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December 16, 1977 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1977-12-16

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2 Friday, December 16, 1977 THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Purely Commentary

Israel Among the Nations: Rights

Recognized Internationally

Israel's rights are apparent to the knowledgeable, yet
they continue to be debatable in the press, among politi-
cians, at the United Nations.
There remains a need to give emphasis to the basic reali-
ties, to the international decisions, to the international
record which recognizes Israel's rights.
A letter published in the NYTimes under the heading
"Palestine, the Arabs, Jewish National Rights" is so defi-
nite in its analysis of the historic record that it must be
given the widest possible circulation. In the letter, which
appeared in the Nov. 25 NYTimes, Paul Riebenfeld, an
international lawyer and a Zionist delegate to the League of
Nations' Mandates Commission from 1937 to 1939, presented
these facts:
Mr. Nakhleh's recent letter, having misquoted P.
Marshall Brown, as noted by John H. Herz (Oct. 26),
also bent Article 22 of the League of Nations Covenant
to serve his purpose.
Not only were the inhabitants of Palestine not
included among the communities whose "existence as
independent nations can be provisionally recognized,"
subject to a_ mandatory's tutelage, but the post-World
War I peace settlement spelled out explicitly that
Palestine was being separated from the area of Syria
and revived as a state in order, in the Wilsonian age, to
provide the Jewish people with the chance of renewed
national self-determination. Articles 94 and 95 of the
Treaty of Sevres stated unequivocally that the clause
of Article 22, quoted by Mr. Nakhleh, applied to Syria
and Iraq only, but not to Palestine, where the manda-
tory was to be guided by the Balfour Declaration.
This was not considered an infraction of the rights of
the local Arabs whose aspirations to national identity
were met by the simultaneous establishment of an
independent Syria. Their "civil and religious rights,"
protected by the Balfour Declaration and the Palestine
Mandate, did not include the claim to a perpetual
majority status, as Mr. Nakhleh seems to suggest, and
it was intended, as President Roosevelt recalled in
May of 1939, in a memorandum to Cordell Hull, "to
convert Palestine into a Jewish home which might
very possibly become preponderantly Jewish within a
comparative short time."
It was the Zionist Organization which was invited to
appear before the Paris Peace Conference regarding
Palestine's future, while the Arab delegation expressly
excluded the country from the large area for which it
asked Arab independence; the Feisal-Weizmann Agree-
ment stipulated the exchange of ambassadors and a
Moslem administration for Moslem holy places, provi-
sions which clearly envisaged the likelihood of future
Jewish government in Palestine.
The Palestine Mandate, granted at San Remo in
April 1920, not only recited in the preamble the wording
of the Balfour Declaration—as the reason for Britain's
election as mandatory—but added that "recognition-
has thereby been given to the historical connection of
the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for
reconstituting their national home in the country."
The recognition of Jewish national rights in Pales-
tine, never ever renounced by the Jewish people
throughout the ages, was confirmed in international
law when the League of Nations in July 1922 approved
the-terms of the Mandate. The unprecedented change
in the territorial status quo of the world, decided on by
the international community, was certainly a unique
event in history and international law, but for that mat-
ter not less legal or just, dealing as it did with a special
case in history and a country like no other.
In any event the territorial change has fallen far
short of what was intended, since the Palestine of the
Balfour Declaration and the Mandate has not only a
Jewish but also an Arab successor state, Jordan, which
was severed from it in 1946 and, inhabited in the main
by Palestinian Arabs, occupies 78 percent of the area
of the Mandate, defined in it as "the territories lying
between the Jordan and the eastern boundary of Pales-
tine." Israel covered 17.5 percent of Palestine until
1967 and now governs 22 percent.
These are not opinions. They are substantiated facts.
They restate the record. They recall the international deci-
sions which were the basis for global recognition of the
validity of the Zionist ideology. Let it serve again as a
reminder that while statehood was a dream it is now a real-
ity resulting from recognition given the Jewish national
home by the nations.of the world.
The Jordan Valley Mayors:
Are They Going to Geneva?
To a degree, which may grow in immensity, the Arab
mayors of cities in the Jordan Valley are being viewed with
unusual interest. Their views have been explored by Anwar
Sadat. Israel apparently would grant them a voice at the
Geneva Conference, even if they align themselves with the
PLO. Who are they, and what are their views?
Reporting from Beirut to the New York times, on Oct. 4

'A Will to Live,' an Exhibition That Gives Substance
to the Courage of Israel's Defenders ... a Non-Jew's
Definition of Zionism ... Israel's Legal Status Defined

Marvine Howe listed the Arab mayors and their roles as
BEIRUT—The Palestine Liberation Organization is
quietly canvassing Palestinians in the occupied West
Bank and Gaza Strip seeking people to serve on a pos-
sible delegation to a Geneva peace conference, accord-
ing to an authoritative source close to the organiza-
tion's leadership...
It appeared also that the Palestinians were acting
under Egyptian and Jordanian pressure. The source
said the delegates who would be chosen—there report-
edly is no list of candidates so far—would have to have
be approved by Egypt and Jordan...
While there is no list of possible candidates for a
Geneva delegation from the West Bank and Gaza, the
Mayor of Bethlehem, Elias Frej, w!# has close ties
with the Jordanian government, is known not to 'be
acceptable to the PLO. Nor is Rashad el-Shawa, the
appointeci'Mayor of Gaza, who is said to cooperate with
Israel. Hekmat el-Masri, a Nablus businessman, is also
criticized here for cooperating with the Israelis.
On the other hand, Palestinians here generally
respect the folloAng mayors: Fand al-Kawasma of
Hebron; Karim Khalaf of Ramallah; Bassam Shakaa
of Nablus;. Hilme Hannoun of Tulkarm; Ibrahim
Taweel of Bira, and Abdelaziz Swaiti of Jericho.
Now new facts and varying opinions are certain to be
publicized. It is to be expected, because of 'inevitable pres-
sures, that Arabs who now benefit from the progressive
Israel administration in administered territories never-
theless will declare thefaselves as PLO supporters. This is
a major reason why a 'speedy solution to the developing sit-
uations in the Middle East would be a blessing for all
In the interim, the obligations resting upon Israel also are
growing in immensity. Even the wisest of statesmen are
being put to the test.

Dr. Franklin H. Littell's Record

As a Man of Justice and Courage

The name of Dr. Franklin H. Littell is recorded indelibly
among the courageous who never flinch from duty, who
have fought and continue to battle for just rights for Jews
wherever they may be, who staunchly defend the policy of
remembering the Holocaust and of unhesitatingly keeping
alive the memory of the horrors of the 1930s and 1940s so
that the crimes may never again be repeated.
It was thanks to him that the Holocaust studies were
introduced in the Philadelphia schools. He did not yield to
pro-Nazi pressures which were exerted against such
He did not refrain from criticizing Christians and Christi-
anity for guilt in anti-Semitism.
He remains among the firm defenders of Israel and of
Zionist ideology.
For a number of years his views were published in CCI
Notebook, sponsored by Christians Concerned for Israel.
CCI Notebook was suspended when printing costs became
prohibitive. Fortunately Dr. Littell, finding the needs com-
pelling again, has just reissued CCI Notebook. His presenta-
tion of the Holocaust case makes the renewed issue of this
newsletter most valuable. He deals with many other mat-
ters, and of unusual interest is his discussion of "Who Is a
Zionist?" in which he discusses the oft-repeated description
of the term "Christian Zionists" applied to men like him.
He does not accept such nomenclature and answers the
question "Who is a Zionist?" by stating:
In January of 1976 The National Observer did a large
feature on five supporters of Israel: Rabbi Arthur
Hertzberg, Rabbi Marc H. Tanenbaum, Mr. I. L.
Kenen, Monsignor John M. Oesterreicher and Rev. Dr.
Franklin H. Littell. Since that time a number of writers
have referred to the co-editor of the CCI Notebook as a
"Christian Zionist."
This is heady company to be found in, and we are not
ungrateful for the honor. But—if I may abandon the
artificial literary form and write directly—unless I
mistake the proper use of the term, I am not a Zionist.
I am a Christian who believes Jews have the right to be
Zionists and who sympathizes with Christians—of
many points of view—who pray for the peace of
I take it that a Jewish Zionist is a Jew who either
makes aliya or, if hindered, supports those who do. I
take it that a Christian Zionist is a person who believes
that the return of the Jews to their ancient hoMe is an
essential stage in salvation history.
I am neither a Jewish Zionist nor a Christian Zionist,
although I understand both positions and have friends
of both categories. I would rather put it this way: both
the Holocaust and a restored Israel are formative,
shaping, "alpine" events in Jewish and Christian his-
tory. Their precise meaning is shrouded in mystery
and—in the first instance, fear and trembling, in the
second instance, awe and wonder. I would rather not
try to fit either mystery into a propositional scheme, as
though mortal man could claim to understand the mind
of God. As I see it, our responsibility is not to, give final
answers but to respond faithfully in action to the
choices put before us. One of those choices is to work

By Philip

through the time of mourning for the years when most
of Christendom apostatized and left the Jews to be
massacred, and the other is to make every effort that
the survivor state not be sacrificed to the greedy and
The appreciative probably still would insist on claiming
him as a confrere, as a Zionist associate as well as friend,
and would consider him a "Christian Zionist. - Whatever
the term, his friendship is of great value and is welcomed
and appreciated.
The re-appearance of the CCI Notebook is a welcome'
resumption of eminent libertarianism. It will be received
with gratitude by all who are privilege. to have Dr. Littell
share it with them.

Phillips' A Will to Survive':

An .Exhibition That Immensely

Raises Jewish Center Standards

During the recent annual Jewish Book Fair conduciDd at
the Jewish Community Center. John Phillips, one-time Life
Magazine photographer, was among the distinguished
speakers. He elaborated on one of the most impressive
books of the year, his "A Will to Live" (Dial Press) in
which he has incorporated the photographs of the Israel
war of 1948.
It was a war for survival, and the people who fought for
independence and their liberties demonstrated their will to
It is to the credit of the Jewish Center that the exhibition
of the photographs contained in "A Will to Live" are now on
display at the new Center building, thus providing an
opportunity for the entire community to see the works in
enlarged format. The exhibition of these photographs
sensationalized the displays at the Jewish Museum of New
York, and its repetition, here is a genuine service for
Greater Detroit Jewry.
The photos now on view show courage and determination,
the refusal either to submit to destruction or to suicide.
To the Jewish Center goes added credit for the vision
displayed in providing this added service to a community
that must always be viewed as craving for every available
cultural service. This newest of firsts to the community
serves as a reminder that it is at the Jewish Center that the
Book Fairs provide an opportunity to meet and to hear the
nation's prominent authors.
In the services recorded by the Center are the tasks of
assisting the retarded for whom valuable programs are
sponsored. The Center is a haven for the elderly. The many
contributing factors in the Center programming that as-
sires proper cultural approaches to the needs of the youth,
the Habet u-Shma Hebrew courses now benefiting many
scores who desire to learn Hebrew and many other Center
activities are a boon for this community. That is why it is
so vital that volunteers should be encouraged to enroll in
the Jewish Center programs, that its membership should
remain loyal and should strive for constant enlargement.

In the top photograph, Meir Alcotzer (inset) is shown
(circled) when he was captured in .1948. He returned to East
Jerusalem in 1967 to find his home destroyed. In the bottom
photograph, Penina Even Tov, a Tel Aviv school teacher, is
shown with her son, and when she screamed for her mother
during the 1948 evacuation. — Photos from the ADL


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