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March 31, 1978 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1978-03-31

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

Friday, March 31, 1918 5

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

EDITORIAL

'Traps for Diplomats Jewish Constituents

f

(Continued from Page 1)
to challenge the challengers of their just rights. And just
rights as so stipulated are the rights of all citizens on all
issues involving American policies, foreign and domestic.
The role of the American Jewish community in the issues
1 involving the American-Israel friendship and the Carter
Administration's position on all matters, expecially those
relating to the negotiations between President Carter and
Israel Prime Minister Menahem Begin, have become so
tense, the repetitively headlined newspaper and magazine
articles about controversies between American Jewry and
the President have assumed such extreme proportions, that
the matter demands frank discussion devoid of panic and
animosity.
The extent of commentators' frequent dubbing ofJewish
declarations on behalf of Israel as the work of a "Jewish
lobby" similarly calls for consideration in an analysis of the
developing situation.
Last week's unproductive visit at the White House of Mr.
Begin, with its resultant rumors and unsavory allusions to
the Israeli leader, simirarly added to the confusions that
were created, to the anger in some quarters and the state of
perplexity and bewilderment in some Jewish ranks.
Is it possible that a trap was set for Menahem Begin as an
inspiration to demands for Israel to oust him as the nation's
leader?
There undoubtedly was considerable anger over it and
especially as a reaction to this statement in the Detroit
Free Press article by James McCartney, the newspaper's
Washington correspondent, who stated:
"The objective was to apply pressure on Israel to change
its negotiating position — not direct pressure from the
United States but pressure from Begin's constituency at
home and his Jewish constituency in the United States."
There is something very shocking in delineating Ameri-
can Jews as Begin's "Jewish constituents." This is repeti-
tive of the outrageous charge of "dual allegiance."
Since McCartney may not be alone as a propagator of this
view it must be treated as part of the current problem
affecting American-Israel-Jewish relationships.
Anthony Lewis, writing on "Americans and Israel," on
the New York Times Op-Ed Page, March 27, in a sense
treats the question in a similar vein when he refers to Rabbi
Alexander Schindler having spoken of Menahem Begin as
the leader not only of Israel but also of American Jewry.
This needs clarifying. Nahum Goldmann held a Jewish
position that entitled him to the role of a world Jewish
leader. David Ben-Gurion was recognized as a world

Jewish leader. This term was applicable to many Jews who
were recognized as leaders of world Jewry, including
American Jewry, even though they may not have been
Americans.
This in no sense denotes that Jews are Israeli con-
stituents when the leadership of Menahem Begin is ac-
cepted in Jewish terms. It can be, as it apparently is, cor-
roded into a questioning ofJewish loyalties, and this must
be rejected and condemned. Jews apeak out for Israel be-
cause three million fellow Jews are constantly endangered
in an environment of enmity. Jews must speak out on
behalf of the community under threat. Jews invite non-
Jews to join them in this struggle. This makes the issue a
human one, not a partisan prejudicious one.
Mr. Begin could conceivably be called upon as witness to
the charge that he asks American Jewry for support. He did
so just as he was returning home to confront the alleged
opposition that favored his removal from office. Why
wouldn't an Israeli Jew ask an American Jew to come to his
aid? Is such a partnership abnormal?
It was inconceivable that an Israeli Cabinet might have
asked_for the resignation of Mr. Begin after an unsuccessful
meeting with the American President. Why would an Is-
raeli government act negatively to a leader who insists
upon his people's security?
True: Ezer Weizman urged the creation of a National
Peace Government. Is this different from the National
Unity Government idea that was the ideology of Mr. Begin
in the critical period preceding the Six-Day War?
The build-up around a rift between Jewry and the U.S.
Administration is unfortunate and regrettable. It has its
roots in the Oct. 2 joint U.S.-USSR declaration issued by
Secretary of State Cyrus Vance which proposed a revival of
authority in the Middle East situation for the Soviet Union.
The statement was unacceptable both to Israel and to
Egypt. It was just about that time that Arab propagandists
inserted full page ads in American newspapers asking for a
Balfour Declaration for the Arabs. The 22 states they pos-
sess are not sufficient: they would deprive little Israel the
right to live in a small area that is the people's historic
heritage. After Secretary Vance had issued that abhorrent
declaration it was reported that an important American
official said: "Now we have given the Arabs a Balfour
Declaration." If this is true, then the charge of anti-
Semitism could be justified and blame for a split between
American Jewry and the Administration would be ascriba-
ble not to Jewish leadership but to American-based an-
tagonism. —P.S.

Holocaust TV Show Study Guide Ready

(Continued from Page 1)

by the Jewish Welfare
Board. Arthur Rotman,
JWB executive vice presi-
dent, noted, "The produc-
tion of this material would
not have been possible
without the close coopera-
tion of the 15 national agen-
cies involved. We hope that
this unique effort will open
the door to new avenues of
inter-agency cooperation in
the future."

Jerold C. Hoffberger,
president, Council ofJewish
Federations, stated, "To
understand the Holocaust is
an imperative not only for
Jews but for all who cherish
human values. The presen-
tation of this dramatic
theme on network televi-
sion will be of lasting impor-
tance to our communities.

"For those younger people
who have no personal rec-
ognition of these historic
events the experience will
be especially meaningful as
they will be asked to con-
front in a personal way a
tragedy which so often has
been looked at only
abstractly. As Jews, we

have a long collective mem-
ory and it is through under-
standing and remembrance
that we can preserve Jewish
continuity for the future."
Yehuda Rosenman, di-
rector of Jewish com-
munal affairs for the
American Jewish Com-
mittee, said, "The NBC
program sensitizes
Americans and people
everywhere to the urgent
need for people's human-
ity to people."

servative Judaism and
JWB.

The kit will be sent to the
local affiliates of each of the
cooperating organizations.
The 15 agencies are:
United Jewish Appeal,
Council of Jewish Federa-
tions, American Jewish
Committee, American
Jewish Congress, American
Association for Jewish Edu-
cation, Union of American
Hebrew Congregations, Un-
ited Synagogue of America,
American Zionist Federa-
tion, American Zionist
Youth Foundation, Zionist
Organization of America,
Jewish Labor Committee,
Workmen's Circle, National
Council of Jewish Women,
Women's League for Con-

Green is the author of the
original story and the
screenplay for the television
drama.
The novel, about 400
pages in length, will be pub-
lished by Bantam as a
paperback original in April
to coincide with the telecast
of "Holocaust," which was
filmed entirely on location
in Europe and is now being
edited. The book includes
material based on Green's
extensive research which he
could not include in the TV
drama.

Meanwhile, 13-ffn tam
Books is planning a
major novel by author
Gerald Green based on
the NBC presentation.
The nine-hour, four-day
special is the story of two
fictional families — one
Nazi, one Jewish — who
become swept up by the
war in Europe against
the Jews from 1935 to
1945.

Green's story covers the
years from 1935, just before
the enactment of the anti-

Semitic Nuremburg laws, to
the liberation of Auschwitz
in 1945.

Holocaust Subject
of Dance Group

Marygrove College's re-
sident dance group, Dance
Detroit, will perform
"Dreams," a work based on
the Holocaust, 8:30 p.m.
April 8 and 3 p.m. April 9 at
Orchestra Hall.
For ticket information,
call Orchestra Hall, 833-
3700.

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