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February 24, 1978 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1978-02-24

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

THE JEWISH NEWS

Incorporating The Detroit Jewish Chronicle commencing with the issue of July 20. 1951 _

PEOPLES ASSEMBLY

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Member American Association of English-Jewish Newspapers, Michigan Press Association, National Editorial Association.
Published every Friday by the Jewish News Publishing Co., 17515 W. Nine Mile, Suite 865, Southfield, Mich. 48075
Second-Class Postage Paid at Southfield, Michigan and Additional Mailing Office , . Subscription $12 a year.

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CARMI M. SLOMOVITZ
Business Manager

PHILIP SLOMOVITZ
Editor and Publisher

DREW LIEBERWITZ
Advertising Manager

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Sabbath Scriptural Selections

This Sabbath, the 18th day of Adar I, 5738, the following scriptural selections will be read in our synagogues:
Pentateuclzal portion, Exodus 30:11-34:35. Prophetical portion, I Kings 18:1-39.

Page Four

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Candle lighting, Friday, Feb. 24, 5:58 p.m.

VOL. LXXII, No. 25

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ALAN HITSKY, News Editor...HEIDI PRESS, Assistant News Editor

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Friday, February 24, 1978

Realism About Refugees

in 'the Arab world,' it is even more so to identify
the Palestinian issue'_ as a unifying concern.
Had not Arab nations attacked Israel in 1948,
hoping to carve it up, the Palestinian refugee
problem would not have been created. Had not
those nations wanted to preserve refugee camps
as nurseries of irredentist fanaticism, and as
props for anti-Israel propaganda, the refugee
problem would have been solved by resettle-
ment years ago.

Until the Arabs, who are bent upon destroy-
ing Israel — and this remains the major issue
despite sanctimony from Anwar Sadat's corner
— had made the Palestinians the martyrs, it
was the refugee problem that was the chief
means of attack on Israel.
They were always a myth, and if anyone re-
ally leaned on Palestine as homeland it was
the Jews who always had a remnant in nearly
every community in Eretz Yisrael from
throughout the Diaspora.
Since those who are espousing the Palesti-
nian cause as it is propagated by the Arab ex-
tremists continue to lean on refugees as suffer-
ers — it is a problem perpetuated in camps
whence refugees cannot get out as a weapon
against Israel — then the problem of refugees
must remain on the agenda and should be dis-
cussed rationally.
Jews have almost interminably dominated
the world scene as refugees. They were not the
only ones. There were millions from many na-
tions who became homeless and there are many
victims of the most recent South Asian conflicts,.
in which this country was involved, who became
objects of pity on this category
The problem has been solved in many ways,
by many nations, in many, many areas. Jews
solved the problem by providing self-help, and
by the redemption of Zion.
Yet the issue is muddied more than ever in
the Middle East, where Arabs refuse to welcome
kinfolk and to provide homes for them. Refugee
camps were retained as a weapon against Israel.
It continues as a distortion of facts when relat-
ing the issue to Israel.

- "Uncounted millions of refugees have been
resettled since World War II. One-third of Is-
rael's population consists of refugees from Arab
nations. Only Palestinians have been kept in
refugee camps, hostages to the presumption
that the camps should be emptied only into a
new state.

"There are two 'Palestinian problems.' One
concerns the West Bank Palestinians, 700,000
strong. The other concerns the 500,000 in re-
fugee camps in Lebanon, Gaza, Syria and Jor-
dan.

"Much of the West Bank — 2,300 square
miles — is mountainous and arid. Economic
growth is low, the fertility of the population is
high and the area has been exporting popula-
tion. It would not be a suitable 'homeland' for
500,000 more Palestinians, mostly from Leba-
non, even if it did not nestle deep into Israel — to
within a dozen miles of the Mediterranean.

"But it does. And extremist Palestinians in
Lebanon, armed only with light rockets and
other weapons, reduced Lebanon to a burnt-out
case."
Once again, as in previous handling of mat-
ters involving the Arab-Israel conflict, the truth
as outlined by Will falls on deaf ears. The re-
fugee is a weapon for Sadat as it is for Arafat.
Yet, the facts must be placed on the record.
George F. Will did it, thus earning gratitude for
proper evaluation of a major issue.

How extensive is this problem, and is it solu-
ble? George F. Will touched upon it in an impor-
tant syndicated article in which he exposed the
refugee misrepresentations, stating:
"It is absurd for diplomacy to postulate unity

Unity at the Ramparts

An old adage that "in unity there is strength"
has never been challenged, yet there is adher-
ence to it only in time of crisis.
A point in proof is the current, oft-repeated
talk about the need to introduce the teaching of
the Holocaust in the public schools. If effective,
this would compel educators from all factions
and the communal agencies concerned with the
issue to unite their forces for a single, unified
curriculum. But there is an apparent divisive-
ness that must be corrected if there is to be
anything bordering on unity in tackling a vital
need that has become so urgent in an era of
revived Nazi ideologies and the freedoms pro-
vided for them by the democratic principles that
oppose abridging of free speech and a free press.
There is need for unity at the ramparts.
Merged action negating vested interests is im-
perative at this time when it is so vitally neces-
sary to confront both the lunatic fringe and the
intellectual anti-Semitism that is emerging in

,

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the form of democratized discussion of problems
that concern Jews.
It is the propaganda of the lunatic fringe that
misleads the people, and it is the intellectual
antagonist whose views must be met with un-
trammeled challenge.
The latter is more dangerous. We find him
among the letter writers. He is the type who will
make charges based on superfluity. Of the ut-
most urgency is the teaching of the truths based
on facts, and for the gathering of factual data
there is little need of the conflicting ideologies
which descend into vested interests and there-
fore into a disunity that is of little credit to the
community.
The divisiveness among the Jewish civic-
protective agencies has been criticized on the
national scene. It should also be opposed in local
areas where unified efforts are as pressing. Let
there be unity at the ramparts.

4.1 ■4 4.1171‘

Guidelines on Judaism:
Answers to 1,001 Questions

Guidelines to knowledge about Jews and their history require en-
cyclopedic facts. David C. Gross labors from a background with the
thoroughness that provides just this sort of information in his most
informative "1,001 Questions and Answers About Judaism" (Double-
day).
This is a most informative volume. Every aspect of Judaism, all the
eras involving Jews and their experiences, are included in the ques-
tions posed and the answers provided by the author, whose studies
qualify him to provide the facts needed for the task he had underta-
ken.
Trained for the rabbinate, a one-time Jewish Telegraphic Agency
editor, as executive director of the Jewish Publication Society, the
supervisor of the Keter publishers who issued the Encyclopedia
Judaica, Mr. Gross resorted to his task authoritatively.
There is a vastness of subjects in his splendid book. He answers
questions relating to the history and literature ofJewry, to the Jewish
codes and ethics, to the festivals and the folklore, to the modern
experiences including the Holocaust and to the struggles for freedom.
Matters affecting basic beliefs, personal life and home practices, the
synagogue, customs and ceremonies, Israel, Jewish history, the Sab-
bath and holidays and all involvements related to these subjects are
in the contents.
Interestingly, the final chapter deals with "Who, What, Where,
When and Why," and an exemplary page from this chapter will throw
light on Mr. Gross"approach to his vast subject:

What is a meshumad? A Jew who opted to renounce his faith and
adopt another religion, usually for ulterior material considerations, is
described pejoratively as a meshumad. The campaign to convert Jews
— resisted by the Jewish community — is known as shmad.
Who are the Marranos? Spanish and Portuguese Jews forcibly con-
verted to Christianity who continued to live as Jews in secret, in the
hope that they would one day be able to return fully and openly to the
Jewish community.
What is a mezuman? A quorum of three adult males, required for the
recitation of the grace after meals. Grace may also be recited alone.
What are payot, also known as payos? The long side curls worn by
ultra-Orthodox male Jews, in compliance with the biblical injunction
against rounding the corners of the head.

In his introductory comment on "the kaleidoscopic view
_Judaism" as tackled in his book, Mr. Gross states:
"There is a beautiful Hasidic story of a father who came running to
his rabbi, begging for help with his son.
"Rabbi," the distraught father cried out, "what shall I do? My son
has just told me he does not believe in God! Tell me, what shall I do?
"Love him more than ever," was the rabbi's quick rejoinder.
"I confess to a deep and abiding love for Judaism. It is a way of life
that I believe brings in its wake peace of mind, serenity, even wisdom.
But it is at one and the same time an activist faith—ever striving for a
better life for all people, for universal peace, for justice, for brother-
hood.
"If this book succeeds in illuminating the truth and beauty of
Judaism for even only one reader, the effort in producing it will have
been worthwhile.
"And if it turns some readers, one would hope many, toward a
deeper study of Judaism, it will have been a profound success."
Every aspect of this work justifies the author's approach and his
notable aim. The result is a book of great merit. It is invaluable for
individuals and groups—on a total community basis. It is equally
important for non-Jews as it is for Jews.

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