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April 18, 1975 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1975-04-18

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Purely Commentary

Inevitably, and quite normally, the question addressed to a returnee from Israel is
summed up in a NU? And the interest relates to the spirit of the people, their concerns
with Kissinger and Ford, their sense of confidence.
Distantly, while reading the newspapers in the United States and other lands, Is-
rael's kinspeople have been troubled with many anxieties. Uncertainties in diplomatic
circles and speculative commentaries by the many writers who pose as authorities have
been the cause of fear that borders on panic. InIsrael there is concern but not panic. The
Israelis are burdened with economic problems. They are shocked by some of the reports
emanating from the deliberations that were conducted by the U. S. Secretary of State,
they can't understand expressions of anger reportedly incorporated in messages to Is-
rael's leaders. But they are a normal people.
Of course, the many thousands in the military reserves are upset over the frequent
separations from their families when called to do their duty in the preservation of the
state's security. They suffer from inflationary trends that have compelled tightening of
belts. But life goes on, there is no fear, the civil guards are on duty to detect intrusion by
terrorists. In all other respects there is normalcy that arouses admiration for a wonderful
people in a most interesting land.
The universities are functioning, home life is unimpaired, the struggle to retain the
economic status of a very progressive community is communally shared.
The determination to prevent calamity is on a scale so remarkably rooted in faith

CBS Injustice to Syrian Jewry

When National Geographic bhindered in relating the
story of Syrian Jewry and its tragic status, it was journal-
istically fair and it published a correction and an apology.
Not Mike Wallace and CBS, both of which are guilty of hav-
ing played into the hands of Syrian distorters of truth.

Neither Wallace nor CBS have yielded to entreaties and
demands that the untruths that appeared on the 60
Minutes program be corrected. Adding insult to injury,
Wallace resorted to copy by, antagonists of Israel, Evans
and Novak, in search of a defense for his inexcusable action.

The latest report about Syrian Jewry, which appeared
in Near East Report, additionally refutes the Wallace-CBS
position. It states:

Mini-Pogrom in Damascus: Gangs of Syrians
invaded the Jewish quarter in Damascus and ran-
sacked Jewish homes last week, according to a Lon-
don Daily Telegraph report. Eyewitnesses told the
newspaper that several people were injured and the
contents of Jewish homes thrown into the streets.
Syrian police on the scene did not intervene.

Meanwhile, the Committee for the Rescue of
Syrian Jewry called upon CBS News to correct "all
the misrepresentations and distortions" reported
last Feb. 16 on 60 :Minutes. Rabbi Joseph Harari,
the Committee's Executive Director, charged in a
letter to CBS that the program "has justified Syrian
brutality, intensified the agony of the Jews in Syria
and jeopardized the lives of these helpless people."

CBS denied these accusations, insisting that the
report, which was narrated by Mike Wallace, was
based on first-hand research in Syria during Janu-
ary and February. Robert Chandler, CBS News Vice
President for Public Affairs Broadcasts, said that.
Wallace had "reported in some detail on the dis-
criminatory restrictions against Syrian Jews."

Nonetheless, the Committee maintains that
Wallace omitted references to the routine persecu-
tion of Syrian Jews. "They are innocent scapegoats
and their only crime is being Jewish," Rabbi Harari

The Wallace-CBS stubbornness is deplorable. There is
no yielding to requests for fairness. Is the Wallace-CBS at-
titude to be interpreted as a travesty on , communicative


...",• •• ■ •

Pressured Israel Learns Historic Lesson and Faces Dangers
Stoically . . . Normalcy Marks Life Filled With Anxieties as
Continuity Defies the Numerous Dangers

that whatever forces are kept on the borders are in themselves mere expressions of real-
ism. They are the effects of the will to live and to historic emphasis on continuity as Am
Yisrael, as the People Israel who are inseparable from Eretz Yisrael.
Most believe the United States will not forsake them, nearly all are convinced their
fellow Jews will not abandon them. Therein lies the basic faith of the people nurtured on
Of course there is a hope and craving for peace, a desire to have unmilitarized bor-
ders, neighbors who will communicate with them. They know that time is a factor in
achieving this goal. They would like it to come soon, but they are willing, because com-
pelled, to wait. But the one factor in their life they wish to see uninterrupted is the
kinship, the handshake with fellow Jews, the expansion of tourism, more frequent visits
by fellow Jews.
Such an interruption alone is disturbing to the Israelis. They pray for the reduction
of the distance between them and their people. They wish for more and more Jews to visit
with them. In all other respects they remain a normal people bending all energies t
preserve the normalcy. It is especially evident among the children. It is visible among t
youth who hold their heads high and their.backs unbent.
That's the simple answer: the Israeli back is unbent. With such a summarized report,
this Commentator bids fellow Jews similarly never to lose confidence in the slogan Am
Yisrael Hai!

Humor and Irony: Israel's Survival

JERUSALEM — A people's status, especially in a time
of danger, a country's reactions to calamities, is inexplica-
bly expressed in humor.
Jewry's many weapons in most critical times always
included a sense of humor. Because the Jew was able to
laugh at himself, to satirize even when in danger, he was
able to find succor in misery.
After every conflict in Israel, there were humorous
stories, poking fun, retaining faith in an inevitable
emergence of an indestructible power.
As in earlier crises, Israel is not in panic today but in
the main it is humorless. There is a measure of galgenhu-
mor, the joke of the gallows, especially among the youth
who have become fatalists. There is concern, great anxiety,
and this shows an increase with the lack of a lighter vein.
Israel's new developments are marked, however, by an
unrelenting irony expressed by cartoonists. No one is im-
mune from their barbs. The public official is not spared.
A typical example is the cartoon that showed Yigal Al-
Ion with a sling, searching for a stone, to fight the Phillis-
tines. Suddenly his gaze fell on an Even, Hebrew for stone,
and the image Allon saw being that of Abba Eban.
It was a commentary on Eban being called back into
action to do battle with Israel's enemies in the Diaspora.
One who searched for galgenhumor will find it in an-
other cartoon, that speculated on Henry A. Kissinger's
shuttle diploinacy. Caricatured are Israelis speculating on
the type of message Kissinger sought from Israel for Sadat
and it winds up with the anticipation that it could be "a
suicide note."
This is not poking fun but expressing agony, yet it
expresses unavoidable and expectant resentment.
Will there be genuine humor in the months ahead?
When it emerges it will prove more total normality in Is-
rael's existence.


See cartoons on this page.

Dry Bones

By Philip

McGovern: A Vascillating Friend

JERUSALEM — Like a few other American legisla-
tors, U.S. Senator George McGovern created anxiety during
his visit here. His apparent acceptance of the Arafat views
both puzzled and distressed the Israelis, as it did the Ameri-
can Jewish community and those who had been in his politi-
cal camp when he ran for the Presidency.
An interesting background needs to be taken into con-
sideration in studying the McGovern Israel episode.
Now it can and should be told.
On the day of George McGovern's Detroit visit to ad-
dress a dinner meeting at the Raleigh House, Oct. 9, 1973
(there were more than 1,500 at the dinner), Prof. David Er-
lik, who heads the important Haifa Technion medical prO-
ject, also was in Detroit to address the Detroit Technion
Society. He was in The Jewish News office that morning for
an interview and when this correspondent expressed regret
at inability to attend the Technion meeting to hear his lec-
ture because of a commitment to be with the Democratic
candidate for. the Presidency, Prof. Erlik commented that
he would reject a McGovern, that he entertained a high re-
gard for Richard Nixon.
Because this correspondent could not ever back a Nixon
he asked for the distringuished scientist's reasons for a
Nixon admiration, and Prof. Erlik said: "Bcause if elected
McGovern will name Fullbright as Secretary of State."
An assurance to Prof. Erlik that the question will be
raised with the Democrat as standard bearer was fulfilled
that night when this reporter put the question bluntly to
McGovern. The Democratic candidate responded: "I could
never name to a high office a man who is so outspokenly
But McGovern has been and may even now be a bit too
vascillating, often too uncertain of himself. That is why this
comment on McGovern in a Jerusalem Post editorial (April
6) must be viewed in all seriousness:
We have had a flood of distinguished visitors
from the U.S., some of whom have looked and lis-
tened, while one or two have been ready to solve all
the problems of the area in short order. When such
solutions are offered by political personalities as
weighty as Senator George McGovern, past Demo-
cratic contender for the U.S. Presidency and now
chairman of the Senate Middle East Committee, we
must in turn listen with care.
It was apparently easy for Senator McGovern to
feel assured by Yasir Arafat that he will cease all
violence against Israel if a Palestinian state were to
be established on the West Bank and in the Gaza
Strip, and that he would relegate to tee distant fu-
ture, the "dream" of a democratic Palestine 'That
would end Israel's independent existence.' Arafat
would have been foolish to say otherwise --
Arab leaders have learned that a moderate, or sim
ply incomplete, statement will go a long way with
western visitors who know exactly what they want
to hear.
Was the Senator still listening yesterday, when
Arafat came out with a belligerent statement oppos-
ing a Geneva conference, and demanding that vio-
leenlcle? be continued permanently even during nego-
tiations, as a system that had served the Vietcong so

This selective listening has become common
practice. But there were two statements by the Sen-
ator that should give us food for thought. The more
important of these was that he thought it essential
for the well-being of the U.S. to have the cooperation
of the oil-rich Arab states, a natural thought when

(Continued on page8)

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