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January 30, 1976 - Image 30

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1976-01-30

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

jimearregympflo

Ws-

Scholar Speculates on Israel's
Future Prior to His Arrival

ALL YOU CAN EAT

WEDNESDAY

SATURDAY

5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

FISH FRY

Adults $ 2 "

2 p.m. to 8 p.m.

BY CARL VOSS

CHICKEN
FRY Adults $ 3 59

(Editor's note: Dr. Voss
will be a scholar-in-resi-
dence for the spring
semester at the Ecumeni-
cal Institute for Advanced
Theological Studies at
Tantur, two miles south of
Jerusalem. He is a mem-
ber of Christians Con-
cerned for Israel and on
the faculty of Edward
Waters College in Flor-
ida.)
As I leave for Israel, to be
gone until the summer, I
speculate as to what I shall
find. Has there been a break
in the morale that has al-
ways amazed me by its re-
silience and steadfastness?
Are there signs of a failure
of nerve, which the famed
scholar, Gilbert Murray,
said had destroyed the
Graeco-Roman world and
its empires of mind and
might. Do the Israelis face a
hopeless future? Are they
doomed to destruction by a
solid phalanx of hostile
states bent on destroying
the new Jewish state, only
28 years young?
Two Amerians who have
gone on aliya (emigration
from the U.S. to Israel) in
recent years have written in

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LONDON (JTA) — Ac-
cording to information
reaching London from West
German Finance Ministry
sources, negotiations by Dr.
Nahum Goldmann, presi-
dent of the World Jewish
Congress, for a final DM 600
million settlement of Jewish
claims have fallen through.
The claims were on behalf
of Jewish Nazi victims in
Eastern Europe who were
only able to reach the West
after 1965, the final date of
previous reparations.
Israel was to receive a ma-
jor slice of the money to pay
for the resettlement of new
immigrants from the Soviet
Union and other East Euro-
pean countries. According
to sources, the Germans
haye finally rejected the
claims, saying they will pay
no more reparations.
There was no official
statement on the subject,
and the West German press
counselor in London said he
had no comment to make.
However, sources among
former German Jews living
in London did confirm the
story based on their con-
tacts in Bonn.
On Monday, Goldmann
denied that his negotiations
with the West German au-
thorities have finally col-
lapsed.
In his denial, Goldmann
said, "No decision has been
reached by the German gov-
ernment concerning the
matter. It is quite likely
that, because of the finan-
cial problems facing the
German government and in
view of the beginning elec-
tion year, the final decision
may have to be postponed
till after the elections, but
no negative decision has
been taken by the German
authorities, as I was as-
sured."

so realistic, down-to-earth a
fashion that I pause and
wonder .. .
One, a former president
of a prominent fraternal
organization in Jewish
life, is quoted as having
criticized Israel harshly
because there is "too much
fragmentation, a prolifer-
ation of political parties
which has led to an irre-
sponsible attitude toard
national goals," and, most
deplorable of all, "an in-
crease in corruption and a
lack of productivy." He
views the years and dec-
ades ahead with genuine
apprehension.
The other to whom I re-
fer, rabbi of distinction and
leader of vast fundraising
enterprises on Israel's be-
half, wrote me recently to
say: "Life here in Israel is
increasingly problematic.
The eker-present fact of
war, compounded with eco-
nomic difficulties internally
which will cause cuts in
housing, health, and educa-
tion budgets; loss of faith in
leadership; slump in immi-
gration (almost no one com-
ing from the West) — all
lead to a vague sense of loss
of confidence. What always
characterized Israel up to
now was exactly its buoyant
sense of self-confidence —
sometimes to excess — and
this has now changed.
Times are really tough."
I shall watch, and I shall
weight all the factors I dis-
cern, for first impressions
can be deceiving.
My first visit to the Holy
Land was in 1947, the year
of the United Nations' vote
to partition Palestine; and I
returned to the U. S. A.
.quite discouraged by the im-
passe of British obstruction-
ism, Arab defiance, and
Jewish resistance. I though
only chaos would result; but
I was wrong, hopelessly
wrong. I think that this
time, 29 years later, I shall
reserve judgment and not
allow myself to succumb to
pessimistic views.
The reports of my two
American-Israeli friends
are indeed critical and
probably quite accurate;
but when, as a non-Jew, I
review the history of the
Jewish people in general
and of Zionism in particu-
lar, I marvel at the way in•
which triumph has time
and again emerged from
tragedy, how the victim-
ized have ultimately been
victorious, how indeed a
phoenix has risen from the
ashes.
It will be intriguing to
talk with these two men in
Israel — as well as with
their friends — and judge
whether or not their dark
moods and gloomy outlooks
prevail elsewhere, too. I
shall let you know in
"Letters from the Land of
the Modern Macabees."

If a man will tell you: "I
have not toiled and suc-
ceeded,".do not believe him:
"I have toiled and not suc-
ceeded," do not believe him;
"I have toiled and suc-
ceeded," believe him. - (Me-
gillah 6.)

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