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July 17, 1970 - Image 2

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1970-07-17

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

Purely Commentary

By Philip
Slomovitz

Russia as a Chief Menace to American
Position in Middle East . . . Shocking
Experiences of Israel's Youth at UN

Pentagon, More Than White House and State Department, Directly
Involved in Serious Russian Threat to U. S. in Mediterranean
Still the leading American newspaper and one of the world's
However one wishes to judge the Pentagon, it is now definitely established that the military forces
greatest, the New York Times can rise to great heights. It can, as of this land are directly involved in the developments in the Middle East. Of course, the struggle is between
fleet is challenging
it has, sink very low. It did in its editorial "Youth at the UN" on
or danger is to American policies. The Russian
July 11. Israel and the Arab states.
After describing as "reprehensible—and ironic" the "demands of the U.S. Sixth Fleet. The Soviet submarines are infesting the area's waters. Russian pilots are maneuvering
the representatives from the Ukraine andByelorussia for cancella- Egyptian planes with immediate threats to Israel but immediate efforts to destroy all the good that has
been created here with American assistance. There is a traditional American role in the area, and the
Lion of invitations to youths coming from the 'puppet' regimes of
South Vietnam, South Korea and Nationalist China," the Times edi- Soviets are threatening it.
i nvolvement intended to
ts u
What is involved is not mere competition for mar k e
tonal included this paragraph:
enforce Soviet domination over a vast area in which Americans had played important roles as creators
"Also familiar and discouraging was the cold shoulder Arab of universities, as philanthropic aides in eliminating want and in a manner aimed at raising the standards
delegates gave to young Israelis who sought them out individually of oppressed peoples. It is true that the emergence of Israel has added to the tensions that make up the
in an effort to arrange a private exchange of views. Unless a new Middle East cauldron. And it is equally true that the Arab threats to Israel are the direct cause of the
generation of Arabs and Israelis can overcome the prejudices of latest involvement with Russia. But the major danger to world peace is the US-USSR confrontation and
their parents, neither has much hope for the better life that peace it is doubtful whether Russia will be permitted to get away with its chicaneries in that part of the world.
could bring to all in the Middle East."
A prominent foreign correspondent, George Weller, who on occasions in the past seemed somewhat
Such inconsistency! First the editorial writer confirms that the biased in dealing with the Israel situation, has been to Amman and a few days ago outlined the Russian
Israeli youth sought the Arab fellow delegates individually for an
role
in
the Middle East as follows:
exchange of views, then he speaks about both factors being alike,
Israel and the Soviets are engaged in a struggle for control of the Red Sea comparable to the
about both Israelis and Arabs overcoming prejudices! Have the
rivalry
between Russia and the United States for the Mediterranean.
prejudices of their parents been proven, in the light of the Israelis'
The rapid-spread of Israeli naval and air influence became known with the revelation that Israel
actual begging for opportunities to make peace with their neighbors?
is
preparing
two bases at the southern mouth of the Red Sea which could close that strategic passage
And haven't the youth overcome it with their seeking out Arab dele-
to Arab shipping.
gates to come to terms with them?
What a pity that a great newspaper couldn't rise to greater
In a measure they remedy the loss of Britain's Aden to Arabs under Soviet tutelage.
The bases reportedly are located on two islands owned by Ethiopia just off Assab, itself a new
heights! Isn't the type of approach it made—as we have quoted it—
port.
The
islands are Haleb, formerly an advanced base of the Italian navy, and Fatimah, which are
the stuff that contributes towards hatred and misunderstanding?
miles respectively, from Assab. They are almost directly opposite Aden, some 40
Another regrettable example of misrepresentation comes from an-
25 miles and 5

Beggars for Justice Get Deaf Ear

other great newspaper, the Washington Post. It should have known
better than to give credence to claims, in an article from Amman
by Jesse W. Lewis Jr. that during the Arab-Israel war of 1948, "when
Arab armies failed to prevent the establishment of Israel . . . about
750,000 (Arabs) fled the former British mandate of Palestine that
later became Israel to avoid being caught in the fighting." We arc
quoting Lewis verbatim and wish to remind him and his editors on
the Washington Post that even the extreme Arabists admit that only
about 450,000 Arabs left—fled from—what was then Palestine. Why
exaggerate when it adds to the harm among nations?

The Russian Menace—to Many Lands

miles away.
The Soviets have been quietly working on that chain of naval and air bases in the Red Sea For
in
five years. They have been able to operate unchallenged because the U.S. navy has been busy
Vietnam and the dwindling British navy has been occupied with the ineffective patrol off Mozambique
to prevent Rhodesia getting oil. An American plan to create an Indian Ocean patrol five years ago
has never been realized.
In a recent conference aboard the carrier Roosevelt, U.S. Defense Secretary Melvin Laird said the
United States would attempt to meet the Soviet naval challenge in the Indian Ocean after "Vietnamiza-
lion" releases units of the 7th Fleet from Far Eastern waters.
The Soviet expansion in the Red Sea began with the visit of Nikita Khrushchev to Gamal Abdel
Nasser, of the United Arab Republic, in 1905. Its latest achievement is the reservation of part of Flamingo
Bay, an important anchorage just north of Port Sudan, for Soviet naval activity. In return, the Soviets
have been furnishing MIG fighters to the Sudanese air force.
The foundatiod stone of Soviet naval expansion was laid when Nasser and Khrushchev, after
starting the Aswan Dam, flew to Ras Benas, a headland, airfield and anchorage immediately to the
east on the Red Sea. They spent two days there in seclusion.
An agreement was signed making Ras Benas a "fisheries base." (Fisheries is the common cover

American involvement in the Mediterranean, the menacing situa-
tion created by the Russian intrusions. may appear on the surface to
he a two-nation conflict. It isn't: it involves many lands. The Italian
role similarly is affected.
Soviet naval build-up is causing concern to Italy. An Italian
for the establishment of a Soviet submarine base.)
naval officer was quoted in a leading article in the New York Times
The Soviets next acquired control of the Yemeni port of Hodeida. They took over from the
recently expressing nervousness over the new situation. This was sup-
Egyptians the building of the nearby fighter airfield. But in this case their advantage, acquired while
posed to he a Mare Nostrum—"our sea'.'—he commented in a conver-
Nasser was prosecuting the war in Yemen, has been cut down somewhat because the North Yemer
sation with Americans. "Then we witnessed your Sixth Fleet, now it
Republic is now taking a neutral course.
is theirs—the Russians."
The Soviets have also taken over an advantageous contract with the Republic of Somaliland
Ile made an additional interesting comment: "See Capri? For all
for rebuilding its part facing the mouth of the Red Sea, Berbera.
we know, there may he -some Soviet submarine girl watching through
Soviet coastal guns have been placed along the Yemeni coast from Mocha down to the border
of South Yemen. They can dominate any surface shipping passing through the Straits of Bab El Mandeb.
the periscope."
But the Soviet guns were placed in position before the recent surge of Soviet growth in the Red Sea.
Italy's Admiral Gino Birindelli, who heads his country's fleet, was
Since 1965 the Soviets have been intensively developing the submarine fleet of the Indian navy.
especially critical of what was transpiring.
They have also been reported establishing naval bases in the Andaman Islands.
Is it any. wonder that the Sixth Fleet, which has established a vi- .
All these elaborate preparations are being made in order that the opening of the Suez Canal,
tal position in the Mediterranean, is frequently alerted, that Britain
after an Israeli-Arab settlement, will permit the Soviets to unite their Black Sea and Far Eastern
and Italy are worried, that the Russian threat is believed to be es-
fleets,
thus taking over the old inner "imperial route" formerly held by Britain.
calating?
This is the crucial Russian stake behind Nasser's talks in Moscow, not the Israeli conflict.
Those who minimize Israel's role would do well to study the situ-
These are facts that are very vital to an understanding of what is occurring in the most dangerous
ation. Tie Mare Nostrum issue is more serious than it appears on
spot on earth. It is the confrontation between this country and the USSR. On top of it, Red China plays
the surface.
a nefarious role by supplying the weapons used against Israel by Syria and Iraq, some of the guns from
the Red Chinese being used by Egyptians and Jordanians.
George Weller is not alone to view the situation in this light of asserting that "it is not the Israeli
Facts Available . . . Not Always Utilized
most serious American problem. The National Review editorially had this to say last week
Every issue that involves the Middle East often is so muddled that conflict" but a the
crisis in the Mediterranean in a special article by Frank S. Meyer:
to
there is cause for regret that communications media do not search for in relation "There
is no easy way out. The only possibility of retaining control of the Mediterranean is to
realities before Israel is caused the harm that is traceable to distor-
recognize political realities. We will have to state clearly to the countries which depend upon us
I
tions.
to preserve them from Soviet power—not only to the small countries, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Turkey
These experiences are ascribable not only to the American press
and, of course, Israel), but also to France, Italy and Great Britain—that it will be strategically

but to newspapers throughout the world.
An instance worth recording is the one that involved articles in
the New Statesman of London. Replying to some misunderstandings,
Meir Michaelis (151 Dartmouth Road, London NW2) wrote a reply
- which, curiously, was headed by the editors "Who Is a Jew?" Mich-

aelis wrote:
Mr. Peter Mansfield claims "that the area covered by the Palestine
Mandate had been inhabited almost exclusively by Arabs for 1,300
years before 1918". This claim is not borne out by the evidence. This
is what the 1911 edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica has to say on

the 'almost exclusively Arab' character of Palestine before world War
I (Vol. XX, p.604):
The inhabitants of Palestine are composed of a large number of
elements, differing widely in ethnological affinities, language and
religion. It may be interesting to mention, as an illustration of this
heterogeneousness, that early in the 20th century a list of no less
than 50 languages, spoken in Jerusalem as vernacular, was there
drawn up by a part of men whose various official positions enabled
them to possess accurate information on the subject . . . There are
very large contingents from the Mediterranean countries, especially
Armenia. Greece and Italy. principally engaged in trade. The extra-
ordinary development of Jewish colonisation since 1870 effected a
revolution in the balance of population in some part of the country,
notably in Jerusalem.
On the 'almost exclusively Arab' character of Jerusalem the En-
cyclopaedia BritanniCa has this to say: 'The population in 1905 was
about 60,000 (Moslems 7.000, Christians 13,000, Jews 40,000)' (Vol.
XV, p. 335).
As early as 16 November 1907, the British consul in Jerusalem,
in a dispatch to Sir N. O'Conor of the Foreign Office, estimated the
number of Jews in the whole of Palestine . . at 100,000 out of a
population of 400,000-450,000' (Public Record Office, FO 371/356 NO
40321, No. 62). i.e. well over 20 per cent of the total. The Scots and
the Welsh constitute only about 15 per cent of the population of this
country, yet no one would claim that Britain is 'almost exclusively
English'. It should be remembered in this connection that the Jews

2—Friday, July 17, 1970

impossible to preserve any of the Old World from Soviet domination if the Mediterranean falls under

Soviet control. Either they ally with us in the struggle for control of the Mediterranean (our NATO
allies giving up once and for all their 25-year free ride on American military power); or the United
States will have to face the strategic reality that Europe is indefensible if the Mediterranean is a
Soviet sea, and in the interests of our own survival we will have to retreat to a version of Fortress
America. Not because we want to, but because there is no other possible strategic course once the

pivot of Western Europe, Asia and Africa falls.
"The development of a policy of allied confrontation would take time. Meanwhile the arming of
Israel with planes to meet Russian planes would seem the immediate tactic to buy time, to contain the
Soviet advance. The threat in the Mediterranean is Soviet, not Arab, and the old adage may well come
into play: the enemies of our enemies are our friends."
Furthermore, in an article in the London Observer, the well known correspondent Edward Crankshaw,
writing on "Why the Kremlin Needs Israel," made this additionally revealing statement:
"It is too much to say that if Israel had not existed it would have been necessary for the Kremlin

to invent her. But it is not at all too much to say that her existence has been a godsend to a Soviet
government in pursuit of aims which have little or nothing to do with Israel as such, even less with
Communism. It is by stoking the fires of Arab hatred of Israel that the . Russians have been able to
establish and develop their new position in the Middle East which represents the fulfilment of an
age - old dream. They have nothing to gain and a great deal to lose front Israel's destruction.
"Admittedly in past months there have been moments when appearances suggested that the
Kremlin might be reversing its direction of the past 15 years and starting to move out of a phase of
co-existence into a phase of reckless expansionism — or what in the good old days before the 1914 war
used to be called a 'forward policy.' "

The data offered here is not from Israel propaganda sources. We have resorted to the views of

authoritative students of world affairs, experts on the Middle East.

Now it is clear why the Israeli leaders are so concerned, why Golda Meir warns that once Russia
steps in anywhere she never leaves that spot—and the American leaders know it. That's why Israel's lost
planes are being replaced in order that the Suez should be kept closed to the Russians. The Russians need
the Suez as an escape in the event of a serious conflict with the U.S. Israel is the agent to keep the Middle
East safe for the democratic idea. Why shouldn't the United States friendship with Israel be strengthened?
It is in the best interests of world peace.

of Palestine had their own towns

and villages, their own educational
institutions, even their own de-
fense forces, before 1914. They had

at least the same right to self-

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS - determination as the Arabs.

Why so much emphasis on a let-
ter to an editor of a foreign news-
paper? Because of the facts it
contains, because it is applicable
to misunderstandings in our own

communities.

These facts are not mysteries or
secrets. They are on the record.
If they were to be applied to the
fictions that are circulated, they
would lead to establishment of

truth.

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