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February 14, 1969 - Image 13

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1969-02-14

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

Iraqi Terror Condemned in Worldwide Protests

(Continued from Page 1)
"Many others will try to stop us.
Let nobody stop us, or turn us
from our goals." For the first and
only time during the vigil, which
was supposed to be silent, a
speaker was applauded, and the
gathering broke into the words of
"We Shall Overcome."
A complaint against Salam has
been filed by Ronald Karp, a wit-
ness, and the trial is scheduled for
11 a.m. Feb. 25 on charges of dis-
turbing an orderly meeting in a
public place.
Salam, who is from the West Bank
of Jordan and has been in this
country for two years, is free on
personal bond. Police had taken
him into custody to prevent injury
from angry onlookers.
Police, numbering at times from
two to three dozen, called the dem-
onstration one of the most peaceful
in memory, despite efforts of
Breakthrough to call attention to
itself and a feeble attempt by a
group of Arab students to cause a
a ruckus.
The members of Breakthrough,
who stood across Woodward from
Kennedy Square, carried blue
"crusader" flags, placards bear-
ing the hammer and sickle (to
convey the idea that Jews are
Communists, they said) and such
sundry signs as "Deport Zion-
ists" and "Remember the U.S.S.
One vigil participant remarked
that he did indeed remember the
U.S.S. Liberty, also the fact that
blame for the incident—the Israeli
sinking of an American ship during
the Six-Day War—had never been
affixed with certainty on Israel,
and that her government had paid
damages to survivors of the vic-
"Support Our Boys in Vietnam"
was another sign sported by Break-
through, whose leader, Donald Lob-
singer claimed that their reason for
being there was to express support
for the Arabs—"many of whom are
Christians." "The policies of Is-
rael are driving the Arabs into the
arms of Communists," he told
"We think," he added, "that
these people supporting Israel
ought to be tried under the Aliens
Registration Act."
One police lieutenant commented:
"I don't try to figure them out.
They just want attention; they're
dying to have a television camera
turned on them." Several cameras
Mrs. Morris Starkman and
Marcus Plotkin, co-chairmen of the
vigil, pressed many groups into
volunteer service and spent their
own funds to promote the demon-
stration. Dr. and Mrs. Elmer Elias,
Gilbert Frimet and Dr. Starkman
also were instrumental in conduct-
ing the campaign.
All praised the youth groups who
were involved in the demonstra-
tion, froin Et-Gar, a high school
group which made the protest
signs, to students of the United
Hebrew High School, who were
bought by two UHS buses to the
square. There were representatives
from religious schools and day
schools, the University of Michigan
and Wayne State University, Habo-
nim, Hashomer Hatzair and the
Jewish Center Young Adult Group,
as well as individuals and families
who came on their own. High
school students had distributed
thousands of flyers throughout the

mandments from the Book of
Exodus, which coincidentally was
the Tora portion read in syna-
gogues the day before.
Rev. Darneau Stewart of the
People's Community Church made
no reference to the hangings, but
called upon the Lord "to deliver us
from racial discriminations and
conflict.. . . We pray for those in
responsible and authoritative posi-
tions that they will work toward
harmony and aid in eradicating the
injustices of our land and through-
out our world."
Statements from Governor Milli-
ken, Mayor Cavanagh and the
mayors of Pontiac, Ann Arbor,
Monroe, Oak Park, Southfield, Flint
and Mount Clemens were read.
For the duration of the vigil,
members of the Jewish War Vet-
erans presented the colors. Behind
them, signs bore the messages "We
Are All Our Brothers' Keepers—
Stop the Executions in Iraq" and
"Iraq, Land of Darkness—Where
Justice Swings From the Gallows."
Led by Sally Fields in the singing
of the National Anthem, the march-
ers, chilled and somewhat dimin-
ished in numbers, brought their
protest to a close. This protest
signs—one of them reading "Each
Man's Death Diminishes Me For
I Am Involved in Mankind"—were
carted off by Et-Gar.
* * *
Earlier, a mass memorial rally
was held at the University of Mich-
igan for the victims of the Iraqi
public executions. Sponsored by
Hillel and the Israeli Students Or-
ganization, the rally took place on
the steps of the graduate library at
7:30 p.m: Some 100 students at-
Dr. Robert Lapin of the univer-
sity's medical school, spoke brief-
ly about the significance of the
"Whether or not these men were
guilty is not the point here, al-
though we have reason to believe
that they were not. An act of bar-
barism was committed, and we are
here to mourn the passing_of all
who died as a result."
El Molei Rahamim and the Kad-
dish were recited. Ani Ma'amin
was read by Rabbi Gerald Gold-
man, a guest rabbi from the Ste-
phen S. Wise Free Synagogue. By
the light of the flickering Yahrzeit
candles, the memorial ended with
a plea for peace by Rabbi Goldman.
The demonstration continued
with a short lecture in a nearby
auditorium. An analysis of the situ-
ation of Iraqi Jewry was presented
by Joseph D. Ben-Dak, an Israeli
sociologist from the Center for
Conflict Resolution and head of the
Ann Arbor Bet Midrash.
Ben-Dak pointed to the long his-
tory of Iraqi anti-Semitism, dating
back to the mid-19th Century. He
told how the Jewish community in
Baghdad was economically and
educationally supported by the
city's Jewish aristocrats. And he
told of pogroms such as that of
June 1, 1941, when 100 Jews were
killed and 900 Jewish houses were
burned and looted.
Use of the remaining Jewish citi-
zens as scapegoats in the Arab
countries becomes increasingly
brutal as the internal tensions rise
and the domestic problems ac-
cumulate, Ben-Dak explained.
Ben-Dak strongly urged conscious
protests and reaction to any major
international incident of minority
Petitions urging the members of
A kerosene lamp, symbolic of the United Nations to exert all pos-
an eternal light, burned on the sible diplomatic pressures to pre-
stone lecturn, from which Cantor vent any further similar occur-
Harold Orbach chanted the El rences in Iraq and elsewhere were
Mold Rahamim, Rabbi Israel circulated.
Meanwhile, a newly formed Ad
Halpern read the kaddish and led
Hoc Committee of Jewish Youth
the reading of Psalm 14 ("When
will hold an emergency meeting
the Lord turneth the captivity of
8:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Jewish
His people: Let Jacob rejoice,
Center Shiffman Hall to discuss
Let Israel be glad"); and Cantor
and map a course of action with
Shabtai Ackerman led in the
to the Iraqi situation and
staging of "Ani Maamin"—I . Be-
anti Semitic manifestations in
The marchers halted to listen to other parts of the world. •
Congressmen John Conyers Jr.
read the 10' COM2


Cushing denounced the hangings In
a statement prepared for a prayer
vigil held on Boston Common under
the auspices of the Boston Jewish
Community Council. "From what-
ever point of view this action is
judged, its character must be rec-
ognized as both brutal and inhu-
man . . . It cannot fail to make all
men anxious about the future of the
small Jewish community in Iraq, a
remnant already beset with weighty
problems and threatening dan-
gers," Cardinal Cushing said.

and the achievement of a lasting
peace settlement."
Foreign Minister Abba Eban
told Israel's Parliament that the
only salvation for Jews in Arab
countries was complete evacuation.

Friday, February 14, 1969-13



In Washington, Secretary of State
William P. Rogers asserted anew
Feb. 5 that the State Department
was concerned about the fate of
Iraqi Jewry. He said, "We shall do
everything we possibly can to alle-
viate the plight of Jews and other
minorities in the Middle East. As
President Nixon has pledged, we
shall direct the influence of this
government in support of a reduc-
tion of tensions in the Middle East

Rev. Ralph Abernathy, head of
the Southern Christian Leader.
ship Conference, addresses the
Sunday afternoon vigil sponsored
by the Committee for Humanity
in Iraq.

and Charles C. Diggs Jr., both of
Detroit, cosponsored a resolution
signed by 40 members of the House
of Representatives condemning the
government of Iraq for the geno-
cidal murder of 14 men, nine of
them Jews.
Introduced by Rep. Leonard Farb-
stein, New York Democrat, the
resolution requests President Nixon
to instruct his permanent repre--
sentative to the United Nations,
Charles Yost, to seek a special
meeting of the UN Security Council
to seek ways and means of pre-
venting future hangings.
Francis Kornegay, executive di-
rector of the Detroit Urban League,
sent a message on behalf of his
organization to the Jewish Commu-
nity Council, expressing regret and
sadness over the hangings. "We
stand with you and offer whatever
help we can give in this mournful
situation," he wrote.
* * *
In New York the human rights
committee of the United Nations
Association of the U.S.A., a pri-
vate, nonofficial organization sup-
porting the UN, called on Secre-
tary General U Thant "to dispatch
immediately a special represent-
ative to Iraq, who will observe
any new trials and will inquire
into the nature and circumstances
of the previous trial and execu-
The appeal to Thant contained in
a statement presented at an emer-
gency meeting of representatives
of more than 400 nongovernmental
organizations, accredited to the UN
convened by the human rights com-
mittee of the UN Association.
The statement demanded that, in
accordance with the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights "the
remaining members of Iraq's Jew-
ish community, who now live in
fear and trembling for their lives
and future, be given the opportun-
ity to leave, and to re-establish
themselves in friendlier environ-
The Negro mayors of two Middle
West cities publicy deplored the
Iraqi hangings. Mayor Carl B.
Stokes, of Cleveland, expressed the
hope "that our entire community
will declare its outrage and will
offer to assist the Jewish popula-
tion of Iraq in every way possible.
This is a time to speak out without
subtlety or ambiguity."
Mayor Richard G. Hatcher, of
Gary, Ind., wrote in his weekly
column in the Gary Post-Tribune:
"That a pogrom mentality should
be allowed to develop in this age
anywhere in the world, just one
generation from the searing ex-
perience of Auschwitz, is intoler-
, In Boston, Richard Cardinal


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