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April 23, 1971 - Image 3

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1971-04-23

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

CCAR President Charges Calley Scapegoat to Cover Army Atrocities

BOSTON (JTA)—Rabbi Roland
B. Gittelsohn, president of the Re-
form Central Conference of Amer-
ican Rabbis, charged here that Lt.
William Calley was being used as
a "scapegoat" to cover up atroci-
ties and corruption by the U.S.
military forces in Vietnam.
Speaking from his pulpit at Tem-
ple Israel, he drew a parallel be-
tween the cast of Lt. Calley and
Capt. Alfred Dreyfus, who in 1894
was unjusty accused by the French
army of revealing military secrets
to the Germans. Championed by
Emile Zola, the charges against
Capt. Dreyfus were dropped after
12 years.
Rabbi Gittelsohn told the con-
gregation that a major differ-
ence existed between the two
cases in that "Calley is guilty"
of the murder charges on which
he was tried while "Dreyfus
was innocent."
The Reform leader said that
"the French army at the end of
the 19th Century needed a scape-
goat to disguise its own incom-
petence and corruption. Let us not
forget, however painful the re-
membrance, that our American
army too suffers from typical mili-
tary corruption."
Rabbi Gittelsohn also charged
that the Defense Department "has
connived unconscionably to assure

exhorbitant profits for the manu-
facturers of weapons at a time
when young Americans are being
asked to sacrifice their careers
and even their lives."
The CCAR president, a long-
time critic of the American in-
volvement in Vietnam, said
"such an army can well use a
convenient scapegoat. It may
need one even more desperately
after the war in Vietnam is fi-
nally ended and the American
people realize at last how much
it paid for so little."
Citing another "scapegoat" area,
the Reform leader said he believed
that many officers and men were
guilty of atrocities not only at My
Lai, the site of the murders for
which Lt. Calley was convicted,

Sapir Expresses Regret
Over Leaving Coalition

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Joseph
Sapir, chairman of the Liberal
faction within the Gahal opposition
bloc, admitted in an interview pub-
lished in Yediot Ahronot that he
had some regrets over quitting
the coalition government last sum-
mer. He said "had we stayed, we
might have prevented the govern-
ment from making a number of
mistakes. At the very least we
could have softened their impact."

but during other campaigns in
Vietnam.
He asserted that "the one way
to insure that William Calley does
not indeed become a scapegoat,
indeed the only way to redeem
what is left of our country's
honor, is to see that every Amer-
ican military man who committed
atrocities against civilans any-
where is apprehended and tried."
Rabbi Gittelsohn accused Presi-
dent Nixon of using the Calley case
for personal political gain, declar-
ing that the Nixon administration
had repeatedly stressed the need
for law and order in this country.
"The trial of William Calley, un-
like that of Alfred Dreyfus, was
the very epitome of justice, he
added. "Every right to which the
defendant was entitled was safe-
guarded scrupulously. His right to
appeal was denied by no one. The

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machinery for appeal is open and
available. The President's inter-
vention in 'the case, "before the
law has pursued its full and prop-
er course, is to make a travesty
of all law," he asserted. He ex-
plained the outpouring of protest
on Lt. Calley's behalf as really
exposing the "guilt feeings" of
many regarding the Vietnam war.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
Friday, April 23, 1971-3

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