Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options


Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

The University of Michigan Library provides access to these materials for educational and research purposes. These materials may be under copyright. If you decide to use any of these materials, you are responsible for making your own legal assessment and securing any necessary permission. If you have questions about the collection, please contact the Bentley Historical Library at bentley.ref@umich.edu

July 20, 1973 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1973-07-20

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

Purely Commentary

Charles Malik of Lebanon: Moderate
Views of an Arab Leader on Israel
and the Positives on M. E. Peace

How tragic that extremists should have disrupted
peace, that when there were opportunities to establish
accord between Jews and Arabs, between Israel and her
neighbors, hatreds should have intervened with kinship!
Even now, there are Arab
leaders who know better than
to think and act in terms of
destroying Israel. of exter-
minating the Jewish state in
Nazi fashion. There are emin-
ent Arab personalities who
would go to extremes to re-
create the historic friendships
between Jews and their people.
A typical example of bet-
ter sense in the ranks of Is-
rael's antagonists is the for-
mer Lebanese delegate to the
United Nations, Dr. Charles
Charles Malik
As a preface, let's place on record an interesting
occurrence dating back to the earliest years of Israel's
A group of Detroiters, headed by Moshe Heyman, a
native Detroiter and well-known accountant who now
makes his home with his family in Rishon le-Zion, at-
tended a UN session at which Dr. Malik spoke, together
with other Arab delegates, in criticism of Israel. Moshe
and his friends approached him in a friendly discourse,
and toward the end of the conversation Dr. Malik said to
them: "But I really wasn't too harsh in my treatment
of Israel, was I?"
He wasn't harsh then and he is not harsh now. He
had given an interview to the Beirut newspaper Al
Nahar on the Middle East, Israel, the Arab viewpoints
and the position of the great powers. He had just re-
turned from a visit in the United States and he listed
some positive aspects of a situation involving democracy,
moderation, the positives and the negatives.
An English translation of that important interview
has just been made available. What he said is so vital to
existing conditions that the interview needs widest at-
tention. He stressed the point that despite Israel's chal-
lenge to his people there is a fundamental and tragic
disunity among his kinsmen.
"The Arabs," he said, "have lost much of their status
in the world on account of the 1967 disaster and its
sequel. What they do and say at times suggests that
they were wiped off the map of nations. The bitter truth
is that the good name of the Arabs has been tarnished
The international importance of the Arabs in the
strategic and geophysical sense has dwindled, because
of technological developments, he pointed out. As for Arab
oil, the income has swollen so much that it will be neces-
sary to invest it outside the Arab world. At the same
time, Malik warned the Arabs not to turn their oil into
a snare that might mean sharper domestic friction. "If
the Arabs err to the extent of believing that what they
call the 'oil economy' can be employed. as they imagine,
to their advantage, will it not involve them in new calam-
ities?" On this issue, Malik said:
"Israel is a modern industrialized state of the first
order. All the Jews throughout the world lend it their
support, with all the possibilities and influence at their
"It is also supported by scores, if not hundreds of
millions of Gentiles who admire its spirit. its progress
and achievements, and believe in its culture and its
right to exist. Its scientific and technological advancement
by far exceeds the progress of all the Arabs put to-
gether. It is on a technological-industrial plane of a type
entirely different from that of the Arabs. In all likelihood,
the range and depth of its theoretical and practical re-
search in all spheres are among the best in the world. Its
scientists and research workers (all Israelis) maintain
contacts with and exert reciprocal influence upon almost
all the scientists and thinkers in the world. They have
a good knowledge of the languages of their counterparts,
they possess the same culture and make a rewarding
contribution to their universities and laboratories. They
find great understanding and appreciation among them.
How different is the Arab situation! I believe that this
international understanding and support will never allow
the Arabs to blot Israel from the face of the earth or
weaken it. In all truth, it is Israel's will-power that com-
mands the world's respect.
"As for the reasons of Israeli supremacy: the deep-
rooted Jewish mysticism has become more intense. And
there is the fact that the Jews have been anchored in a
positive and cumulative culture for three thousand years,
and there is their creative contribution to that culture,
while the Arabs have been, and still are, largely isolated
from it and even believe that they constitute an indepen-
dent, parallel, culture that is self-sufficient . Insofar
as Israel succeeds in deepening this chasm of Arab iso-
lation. or the Arabs continue to stand aloof, Israel's
supremacy vis-a-vis the Arabs will mount. It is a matter
not of numerical strength but of 'standard' or 'method'
and of existence.
"The Jews in Russia, in Europe and in America
mean the Bible—The Old Testament, and do you know
what the Bible means? It means the source from which
Jesus the Nazarene sprang; it means Maimonides,

2—Friday, July 20, 'r


Dr. Charles Malik, the Lebanese Moderate, Expresses
Views on Amity, Offering Chance for Eventual Peace
Between Arabs and Jews ... Fulbright Negativism Exposed

By Philip

Ainerican Way of Free Speaking Will Surely Supersede Fulbright's Panicking

When, in 1910, the Czarist government refused to
honor passports of Americans of the Jewish faith and
denied them admission to Russia, there was a demand
for action. President Taft's hesitancy to act was over-
ridden when Jacob Schiff pounded the presidential desk
and demanded an end to discrimination against American
citizens because of their religious affiliation.
That was a serious American matter, not an in-
trusion into the private business of a foreign govern-
ment. A Jewish leader's insistence on action was pos
sible in an age when there were no Haldeman, Ziegler.
Magruder, Ehrlichman or Dean, anyone to block the
road to the President's sanctum. It was before Water-
gate. and in a time of directness in striving for just
Then came another age. There was a house painter
named Adolf Schicklgruber, Hitler, whose rose to dicta-
torial power. His major objective, next to his aim to
have his ideas rule the world for a thousand years, was
to exterminate the Jewish people. When some Christians
joined the Jewish people in protesting against the hor-
rors that were then perpetrated, Schicklgruber shouted
"foul"—there was an interference in the affairs of a for-
eign government by American troublemakers and he
wasn't going to stand for it. Roosevelt in Washington,
Eden in London, others in many capitals, gave comfort
to Adolf: if they were to interfere in the foreign affairs
of another government, the foreigners might seek a way
of interfering in their affairs.
That's how Hitlerism nearly accomplished its tasks.
That's how the Six Million became the symbol of eternal
rebuke to the Great Powers for a Silence that is on
record as much as a crime by the democracies as it was
by the beasts of Nazism.
Under no circumstances would we say that James
William Fulbright should be equated with the panicked
world statesmen of the World War II era. After all, we
have had a Holocaust to teach us and the breakdown of
isolationism to serve as a guide to fashion human attitudes.
Nevertheless, Senator Fulbright invites the admoni-
tion to look at the record, to search his feelings as of
the tragedies of the 1930s and 1940s, to judge according

to the standards that were first promulgated by Senator
Arthur H. Vandenberg and Wendell Willkie as propaga-
tors of a One World ideal which—it was assumed—he
himself—James William Fulbright—later adopted.
According to these new standards, in One World, we
seek justice and we claim the right to criticize even those
behind the Iron Curtain or the Great Wall of China or
any other barrier, when it becomes necessary, in the
course of human events, to protect fellow humans.
Is Fulbright an anti-Semite when he says that Jews
suffer less than others in Russia? Of course not! He is
merely misled and has not looked at the record; he has
not made a sufficient study of actual conditions; he has
permitted himself to be deluded by claims made while
in this country by Communist Party Leader Leonid
I. Brezhnev.
Was Fulbright moralizing or prophesying—or was
it threatening?—when he said, in his speech to the Amer-
ican Bankers Association in which he excoriated "even
idealistic meddling in each other's (U. S. and USSR)
"It is simply not within the legitimate range of
foreign policy to instruct the Russians in how to fa - 1/4–a
their own people, any more than it is Mr. Brezhnev's
business to lecture us on our race relations or on such
matters as the Indian protest at Wounded Knee."
We didn't know that Americans should be panicking
when they are criticized for injustice. If we were wrong
as a nation, in our treatment of the Indians—and we
undoubtedly were!—why shouldn't we accept the con-
demnations even of other nations? If such lecturing will
humanize our role, what's wrong with it?
So—a distinguished U.S. senator says we are med-
dling. The answer should be that we are not meddling
enough. As long as the Kremlin persecutes—it hasn't
stopped even on the basis of the half-heartedness of
the Brezhnev U.S. mission — there can be no silence.
Jews must be the first to speak out. We have confidence
that the legislators in both houses of Congress will not
be silent. This is not a nation of silence. Even when the
sacrosanct White House is involved there is no silence.
The American way of speaking freely will surely super-
sede the Fulbright method of panicking.

Spinoza, Einstein and Marx; it means Disraeli, Roths-
child and Baruch; it means hundreds of thousands of
scientists, philosophers, writers, artists and statesmen
of whom all have wielded and still wield an influence
in European civilization and contribute to it. The Arabs,
on the other hand, have no such significance.
"You ask me about the situation of Israel. Well, this
is the truth and this is its true situation."
Malik then said:
"There are now four choices: war; negotiations,
mutual understanding and peace; neither war nor peace;
and a fourth choice not identical with any of the three but
which may be regarded as a composite of them all. It
may be described as cold war-cum-guerrilla warfare. It is
not peace in the accepted sense or war in the ordinary
meaning of the term. It is not a situation of no-war and
no-peace, of frozen immutability . . .
"All this has been said for the sake of history, but
history, where Arab affairs are concerned, repeats itself
daily. Take hold of a handful of recent Arab history and,
so to speak, you have the whole of Arab history in your
hands. It would appear that everything changes with
the lapse of time except the Arabs, and that the Arabs
stand outside history."
In the Al Nahar interview, Dr. Malik was asked:
"Will peace shortly reign in the Middle East? Will
the war be renewed? Will the present standstill be
His reply is vital to the issue. Dr. Malik is not as
influential as he was in the early 1950s, in the UN and
on the home front. But he does represent an element of
moderation. His views should be known. He said:
Although I have no in-
formation at hand, I do not
security and stability in the
believe that war will be
Middle East, because
renewed. This does not
throughout history there
mean to say that the pres-
has been close contact be-
ent situation will continue.
tween Europe and the Mid-
Some tangible moves are
dle East.
being made now, and will
But whoever thinks that
also be made in the future,
salvation will come, as the
by the Soviets, Europe and
Arabs envisage it in their
America, as well as by the
imagination (B r i t a i n or
Arabs and Israel.
France, for example, sup-
The Soviets, for obvious
plying arms that will en-
reasons, do not wish the
able the Arabs to liquidate
Israel, or at least lend them
Egypt, to suffer a fresh de-
superiority in negotiations
feat. I do not believe that with Israel) — whoever
the Soviets want to impose
thinks that salvation will
their rule on the Middle come from Europe alone
East, or turn it Communist,
is sadly mistaken. Because
because that would con-
Europe is still divided into
front them with countless
tones of influence and has
problems. Moreover, neither
not yet become a united
the Soviets nor the Ameri-
entity. Because Israel has
cans will start a war in the
many friends and suppor-
Middle East, or about it,
ters in Europe, and their
no matter what the provo-
influence and power are far
cation, because they can
weightier than the ignorant
always adjust their differ-
and simple-minded imagine.
ence there.
Because Europe is not free
Europe is interested in
from American influence

in the sphere of defense
policy and economics.
As for America—I repeat
what I have said for the
last twenty-three years, and
the interval has proved the
rightness of my contention;
on no account can Amer-
ica leave Israel in the lurch,
not because the White
House, as some imagine,
is in the pockets of the
Jews. but for a score of
other reasons. It is a well-
established and unquestion-
able fact of American pol-
icy, against which no pledge
or threat or deal, or even
a flight into the arms of
those who are regarded as
the enemies of America,
will be of any avail.
This does not mean, how-
ever, that the door of di-
plomacy is barred to the
Arabs where America is
concerned. It means that
one must have a correct
appraisal of the situation,
resolute and with no illu-
sions: a situation that en-
sures the existence and se-
curity of the Arabs as well
as the existence and secur-
ity of Israel. Whoever ima-
gines that there is a clash
of principle between the
existence of Israel and the
existence of the Arabs in
the Middle East, in a form
that favors either the one
or the other, only impels
America to support Israel
against the Arabs. America
is interested in achieving a
coexistence of peace and of
happiness through contacts
between Israel and the Arab

States in the Middle East.
That being so, the soon-
er the Arabs realize that
America is the principal
key to a solution of the
Middle East problem, and
the sooner they try to turn
that key and the more they
strive to bring about a
peaceful solution, the more
seriously and responsibly
they will be able to describe
to America a situation that
will satisfy them and which
they can accept, and at the
same time satisfy the mind
of Israel so that it, too, can
accept it.
The reply to your ques-
tion, therefore, is that the
solution will not come about
in some magic or mechan-
ical way. Peace, war, dead-
lock, the manner of the
solution—all these depend
upon the Arab contacts
with Israel and the con-
tacts of the two with the
United States and the So-
viet Union; they also de-
pend upon an understand-
ing to be reached between
America and Russia. But
seeing that, in the last
analysis, the interested par-
ties are the Arabs and Is-
rael, and seeing that it is
difficult — perhaps impoc-
sible—to impose a sole.
from the outside except
force (and neither Amer-
ica nor Russia will dispatch
their armies for that pur-
pose), it transpires that
war, peace, deadlock and
the nature of the solution
are in the hands of the
Arabs and of Israel them-
There is much debate and speculation over the posi-
tion that has been taken by Tunisian President Habib
Bourguiba. It is doubtful whether much will develop from
current conversations with his representatives, or directly
with him, if such talks have actualy already taken place
on a preliminary basis. But Bourguiba's first demands
that Israel withdraw to the 1947 borders, his subsequent
proposals for a return to the 1967 borderlines, all seem
to rule out any practical approaches to the issue.
Dr. Malfk seems to suggest direct talks between Is-
rael and the Arabs. If he and his associates in a peace
movement can be dealt with, there is greater hope for
peace. Knowing his views, there may be a new flicker
of hope for amity.

Back to Top

© 2021 Regents of the University of Michigan