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June 17, 1977 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1977-06-17

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

THE JEWISH NEWS

Incorporating The Detroit Jewish Chronicle commencing with the issnc QIInly 20, 1951
Member American Association of English-Jewish Newspapers, Michigan Press Association, National Editorial Association.
Published every Friday by The Jewish News Publishing Co., 17515 \V. Nine Mile, Suite 865, Southfield, Mich. -18075.
Second-Class Postage Paid at Southfield, Michigan and Additional Mailing Offices. Suhscription :11(1 a year.

CARMI M. SLOMOVITZ

PHILIP SLOMOVITZ

Business Manager

Editor and Publisher

II

DREW LIEBERWITZ

Advertising Manager

:News Editor . . IIEII)I PRESS. Assistant News Editor

Sabbath Scriptural Selections

This Sabbath, the second day of Tammuz, 5737, the following scriptural selections will be read in our synagogues:
Pentateuchal portion, Numbers 16:1-18:32. Prophetical portion, I Samuel 11:14-12:22.

Candle lighting. Friday. June 17.8:52 p.m.

VOL. LXXI, No. 15

Page Four

Friday, June 17, 1977

Fantasies Rejected: Truth About Israel

So much fiction, tantamount to desert fan-
tasies, have been circulated about Menahem
Begin and the party chosen to head the Israel
government that the search for truth demands
excoriation of rumor-mongering and the presen-
tation of the facts relating to a grave situation
affecting the Middle East. Since it is agreed
that continued spread of animosities in that
part of the world endangers the peace of the en-
tire world and threatens the existing friendship
between Israel and the United States, it is espe-
cially vital that fiction should be exposed, that
fantasies should be demolished and that the
basic facts should be emphasized.
Knowledgeable and authoritative supporters
of Israel are responsible for the following analy-
sis of the existing problems as they arose with
the triumph of Menahem Begin and his Likud
party in the recent Israel election.

MYTH: "MENAHEM BEGIN IS A TERROR-
IST"
FACT: Begin's Irgun fought against British
rule of the Jewish homeland. Unlike the PLO,
the Irgun struck exclusively at military targets.
Unlike the PLO, the Irgun sought to minimize ci-
vilian casualties by giving advance warning —
often at the risk of its own soldiers. The Irgun
fought to terminate British rule, not to terrorize
populations. The Irgun retaliated against Brit-
ish floggings, imprisonment and hangings of its
members.
In contrast, the PLO has attacked only civil-
ian targets, never military targets. It has mur-
dered innocent women and children deliberately.
The PLO has no political/military purpose in its
acts, save to sow fear and seek revenge.
MYTH: "BEGIN'S IRGUN COMMITTED A
MASSACRE AT THE ARAB VILLAGE OF
DEIR YASSIN"
FACT: An authoritative study of what oc-
curred at Deir Yassin was published on March
16; 1969 by the Israeli Ministry for Foreign Af-
fairs. It offered 'these major details and con-
clusions:
Deir Yassin was one of two villages (the other
was Castel) which was blocking the road to Je-
rusalem and keeping food and water from reach-
ing nearly 100,000 beleaguered inhabitants of Je-
rusalem. It w inhabited by several hundred vil-
lagers and sheltered
elt ered one company of Iraqi
troops and another company Palestinian Arab
soldiers.
On April 10, 1948, about 100 members of the
Jewish Irgun and Stern groups drove up to the
village with a sound truck and ordered it to sur-
render. Over 200 Arabs evacuated the village im-
mediately and were escorted by the Irgun, un-
harmed, back to - Jerusalem.
White flags were extended from the windows
of the buildings nearest the Jewish forces. An
advance party entered the village and was hit
by a hail of bullets.
Fierce house-to-house fighting followed. The
combatants were able to take the stone houses on-
ly with grenades.
When the attack ended, it was found that 254
civilians had been killed. They had either been
held as hostages by the Iraqi and Palestinian
army regulars who ambushed the Irgun or they
had sought protection with the Arab soldiers.
Yunes Ahmad Assad, a prominent Arab survivor
of Deir Yassin, said:
"The Jews never intended to hurt the popu-
lation of the village, but were forced to do so
after they met enemy fire which killed the Irgun
commander." (Al Urdan, April 9, 1955)
MYTH: "BEGIN'S IRGUN BOMBED THE
KING DAVID HOTEL AND KILLED IN-
NOCENT PEOPLE".

FACT: The British military command and
Criminal Investigation Division for the Mandate
were located in the King David Hotel. The Irgun
planted bombs in the basement of the hotel on
July 22, 1946. At great risk, the Irgun twice
called the British command and warned them to
evacuate the hotel, as bombs had been planted. In
a display of poor judgment, the British refused to
evacuate. As a result, 91 British, Arabs and Jews
were killed in the blast.
MYTH: "THE PALESTINIANS HAVE A
RIGHT TO THE WEST BANK"
FACT: No Palestinian state was formed in the
West Bank and Gaza during the 19 years of
Arab rule. In fact, there already is a Palestinian
state. It is Jordan, which occupies four-fifths of
the historic Palestine Mandate. Israel occupied
only one-fifth of Palestine. The majority of the
people of Jordan are Palestinian, as is the ma-
jority of the bureaucracy and army. It should
not be forgotten that nearly three-quarters of all
Palestinians still live in the mandate area, and
never left.
The PLO has little direct contact with the vast
Majority of Palestinians. The PLO has asserted
that it desires a state in the West Bank only to
facilitate the conquest of Israel and that the ex-
istence of Israel is fundamentally null and void,
and that the Jews have no right for a homeland.
In his insistence that a Palestinian state not
be established within only a few miles of Is-
rael's population centers, Menahem Begin
enjoys the support of the vast majority of Is-
rael's citizens.
MYTH: "THE WEST BANK BELONGS TO
JORDAN"
FACT: Jordan never had legal title to the West
Bank. When the Mandate of Palestine was parti-
tioned in 1948, a Jewish state and an Arab state,
based in the West Bank, were formed. But the
Arab legion of King Hussein's grandfather, King
Abdullah, occupied the West Bank forcibly in 1948
and the Arab Palestinian state died aborn-
ing.
Abdullah took this action specifically to pre-
vent a state under the control of the Nazi-sup-
porter, Haj Amin el-Husseini, the leader of the
Palestinians, from coming into existence and
threatening his own kingdom.
In 1950, following stage-managed political
meetings in the West Bank, Transjordan official-
ly annexed the West Bank and was renamed Jor-
dan. Only Britain and Pakistan recognized this an-
nexation; many Arab states shunned Jordan as a
result.
From 1948 until 1967, Jordan remained in con-
trol of the West Bank. During that time of total
Arab control, there was no move to establish a
Palestinian state there, or in Gaza, which Egypt
had seized. The claim for a Palestinian state
only arose after Israel repelled Arab aggression
in 1967 and took control of the historic Jewish
territories of Judea and Samaria in the West
Bank.

Partisanship must be ruled out of consid-
eration in viewing the issues and answers as
presented here. Israel is a sovereign state and
its citizens have a right to choose their leaders
without being hampered by pressures from
abroad. But the issues as they have emerged
are those of all Israelis and are of concern to
all of Israel's friends and certainly of the en-
tire Jewish people.
The facts as delineated above demand
serious consideration. Misrepresentations must
not be permitted to invade the diplomatic
scene and to poison the minds of statesmen.
Let the truth be known. It is the only way of
guiding peace lovers to the peace table.

Wiesel's `God's Messengers,'
Slaughter's 'Ruth' Paperbacked

Elie Wiesel has become one of the most effective interpreters of
Hasidic lore and of Bible literature. Among his latest works is a vol-
ume in which he draws upon parables and describes the giants in the
Torah.
In "Messengers of God: Biblical Portraits and Legends" (Simon
and Schuster Pocket Books) he tells Bible stories, depicts the heroes
of the Old Testament, quotes the wisdom of the Torah as they apply
to modem times.
It is a work that invites appreciation of the
Bible tales and makes the old folktales live as
realities.
The manner in which the Wiesel approach is
linked with the contemporary interests is in:-
dicated in the chapter entitled "Job: Our Con-
temporary." Ancient lore lives again in the
modern approach provided by Wiesel.
Also issued as a paperback by Pocket Books,
the Simon and Schuster division, is "The Song
WIESEL
of Ruth" by Frank G. Slaughter. The eminent
author has drawn upon the Bible love story and has produced a
most impressive narrative.
Slaughter bases his work on the Bible theme and the text relates
admirably to Ruth of the Bible.

`Mirages,' Israel Travel Notes

Stanley Burnshaw has written "a public poem," as he has subtitled
his "Mirages: Travel Notes in the Promised Land" (Doubleday). He
pours forth inspiration based on realism, and as a traveler he shares
with his reader impressions that leave the reader with a desire to
emulate and to experience the tour in a personal way. It is a splendid
poem that is rooted in tradition as well as on contemporary trekking
of the Holy Land.
There is a philosophic note to the entire poem, as emphasized espe-
cially in the concluding chapter, "Choices." Furthermore, as the
notes appended to this work show, the leaning upon Scripture is exten-
sive.
The poet was inspired by scholars and farmers, children and house -
wives. Here is a portion from the section titled "The Talmudist":

Gloat, glittering talmudist,
With your eastern eye, your nothern eye, your western eye;
The Days are a fog of clashing words: cleave
If you can—warp with your buzz-saw brain a light filled
Path shallow enough for a heart to follow!

Why do you fist your words
With your merchant's hand, your scholar's hand, your toiler's hand?
Is a god you smother the dyname of your fury
Or a wraith you reasoned into existence in hope
It would pierce your eye with joys? Or a heartsick need

For a heaven-on-earth perfection
That drives you, though you have found there can be no right
Unmixed with wrong. Where will you go when the moment
Strikes and your arms, defying brain, reach out
To your brothers' will, your homeland's will, your body's will?

That's how Israel and her people inspire and how the poet inter-
prets the glories, anxieties and daily experiences of Eretz Israel.

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