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April 22, 1977 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1977-04-22

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2 Friday, April 22, 1977


Purely Commentary

By Philip

Israel's Independence Day as a Mark of Unity for the
Jewries of the World Determined Never Again to Submit
to Indignities or to Bend Their Backs to the Oppressors

Yom HaAtzmaut —the Israel Independence Day That Unites the Jewries of the World

Jewish calendars would be incomplete without listing Yom HaAtzmaut, the Israel
Independence Day, among the festivals for observance by the Jewries of the entire
Only in Moslem countries this day is unrecognized under compulsion from an en-
mity that is hard to erase.
Even behind the Communist Iron Curtain Yom HaAtzmaut is observed and is in the
minds of many Jews.
Throughout the world there are and will be celebrations that will give substance to
the idea of Am Ehad, One People, as the uniting force of Israel's kinspeople.
Because the festival on the Jewish calendar denotes recognition of the freedoms of
all peoples, since the world can not be only half or partially free, Yom HaAtzmaut has
echoes of acclamation in non-Jewish ranks as well. In the halls of the U.S. Congress, in
the British Parliament and the House of Lords, in the French legislative assemblies,
Israel is being greeted with a great measure of recognition for the right of a people long

, oppressed celebrating its freedom and its just rights among the nations of the world.

That is why there are demonstrations of joy in all American communities. That is
why Greater Detroit Jewry has held celebrations during the entire week preceding Is-
rael's Independence Day and will continue to express solidarity with Israel in the days.
'weeks, months and years ahead.
Greater Detroit Jewry unity of purpose in sharing the joys of the festival is marked
uniquely in the Expo functions set for this Sunday. The many organizations participating
in this event attest to the cooperative spirit that is inspired by the events centered in
Yom HaAtzmaut has one purposeful goal: to send forth the message to Israel that

her people are not alone in the task of assuring security for the embattled nation. The
message from Jews must retain the assurance that the fighters for freedom will never
be abandoned. With this in view, Yom HaAtzmaut becomes a serious goal for a Jewry
set upon the aim of never again bending backs or submitting to indignities.

The Dignity of a People's Will to Live That Defies Advice to Be Submissive

New forces, the advice-giving who claim to be laboring
to save Israel but in reality advise submission that would
lead to suicide, often appear on the horizon. They are in
evidence everywhere. One Israeli took them to task. The
Likud leader, Haim Landau, deputy chairman of the Knes-
set's foreign affairs and security committee, wrote a letter
to the New York Times which appeared under the head-
ings: "Israeli's Plea: 'Do Us a Favor and Stop Saving
Us." In it he stated:

On March 18 James Reston joined the ranks of Is-
rael's "saviors" and told your readers "How to Save
Israel"...despite itself.
But the core of the problem is neither the terri-
tories nor the "Palestinians." It is Jewish existence in
the land of Israel. The Arabs desire our destruction.
Farouk Kadumi, PLO's "Foreign Minister" voiced
this clearly: "This Zionist ghetto of Israel must be de-
Presidents Sadat and Asad, the "moderates,"
want to eliminate Israel in stages. Recognizing that in
battle they cannot defeat us today, they have em-
barked on the "political path" to achieve their objec-
tive, with the help of saviors.
Their scenario is clear. Israel will withdraw. A
"Palestinian state" will be founded in Judea, Samaria
and Gaza. Inevitably such a state, even if "linked"
with Jordan, • will eventually be ruled by Arafat. Then
all Israel's centers of civilian population will be within
range of their artillery, and our lives will become
hell. And all this as a prelude to a total onslaught by
the Arab states.
Therefore, the saviors suggest American guaran-
tees, which will provide economic and military assist-
ante but not military intervention. None of us wants
even one American soldier to fight for Israel.
To prevent bloodshed, Israel will be forced to
enter and control the West Bank once again.
Meanwhile, the "Palestinian state" will have be-
come a Soviet base, with Soviet arms and advisers.
What American purpose is served by the saviors con-
cept, which will unavoidably result in a solid Soviet
base in the heart of the Middle East?
What the saviors are proposing is a Middle East-
ern Munich or a "Vietnam peace agreement." Israel
rejects it out of hand—"extremists" and the "moder-
ates" alike—save Rakah, the pro-Soviet Communist
Party in Israel.
We shall not agree to commit suicide, even if ac-.
companied by financial and military aid and sincere
protestations of friendship. For $2 billion of assistance
a year, we will not agree to live on borrowed time,
and entrust our security to Sadat, Asad and Arafat. In
order to live, we shall pull in our belts, work harder
and produce more. If necessary, we shall produce
'highly sophisticated weaponry to surprise our
enemies. We have the will and ability to do so.
What is the alternative? The land of Israel be-
longs to the Jewish people, and its right to national
security is the same as that of all other nations. This
is its only homeland, as against 20 independent Arab
states. If indeed the Arabs desire peace, it will be
achieved. Everything depends on a genuine will for
Do us a favor and stop saving us. With the help of
God, we shall deal with,our enemies by ourselves.

It is true that this is the viewpoint of an extremist, of
the element that would not give up any portion of the terri-
tory administered by Israel. But it is marked by self-re-
spect, by rejection of distortions, by refusal to submit to
false hopes.
Indeed, the false hopes are like another imposition on
Israel and Jewry. One day Sadat says he would not yield
an inch of ground to Israel; the next he appears to be es-
pousing peace—in five years. Meanwhile, the PLO have
their messengers of falsehoods who speak through the mis-
led Breira movement as if they wanted to negotiate with

Israel, and on the record they have only one aim : destruc-
tion of what has been built in Israel.
How does one treat such fantasies and bluffs? A col-
umn in the Jerusalem Post by Aharon Megged under the
title "Coexisting With the PLO: A Citizen's Diary" opens
many eyes—and many wounds. Megged's piece is worth
quoting in full:

The following is an open letter to Farouk Kad-
dumi in response to a Newsweek interview in which
he outlines the PLO's goals in three stages: the first
is to create a mini-Palestinian state in the areas occu-
pied by Israel after the 1967 war; the second is to re-
turn to the 1948 borders; the third and final step is to
create a secular and democratic Palestine.

The statements you made to Mr. William Schmidt
of Newsweek completely alter the situation. They give
evidence of far-sighted political acumen and remark-
able psychological insight. In short, they bear witness
to a profound understanding of man's soul.
All these years I had the misguided notion (I dare
say fear) that you wished to annihilate me in one fell
swoop. This, unfortunately, has been the cause of the
tragic misunderstanding between us for the past 29
It's obvious that anyone with the slightest amount
of common sense would not wish to be destroyed all
at once, but would prefer to be dismembered piece by
piece, or with "moderation" as you so aptly put it ...
Now the situation is entirely different. Since I, too,
am a moderate, my immediate reply must be: Of
course! Absolutely! Why not nibble at me bit by bit
like a salami? I'm willing to agree to that. I even qui-
ver (perhaps with pleasure) at the thought.
In the interview you show true Middle-Eastern mu-
nificence as well as infinite moderation. When asked
by Mr. Schmidt if you would consider going to Gen-
eva, you replied immediately and without the slightest ,
hesitation: "We are insisting on a separate delegation.
And to attend at the outset of the Geneva Conference,
and then to participate in all of its works."
This means that you are actually prepared to sit
at the same table with me. This is quite a noble ges-
ture from one who for years would turn his head at
the sight of me, or leave the room when I came in, or
refuse to acknowledge even with a mere nod, the
greeting of a petit bourgeois like myself.
Your magnanimous declaration also reflects
simple logic: we finally have a basis for negotiations.
The subject is quite clear: the steps by which the
master plan is to be executed. Now we can sit peace-
fully at the discussion table and determine the end
from which you will begin to devour me. As the diplo-
mats say, I am ready to listen to constructive ideas
and to negotiate without prior conditions. I can tell
you right now that I am not inflexible.
Since it is quite clear that it is no longer your in-
tention to swallow me up all at once, and I sincerely
appreciate this concession on your part; it no longer
really matters where you actually begin. You cer-
tainly won't hear a moderate like me say "over my
dead body." Perhaps you want the first stage to in-
clude my left leg and right arm and the second my
right leg and left arm? I only ask, dear sir, that you
be good enough not to begin with my head. Please.
I realize that this might be interpreted as the kind
of "prior condition" that antagonizes you and even
jeopardizes the negotiations to the point of your get-
ting up and refusing to sit with me. I only want to
show you that it really wouldn't be in your best inter-
ests. If you begin with my head, how would I be able
to discuss the other stages of your master plan with
you? That astute salami suggestion of yours would
lose all headway.
I am aware of the fact that I am asking you to
make considerable concessions in my behalf: first,

you must agree to sit with me; second, you must be
willing to destroy me in three separate stages and not
in one single coup. Now I have the nerve to ask you
not to take my head first. What could I possibly give
you in return? The truth is that I am disturbed by the
fact that these negotiations are a matter of quid pro
quo or tit for tat. What could I possibly concede to
I'll have to force myself not to whine, whimper, or
grumble, and I'll show the utmost restraint during
each and every one of the stages of your master plan.
I am even prepared to admit that mine is a minor con-
cession compared to yours.
I beg you not to be contemputous of me. We both
are very well acquainted with stiff-necked people who
aren't even willing to yield the 'smallest bloody thing.
They absolutely refuse to be destroyed—in one large
gulp or bit by bit. They won't relinquish anything
from the soles of their feet to the top of their heads,
neither from the right nor from the left. We are all
aware of that obstinate "over my dead body" c-ontin-
gent whose brutality is so difficult to comprehend.
You can see that I am very different.
. So let us arrange a time and place. Shall we say
Geneva, this Thursday at 6 a.m.? I am anxious to
begin as soon as humanly possible, to "get it all over
with" as they say. But please, without your gun-belt
this time. Let it . be a true peace meeting.
Yours (in the full sense of the word)
Aharon Megged


The old Lincolnian statement is worth taking into ac-
count. "You can't fool all - of the people all of the time,"
even if they are in the State Department. The Landau and
Megged messages are timely, pragmatic, admonishing the
world not to be fooled by false analyses and promises.
There is that will to live that will not permit distortion
of truth. Therefore the faith that Israel and Jewry will not
fall prey to -the falsehoods in diplomacy and fantasies of
the desert. •


Jerusalem's Chain Gate

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