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February 18, 1972 - Image 2

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1972-02-18

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

Purely Commentary

The Nixon Report and the Jackson Evaluation

President Nixon's message on American interests in foreign mat-
ters has evoked' many comments. As was to be expected, Democratic
presidential aspirants criticized the White House occupant. There
were some conflicting views on the Middle East and on the American
postion towards Russia. But there was one statement that deserved
more than casual interest. Senator Henry M. Jackson of Washington
certainly is among the best informed men on the conditions affecting
the Middle East. He has been and remains the most ardent supporter
of Israel in her battle for survival against the odds set up by Russian
aid to the Arab states. Commenting on the Middle East section of the
Nixon State of the World Report, Senator Jackson stated:

Political Considerations and Lack of Vision

By Philip
Sionsovitz
_ .

in Tackling Low-Cost Housing in Forest Hills
Sen. Jackson's Middle East Analysis

Area . .

Painful Subject: Forest Hills Niue and the Political Implications in Racial Conflicts

Rabbi William Berkowitz, upon assuming the presidency of the New York Board of
Rabbis, raised several issues. He made the serious charge that the needs of the large number
of Jewish poor, were being ignored. He charged, in relation to problems that have arisen in
New York universities, that a quota system is being.•introduced-in education and that Jewish
students will suffer from a revived "numerus• clausur." He took up the issues involved in
the proposed low-income Forest Hills housing program. In the latter, he invcilved Mayor John
Lindsay, charging him with "walking over the body" of the Jewish community in what he
implied was a political "sellout" in a housing program that has met with strong Jewish
opposition on the ground that it will destroy the established Jewish institutions and may
compel another mass flight from the city Jews had built up in recent years.

The President's third "State of the World" message, with re-
Rabbi Berkowitz did not necessarily stir up a hornet's nest. It existed for some time
spect to the Middle East, is the third annual admission that Amer-
before he assumed his public office as president of a large rabbinical organization. What
ican policy has failed to counter the increasing Soviet build-up in
he did was to bring the matter to a head, and as a result he incurred the anger of the Union
that strategic area.

We are told that the State of the World report was written
by the State Department with some sections rewritten by the
White House. That may be so, but the section on the Middle East
was written, not on the 7th floor of the State Department, but in
the West Wing of the White House. This shift in Middle East
geography is most welcome.

It is highly significant that, for the first time, the United
States Government has faced up to the fact that the Soviet Union
is responsible for the failure of American efforts to reach some
general understanding "on the basic conditions of stability in the
Middle East."

The report this year acknowledges, for the first time, that
"Soviet personnel were directly involved in violations of the stand-
still agreement of Aug. 7, 1970."

The report acknowledges that the Soviet Union has sought to
use the Arab-Israeli dispute "to gain the use of naval and air
facilities In Egypt."

The report this year, unlike last, is explicit in itemizing the
past massive influx of Soviet weapons and personnel into Egypt,
a development that I believe we should have been most vociferous
in protesting at the time.

In contrast to last year, the State of the World report reflects
American concern at the continuing effort by the Soviet Union to
"use the Arab-Israel conflict to perpetuate_ and _wand its own
military position in EgypL" _
-

The seventh floor referred to is the office of Secretary of State
William P. Rogers in the State Department, thus clarifying the
position expressed in the Jackson statement.

of American Hebrew Congregations and the New York Federation of Reform Synagogues,
while retaining support from six other New York groups, primarily the Forest Hills community.
While the issue revolves around Greater New York and the Forest Hills community,
it could well affect similar situations elsewhere. It has been charged that Mayor Lindsay
played politics at the expense of the Jewish community, and the new danger of another
change in an important neighborhood seriously affects race relations, the best attitudes among
citizens and threatens divisiveness of a sort that leads to civil strife.

The incident in New York assumed such serious proportions .that the New York
Times discussed "Ethnic Entity" in this editorial in its issue of Feb. 11:

The sharply divisive and ethnically-oriented attack
There are ap reasons for oppos in
on the city's Forest Hills housing project by the ent form the huge low-cost housing rojec
its
pres-
p
t that
is
being so brusquely dumped intothe Forest Hills
president-elect of the New York Board of Rabbis is
area. This newspaper has expressed the view more
hardly calculated to make easier a solution of this than once that far greater sensitivity in the prepara-
tion and planning of this example of "scatter-site"
In intemperate and unfortunate language, Rabbi housing should have been shown by the city authori-
Berkowitz used the podium afforded hint by his new ties—and still should be shown. There are legitimate
position to exacerbate the racial aspects of the Forest questions of size of impact, of socio-economic differ-
Hills dispute instead of endeavoring to ameliorate ences, of schoids and other social services, of siting,
them. With its racial and political overtones, his of previous community involvement—all of which
speech can only have the deplorable effect of driving could have been bandied better and still can be.
-
a wedge between black and Jewish communities in
But it is no help at all to inflame latent racial
this city—which is certainly the last thing the over- prejudices and passions--by talking of "preservation
whelming majority
ties or of this city of the people of rthese-commtm of ethnic entities" in terms of real estate, either in
Forest Hills or anywhere else.

m all indications, in the dispute over the Forest Hills plan, there were blunders
that could and should have been 'avoided. High-rise, multi-apartmented structures do not
contribute toward neighborliness in a staid and calmed community that has fears of repe-
tition of violent experiences from which some of the residents had fled before
settling

down in Forest Hills.

Noted here, contrary to the prejudices that are so often aroused
What makes the situation much worse is that, at this late date, as an aftermath to
by statements by the present White House occupant, are Senator Jack-
son's rational approaches to the issues involving both Russia and the the Rabbi Berkowitz incident and the NYTimes editorial, Jewish groups in New York now
suggest
a meeting of Blacks and Jews, apparently for the purpose of ironing out grievances.
Middle East. He notes previous shortcomings but he acknowledges
current sincerities. This is how issues affecting American foreign pol-
Can such a confrontation bring anything but additional harm after all the injuries
icies should be judged: rationally, without prejudgement and prejudice have been
inflicted by a plan which,-Mayor Lindsay's associates state, can not and will not-be
and in the best interest cf this country and the human needs of the
peoples affected.
altered? If there is to be an established harmony, isn't it to be attained before damage is

done, and if a plan like

a multi-storied low-priced housing proposal is opposed community-
of adhering to political motivations, if such motives truly exist?
The sensational Irving story has another intresting aspect. There
damage already has been done. The new proposals for black-white meetings
was more than one "fake" in the life of the man accused of plagiarism. may or Much
may not be desirable in matters involving - state and nation. The fact is that politically
Iry Kupcinet, in his Kup's Column in the Chicago Sun-Times, calls there have been motivations
that have not led to the best results. Some have done much
attention to the following:
harm. Housing programs needed better advance planning. Busing has become objectionable
It never rains but it pours: Clifford Irving is facing a $55,- because it is compulsory and because it is a substitute for a major aim: improvement of our
000,000 libel suit as a result of his book, "Fake!," and you know schools. Is it any wonder, from the Jewish point of view, that Rabbi Berkowitz should have
the trouble he's having with the purported autobiography of How- warned politicians:
ard Hughes and the resultant threat to his marriage because of the
dames who have turned up in the investigation thereof. Now comes
"Don't eat our knishes and wear our yarmulkes one year and the following year refuse
another blow. Because Irving is in the headlines, the Jerusalem to see us. We also demand that Jewish 'politicians who trade on their Jewishness • for political
Post of Israel decided to reprint its review of his book, "The Battle gain realize their responsibility to the Jewish community."
of Jerusalem," published in 1970. And, according to the review,
Since the qUestion of ethnic entities has been injected in the debate over the desirability
inaccuracies appear on every page." More: "There is only one
original contribution in this book—and this originality lies not in of the projected three 24-story structures that are to bring into Forest Hills residents in 840
the fact that the incidents have not been described elsewhere, but new apartments, the view of Rabbi BerkoWitz should not be ignored. He stated that the
that for the most part they never occurred at all except in some- Forest Hills project does not "combine principles of integrated housing with the preser-
one's vivid imagination." Can't win 'em all !
vation of ethnic entities and institutions" and that "the concept of 'community control' that
It's no use: the plagiarists and fakers are usually caught up with. acknowledges the rights of one group but not the other is not true community control and
is a further act designed to provoke interminority strife."
*
This is not an attitude to be ignored. It is a viewpoint that needs serious consideration.
Medievalists in Arab ranks
It is one, like busing,lhat is certain to be injected into the 1972 Presidential campaign and
into
the
politics of the. state of New York. Failure to be realistic in the matter will serve to
Much of what is attempted to attain peace between Jews and Arabs
is nullified by the medievalism of some of the Moslem spokesmen. divide the communities in the Empire State. The problem is one to be handled by qualified
When bigots undertake to revive so ancient a stupidity as the ritual social and political scientists in the best interests of America. It is not Forest Hills alone
murder lie, confidence in their good sense must vanish.
that is involved here. A basic American idea is under threat and dare not be ignored—

a

a

Another Episode in Clifford Irving's Career

wise and may indeed prove unworkable, can't politicians solve it with emendations instead

,

Here is an example of what happens in irrational journalism. In
the Beirut newspaper—or magazine—Al Hawadath, a writer, Salim
Nasser, dealt with Israel-Vatican relations and then proceeded to state:

Feinberg School 'Gets Absolute N. Y. Regents Charter

"Residents of the Saad and Sa'id quarters of Jerusalem near
the Jewish Mea Shearim quarter prevent their children from leav-
ing the house lest they be kidnaped by the Jews and their blood
used for kneading dough for matzot. Since_ it is forbidden for
Jews to knead matzo dough with yeast or water, lliey therefore
use Christian blood for softening the dough."

NEW YORK—The board of re-
gents of the University of the State
of New York has granted an abso-
lute charter to the Feinberg Grad-
uate-School of the Weizmann lit-_
stitute.

Ritual murder charges have been leveled at Jews in the Ukraine,
and the Soviet authorities were blind to the spread of prejudice in
such bigoted fashion. It is with such hate-provoking elements that we
must deal in aspiring for a message of justice from those who delib-
erately distort truth and resort to the basics of ignorance in search for
power.

The school has been operat-
ing under a provisional charter
since 1967, accrediting it as an
American academic institution.'
Abraham Feinberg, president of
the school, also is chairman of
the board of governors of the Weir,
mann Institute of Science and of

2—firldry, Fehraary 11, 1972

TIE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

the board of its American com-
mittee.
When, in January 1967, the Fein-
berg Graduate School received a
provisional charter — subsequently
extended in May '1970—it was the
first such recognition granted to a
scientific graduate school in the
Middle East by the board of re-
gents.
Established in 1958, the Feinberg
Graduate School currently has a
student body of 547 graduate stu-
dents-316 students studying for
their PhD degrees, and 231 for

their master of science degrees.
Of these students, 80 per cent are
Israeli and 20 per cent ,come from

Europe, Asia and ,Aft'
The facilities 'Of the' -Weizmann

Institute as,a whole are available
to the student body. The school's
curriculum is supervised by boards
fon, each subject, consisting of
senior scientists in the given fields.
Admission to the school is on the
basis of merit. Qualified students
are provided' with scholarships,
living expenses and dormitory ac-
commodations.

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