Merlin's 'Search for Peace in Middle East'
Provides Thorough Review of Bourguiba Plan
Samuel Merlin, who was a mem-
ber of the first Knesset, whose
leadership in the Hebrew Commit-
tee of National Liberation brought
him closely to the ranks of Vladi-
mir Jabotinsky and the Revision-
ist Zionists, displays marked abil-
ity as a man of research and stu-
dent of history in a volume in
which he deals with "The Chal-
lenge of President Bourguiba" of
Tunisia. In nearly 500 pages he has
incorporated every statement that
has been uttered by Bourguiba on
the question of the Middle East and
his dissection of them and his ex-
planation of the Bourguiba posi-
tion are of immense interest.
Entitled "The Search for Peace
in the Middle East," this volume,
published by Thomas Yoseloff,
had not indulged in the Suez
serves as a valuable addendum to
Campaign, and later in the
previously published works deal-
diversion of the Jordan waters,
ing with the Arab-Israel conflict.
there might still have been a
There is a long subtitle to the
possibility of healing the
book: "The Story of President
Bourguiba's Campaign for a Nego-
While some of the proof provid-
tiated Peace Between Israel and
ed by Merlin is not thoroughly
the Arab States." The basic de-
convincing, he makes an in-
clarations, rebuking Nasser, urg-
teresting case for Bourguiba's
ing the admission that Israel is a
position, and his accumulation of
reality, are all in this compilation.
Bourguiba's condemnations of Nas-
But there also are many assertions ser and his endorsement of pro-
that were antagonistic and dam-
posals for recognition of Israel's
aging to Israel. Merlin admits )
existence emerge as major in the
them but looks at the over-all pic- conciliatory attitude of the Tunis-
ture in his discussion of a study ian president.
of a serious issue and an impor-1
Of special current interest is
Merlin makes specific refer- Merlin's account of Bourguiba's
Arab leaders, his assertion that
ences to a speech by Bourguiba
to the Turkish parliament in visits in Jordan and Lebanon, his
which he took a strong pro-Arabl appeals for reason and intelligence
position and a very antagonistic "we must have enough courage to
one towards Israel but even on dominate our passions" and Mer-
that score he explains: "Careful . lin comments:
"One must consider that Jor-
reading of his Turkish speech
dan's King (Hussein) and Le-
shows that though Bourguiba
banon's President (H e 1 o u),
was inimical to Israel in apprais,
though they did not publicly
big historic events, his speech
identify themselves with Bour-
did not contain any call to vio-
guiba's views, nonetheless con-
lence. On the contrary, we may
sistently refrained from taking a
perhaps even read constructive
stand against him: What is
Implications. For example, there
more, the Jordanian and Leban-
is the inference that if Israel
Sirhan Lawyers See How Far
to Push 'Zionist - Angle in Trial
lawyers for Sirhan B. Sirhan, ac-
cused assassin of Sen. Robert F
Kennedy, are pondering how far
to push the "Zionist" angle in the
trial of the 24-year-old immigrant
from Jordan. Washington Post cor-
respondent George Lardner Jr.
reported from Los Angeles Mon-
"So far the lawyers have said
they intend to make Sirhan's ex-
perience as a youth in Palestine
a key issue in their effort to save
Sirhan from the gas chamber,"
"They plan to argue that the
young Jordanian immigrant was
so scarred and so obsessed by the
Arab-Israeli conflict that he was
incapable of premeditated, first de-
gree murder when he shot down
Sen. Kennedy." Lardner said.
He noted further that "not a few
Arabs and Arab-Americans have
expressed the view that the trial
would be an ideal forum for 'the
Arab position' in the Middle East."
One of these is Mrs. Mary Sirhan,
the defendant's mother.
Lardner said that Sirhan's de-
fense lawyers, among them Emile
Zola Berman, who is Jewish, "in-
sist they will be able to stop
short of trying the rights and
To receive the status of
rabbi or pope
Will never impress the Lord
He'll only accept those
who dwell in the Hope
And have faith in His staff and
Listen to . . .
"Richard Palmer at the Key-
board" every Sunday 1:15 p.m.
WMUZ 103.5 F.M.
wrongs of the Arab-Israeli con-
flict." Chief defense counsel
Grant B. Cooper has said, "It
might never become an issue"
in the case. "Mary Sirhan caught
him during a recess. 'Don't say
it won't become an issue,' she
is said to have told him. 'It has
to be,' " Lardner reported.
The jury panel, completed last
weekend, includes one Jew and
four Mexican-Americans. Cooper
and Berman decided to include a
number of minority group repre-
sentatives on the jury because of
the tradition of liberal tendencies
associated with minorities.
The Jew is Benjamin Glick, a re-
tail clothier who came to Los An-
geles from Queens five years ago.
Neve Aviv - Retirees Club
in Israel Adds New Wing
TEL AVIV—Sixty new air-condi-
tioned rooms have been added to
the Neve Aviv Club here, which
caters to retired Americans and
Located in the garden suburb of
Kfar Shmaryahu, nine miles north
of Tel Aviv, the unique luxury fa-
cility combines the features of a
fine resort hotel and private resi-
With the opening of the new wing,
a schedule of "get acquainted"
tours has been arranged starting
March 4. The package price in-
cludes round-trip jet transporta-
tion, three months at Neve Aviv,
all meals, air-conditioned and cen-
trally-heated bedroom-sitting room
with private bath and balcony and
a carefully planned program of
Neve Aviv's representative in the
United States is located at Rassco
House, 535 Madison Ave., New
York City 10022.
ese papers published detailed
accounts of Bourguiba's views.
In Jordan, the press is not free
to do as it likes. The non-Nas-
serite Lebanese papers were
generally sympathetic. One Jor-
danian newspaper, Al Maner,
came out on March 7 (1965) in
praise of his (Bourguiba's) ideas:
'The Arabs should learn a les-
son from what Bourguiba said.
They must understand that in
dealing with the Palestine prob-
lem one has to be realistic and
not be swept away by emotions
. . .' Some observers in Israel
suggested that perhaps King
Hussein himself had prompted
Bourguiba's campaign . . ."
In his relations with Jews, Bour-
guiba is portrayed as doing his
utmost to assure the security of
Jewish communities in Tunisia. He
was accused by Egyptians as hav-
ing made "a dark deal" with the
Prisian Rothschild Bank. "When
Bourguiba made his peace initia-
tive in the Middle East," Merlin
writes, "Nasser and other Arab
leaders, the press and radio pre-
sented this initiative to their peo-
ple as part of a deal among the
Tunisian president, imperialism,
Israel and world Jewry. Nasser
referred to Bourguiba as 'Ben-
Gurion's man.' "
Even on the question of Arab-
Jewish relations Bourguiba "was
careful to say nothing in public
that could jeopardize his future
relations with the leaders of Arab
states" while seeking in his own
country to prevent indignities upon
Jews. Merlin points out, however,
that: "Tunisian Jews are discreet-
ly permitted to visit Israel and re-
turn to their country. Those who
wanted to emigrate to Israel were
permitted to do so." But while
Jews were expelled from Arab
lands, Merlin emphasizes that
Bourguiba "would like to see the
stream of Jewish emigration slow-
ed down if not ended altogether,
for he is said to see in the Jews a
creative element which he would
like to preserve for Tunisia's fu-
ture development . . ."
Merlin places much stock in
Bourguiba's advocacy of a peace
plan for the Middle East, even
if it calls for Israel's return to
early stages of statehood, thereby
negating much of what could be
hoped for in advocating accord.
Merlin declares that Bourguiba's
peace offer "of his good offices
to bring together representatives
of Israel and the Palestinian
Arabs has so far not been heed-
ed. But the day may not be far
off when both parties will avail
themselves of this opportunity .
They can afford to ignore this
offer much longer only at their
own risk and peril .. ."
Asserting that in his peace cam-
paign Habib Bourguiba grew in
stature, Merlin commends the
Tunisian president's "s up e r i o r
qualities, enlightenment, culture,
superb style, pragmatism, modera-
tion, common sense, lack of fana-
ticism or dogmatism . . ."
While there will no doubt be
many differing views on Merlin's
conclusions, his gathering of data
regarding an important Moslem's
views on the Arab-Israel conflict
the peace offer, the contrasting
attitudes of the leaders among
Israel's enemy neighbors, make
the present work valuable for the
data it contains.
Friday, January 31, 1969-1 9
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
Disabled Veterans Building Tel Aviv Center
The 10,000 members of the
ganization are veterans of all war,
in which Israel has had to defend
herself. They hope to use the cen-
ter as a year-round facility. Loc-
ated north of Tel Aviv, it is going
to cost 3,864,000 pounds ($1,120,
560) to build.
• Persons who wish to help with
the project, whose president is
Mrs. Levi Eshkol, may contact the
organization at P.O.B. 11161, Te'
JERUSALEM — The un e as y
"peace" in the Middle East has
taken a tragic toll in lives — but
little is said about the number of
young men who have returned
physically and emotionally maim-
The growing numbers of fresh-
wounded soldiers have spurred the
Israel War of Independence and
Zahal Disabled Veterans Organ-
ization to embark upon a project to
sports, rehabilitation and social
center for disabled veterans.
With its swimming pools, club
and hobbies rooms and therapy
institutes, Beit Halochem is to be
"the framework within which
disabled war veterans will be
led to rehabilitation by their fel-
low veterans," according to Dov
Weiner, chairman of the board
of the organization. "Preventive
medical treatment and sports
will safeguard their physical fit-
ness and help maintain their
mental and social equilibrium,"
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