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August 16, 1974 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1974-08-16

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Purely Commentary

Historic Sense of Justice:
Israel's Indestructibility as Fact
of Life Must Impress Arabs

Why should it have become necessary to struggle for
ways of educating even the most moderate Arabs to the
humanity of Israel's role in the Middle East?
Why are Arabs constantly spreading propaganda
that Jews—Israelis—Zionists—are murderous, tortuous,
bent upon harming their people, ignoring the fact of a
constant and frantic pleading for peace and an end to
Nowhere will there be found proof that Israelis, that
Jews, have advocated destruction. There has been in-
evitable destruction resulting from the compulsion to
resort to self-defense, to protecting life and property—
especially life.
Some eight or ten years ago, this column carried
this item:

An Oft-Told Fable
Revealing Arab Mentality

How does the Arab view the attempts at peace
in the Middle East? Is there hope for a solution to
the existing problem without tricks or betrayals?
An old story has just been repeated, indicating
how cautious one must be in dealing with the ag-
gravated situation in that area.

The story, which has led to the revival of an old
fable which carried with it an ominous warning, is
based on a question that was posed by a Western
diplomat when he approached an Arab journalist in
the United Nations lobby and asked: "Why do the
Arab countries refuse to meet at a round table with
Israel to discuss peace so that there may be pros-
perity for both Israel and the Arab nations?" The
Arab newsman replied by telling this old Oriental
A reptile lounging on the shores of the Nile,
pleaded with a frog to be transported to the other
side of the river. "Oh, no," exclaimed the frog, "you
are a reptile, and you will inject your poison into
my body." Thereupon, the reptile answered: "Ridic-
ulous, were I to do so, I would drown:" This logical
argument convinced the frog, which permitted the
reptile to climb on its back and begin swimming
across. However, as they were yet halfway from the
shore, the reptile could not resist temptation and
injected poison into the frog's neck. The frog began
to wail in pain, "Why? Why?" The reptile knitted
his brow and replied: "This is the Middle East."
It is a recognizable tale, and it causes concern:
isn't there hope for peace negotiations without treach-
ery? The intransigence of Syrian negotiators during
the UN Mixed Armistice Commission deliberations
proved how trying the situation is and how uncertain
is any approach to the issue in conferring with the

But one must never generalize. There are enough-
levelheaded Moslems who can be dealt with. One
must never abandon hope for peace—even with those
who would brand the Middle East as incapable of
rational agreements.
Even while punning and resorting to anecdotage, our
pleas, hopes, prayers, are for peace and amity.
. Yet, even the most knowledgeable of Arabs refuse
to appreciate the historicity of the Jewish position.
A group of Israeli youngsters—their position was re-
viewed in this page recently — spoke pacifically. A
"moderate" Arab, Nasra Hassan, was so elated that
Israelis had said they considered it stupid for any one
to wish to die for his country, that her letter to the
New York Times on the subject contained the following

It is only when the younger generation of Israelis
begin to question the "history" they have been taught
that they will be able to understand, the historical
background of the Palestine question, which is es-
sentially the nucleus of the Middle East conflict, and
which is behind incident ssuch as Kiryat Shemona
and Ma'alot.

Both the Arabs and Israelis want peace: the task
will be infinitely easier when the people of Israel
- courageously voice their doubts over the actions of
their government and over the very premise on which
their country was founded—only then will they see
the Arab side of the story, and be ready to negotiate
on bilaterally just and honorable terms.

This is not an endorsement of amity, if it denies the
facts - of "history" when applied to Jews. It is not an
endorsement of justice, as long -as it does- not assert that
Jews have a right to exist, that Israel's indestructibility
must be acknowledged and supported even by Arabs.

When will enemies come to their senses? Can't they
realize that an existing nation must not be subjected to
genocidal threats? How soon will there be a sense of
justice so that hatreds can end? Time usually solves all
problems, but in this instance time creeps all too slowly.

2—Friday, August 16, 1974 THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

A Fable Illustrates Arab Peculiarities, Call
for Resort to Common Sense . .. The Levins as
a Tribe, the Famous Here and on a World Scale

More Glory to Tribe of Levi:
Another Levin Gains Prominence

Another Levin gains the limelight to retain glory
for the Tribe of Levi whose traditions are embodied in
that name.
Sander Levin adds prominence to the indestructible
family name. His triumph at the polls, the respect he
has acquired in a great state, make the Levites addi-
tionally distinguished.
His brother, Carl Levin, president of the Detroit City
Council, is among the personalities highly regarded—
noted services to a great city embellishing the Levin
Their cousin Joseph Levin didn't make it on his first
try for a major public office. Yet he, too, can be ex-
pected to add honor to a family name.
In a special feature article in the New York Times
(March 24, 1974), under the- heading "Levin—and Varia-
tions—it's a Grand Old Name," Israel Shenker, the able
education editor of the NYTimes, wrote:
It is not a Specter which
is haunting Europe, -let LEvin."
alone America. It is a
For his short story, "The
Angel Levine," Mr. Mala-
Not since the Norman
mud took the name from Al-
Conquest, in 1066•, has a
exander Levine, whom he
name been so renowned, so
taught at night school in
prominent, so beset with
1940. Mal a mu d subse-
quently taught at college
The latest catalog of Athe- and wrote a novel called
neum, the distinguished "A New Life," whose hero
New York publisher cele- is Seymour Levin, who gets
brates varieties of Levin:
involved with a waitress
"1933," a book just pub- named Laverne and dis-
lished, by Philip Levine,
cusses "the lore of- the Le-
and "Levine," a biography
vant." The epigraph to "A
scheduled for June, by New Life" is from James
Rosa Levine-Meyer.
Joyce's "Ulysses": "Lo,
levin leaping lightens in
Levine is a poet and
Mrs. - Levine-Meyer is the eyeblink Ireland's westward
widow of Eugen Levine, her welkin?"
book's hero. Levine the poet
One of the great experts
was born In Detroit, and on Joyce is Malamud's
Levine the hero in Russia.
friend Harry Levin, the
Hero Levine died before a Irving Babbitt Professor of
firing squad after the Bav- Comparative Literature at
arian Communist revolt of Harvard, who pronounces
1919. In the Great Soviet his name -LeVIN, but says,
Encyclopedia his example "I answer to anything that
is extolled for heroism and approximates it."
deplored for left-wing dev-
"I had a namesake on the
iationism. His widow mar- faculty here. Sometimes he
ried Ernst_Meyer, and she
was in arrears in dues for
now lives in England, where
the faculty club, and this
acutely accented Levins are was. annoying when his
name was posted on the
In America the literary bulletin board," he recalled.
columns are now accenting
"I complained to the presi-
Meyer Levin, thanks to the dent of the faculty club and
controversy surrounding his he changed the notice to
latest book, "The Obses- specify that the Harry Le-
vin in question was in the
"Thad been told that both
School of Education. The
sides of my family had dean of the School of Edu-
been Levin," he said, • "but cation then complained and
it turned out it was Levin finally the other Harry Le-
in neither. •On my father's vin paid up."
side it was Basist, and on
The other Harry Levin,
my -mother's Machlim, or now the William R. Kenan
else the other way around. Jr. Professor of Psychology
I think it was just a case of
at Cornell, remembers get-
being in the line-up -on Ellis ting a nate from the Irving
Island and having the name Babbitt Professor saying:
Levin assigned."
"For 30 years I've kept my
People confuse Meyer Le-
name in good repute in this
vin, most famous for "Com-
community and now look
pulsion," with Ira Levin,
what you've done.
best-known for "Rosemary's
"We were getting con-
Baby," Ira wrote back — fused •all the time," said
as he recalled — "I hope the Cornell Harry Levin.
as many people congratu-
"When he spent a year at
late you on writing `Rose- the Sorbonne his checks
mary's Baby' as congratu-
started going into my bank
late .meon writing 'Compul- account, and I got a cable
sion.' "
from him saying, 'Please
In 'Meyer's native Chica-
put some of my money in
go it .is pronounced LeVIN,
my account.'
and in New York usually
Neither of these Harry
LEvin. He pronounces it Levins used a middle name,
LeVIN, and Ira prefers LE- but in desperation the Le-
vin. Ira had an unlisted vine who - paid - his - bills -
phone until en Ira Levin promptly began using his:
with a listed number com- Tuchman. The Levin-who-
plained he was getting calls paid-his-bills-late pronoun-
for the author.
ces his name LEvin, and
Bernard Malamud takes his relatives pronuonce
exquisite care with his pro- theirs LeVIN.
nunciation. "I had a stu-
At Harvard the Levins
dent at Bennington last are usually drawn to
spring called James Le- science, and they now
VIN," he said, "and God serve as professors of
pity me if I called him
chemistry, pediatrics, psy-

By Philip

Baldur von Schirach, the Nazi
Collaborator: Notable Story

As leader of the Hitler Youth. Baldur von Schirach
wrote his name indelibly among the most cruel of the
Nazi leaders. As a Gauleiter, he was charged with the
guilt of having sent 50,000 Austrian Jews to death camps.
For that crime he served a 20-year sentence in the Span-
dau Prison. His death on Aug. 8 brought to public notice
again the roles of the heartless criminals who were res-
ponsible for the miseries that- are unmatched in human
But there is an interesting story about von Schirach.
It is related as having been given in a sworn affidavit
by Maria Hoepken, on June 19, 1946, and as having been
repeated by von Schirach and his wife, in "The Destruc-
tion of the European Jews" by Raul Hilberg. It is related
as follows:
"On the highest level, the following story was told
by Gauleiter Schirach's secretary: While Schira
wife was staying in the 'hotel in Amsterdam,
watched a roundup of Jews at night . . . The Jewish
women 'screamed terribly' . . . Mrs. Schirach's nerves
were so much on edge that she decided to tell her
husband about it. The , Gauleiter advised her to tell.
her story to Hitler himself . . . since the Fuehrer
would not tolerate such 'abuses' (Misstaende). During
the next visit to Hitler Mrs. Schirach told the story.
Hitler listened "ungraciously,' interrupting several
times and telling her not to be so sentimental . . •
Everyone present found the exchange between Hitler
and •Mrs. Schirach 'very embarrasing' (ausserst pein-
hell). The conversation broke down, no one spoke, and
Mr. and Mrs. Schirach left the room . . . The Schir-
achs departed the next day without saying good-bye."
It is possible that there were moments of human com-
passion, that even the brutal 'were moved by the degrada-
tions they imposed on millions of innocent victims of the
Fuehrer. But they yielded. They followed orders. They
were criminals. Some were penalized. Many escaped. Too
many today would forget. The lessson of the Hitler-Schir-
ach era teaches: never forget, lest the crimes should recur!

chiatry and medicine, and
Parent is doing post gradu-
as fellows in obstetrics, neu- ate film work in her thesis
rology, periodontolagy and
"Sheila Levine is Dead and
endodontics. This Darwin- Living in New York," and
ian selection is paralled at James Lavine, the conduc-
Yale, where eight of the
tor, is keeping the Metro-
nine--Levins are in science.
politan Opera lively in New
Levines are a powerful York. John Douglas Le Vien
writers' collective which has waves his baton and the TV
screen" lights up. Bernard
dealt with education (Ar-
thur E.), hex houses (Betty Levin, columnist of The
K.), engines (Gary), vocab- Times of London, may be
seen these days moving
ulary (Harold), drugs (Har-
across the screen, pushing
vey R.), labor (Herbert A.),
his newest book.
Hitler (Herbert S.), Stalin
(Isaac), (Don), diets (Lois),
Levins should be scrupu-
Tudors (Mortimer), poverty lously isolated from the
(Naomi) and Indians (Sig-
contagion of Levy's, which
mund A.).
Jack Levine is the many- is almost impossible. Lev-
sided painter and David - ys go back to the tribe of
Levine is the corrosive cari- Levites. Some experts sug-
caturist. Joseph E. Levine gest that Levin is a form
produced "Jack the Ripper" of Levy, but that would
and "The Graduate." Gail simplify this genealogy no
This most interesting article, with its research, merits
added attention on the occasion of the latest triumph for
Michigan's Sandy Levin, who has been named, over-
whelmingly, the Democratic candidate for governor of
- Shenker's especially interesting feature merits many
important addenda.
Irving Levine, the eminent NBC commentator and
authority on national economic matters, belongs to the
The late Judge Theodore Levin, Joseph Levin's fa-
ther, was one of the' great federal judges.
The late Saul R. Levin, Sander and Carl Levir! 1"7
father, was an outstanding authority on penology.
Michigan Supreme. Court Justice Charles Levin,
Joseph Levin's brother, has already set a record for ju-
dicial brillance.
The three young Levins' grandfather, the late Joseph
Levin, the father of Theodore and Saul, was one of the
outstanding authorities on tobacco. All he needed to do
was to touch and smell •a cigar leaf, and his judgme.it
produced the best recommendations for discriminating
Oh—so many more Levins can be enrolled to testify
to the glorious name. There was the late Chief Rabbi
Judah Leib Levin of Moscow. Detroit has its Rabbi Leizer
Levin, and years ago there was the late Rabbi Judah
Levin, father of Prof. Samuel M. Levin (no relationship
to the Theodore and Saul Levin families), who was
viewed as Detroit's chief rabbi.
And the many other •Levins? They'll forgive us for
not listing them: there are far too many of them.
Meanwhile, Sandy Levin, who may well be Michigan's
next governor, has risen on top of the Levin ladder.

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