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February 17, 1978 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1978-02-17

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2 Friday, -February 11, 1978-


Purely Commentary

The Mind of - Sadat Who Chooses
to Judge Whether Israel Should Exist

Let's recapitulate.
Sadat came to Jerusalem and left in a state of glory.
He came to Washington and addressed himself to the
American people as if he were the oracle.
What's his theme? He had gone to Jerusalem: didn't that
indicate his recognition of Israel's existence? Shouldn't he
be compensated for it with everything he wants, everything
Arabs have ever asked for in a policy that would destroy
So, Sadat_has recognized Israel!
Questions of humanity and morality enter into the dis-
cussions that have given the commentators so much mate-
rial on which to judge Israel as intransigent:
Who has the right to tell a person that he has the right to
Who possesses that power to tell an entire people what
rights it has for survival?
By what right has anyone, in the Middle East or univer-
sally, to tell Israel that she is subject to endorsement by her
neighbors to survive?
Is there a limit to the belligerence of 21 national entities,
possessors of the world's mineral wealth, occupying mill-
ions of acres of land, when they say to a small state, re-
habilitated in its ancient homeland, that its right to exist
depends upon the permission granted by the neighboring
Since Israel doesn't ask for permission to exist it becomes
a curiosity to know exactly how the Egyptian president
arrives at his demands. William Safire. attempted an ans-
wer, "Reading Sadat's Mind," in the New York Times, and,
inter alia, arrived at these conclusions:

The Israelis can never match my opening move
without giving away their security, without agre-
eing to a separate radical state on their border. I
can depend on them never to do that: It would be
terrible for all of us if they did that.
But the fact that they cannot match my gesture
means that I can undermine them, and build up
Egypt, in the eyes of Americans. By demanding
the state I know the Israelis will not permit, I
command the Arab world; by being the prime
mover in the direct negotiations, I can get the
Americans to lean on the Israelis, provide Egypt
with what we need in arms and food, and give us a
hand next month with the international bankers.
That is why I broke off negotiations in
Jerusalem, which were going entirely too well too
quickly: It is now for the Americans to push the
Israelis into coaxing me back to the table. And of
course, they will. I am popular in America. If Wal-
ter likes me, and Barbara likes me, who is Jimmy
Carter not to like me? I am emotional and need
constant encouragement.
Of course, Begin sees through this. That's why,
when I turned down his offer to return the Sinai
for a separate peace, he started his settlements
there. Shrewd bargaining; but now I, an Arab, can
denounce shrewd bargaining. It helps build by
public support for American aid.
When the time comes for a settlement, we all
know what it will be. That's easy. I get all the
Sinai, an international force sits on the middle of
the Golan, free access to Jerusalem guaranteed,
observers all over the place, full diplomatic
relations. And a Palestinian federation under

The Egyptian president came here on a mission of public
relations that proves him very shrewd. Israel is on the
defensive, in view of the platform given a man who says
that because he visited Jerusalem, the Holy City, and the
ideals related to it should be abandoned by the rightful
inheritors of what is now the redeemed state of Israel.
But even defensively Israel operates on hopes and must
avoid fears. There is nothing new in Israel's defensive
methods. It is no wonder that Menahem Begin has given an
assurance that he is not panicking. That's the warning to
his people and to world Jewry: don't panic!

Memorializing Alfred Bounin,
Legionnaire, Bnai Brith Leader

The Jewish Legion is indelibly recorded in history as a
military force that fought under General Allenby for the
liberation of Palestine from the Turks in 1917. A_valiant
group of Detroit Jews had enrolled in it. Alfred Halpern
Bounin was among the handful of surviving members of
that military unit which included Israel's late President
and Prime- Minister Yitzhak Ben-Zvi and David Ben-
Gurion and many other notables. Mr. Bounin, whose death
occurred late last month, often spoke of the memories he
retained of that historic period of liberation which had led
to the eventual issuance of the Balfour Declaration and 30
years later to the rebirth of Eretz Yisrael.
Mr. Bounin was a dedicated Bnai Brith leader. He had a
good voice and loved to sing. He wrote many of the prayers


Belligerence Rooted in Sadat's Demands for All
in Return for Recognition . . . Reading Sadat's Mind

that marked the opening of Bnai Brith public meetings
here. He left a good record worthy of honors to be accorded a
devoted and devout Jew who dedicated himself to the per-
petuation of the highest ideals in .Jewish life.

Rabbi Robert Gordis at 70;
Scholarship and Eloquence,
His New Work, 'Love and Sex'

Dr. Robert Gordis has inspired so many audiences, his
scholarly contributions to Jewish literature have assumed
such vital proportions, his leadership in the rabbinate is so
high-ranking, that his 70th birthday becomes a matter of
national interest. The fact that he and Mrs. Gordis now are
marking their 50th wedding anniversary adds significance
to the encomia the Jewish cultural ranks will extend to the
Dr. Gordis has earned a place
among the handful of outstanding
Jewish scholars in the world in this
century. His many Bible commen-
taries, his analyses of Jewish issues
in his accumulated writings, and
the eloquence with which he has
interpreted Jewish issues for the
many audiences he has inspired in
this country and abroad, give him
enviable status.
Dr. Gordis earns current acclaim for his newest work,
"Love and Sex: A Modern Jewish Perspective" (Farrar,
Straus and Giroux), the timeliness of which becomes appa-
rent from the title itself. This work defines the Jewish view
of treating sex with respect, of judging human relations
with dignity.
- "Love and Sex" merits a long and thorough review (to
came). As a brief comment, however, it is worth noting that
in this splendid treatment of a vital human concern Dr.
Gordis rejects the merest suggestions of obscenity.
A couple of brief excerpts throw light on the values of this
notable study. Dr. Gordis explains, in his comments on sex
as viewed in Jewish tradition:

This healthy-minded, affirmative attitude to-
ward sex, which is recognized as an essential and
legitimate element of human life, is rooted in a
religious world view. Since God created man with
his entire complement of impulses, sex is a man-
ifestation of the Divine. It is not to be glorified as
an end in itself, as in paganism, or in the exaggera-

By Philip

tions of romantic love. Hence, the Bible and the
Talmud are frank and outspoken in dealing with
the sexual component of human experience. The
pages of our classic literature are free from both
obsenity and false modesty, from pornography
and prudishness, which are essentially two sides
of the same coin.
Yet the mere translation of the term "yetzer Ka-
ra" as "the evil impulse" does not do justice to the
breadth of understanding in Jewish tradition.
Long before modern psychoanalysis, rabbinic
Judaism was aware of the central role of sex in
civilization: "Were it not for the sexual impulse
(literally, the evil impulse), no man would build a
house or marry a woman or engage in an occupa-
tion." The role of sex in stimulating men to activ-
ity and thus furthering human progress is mir-
rored in another rabbinic epithet, "the leaven in
the dough." Like the more common term, "evil
impulse," this term is at times used simply as a
designation for the sexual proclivities of men -.
Leaven is ferment — it may bring decay, but it is
also the source of growth.

The great Hasidic teacher Rabbi Levi of Ber-
ditchev said that he had learned the true meaning
of love from a drunken peasant. One day the rabbi
had occasion to come into a tavern owned by a
Jew. In one corner two peasants were sitting, well
advanced in their cups. Suddenly Ivan turned to
Peter and said, "Tell me, Peter, what hurts me?"
Peter replied, "How can I know what hurts you?"
Whereupon Ivan retorted, "If you do not know
what hurts me, how can you say you love me?"
The ideal of companionship and equality in mar-
riage is superbly expressed in the rabbinic dictum
"He who loves his wife as himself and honors her
more than himself, of him Scripture declares,
`You shall know that your tent is at peace.' "

In tribute to Dr. Gordis it tould equally be indicated that
his commentaries on Ecclesiastes, Job and other Bible texts
are among the great modern definitive works that have
enriched Jewish classical literature.
He has preached, now he teaches. He has always been the
efficient interpreter of Jewish values. He gains additional
encomia in an important birthday which is accompanied by
the appearance of another valuable work that will en-
lighten all — non-Jews learning from it as much as the

ADL Holocaust Tabloid Due as TV Series on Same Airs

NEW YORK — A 16-page
tabloid detailing the 13-
year history of Nazi at-
rocities against Jews is
being prepared by the
Anti-Defamation League of
Bnai Brith as an educa-
tional project in conjunction
with NBC-TV's mid-April
"Holocaust" series.

The tabloid, which may
be used as a weekend news-
paper supplement, is enti-
tled "The Record — The
Holocaust in History —
1933-1945." It will be illus-
trated- with photos from
NBC's four-day (April 16-
19), nine-hour prime time
dramatic production set
against archive photos of
similar but actual situa-
tions in that period.

"The Record," according
to Theodore Freedman, di-
rector of ADL's program di-
vision, "will be a discussion
guide designed to serve as
the nucleus for classroom
and adult group study of the
Holocaust for years to
come." He said the ADL has
worked closely with NBC
and the "Holocaust" produc-
tion company since last
summer when plans for the
program were first an-

The first and last two
pages of the ADL tabloid
will be on the television
programs and will in-
clude articles by Gerald

"Holocaust," on his ex-
periences in researching
and writing the script;
Robert E. Mulholland,
president of NBC-TV, on
the viewership potential
for the programs, their
impact and why the net-
work is producing the
series; and Benjamin R.
Epstein, ADL's national
director, who, during the
1930's was an exchange
student in Germany and
an eyewitness to the rise
of the Third Reich.

The four pages also will
feature the drawings
created for the series by
Arbit Blatas to graphically
highlight each program
synopsis, and numerous
cast photographs and pro-
duction stills.

The 12-page body of the
newspaper will include an
article by Elie Wiesel on the
death of the six million Jews
and keeping their memories
alive; an H.V. Kaltenborn
interview with Adolph Hi-
tler; and William L. Shirer
reports documenting the
rise of the Third Reich.

In addition, there is a
chronology of events from
1933 to 1945, photos, ex-
cerpts from the writings of
Hitler, Goebbels and Him-
mler, reprints from the
Nuremberg and other

anti-Semitic laws, and a — "The Record," which
map of Europe showing the will be available from
numbers of Jews from each ADL by the end of March,
country who were extermi- is co-sponsored by The
nated in Nazi death camps. National Council for the

A discussion guide, pre-
pared by educator Max
Nadel, sets forth questions •
and recommendations for
further study. Also included
is an annotated listing of
printed and audio-visual re-
source materials.

Social Studies.

The Anti-Defamation
League operates a
Holocaust Information
Center at its national head-
quarters, 315 Lexington
Ave., New York, N.Y.

Location of Desalting Plant
May Depend on M.E. Talks

NEW YORK — The cur- ident of the society, who fi-
rent negotiations between nanced the research that
Israel and Egypt for a peace- has been under way for a de-
ful settlement may deter- cade.
mine the location of a major
The Israel-Egypt c
water desalination plant,
again, off-again political
according to the American
settlement is being care-
Technion Society.
fully studied in view of
The society, a nationwide
the fact that among the
organization that supports_ sites recommended for
the Technion-Israel Insti-
the new desalination
tute of Technology, learned facility is the Sinai desert.
that a new process for less The planners of the new
costly, more efficient de-
desalting facility envisage
salination has been de-
making available sweet
veloped by
a member
the water not only_to Israel, but,
Prof. of
also possibly to Egypt.
raham Kogan.
Another possible de-
The new process, which
velopment linked to the pro-
utilizes a multi-stage flash
method, is known as the jected desalination plant
would be a power plant,
Kogan-Rose process and is
named for Prof. Kogan and - - with power also available
David Rose, honorary pres- both to Israel and Egypt.

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