The Ford Saga: Fisher Friendship,
Auto Magnate's Interest in Israel,
Rejection of Boycott and Pressures
The Arab boycott of Israel, and therefore of firms that do busi-
the nation's very prominent personalities there ness with Israel, inevitably became a subject of discussion during
Second Isaiah—an Old
A Hebrew University professor
has developed a friendship that is akin to the David-Jonathan and the lunch. and Ford calmly reasserted that he would not be pressured
en claims to have established by
anyone. The Ford plant in Cairoaffected
of electronic computer tests
Damon-Pythias traditions. Max M. Fisher and Henry Ford II cooperate into an act of injustice by
the Ford market was seriously
so closely in mutual communal interests and their fraternization is so confiscated by Egypt. pnd
the t ruck trade with Jordan that there were two Isaiahs.
rd explain ed that only Addi
Yehuda Radday's test
frequent in the communal. social service and personal interests, that the
y the boy cott.
A ra b u naffect
was intended to ascertain author-
their roles frequently coincide and are like twin occurr&ces7
A tj.pical example of this strong friendship is the renewed gift country. Iran. continues to trade with the Ford Motor Co. Its
ship differences, then the idea of
of the co untry, and it is well
to Detroit's major philanthropic fund given through Fisher by Ford are minimal because of the smallness
ancient Persia, such a test was a good one.
several days ag6. known that Iran is not part of the Arab
bloc. Ira n,
But there has seldom been any
doubt about the two Isaiahs, and
For several years the Ford Foundation had included among the has good
the book about the Prophet Isaiah
many scientific and cultural institutions and universities the major inglY.
The only factor that troubled Ford about the boycott is that has been treated for many years
Jewish agencies of higher learning such as Yeshiva University, EM-
it caused great hurt to the Ford dealers in Egypt. He spoke of the as having been divided into the
stein College of Medicine. Weizmann institute of Science in Rehovot,
First and Second Isaiahs.
dealers as being innocent victims in the evolving
Israel. and other important causes.
they are unable to secure parts for the cars on hand and are subjected
The basis of the story is in the
Henry Ford II took a personal interest in Jewish causes, pri-
Reuters report which stated: "On
marily having been inspired by his good friend Max M. Fisher, and to the harm imposed
test, material in chapter 40
he began to support the United Jewish Appeal, in 1965, with his first
A sense of industrial ecumenism emerged from the discussion: onward proved to be a sample of
gift several years ago of 525.000. It grew to personal S100,000 gifts, and
a different person from
he has just sent his 1970 gift of $100.000 to the Detroit Allied Jewish
Campaign. informing friend Fisher that through him he was thus products are assembled in the same plant in Haifa. Israel. His readi- that in chapters 1-40."
the sensational news
assisting "the many, many causes" that deservedly are included in phasis' from his expressed desire to share in an industrial effort in is that an electronic computer
the Detroit drive.
There is such firmness of the Ford position vis-a-vis the Arab the news of a discovery about a
Ford speaks frankly, totally without frustration, about his family
background. the great automobile firm's new policies which he had boycott that the new prejudice inherent in the threat of the Arab Second Isaiah.
introduced, the new communal interests of an organization that is League also to boycott the Japanese Nissan Motor Co. because it is Once Again—the Order-
a joint venture with the Ford Motor Co. doesn't seem to faze him Taking Criminality
among the great industrial dynasties in the world.
Once again — the Nazi defense, in
He spoke freely and decisively about the Arab boycott which at all. The principle he pursues not to permit prejudicial
to harm the industrial relations with a friendly nation was apparent. the style of Adolf Eichmann, gain-
affected his firm in the Middle East. and other related matters, at a
In this connection it is worth noting that the Ford Motor Co. was ed recognition in the trial of the
luncheon he hosted for this commentator, and for JTA and Jewish
News columnist Boris Smolar who came here from his New York not the only one to resist the boycott, that Coca Cola also rejected two Arab terrorists who were given
Arab threats, that the movie industry is fighting it while Elizabeth 17- and 14-year jail sentences for
home to participate in an afternoon's frank discussion of issues that
affect Americans and incidentally world Jewry. Guests at the luncheon Taylor and many other actors and actresses still are under the ban the attack on the El Al plane in the
Arabs. But the bigger the industry the less effective the threats Athens Airport which resulted in
included Raphael Levy, who is Max Fisher's public relations adviser
against Israel. and Henry Ford II certainly has led the Hilton chain, ' the death of one Israeli.
on UJA - affairs: Walter T. Murphy, executive director of the Ford
The defense gained ground in its
public relations • staff: and Allen W. Merrell, a Ford Motor Co. vice Coca Cola and others, in acting positively in a matter of principle.
lht th two bandits were
The Nixon appointment of Henry Ford II as Fisher's successor to c aim t at
The new generation of Fords
looks back at the era of a grand- the NCVA chairmanship is expected upon his return from Russia following
w as it given
, And if such d efensive arguments
father with a sense of deep regret, rejecting whatever smacked of where While
he is in
Russia, Ford said he hopes to learn what had happened will continue to be honored by the
prejudice and of anti-Semitism. The Liebold-Cameron- Bennett chapter .
courts of the world and m
is treated with a measure of -Contempt. and that sentiment of refuta- to the Ford installations that were built there in the 1930s by the
ue or more
v. are due
tion of bigotry is expressed not only by the Fords—Henry Ford II Detroit tr Albert Kahn architectural firm. It was then directed by the late • forums, then •e
speaks casually about a oast that is totally strange to him—he says Moritz Kahn. Ford said there was no recent information on what had terror a
he hardly remembers his grandfather—and the new pattern is one of happened to the industrial complex that had been built by Detroiters where on earth.
The argument for the defense in
. at Russia's invitation.
strong links with the community at large.
program that was adopted by the eldest Ford as a paternal meastire H Some biographical notes are worth recording about Henry Ford of patriotism.
in ing workers. It was the brainchild of Dean Samuel S. . Hey is chairman of the board of Ford Motor Co.; has been chief ex- _patriotism is the last refuge of a
with his that there Was to be no sharing of civic duties with ecutive officer of the company since 1945, when his grandfather. Henry scoundrel" (attributed to Samuel
people in Michigan. but the elder Ford's program ,was Ford, retired: has been a director of the company since 1938, and an Johnson). It is in the form that the
isolation from the rest of the citizenry. The new Fords do not employe since 1940, except for service as a naval officer from 1941 verdict took shape in Athens that
the higher qualities of patriotism
condone it. the Torch Drive gets its share of funds from the Ford Motor to 1943.
Ford was elected a vice president of the company Dec. 15. 1943: lose their value.
Co. and its workers, officers of the Ford Motor Co. are United Founda-
The Levin Name as a
tion leaders and officers. Paternalism is dead under the tutelage of four months later he became executive vice president;
in 1945 he
Political Mark of Honor
sident since its foun d ing in 1903, an
y's fo urth
Henry Ford II. There is now a community of spirit, stemming from became the compan
Sander Levin's candidacy for
preelected chairman of
served in the post until he was
governor of Michigan on the Dem-
the Dearborn, Michigan organization.
Ford was d i s t r e s s e d that 10,000 of his workers were to be 13. 1960.
He is chairman of the company's executive and operating policy ocratic ticket already has added
laid off the week after our meeting with him. He esneciallv deplored committees, is a director of a number of Ford Motor Co. subsidiaries, ' lots of flavor to politics: rightly so
the fact that those with lesser priorities were to be affected
by the Max
lay- he is a trustee of the Ford Foundation. and a member of the Presi- because the Levin name is so well
olve the urban crisis. dent's Advisory Committee on Labor-Management Policy and of the known and highly revered.
off. many of them Negroes.
The gubernatorial candidate is
(Fisher) he is now deeply inv olved
In January 1968, Ford was appointed by President Johnson as the nephew of Federal Judge Theo-
This is the spirit of social-mindedness that influences Ford. as chairman of the National Alliance of Businessmen, a group of U.S. dare Levin, brother of Councilman
it does Fisher. Thus. as We were meeting at that luncheon at which business leaders seeking productive jobs for hard-core unemployed Carl Levin, cousin o f Judge
Ford was such a charming host, we knew a week before the official and meaningful jobs for disadvantaged young people. He held the post Charles Levin.
His special pride is that his fa-
announcement of Max Fisher's planned retirement as chairman of the until February. 1969. He also is a member of New Detroit. Inc.
Ford was born in Detroit. Sept. 4. 1917. the eldest of four children tier, the late Saul R. Levin, was
National Center for Volunteer Action e (NCVA
a ye) that Fisher's intention
was—as he had stated it— to encourage yearly change in chairman- of Mr. and Mrs. Edsel B. Ford. He was graduated from Hotchkiss one of the most communally mind-
ed Detroiters, an authority on
ship of this important action introduced by President Nixon, and it was School
-c hooln i Lakeville. Conn., in 1936. and was a member of the class of
assumed then that Henry ford II was to be Fisher's immediate sue- 1940 at Yale Univerdsity. He has two daughters. Charlotte and Anne. ' penology, a leader in youth move-
cessor. Mrs. Leonard H. Weiner. national president of the Council of •
Jewish Women, remains a member of the NCVA.
And the announcement originally made that Fisher was resigning
as President Nixon's adviser was a misrepresentation. Fisher retains
a strong friendship with the President, and it must be assured that
he will remain one of the President's guides in formulating Middle
and one son. Edsel Bryant Ford II: two brothers. Benson and William ments.
The political campaign in Michi-
Clay. and a sister. Mrs. Walter B. Ford II. He is married to the
gap acquires lots of punch as a
former Maria Cristina Vettore . Austin
result of Sandy Levin's entrance
• At our interesting exchange of views. during which Ford expressed into a serious battle for the state's
a deep interest in Israel. the auto magnate replied to this comments- highest honors. The opposition
tor's question regarding the justice of American aid to Israel through party has much to fear from such
the sale of jets, that as long as Russia keeps pouring in military hard- a candidate.
are into the Arab countries this country must assist Israel to assure Lessons for USSR Apologists
Ford's social mindedness found expression also when he commented
For apologists for the Soviet
on the Arab boycott of Israel which affected his automobile sales its security.
the youth who was
seriously in the Middle East. We had occasion to talk about Harry Bennett. Casually. Ford
told of a tour of the plant with the man who was a dominant factor critical of pleaders for Russian
in the company during his grandfather's regime. He did not go into the Jewry in a letter to the Michigan
details of his having ousted an undesirable participant in the Ford Daily in Ann Arbor — there were
Motor Co. affairs. Casually. he said that after he had a tour of his many lessons in recent weeks.
plant with Bennett, the latter left, never to be seen again. Such was such as:
The USSR's self-indictment when
. the modesty of a man who now supervises so great an industry: all
he would say was that he was with him, he toured the plant, he saw Izvestia attacked five American
the man vanish. There was much more to it. but Ford did not boast. newsmen for cabling reports on
he just indicated that there was a speedy end to the domination
desire of Jews to emigrate to
. of a the
Israel: and when Yasha Kazakov
man who, in his day was a destructive factor in fighting the unto
(who has yielded to entreaties
and in guiding a grandfather the grandson remembers very vaguely.
and has ended his eight-and•a-half
day fast in New York in the hope
The auto magnate made some references to the current turmoil, to of securing exit visas for his father
the unrest, to some of the violence.
and families from Russia to Israel)
"I fear it's the dope, the narcotics to which too many of our people, called his father by overseas phone
especially the young, are subjecting themselves."
to Moscow, three weeks ago, his
It was more than a dialogue, since four other men were there father, Yosef Kazakov, the Mos-
' with Ford and your commentator. It was a very wholesome session, cow engineer, told him not to
all sides learning one from another, and the chief character in the • worry, not to fear, and to continue
session, the auto magnate, emerged a modest, humane fellow who telling the truth about Russian
always desires to learn about events in which he becomes involved. Jewry.
He said he hoped to learn all about the agencies he is supporting
But in Ann Arbor. a youth
with his gifts—currently the 5100,000 contribution—to the Detroit Allied yielded either to fear or to self-
Jewish Campaign. He interested himself in the Israeli issues we dis- abnegation due to misguided left-
cussed• and he must be learning a great deal about them from Max
M. Fisher. That's how the Jonathan-David, Damon-Pythias role con- ism.
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
tinues to link two distinguished personalities and their families into
Henry Ford II and Max M. Fisher—at a Major
2—Friday, April 10, 1970
Gift Presentation to Allied Jewish Campaign