THE JEWISH NEWS
Incorporating The Detroit Jewish Chronicle commencing with issue of July 20, 1951
Member American Association of English—Jewish Newspapers, Michigan Press Association, National Editorial
Published every Friday by The Jewish News Publishing Co., 17100 West Seven Mile Road, Detroit, Mich. 43235,
VE 8-9364. Subscription $7 a year. Foreign $8.
Second Class Postage Paid at Detroit, Michigan
Editor and Publisher
CARMI M. SLOMOVITZ
Sabbath Scriptural Selections
This Sabbath, the 14th day of Tevet, 5729, the following scriptural selections will
be read in our synagogues:
Pentateuchal portion, Gen. 47:28-50:26. Prophetical portion, I Kings 2:1-12.
Candle lighting, Friday, Jan. 3, 4:54 p.m.
VOL. LIV. No. 16
January 3, 1969
USSR Sentiments of '47 and Today's Hopes
In a time of visions of peace, or reports—
and rumors—about Soviet negotiations with
Israel as well as with Egypt, when the prayers
of so many are for amity that should termin-
ate the state of war in the Middle East, it
is appropriate to go back 20 years and read
anew what a spokesman for the USSR had to
say about the just cause of Jewish statehood.
Andrei A. Gromyko was the speaker. The
time was the historic day of May 14, 1947.
The place was the United Nations General
Assembly, then in session in Flushing
Meadows, New York. Gromyko said:
"During the last war Jewish people under-
went exceptional sorrow and suffering. With-
out any exaggeration this sorrow and suffer-
ing are indescribable. It is difficult to ex-
press them in dry statistics on the Jewish
victims of the fascist aggressors. The Jews
in territories where the Hitlerites held sway
were subject to almost complete physical an-
nihilation. The total number of members of
the Jewish population who perished at the
hands of the Nazi executioners is estimated
at approximately six million. Only about a
million and a half Jews in Western Europe
survived the war.
"But these figures, although they give an
idea of the number of victims of the fascist
aggressors among the Jewish people, give no
idea of the difficulties in which large num-
bers of Jewish people found themselves
after the war. Large numbers of the surviv-
ing Jews in Europe were deprived of their
countries, their homes, and their means of
existence. Hundreds of thousands of Jews
are wandering about in various countries of
Europe in search of means, of existence and
in search of shelter.
"It may well be asked if the United
Nations, in view of the difficult situation of
hundreds of thousands of the surviving Jew-
ish population, can fail to show an interest in
the situation of these people, torn away from
their countries and their homes. The United
Nations cannot and must not regard this
situation with indifference, since this would
be incompatible with the high principles pro-
claimed in its charter, which provide for the
defense of human rights irrespective of race,
religion or sex. The time has come to help
these people, not by words, but by deeds. It
is essential to show concern for the urgent
needs of a people which has undergone such
great suffering as a result of the war brought
about by Hitlerite Germany. This is the
duty of the United Nations.
"The fact that no Western European state
has been able to ensure the defense of the
elementary rights of the Jewish people, and
to safeguard it against the violence of the
Fascist executioners, explains the aspirations
of the Jews to establish their own state. It
would be unjust not to take this into consid-
eration and to deny the right of the Jewish
people to realize this aspiration ...
"In analyzing the various plans for the
future of Palestine, it is essential ... to bear
in mind the indisputable fact that the popula-
tion of Palestine consists of two peoples, the
Arabs and the Jews. Both have historical
roots in Palestine .. .
"All this leads the Soviet delegation to
the conclusion that the legitimate interests
of both the Jewish and Arab populations can
be duly safeguarded only through the estab-
lishment of an independent, dual, demo-
cratic, homogeneous Arab-Jewish State ...
"If this plan proved impossible to imple-
ment, in view of the deterioration in the re-
lations between Jews and Arabs ... it would
be necessary to consider the second plan
which, like the first, has its supporters in Pal-
estine, and which provides for the partition
of Palestine into two independent autonomous
states, one Jewish and one Arab." _
It is in this fashion that the Soviet Union
first supported the Palestine Partition Plan,
then backed Israel's admission as a member
of the United Nations family, and it was only
several years later, in the power struggle for
the Mediterranean and for numerous other
reasons that Russia commenced a campaign
in support of the Arabs against Israel.
How is it all to be explained? It is gen-
erally admitted that Russia does not seek
Israel's destruction, and that support of the
Arabs is part of a scheme for control of
the world's richest oil area and for a water-
way to the Indian Ocean to be controlled by
Furthermore, while billions of dollars'
worth of Russian-made military equipment
had gone to the Arabs, was lost by the
Arabs in the Six-Day War and is being re-
placed in even larger quantities, the new
Russian desire to effect an imposed peace in
the Middle East creates new concern. The
fact that the new U. S. ambassador to the
UN, Charles Yost, also favors an "outside
solution" . . . sort of an imposed peace from
the outside . . . a peace that Israel can not
and will not tolerate . . . makes this entire
matter one of very great significance.
There were some very interesting revela-
tions about existing relationships, evolving
from the visit of Gromyko in Cairo last week,
in a report from the Egyptian capital to the
New York Times by Eric Pace, who stated
"Sources sympathetic to President Gamal Abdel
Nasser reported that the surprse visit reflected
Moscow's concern at recent indications of wide-
spread anti-Soviet feeling here.
"The Cairo newspaper Al Ahram, which often
serves as a sounding board for Mr. Nasser, said that
Mr. Gromyko had brouhgt a message to the Presi-
dent from the Central Committee of the Soviet Com-
munist party. The substance of the message was not
"The informants said Mr. Gromyko appeared also
to fear that President Nasser might foreclose the
possibility of a peaceful settlement of the Arab-
Israeli conflict through continued truculent speeches
as well as by Egyptian shelling of Israeli positions
along the Suez Canal.
"Some high Soviet officials were said to fear that
the. Egyptian armed forces might become aroused to
the point where they would turn against Mr. Nasser
if he entered into a peaceful settlement that they
"There have been reports in recent days of move-
ments of Egyptian military vehicles that could pre-
sage another Suez artillery duel, which would be
likely to bring Israeli retaliation and hence to sour
the outlook for peace still further.
"Yet more Egyptian shelling would enhance Pres-
ident Nasser's standing among Arab militants in the
armed forces and outside. It has been hard on the
national pride of some Egyptians to see the Pales-
tinian commandos become the focus of the Arab
world's anti-Israeli aspirations.
"The Egyptians' national pride was also shown
during the student riots here last month. It is now
reported that some rioters shouted: "Down with
"This reflected the Egyptians' resentment of the
influence that the 5,000 Russians now in Egypt, have
acquired in military training and other spheres .. .
"The Al Ahram report said that the decision to
send Gromyko was taken by Soviet party leaders in
the middle of last week and conveyed to the Egyp.
tian Embassy in Moscow. The fact that the mission
was not announced here until Mr. Gromyko's plane
was in the air indicated Cairo's sensitiveness."
There are records to be seen and studied
and on the basis of both there may arise
a new hope that the Russian bear is more
often playful than he is menacing. At
any rate, there is that emerging hope that not
all is lost in the Middle East and that Russia
will join with the United States and other
Western powers not to impose a peace but to
faCilit4le, and encourage it. .... . . . . , . . .
Howard Fast's 'Jews' Enriches
His Glorious Literary Record
Howard Fast, always dramatic, fascinatingly descriptive in his
narrative handling of his historical novels as well as fiction, emerges
impressive with his exciting story "The Jews—Story of a People," pub-
lished by Dial Press.
While the story is not history, it incorporates the most dramatic
episodes in Jewish experience. It is sort of a lecture on Jews from time
immemorial to our own time, offering his readers a taste of Jewish life
in all climes, all eras, commenting with fervor, delineating artistically,
giving impressions and expressing a love that is indelibly written on
nearly every page for the heritage that collectively spells The Jews.
It stands to reason that a story tackled in the style of Howard
Fast has to be related briefly, and the entire book is all of 330 pages.
Thus, the first part, titled "The Desert," portrays briefly "how it
was in the beginning" until within a few pages it begins to deal with
"The Land" and the early accounts of the Bible, then proceeding
with Kings and Prophets. And in every instance it is a summary
filled with details, leading up to the basic theme that soon describes
"The Exile" and then the life through the ages since the dispersion.
As he reaches "The Exile," having covered about a sixth of the
book, he advises the reader about the 6th Century BCE: "Thus were
the Jews, already an ancient people, taken away into captivity—at a
time when Rome and Athens were still villages and civilization had not
yet touched the dark forests of central Europe where the painted Ten-
tonic tribesmen lived."
In this sense, on every page, we have evaluative elaborations on
the creative role of the Jews, on their sufferings, their trials and tribu-
lations and their survivalism. Facts and legends are recorded, and the
world's great figures, Jews and others, those of the period of the Exile,
and of the Return, as well as of the era of Maccabean valor, emerge
in the significant roles they played in world and in Jewish history.
After Alexander the Great, in the time of Herod and Hillel, great
dramas were enacted, and to comprehend them the Fast narrative pro-
vides data, flavored with the author's enthusiasm, that create growing
interest in an old history. While relating about Herod the cruel ruler,
for whom no one would shed a tear, he also tells the story of Hillel, the
gentle and saintly teacher who represented a force not to be defeated
and which Herod could not comprehend, and "there was no mourning
like that for Hillel": "A whole world wept, not only Jews, but thousands
and thousands of pagans who crowded into synagogues to share the
sorrow at the passing of a saint. It was the end of an era, the end of
the Jews' first passage through history. Yet like a whisper through
time, Hillel's curious, negative, yet holy injunction echoed and re-
echoed: `Do not unto others as you would not have them do unto you.'"
Horoes and saints, warriors, defectors, others pass in review.
We have the story of Bar Kokhba, the rise of a daughter religion,
the role of Paul and others of the era outlined in "Jesus and Chris-
tianity" and the period of the Diaspora; and the subsequent events
are told after Fast had stated that "Christianity was established in
the Western world in the holy hatred of Judaism—a hatred that
would exact from the Jew suffering beyond description, untold mil-
lions of lives, and a river of blood." That's the tale retold in the
part that starts with the Diaspora.
It is not only the story of suffering that makes the subsequent pages
so valuable for the student of history. The description by Fast of the
great contributions made by Jews to the science of medicine is one of
the most fascinating in his entire book. He shows, for example, that
"even earlier than the 12th Century, Jews began a systematic program
of translation of medical books from the Arabic into Latin and Hebrew,
beginning with Hippocrates—who was presented to Europe not in classi-
cal Greek but in Latin, via Jewish translators. Galen and Avicenna and
numerous other medical works were also translated into Latin by Jews
—and thus Europe was given at least a basis for medical training. But
meanwhile the Jew was physician to Christian Europe.
Non-Jews as well as Jews will be enlightened by Fast's story.
his descriptive section dealing with the Wandering Jew, his account
of the works of great historians like Graetz and Dubnov; and
whether it is about the Marranos or the Crusades, the new story Is
revealing and thoroughly exciting.
American Jews will delight in reading the splendid section "Thor
Discover America" and the review of the period of the Holocaust, and
the time of the emergence of Israel and the battle for justice and sun'
vival combine to make the new work a great literary gift. The flume,.
ous appropriate illustrations, in three sections of the book, are addition.
Indeed, Howard Fast has added to his glorious literary career a
tiew inasterplec :712 'J ewa ,B for
o f a P eo P e. "