THE JEWISH. NEWS
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CARMI M. SLOMOVITZ
Editor and Publisher
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Alan Hitsky, News Editor . . . Heidi Press. Assistant News Edit Or
. SABBATH SCRIPTURAL SELECTIONS .
This Sabbath, the first day of Iyar, 5735, the following scriptural selections will be read in our synagogues:
Pentateuch& portion, Levit. 12:1-15:33; Num. 28.9-15. Prophetical portion, Is«iah 66:1 24.
Candle lighting, Friday, April 11, 6:50 p.m.
VOL. LXVI1, No. 5
Friday, April 11, 1975
27 Years of Israel's Progress
Israel's 27 years, marked by this week's Yom .
Atzmaut celebration, were marked by tensions,
menacing threats from the surrounding neigh-
bors and international uncertainties. They were
blurred in the assembly halls of an United Na-
tions that has-been blemished by evils stemming
from hatreds. The 20 enemy nations that are ba-
thing in oil and are becoming world dominant
forces as a result of wealth attained from an en-
ergy-impoverished world are begrudging little
Israel mere breathing space amidst vast territo-
ries under. Arab control.
Nevel-theless, the 27 years were fruitful,
marked by remarkable creativity. The reborn
Jewish state emptied the displacement persons
camps that were filled with survivors from Naz-
ism and provided havens for another million
people who fled from persecutions behind the
Iron and Moslem Curtains. Universities were es-
tablished to benefit students from all faiths.
Significant research has been conducted to as-
sure healing and improvements in all phases of
Never without threats, always in danger from
terrorists who do not hesitate to murder inno-
cent people by resorting to inhuman brutalities.
Israelis are not a panicking folk, nourished on
hopes for peace. They have shown faith in the
certainty of an emerging humanism that will
restore confidence in mankind's sense of justice.
The struggle for a free life in Israel continues.
The menacing situations have not declined. Plow
in hand and sword on shoulder for self-protec-
tion continues to be the lot of the Israeli farmer,
and the city-dweller must constantly be on
guard against marauders and terrorists. In the
realm of diplomacy the roads to peace are still
blocked by many obstacles yet to be hurdled.
These obstructions are not viewed with despair.
The confidence in the coming of • better days,
never subsides amidst the tensions that create
endless concerns. •
Israel's faith and confidence is shared by her
kinsmen. It would be not only cruel but lacking'
Whas been just over a year since the Yom Kippur War hostili-
in vision to fail to give to Israel and her people
ties ended and the battle of the peace began; time enough for sev-
the encouragement due them, or to interrupt the eral books about the war to be written. The latest paperback, enti-
spirit of solidarity with the embattled nation.
tled -"The YOrn Kippur War" by reporter Dan Ofry (Zohar
Israel's message to the Diaspora is one of
Publishing Co.,.Ltd., Tel Avic) makes a valiant attempt to cover the
deep-rooted faith. The greetings of Diaspora
fighting through the eyes of the participants, but falls a bit short..
Ofry, a military correspondent and commentator, has covered
Jewry to Israel are of assurance that the part-
the last two wars and written several books. "The Yom Kippur
nership of kinsmen can not and will not end.
This is the jointly signalized exchange of salu- . War" devotes many of its chapters to the war as seen by the foot
soldiers,' sailors and pilots of Israel. In this vein, the book some-
tations between Diaspora and Israel on the 27th
times leaves much to be desired in comprehensive coverage of one
Yom Atzmaut. The glory, spirit and confidence
of the biggest,' most dramatic and heartbreaking episodes in Is-
of Israel shall never be degraded!
rael's history. .
1973 War: A Patriotic View
of the Triumphs, Tragedies
Facts and Fiction: Frantic Quest for Truth
Israel's—and therefore all of Jewry's—very
distressing problem is the quest for means to ov-
ercome the spread of distortions regarding Is-
rael's treatment of Arabs on the West Bank and
other Arab populated territories. Israel has ex-
pelled some Arab terrorists from administered
territories when the suspects of plotting to ter-
rorize Israelis were definitely ascertained that
they were guilty of active roles in terrorism.
It stands to reason that Israel must act in her
own defense and those guilty of plotting her de-
struction must be dealt with firmly.
But accusations against Israel have assumed
such shocking proportions, and many of the at-
tacks on Israel are so far-fetched and so fictional
that the‘concern they cause are affected by diffi-
culty to deal with imaginary libels.
The upsetting element is the ease with which
men of the cloth have fallen victims to the un-
truths thus disseminated. An example of the ex-
tent of the misleading submissions to fables is a
letter that was addressed to the Churchman, the
Episcopal magazine, by the Rev. Milford 0.
Cross of Madison, Conn., disputing an article by
Robert St. John (which also appeared in The De-
troit Jewish News, Dec. 13). Rev. Cross took is-
sue with St. John's condemnation of the PLO
and of their terrorist acts. But Rev. Cross went
to extremes in an effort to show that Jews also
had their terrorists. This has become a routine
practice in Arab propaganda campaigns.
Mr. St. John was given an opportunity by the
Churchman to reply to Rev. Cross and he stated:
Mr. Cross is quite correct in stating that a
fierce terrorism was launched against the Bri-
tish in Palestine in the 1930's and 1940's "by
some Jews." But the attempt of Mr. Cross and
others to equate the anarchic activities of the
PLO with such Jewish terrorism ignores the -
following fundamental differences:
The assassination of Count Bernadotte and
Lord Moyne, the dynamiting of one wing of the
King David Hotel and the killing of civilians at
Deir Yassin were the work of either the Irgun
or Stern Group and were denounced by the
Jewish Agency, the officially recognized rep-
resentative of the Jewish people of Palestine,
and by all responsible Jewish leaders' of the
time. The day after the Deir Yassin tragedy,
the Jewish Agency issued an official statement
expressing the "horror and disgust" felt by
the Zionist leadership, and called the attack
"irresponsible, ill-conceived and frankly bru-
tal." The next day the Jewish Agency, which
upon independence a month later became the
government of Israel, repeated the statement
in a telegram to King Abdullah of Transjor-
dan. On that same day the two chief rabbis of
Palestine issued a statement expressing the
same sentiments. This is in striking contrast
to the reaction of Arab nations and Arab lead-
ets to such PLO atrocities as the shooting up
of Lod airport, the murder of Israeli athletes at
the Olympic Games and the tragedies of
Maalot and Kiryat Shemona. The PLO is fi-
nanced by Arab governments. Even its most
brutal planned killings of civilians have been
officially applauded by Arab governments.
Those who have hijacked planes, murdered
civilians and set an example for criminals all
over the world to follow in terrorizing large
segments of a population, have been given offi-
cial asylum in Arab countries. It is torturing
logic to try to equate all this with anything
that happened in Palestine before 1948.
Fortunately, Mr. St. John, a long-time stu-
dent of the Middle East problem, who only two
weeks ago returned from another of his exten-
sive tours of that area, does not permit untruth
to go unchallenged. The few who, like Mr. St.
John, know the true facts must be mobilized to
counteract • the damaging anti-Israelism that
often equates with anti-Semitism. A new army
of Israel's defenders is needed to tackle the is-
sues. Mr. St. John could well serve as their guide
and teacher. Non-Jews as well as Jews are vi-
tally needed as soldiers in this army for truth.
However, in the book's defense, the reader receives a frontline
taste of Israel's preparedness, or lack of it, what individual soldiers
saw and felt, and how Israel's leaders mishandled information,
fought political, personal and egotistical battles during the fight-
ing, and ultimately directed a stunning surprise into a military
Ofry humanizes the inhuman by taking the reader right into
the trenches and blockhouses. Only one of the strongpoints on the
Bar-Lev line along the Suez Canal held out through the entire con-
flict. Eleven others were captured after days of holding out by the
small Israeli detachments, and only one group managed to escape.
One stronghold commander, who took command just a week
before the Egyptian-Syrian "surprise" attack, complained bitterly
to his predecessor about the condition of the outpost's equipment
and fortifications. The experienced officer threatened to not take
control because his predecessor refused to go through the required
two-day change-of-command routine. The officer found so many
shortcomings in equipment and supplies, and so little response
from headquarters, that he personally started a sit-down protest
after the end of the war that ultimately led to Moshe Dayan's dis-
missal and the 'fall of Golda Meir's government.
The lack of preparedness of the fortification was typical of the
examples Ofry uses to•describe how senior commanders and Pre-
mier Golda Meir's advisers misread, downplayed, and sometimes
rejected frontline and air force reconnaissance showing the mass-
ing of Syrian and Egyptian troops.
Flaw 'after flaw in the Israelis' defensive plans and prepared-
ness are exposed in the book, as is the heroism of the Israeli sol-
diers,. and the earlier planning. and escapades that led Israel to
"steal" the world's best missile boat fleet from the French, her pos-
sible nuclear capability with the nuclear plant at Dimona, and how
two dedicated men working with a shoestring budget designed and
perfected the world's finest ship-to-ship missiles.
The development of the Gabriel, missiles, and the behind the
scenes story, of how Israel stole its own missile boats out of Cher-
bourg harbor during 1971 to beat the French arms embargo, make
fascinating reading, as do the episodes describing the personal bat-
tles between Israel's generals over the conduct of the war.
One of the book'a major failures is its lack of information on
the Agranat Commission report. Although the cover announces the
book as "Up-to-date! Highlights of the Agranat Report," most of
the Agranat material is based on the preliminary report released
last year, and only a few of those conclusions are incorporated into
the text. The last three pages of the 348-page book
highlights" of the commission's early findings. The more
mo than 1,000
pages of the Agranat final report were completed only a few weeks
ago, and most of the findings have not been made public.
Despite the obvious flaws, Dan Ofry's "The Yom Kippur War"
provides an easily read overview of a tragic war: