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August 12, 1977 - Image 2

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1977-08-12

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2 Friday, Auqust 12, 1977 THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Purely Commentary

State Department Pressures on Israel Add Fuel to
Middle East Fires ... Recognition of PLO a Case of
Terrorizing Defenders of Jewish State as Erosion

By Philip
Slomovitz

New Respectability for PLO From None Other But the State Department

It's too early to judge the state of affairs between Israel and the United States. as it is
being formulated by Secretary of State Cyrus Vance. The Vance visits in the Middle
East have only just ended and the chat between Vance and Israel Prime Minister Men-
ahem Begin is a matter of hours at this writing. But it is always too early to judge
world affairs as they affect Israel because most of the information is nearly always im-
bedded in rumor, speculation, gossip and a bit of reporting that is based both on pre-
judice and sensationalism.
Nevertheless it is possible to pass some judgement at this time on an attitude that
inevitably proves shocking. It is an attitude that affirms the concerns lest the State De-
partment be so rudely pro-Arab that the role of Israel and of Israel's friends will be
brutally injured and menaced.
Several distressing reports came from the Middle East. The most shocking was the
statement, apparently inspired either by Vance .himself or by a member of his diplomat-
ic mission that began with the Arab countries. that the U.S. would commence pressur-
ing Israel to submit to State Department demands for total withdrawals by Israel from
"occupied territories." To fortify such an attitude, there began anew a series of state-
ments, primarily in cables from correspondents on Vance's mission, that Israel is view-
ed as a culprit in refusing to cooperate for peace, that the Arabs were becoming more
flexible, that Israel—oh, that man Begin!—was intransigent. -
Where was this heard before? What an old story and an old charge! All in the name
of proving that there is an erosion in Israel-U.S. relations, and Israel, of course!, is the
guilty party.
Then came a series of efforts at laundering the most criminal of all terrorist groups
in the world, the PLO. Suddenly the so-called Palestinians were the saintly in diploma-

Is 'Hitler Nostalgia' New Menace
for Coming German Generations?

Joachim Fest's film 'Hitler—a Career" is packing the
theaters in Germany. Various reactions are reported and
most menacing is the emphasis on an emerging -Hitler
nostalgia."
Reviewing the film in the Chicago Sun-Times, from
Frankfurt. Germany, Siegfried Buschschluster made these
comments:
How does the audience react to this phenomenon?
They are mostly young people with no personal memo-
ries of what it was like in the Third Reich and no ap-
parent likelihood that they might succumb to Hitler's
unquestioned powers as a demagog. Today's gener-
ation is more critical, no longer prepared to accept au-
thority as such without questioning what it stands for.
Hitler's phrases sound hollow, his posing bordering on
the ridiculous.
What makes this film dangerous (and this is an as-
sessment shared by several critics) is its fixation on
Hitler, the man of boundless energy, and its failure to
mention the circumstances of his rise to power and
some of his closest advisers.
The evil that Hitler usually perpetrated is given no
more than a cursory glance. The words "concentra-
tion camps" are mentioned once, but you don't see
much of them. There are vague references to Gestapo
terror, but no visual evidence to bring home to the
viewer how the Nazis, and not just Hitler, stifled all
opposition, terrorizing their subjects into submission.
In this respect, the Fest film is typical, although
probably unintentionally so, of the Hitler nostalgia
that has swept West Germany lately.
For the younger generation of Germans who know
little about the Hitler era, the Fest film would not be
a proper introduction to the subject, although the alle-
gations in the Soviet newspaper Isvestia that every
minute of the film was filled with untruths designed to
poison the minds of today's generation in West Ger-
many is a bit far-fetched.
What should worry Fest, however, is the qualified
approval his film has found in the extreme right wing
weekly Deutsche Nationalzeitung, which has long been
trying to "debunk" what it says are myths—the mur-
der of six million Jews and other German war crimes.
Does - Hitler—a Career" represent a new introduction to
"Hitler nostalgia - ? Will the world experience a new admi-
ration era for the mass murderer? Will the glorification
even if innocently derived from a film that deals with an
historic tragedy, also relate to the hordes of murderers
who made up the Hitler SS and their cohorts?
Neo Nazism has been in eviaence for some years since
the defeat of Nazism. The greatir menace to decency can
come from a poisoning of the minds of the young Germans
who did not know the era of Hitlerism but who may be
trapped by the "nostalgia," by an admiring scheme that'
will sully history.
The menace may prove more dangerous than presently
appears on the surface.:

-

Anwar Sadat and Arafat:
Bedfellows of Peace?

Egyptian President Anwar el-Sadat's propsal for a for-
eign ministers' conference either in New York or in Wash-
ingtor, sounded good to Secretary of State Cyrus Vance
and was endorsed by Israel's Prime Minister Menahem
Begin. But the idea seemed to lose its appeal when it was
rejected by Syrian President Hafez al-Assad and lost
ground even more drasticaly when Sadat turned to Yasir
Arafat with a report on his sessions with Vance.
As long as Arafat, the inspirer of mass butcheries of chil-
dren and innocent civilians, the hijacker of commercial
and tourist planes, remains among the chief confidants of
the Egyptian president, the planning for a lasting truce or

cy. They wish to admit Israel's existence and will recognize Israel if Israel will aban-
don the area that was acquired for the protection of an unprotected people, if Israel
will consent to the establishment of a twenty-second Arab state, if Israel will yield on a
demand for changes in United Nations resolutions adopted after the Yom Kippur War.
Herein lies an interesting factor in the current situation. Resolution 242, as explained cH
on this page last week, provided for an assurance of Israel's right to protective status
while calling for negotiations for an eventual accord between the contending parties. It
took much effort to adopt that resolution, with the aid of the Soviet Union. Any changes
in it could only be towards pressuring Israel into withdrawal so far from security thPf it
would be suicidal.
One other element appears evident in the present developments involving the thmed
States. It is clear that there are forces in this country, and the State Department can
not be absolved of guilt, whose aim is to divide American Jewry, to create so much
fear, stemming from threats, that American Jews may, as a result, become a commu-
nity divided. It is on this score that caution must be exercized scrupulously. Even Presi-
dent Jimmy Carter himself may have to be severely criticized if the State Department
li
must be adjudged guilty of a sad, inhuman and injudicious act towards Israel. Every
effort should be made to solidify forces in Israel's defense. Israel is one of the last ramp-
arts in defense of Jewish security.
If these views are too pessimistic, they stem from an inspiration of fear fed to the
press, and the State Department will have to prove whatever denials may come from
high U.S. quarters. The fate of an entire people, who are surrounded by 21 war-threat-
ening nations, is too serious to be treated lightly.

a possible peace is not enhanced. Such bedfellowships are
not inducements to good will.

The Glory That Is Israel's
in Making the Desert Bloom

Politics has polluted sentiments about Israel to such a de-
gree that the creative results of a progressive Jewish state
are often ignored.
There isn't a week without some unusually important
news about Israeli scientists and technicians developing
something that must benefit mankind. From Israel's uni-
versities and research centers come the results of serious
efforts for definite contributions towards the elevation of
human standards, in the production of new means of mak-
ing science a boon for the world.
Then there are the positive factors in the ambition to
make the desert "bloom" and the land that was neglected
transformed into an oasis.
An Associated Press report from Sde Boker, the settle-
- ment that became famous when it was settled by David
Ben-Gurion and a group of followers, relates informatively
how the desert is being transformed into a flowering oasis.
The AP story deserves additional quoting:
Founded by Ben-Gurion, Sde Boker now also houses
the Desert Research Institute (DRI), where scientists
the world over come to use the weapons of science to
make the wilderness habitable.
"We have many disciplines here—architects, biolo-
gists, hydrologists, physicists," says Arie Issar, the in-
stitute director. "On my research team I have two Is-
raelis, a Russian immigrant, a Frenchman and a Brit-
isher."
Among the projects being worked on at the institute
is research to build a desert house heated and cooled
by solar energy. On the roof are sun and wind collec-
tors, and in the basement is a mass of gravel to store
heat and cold.
"During the night, the cool air is sucked in through
the roof and used to chill the gravel in the basement,"
explains Issar. "In the heat of the day, the coolness
collected in the basement circulates, keeping the
house comfortable.".
Issar himself is working on methods to conserve the
Negev's precious supplies of water. Only one to eight
inches of rain- fall on the territory each year, not
enough to support a thriving agriculture, and most
water must be brought in by pipe.
"Three hundred million cubic meters of water flow
through conduit from Lake Tiberias in the north each
year," says Issar. That water must be carefully con-
served, • and new sources must be tapped.
Issar claims' to have discovered a huge Underground
reservoir of fresh water more than a quarter of a mile
beneath the Negev and Sinai deserts, holding 200 bil-
lion to 400 billion cubic meters.
"That is enough to supply the entire Negev with all
its needs for the next hundred years. But the problem
is planning to tap it," he explains.
Issar is also studying ways of using the porous soil
under dry riverbeds as vast underground cisterns and
of adapting ancient methods of desert agriculture to
modern technology.
At the institute's experimental farm, eucalyptus,
palm and pistachio trees are grown in small plots sur-
rounded by a low dirt dam. During desert flash floods,
when thousands of gallons of rainwater pour through
the desert to the sea, the plots fill up, and the mois-
ture soaks about a yard into the soil.
The topsoil seals like cement trapping the water
below the surface, to be gradually soaked up by the
trees. The scientists hope to grow eucalyptus forests
through the Negev by this method, originated thou-
sands of years ago.
These Israeli efforts, their inspiration to all who seek a
peaceful life, are admonitions to the antagonists on Is-

rael's borders how all can benefit from cooperativeness,
from a truly peaceful approach to neighbors living togeth-
er in harmony. An end to hostilities could do so much to
enhance life in the Middle East, even the desert being
made to blossom! But humanism has been politicized in-
stead of being treated sensibly. Therefore. the benefits of-
fei- ed by Israel's know-how appear to remain a secret for
those masses in Arab lands who are taught only to hate.
rather than to know what benefits there could be in kin-
ship with Israel.

Good Fence, Like Open Bridges,
Provides Markets for Arabs

Unlike the hostilities that spew hatred for Israelis there
are the continuing efforts for cooperation by trading with
the Arabs. A brief JTA item from Tel Aviv relates that —
The first load of vegetables from Christian villages
in southern Lebanon has reached Israeli markets by
the way of the open fence. The Lebanese farmers ex-
pect to sell some 5,000 tons of fruits and vegetables to
Israel. They will be paid a price similar to that paid
Israeli farmers for the same produce.
This type of friendliness applies also to tourism. Yearly,
hundreds of thousands of Arabs from many of Israel's
neighboring nations travel freely to and from Israel, vis-
iting relatives and friends, observing what is happening in
the state the Arab potentates would destroy. But there is
no reciprocity. The lessons fall on blinded eyes and deaf
ears. Whence cometh help?

Name Changing: An Incident
in a Church Mixed Marriage

Name changing has become an interesting factor in the
assimilation of Jews into the total American community.
Understandably, it has become common among Jews to
drop the "skys" and the "vitzes - and even to abandon
Hebraic names stemming from the Bible and Talmud.
It may te even more prevalent in England where many
prominent families now bear- names that are not dis-
tinguishabl, as Jewish.
Normally, in the past, Jews could bd identified by their
names. It has changed in large measure.
An interesting incident occured last week when a non-
Jew adopted a Jewish name. Stephen Purshouse was mar-
ried to Nina Ben-Avi, the daughter of the Avrum Ben-Avis
and the granddaughter of D .r. Siming Ben-Avi, who was a
noted actor in the Yiddish Art Theater. The wedding
place in a church. But the bridegroom adopted the
Ben-Avi. Now they are Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Purs
Ben-Avi.
There was a time when anti-Semites accused Jews of
trying to hide their identity by adopting non-Jewish names.
Now that a non-Jew sets the example of adopting a Hebr-
ew narre, whereto are we led?

If U.S. Endorses an Israeli
Tank, Why Not Ask for the Kfir

Even if just a bit old as news, its worth returning to the
following recent item from Washington:
The Carter Administration, in an apparent gesture
to Prime Minister Menahem Begin, announced that it
had agreed to permit Israel to use $107 million in
American military aid to produce Israel's newly devel-
oped heavy tank, the Chariot.
The question now to be posed is : why did the State De-
partment ban the sale of Israeli-made Kfirjets to Latin
American countries. Wouldn't the sale have benefited Is-
rael and eventually the U.S.? Why was Israel so seriously
hurt by restrictions on the manufacturing and the sale of
the Kiir?

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