .and -the -ills to
which this inevitably leads.

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