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April 27, 1973 - Image 22

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1973-04-27

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

Israel Information Service Challenged;
Correspondent Urges More Firm Actions

By CHARLES J. LEVIN

"This is our country."
"The Jews don't belong here."
"The Zionists stole our homes
and our lands."
"The Jews are a foreign ele-
7nent imposed on us by force. -
"Palestine is Arab and it be-
longs to the Arab nation."
"We're not responsible for
Hitter. Why should we pay the
Christian debt to the Jews?"
"The Jews have no right to
Palestine,"
"We have lived here for hun-
drens of years. Before the Zion-
ists came we were at peace with
the Jews."
"A million homeless Arabs cry
out for justice." (Often this ante
is raised to 2,000,000, or even
3,000,000.)

These statements substan-
tially make up the Arab line
of propaganda. It hasn't
changed in the 25 years of
Israel's statehood. Why
should it? It has done the
job so well in the arena of
Public opinion that sympathy
for the "plight" of the "Pal-
estinians" has survived three
major aggressive wars
against Israel, countless thou-
sands of "incidents" and

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hundreds of unspeakable ter
ror acts.

Why should it when the
Israel Information Service
has given the Arabs an un-
contested field of operation?
By a clever and unremit-
ting development of the "Big
Lie" technique so well nour-
ished by the Germans and
the Russians (and often
enough by the British in the
past), the "Big Lie" has
hardened into acceptable ele-
ments of the "truth," as for
example: Israel's guilt for
the "refugees;" the Security
Council's Resolution 242 as
the basis of peace with the
Arabs; the image of Israel
as a paranoiac aggressor,
etc.

When was the last time
or the first, that Israel has
mounted an all-out campaign
to drive home to world opin-
ion one basic and unassail-
able fact: the historic right
of the Jewish people to its
ancient home and, as a corol-
lary, its need of it?
It may sound rather bi
zarre to go back to basics
25 years after the creation
of Israel, but these are bi-
zarre times. The non-Jewish
world has great difficulty in
accustoming itself to the con-
cept of a Jewish state de-
fending its land and its peo-
ple against its enemies —
and winning. That's the rub.
The outside world feels more
comfortable in offering sym-
pathy and condolences after
a program or a slaughter.
Israel has spoiled things, so
to speak.

Possibly Israel thinks that
the fait accompli of Israel's
being is enough. No need to
constantly justify it. This is
understandable, but after
every military victory the
cry that its position is mor-
ally and historically unten-
able has gone up. Even When
American newspapers and
magazines deplore examples
of barbaric Arab terror —
Munich or Lydda—and more
recently, Khartoum, there is
usually a footnote about al-
leged Arab grievances.

For example, the Los An-
geles Times, which has been
viciously critical in its edi-
torial comment on defense
actions which the Israel De-
fense Forces has found it
necessary to take in recent
weeks, had this to say after
the Khartoum murders of
the American diplomat —
premeditated acts carried
through with almost insane
fury:
". . . The world acknowled-
ges the injustices suffered by
so many in Palestine. The
world knows of those denied
their homes and land, and a
generation after them born
to know only the impoverish-
ment and helplessness of the
refugee camps. The world
can understand the frustra-
tions that have been multi-
plied in the last six years in
the wake of another war and
another Arab defeat . . ."
There was no word that
"another war and another
Arab defeat" was the result
of Arab aggression, or that
the refugee problem began
with "another war and an-
other Arab defeat" in 1948.
Suppose the Arabs had won
in 1948 or 1956 or 1967? The
Times would have been be-
reft of its righteous indig-
nation.
The Israel Information

Service seems reluctant to
go to the mat with the Arabs
on their highly vulnerable
attacks against Israel in the
propaganda war. Is it un-
dignified to set the record
straight and to state and re-
state, a thousand times if
necessary, our historic right
to Israel and the Arab lack
of it? I think not. The psy-
chology and training of the
Israel Defense Forces: take
the initiative, hit hard and
keep hitting, is sadly lack-
ing in Israel's approach to
propaganda basics. Demol-
ish the nonsensical Arab
claims and you undercut the
ground on which their entire
position is based — even the
terrorists. It is not so im-
portant that these be con-
vinced, they are beyond rea-
son, but it is vital that the
truth of the Israeli position
and the falsity of' the Arab
pretensions be make clearly
known to the world at large.

Maurice Samuel in his im-
portant "Light of Israel" saw
this clearly. He wrote: ". . .
The Jewish people has never
come to terms with the de-
struction of the Jewish state
. • . it has never seen the
exile as anything other than
a provisional condition." For
him he saw no "statute of
limitations" with regard to
the Jewish claim on Israel.
Dignified silence by Israel
has cost it much ground in
world opinion. Since the en-
tire raison d'etre of Israel
is based on its historic right
to Palestine, it is difficult
to understand why this has
not also been the mainstay
of all information efforts.
The skill is there, the re-
sources are not lacking. Why
the timidity? Why can't the
truth be as stubbornly ad-
vanced as the falsehood?
With the best case in the
world, why the weakest pre-
sentation? This is the main
front — the antidote to the
"refugees" clamor as well.
Israel has fared just as
badly in supplementary sit-
uations. The handling of the
Libyan plan affair was a
calamity. Israel had a sound
case, although a difficult one,
as the world wedded hind-
sight to blindness to casti-
gate Israel. You take a truth-
ful line and stick to it. Un-
til you are sure where you
are going, you play for time
until you are ready. Silence
here is golden. There was a
heavy body of evidence to
involve both the pilot and the
Cairo controllers. An analy-
sis of the navigational sys-
tem of the downed plane by
a Boeing expert would have
helped. The quality of the
caskets of the victims is also
within the province of pub-
lic relations control.
To be sure, the Israel In-
formation Service has prob-
ably had a long series of
successes, but it is the fail-
ures that stand out. The craft
of public relations is too of-
ten generally invoked as a
cover-up. Israel has no need
for this. Her information
specialists should function as
openers-up.

Last year, 1,225 outstand-
ing Michigan high school
graduates who entered the
University of Michigan were
honored as Regents-Alumni
Scholars for "their superior
academic achievement and
potential contribution."

Hasidic Jews Protest to NY Police After Assault

NEW YORK (JTA) —
Some 1,000 hasidic Jews
stormed the police station in
Borough Park, Brooklyn, to
ask for more police protec-
tion after two hasidim were
beaten "for kicks" by two
assailants wielding two-by-
fours.
The victims, wearing tra-
ditional hasidic garb, were
identified as David Denbit-
zer, 38, and Herschel Moss-
berg, 22, both residents in
the hasidic community in
Borough Park. Taken to
Maimonides Hospital after
the attack, Denbitzer was

said to be in fair condition
and Mossberg was treated
for cuts and bruises -and re-
leased.
Police reported that the
two hasidim were attacked
"for kicks" by Joseph Vel-
lecco, 22, and Joseph Ali,
22, both of Brooklyn. They
were booked for possession
of dangerous weapons and
felonious assault.

The police seized the two
thugs after one of their vic-
tims noted the license plate
on the car in which the as-
sailants fled. Both hasidim
were left lying on the side-
walk.

The protest at the police
Farm Workers Union
station came as word of the
Has Freedom Seder
attack swept like wildfire

NEW YORK (JTA) — As
Jews observed their second
night of Passover April 17, ,
two leaders of Reform Aida-
ism conducted a "freedom"
seder for members of Cesar
Chavez's United Farm Work-
ers Union at St. Gregory's
Church in Manhattan.
Albert Vorspan, New York
director of social action of
the Union of American He-
brew Congregations, and
Rabbi Daniel Syme, as-
sistant director of the
UAHC's youth division, con-
ducted the seder service in
Hebrew and English, and a
minister translated the Eng-
lish into Spanish for mem-
bers of the union.
More than 100 people, most
of them union members, par-
ticipated in singing Hebrew
and freedom songs and songs
in Spanish.
Meanwhile, Representative
Ogden R. Reid of New York
asked 2,000 guests at the 41st
annual Histadrut third seder
"Why is this year different
from all other years?" and
answered that "as Passover
celebrates the exodus of
Jews from Egypt, so we are
seeing in our own days a
new exodus of Jews from the
Soviet Union.
"Yet, many are there who
still want to leave and can-
not, and I say that we must
not rest until Russian Jews
have the right to leave the
country and go to Israel,"
he said.
The former United States
ambassador to Israel hailed
the Jewish state on its 25th
anniversary, declaring that
Israel "must' have the neces-
sary materials to defend her-
self."

Drug Terms Classified

In Israel some drugs have
seven different names. Quite
a problem for the neighbor-
hood druggist and the doctor.
What to do? Shaarey Zedek
Hospital in Jerusalem got
an idea. It has compiled the
first computerized prescrip-
tion index in the country. The
index establishes standards
for the use of all the many
drugs available here. It lists
indication s, counterindi-
cations and standard dosag-
es for all entries, classified
according to diseases.

through the hasidic com-
munity arousing fear, re-
sentment and anger.
The demonstration began
peacefully but at one point,
according to police, some of
the protestors attempted to
push through police barri-

cades to get at the assail-
ants inside the station.
Police pushed back the
crowd and four policemen
were slightly injured. They
were treated at Maimonides
Hospital and released.

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