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April 08, 1977 - Image 13

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1977-04-08

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

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Indian Government Expected
to Change Harsh Anti-lsraelism

By JOSEPH ,POLAKOFF
!
WASHINGTON (JTA)—
Informed Indian sources
here forecast a change in
the harsh policy carried out
towards Israel by the now
ousted Indira Gandhi gov-
ernment but. added that a
shift to a milder attitude
will be slow and cautious.
The overturn in India's lead-
ership, it was observed,
was based on domestic poli-
cies.
Officially, the Indian Em-
bassy pointed out it is pre-
mature to discuss the new_
vernment's foreign policy
ce the new prime min-
i er, Morarji Desai, has
just been appointed. In In-
dian diplomatic circles
Desai has .been in general
accord with India's foreign
policy since the country's
founding in 1947, a year be-
fore Israel's birth.
Desai was 'closely allied
with the "father of India,"
Mahatma Gandhi and serv-
ed 13 years in the cabinet
of Jawaharlal Nehru, Mrs.
Gandhi's father. He also
was in her cabinet as depu-
ty prime–minister and min-
ister of finance mail 1969
when he resigned and later
went into opposition.
Despite its democratic
principles, India's govern-
ments have been wary of
close cooperation with Is-
rael mainly because of the
large Moslem population in
India and India's economic

ties with the Moselm world,
including the Arab states.
"The new government is
not anti-Israeli at all," an
author and journalist said.
"The question is how to re-
verse the policy. Numerous
Indians--several thousand--
work in Arab countries and
India does much business
with Arab countries."
Change towards Israel, he
predicted, therefore, will be
'very gradual."
Agreeing with this view,
an international economist
similarly noted that many
countries have to please the
Arab governments because
of commercial connections.
Indian policy towards Is-
rael has been cool and aloof
since both countries fought
their way to freedom from
British rule after World
War II.
The Indian government's
attitude worsened in the lat-
ter years of the Indira Gan-
dhi regime.
An example is that al-
though Israel supported
India while the Arab states
backed Pakistan in the 1971
war, India's forbidding out-
look continued towards Is-
rael while it paradoxically
warmed towards Israel's
enemies.
In the 1975-76 period
alone, • India made two
major moves against Is-
rael. The Delhi government
voted for the United Na-
tions General Assembly's in-
famous anti-Zionist resolu-

Bible Students Leave for Israel

NEW YORK—Seven
Bible students, first and sec-
ond prize winners in the
United States National
Bible Contest which was -
held in New York. will

leave for Israel soon to
take part in the Inter:
national Youth Bible Con-
test held annually in Jerusa-
lem as part of the Independ-
ence Day celebrations.

Friday, April 8, 1977 13

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tion while the tiny states on
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Bhutan--courageously re-
fused to condemn Zionism
and abstained.
India also was the leader
of the 20-member United
Nations committee--16 of
which have no relations
with Israel--in demanding
Israel's withdrawal by next
June 1 from the territories
she administers.
But the same committee
made no mention of the
need for the Arabs to recog-
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Seminary Letter Revives
1840 'Damascus Affair'

NEW YORK—The library
of The Jewish Theological
Seminary of America has
acquired a letter dated 15.
December 1840, which
sheds light on the murky
Damascus Affair." This in-
cident in the annals of inter-
national diplomacy, which
headlined the news . 137
years ago, begins with the
charge of a heinous crime,
involves counter-charges,
long journeys to the Orient,
betrayal and retraction.
Isaac Cohen wrote the let-
ter from London to Lady Ju-
dith and Sir Moses Mon-
tefipre, his sister and broth-
er-in-law, in Naples.
Archivist Sharon Horo-
witz researched the histori-
cal context of the letter,
and from her notes we
learn that the letter refers,
to current events in Dam-
ascus, where 13 Jews were
arrested after the murder
of the superior of a Francis-
can convent. Charged with
ritual murder and tortured,
four died at their captors'
hands and the rest con-
fessed. Havoc was then
wreaked upon the Dam-
ascan Jewish community.
Europeans who learned of
this incident attempted to
assuage their outrage by
sending an envoy to the
Pasha of Egypt and the Sul-
tan of Constantinople. Their
meetings resulted in the re-
lease of the remaining pris-
oners with a declaration by
the Pasha of their in-
nocence, and a comment by
the Sultan that the claim of

ritual murder was absurd.
Isaac's concluding phrase
refers to Isaac Cremieus,
an attorney traveling with
the Montefiore delegation,
who stated that he thought
a Jew had killed the Fran-
ciscan, terming the culprit
not "a respectable member
of the community." Thus,
the letter writer's rage
seems justified.
Isaac proceeds with a de-
tailed report of the thanks-
giving activities and special
prayers in -preparation for
the Montefiores' return,
and adds that "certain
Psalms and Prayers (will)
be read and chanted, the
prayer for the Queen and
Royal Family, then a Pray-
er for the Sultan (in my
humble opinion this ought
not to be as is in this coun-
try we never pray for for-
eign Princes but it would
be better to offer up a pray-
er for .all those Govern-
ments who have assisted in
this great cause).

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Regret Marxism

JERUSALEM (ZINS)—
Meir Yaari, 80-year-old lead-
er of Mapam, recently told
a party gathering, "Adopt-
ing Marxism-Lenism as
part of our ideology was
the greatest mistake of our
lives."
He added that although
the U.S. disposes of 40 per-
cent of the world's wealth it
also possesses other values,
such as freedom.

f

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