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April 12, 1968 - Image 12

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1968-04-12

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

Vain Search for Practical 'Just War'
Theory; Comments on Two Books

By MORRIS GARVETT
tradictory of each other is re-
James Finn, editor of Worldview, grettable but it is not conclusive
presents the views of some 35 men of the discussion. We are in-
and women on the problems troubl- debted to Mr. Finn for bringing
ing present day America, under us these views within the covers
the title "Protest: Pacifism and of one volume.
Politics." The publisher, Random
Dr. Frank is greatly concerned
House, adds the words "Some with the danger of a nuclear war
Passionate Views on War and Non- which, he says, would destroy man
violence." Passionate, indeed, are and so shift the balance of nature
many of the views enunciated, but that our environment would be-
one could wish that many of them come permanently hostile to the
faced up to the practical applica- human race. He believes that no
tion of the principles they set forth. ban of a single weapon, such as the
Finn gives us transcripts of his nuclear family, no agreement that
interviews with such people as A. leaves in existence even the threat
J. Muste, Staughton Lyncl, Bayard of war, can protect mankind suf-
Rustin, Rabbi Abraham J. Heschel ficiently.
and other leaders in protest against
In non-technical language, Dr.
our domestic and foreign policies Frank explores for us the human
generally and the Vietnam war in attributes that lead eventually to
particular.
war. He explains the biological
Simultaneously with "Protest," roots that lead men to kill. One
Random House published "Sanity
way to view human history he
and Survival" by Dr. Jerome D. writes, "is as a long, intermittent
Frank, a psychiatrist at the blood bath." This is reminiscent of
Johns Hopkins University School
Gibbon's definition of history as
of Medicine. He discusses the
little more than the register of
psychological aspects of war and the crimes, follies, and misfortunes
peace.
of mankind."
One thing comes through clearly
Because they elude social control,
from the protesters—they are he examines the impact of acci-
sincere, but their reasoning, their dental and unauthorized destruc-
interpretation of event s, their tiveness in connection with the
philosophies of life vary widely. possession of nuclear weapons and
The reader looks in vain for mean- the problems involved if a national
ingful and practical policies which leader become insane or incapaci-
a government responsible to all the tated. Since the ultimate act of war
people could offer to the public. is killing, and the final act is that
Some of them are not very clear of a single person, he inquires into
on the "just war" theory as ex- the psychosocial determinants of
pounded by St. Augustine, Thomas why, men fight and why nations
Aquina sand others. Who de- fight. He then discusses, still in
termines whether a war is just or non-technical language, the psycho-
not—the government or the in- logical aspects of the image of the
dividual citizen? Richard John enemy; of prewar crises and of
Neuhaus, pastor at St. John the actual war; and of disarmament
Evangelical church in Brooklyn and international negotiations.
thinks there are times when war
All this leads to the conclusion
may be the least of several evils
that if mankind wishes to sur-
confronting a society, while Tom
Cornell, raised in a traditional vive, an attempt must be made
Catholic family, believes that all to create an international sys-
war is insane and unjust and that tem of enduring peace and that
the United States should haVe
greeted the Nazis and Japanese Judge Thurgood Marshall
with open arms and empty hands—
thus adopting a completely non- Gets Bnai Zion Award
violent and pacifist approach. He
NEW YORK (JTA) — The 1968
is associated with the Catholic Bnai Zion Bill of Rights Gold Medal
Peace Fellowship. Deeply felt Award was presented in absentia
religious beliefs influence the think- Sunday to U.S. Supreme Court
ing of many of them.
Justice Thurgood Marshall in re-
And then there is the dissent cognition of his "inspiring leader-
of the New Left with its hostility ship in the furtherance of the letter
to what we have known as
and spirit of the Bill of Rights."
liberalism and its enmity toward
The presentation was made by
that vague something called the Rep. Emanuel Celler, chairman of
"Establishment." They are very the House Judiciary Committee, at
vociferous in their criticism of the annual bill of rights conference
American domestic and foreign
of the American Zionist fraternal
policy and advocate "participa-
order. Justice Marshall could not
tory democracy" in which every- be present owing to the national
one would have a voice in mak-
day of mourning for the Rev. Mar-
ing the decisions of our society
tin Luther King, Jr.
—something like the system in
Rep. Celler denounced "white
ancient Athens, although not one backlash" as "the major tragedy
of them says so.
of our cities" and accused major
They all oppose the war in groups, including those on the
Vietnam, but many of them, as Dr. fields of religion, labor and the pro-
Frank points out in another con- fessions of remaining silent in the
nection, reject communism as a struggle for the passage of the
philosophy while taking at face open housing bill in Congress. Cel-
value communist protestations of ler paid tribute to JustiCe Marshall,
peaceful intentions and communist the first Negro to be named to the
interpretations of international af- Supreme Court, as "the rational
fairs. They attribute all interna- nran" who "cannot be measured as
tional tensions to American aggres- we measure other men, for the
sion, duplicity and stupidity. Finn triumphs that were his personally
writes that he has formulated what flowed from his committed mind."
he calls an "iron rule" that "a
moral solution to a political prob-
lem that is not also a political
solution is no solution." This is a
sound rule that may not be dis-
regarded in a realistic world, but
NEW YORK—Carlos L. Israels
neither the new Left, the pacifists, was re-elected president of United
nor the advocates of non-violence Hias Service, at a meeting of the
under all circumstances, have board of directors.
come to grips with it.
Edward Ginsberg, Cleveland at-
Nevertheless, it is all to the torney and national chairman of
good that protest and dissent be the United Jewish Appeal, was
voiced, freely and without re- elected a vice-president, and Carl
striction. That such expressions
Glick, financial analyst, will serve
are not always coupled with as associate secretary. Gaynor I.
practicable and possible alter- Jacobson, executive director, was
natives or remedies, and that the
elected to the newly established
protesters are frequently con- office of executive vice-president.

-

I-IIAS Re-Elects
Israel President

if such an attempt is made, there
are "glimmers of hope" that it
would be successful without any
change in human nature because
"war is a form of social, not in-
dividual, behavior." War is a
"social institution, not a bio-
logical drive, and each new
generation must be taught its
patterns."

Dr. Frank agrees that "one of
the few safe generalizations about
human existence is that conflict
will always be with us" and says
that "the task is to keep it at a
level and guide it into forms in
which its constructive aspects out-
weigh its destructive ones." How
do we do this? By non-violent
action. He warns us not to confuse
"non-violence" with "passivity"
and says that non-violent action is
a group affair, thus more likely to
be successful than in the case of
an individual. His argument in sup-
port of his position, not all of
which is based on his professional
training or experience, is though-
provoking and intriguing and
should be considered by everyone,
but even he is not optimistic that
it can be implemented in the fore-
seeable future, or in time to save
us from nuclear destruction. The
masses of mankind are simply in-
capable of the concerted action re-
quired to abolish war, under Dr.
Frank's theory. What a pity that
we must still keep our powder dry!

12—Friday, April 12, 1968

Elath Chosen to Head Magen David Adorn

JERUSALEM — President Zal- port branch in the United States
man Shazar Tuesday named Eliahu is the American Red Mogen Dovid
Elath, retiring president of the for Israel.
Hebrew University, as president
of the Magen David Adorn, Israel's
national red cross service. The
post is an appointive one by the
president under Israeli law.
Ambassador Elath has served
as president of the Hebrew Uni-
versity since 1962. Prior to that
he held ambassadorial posts in
Washington and London.
He is the successor, in his new
position, to Mrs. Vera Weizmann,
widow of Israel's first president,
who served as president of the
Magen David Adorn until her death
in 1966.

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