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July 14, 1978 - Image 2

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1978-07-14

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2 Friday, Idly 14, 1978

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Purely Commentary

What Causes a Political Leader to Become a Defender
of Terrorism? ... Unfortunate Negations to A Middle
East Peace and the Weaknesses in Government Circles

By Philip
Slomovitz

Woe Unto the People Whose Spokesmen Are Comforting Terrorism!

Spiritually-inspired people of all faiths ascribe to a universal definition that "The air of
the Holy Land inspires wisdom." If the exception proves the rule, Detroit's Mayor
Coleman Young affirmed it. In his week's visit to Eretz Yisrael, the Holy Land that is now
again the prophetically fulfilled state of Israel, he did not breathe the air of Israel. As one
of the guests on an historic trip with Vice President Walter Mondale he imbibed a
message of terrorism from the camps of the terrorists.
He had honestly explained, prior to his trip as the guest of the United States govern-
ment, that he had declined previous invitations to visit Israel because there are so many
Arabs in the Greater Detroit area. What wisdom is implanted in this curious political
caution! Hundreds of thousands of Arabs, from nearly all the lands that are virtually at
war with Israel, visit relatives and friends and view the progress of Israel every summer,
without restrictions from Israel. Of the million tourists who visited Israel in the past
year, approximately 55 percent were non-Jews mostly Christians from European coun-
tries as well as the United States. But the Detroit mayor shunned such an opportunity.
He had an opportunity to breathe the air of Israel, to witness the immensity of a state
whose progress in 30 years of existence is unmatched in creativity; whose spirit of
pioneering matches that of the frontiersmen of America; whose dedication to the democ-
ratic principles are surely comparable to Detroit's and to the basic ideals of Americs n i sm.
Instead, he steeped himself in the literature of violence and gave comfort to the terrorists
who, at the very hours of his stay in Jerusalem, were engaged in a fratricidal war not too
many miles from him in embattled Beirut where Moslems were threatening the lives of
Christians. These very enemies of the Lebanese Christian community are the authors of
the ideals of horror that have received the approval of the mayor of a great American city!
Perhaps Mayor Young does not know the background of the inhumanities to which he
has given credence on his return from Israel. Let him look at this record:

In a deadly decade of violence, Arab terrorism has been responsible for
the deaths of 1,131 people — an average of one person every three days —
the wounding or maiming of 2,471 and the detention of 2,755 as hostages.
The trail of death, bloodshed and mayhem left by the Palestine Liberation
Organization and its Arab cohorts is charted in an Anti-Defamation League



study revealing 865 terrorist actions between Sept. 1, 1967, and Dec. 31,
1977, in countries spanning six continents. The grim statistics average out
to:
• Seven terrorist incidents per month, or about one every four days;
• More than nine people killed per month, or about one victim every three
days;
• 20 people injured, wounded or maimed per month, or about two every
three days;
• 22 seized as hostages each month, or about two every three days.
In addition to locations inside Israel, cities in which terrorist attacks have
occurred include: Amsterdam, Athens and Asuncion; Bangkok, Berlin,
Bombay, Bonn, Brussels and Buenos Aires; Canberra, Copenhagen and
Chevy Chase; Geneva, Karachi, London 'and Lisbon; Madrid, Mallorca,
Mogadishu, Montreal, Moscow, and the Olympic Village at Munich;
Nairobi, New Delhi, New York and Nicosia; Ottawa, Paris, Rome and Rio de
Janeiro; Santiago, Singapore, Sydney, Teheran and Vienna. Arab cities
include: Amman, Beirut, Cairo, Damascus, Dharan, Khartoum, Kuwait
City, Rabat and Sharja.

A mayor usually speaks for the community he governs. How will his constituents judge
him? If he approves violence, if he endorses, as he did, terrorism by PLO againstisraelis,
isn't it reasonable to assume that in his heart he also OKs violence in his own community,
as long as it is in behalf of a prejudice he is fed on, as the PLO literature has nourished
him?
Woe unto a community whose chieftain sees only one side of the coin in judging human
values, who feeds on terrorist propaganda and approves terrorism, who fails to embrace
compassion in human relations, as one must in judging the Arab-Israel issue. That issue
demands that the two kindred peoples get together for peace and work in harmony for
decency and justice for all! One who approves terrorism abroad faces the danger of being
threatened by it at home. That's how his constituents should judge Mayor Coleman
Young!

Vacillating Political Motivations in Middle East

First impressions of the newest Egyptian proposals to Israel eli-
cited bitter reactions. Anwar Sadat had broken off negotiations that
had been in progress in Jerusalem abruptly when he recalled his
representatives who were in the process of reaching agreements
with Israeli negotiators. Now, apparently at the urging of the Un-
ited States, Sadat conceded to renewed meetings to discuss peace.
But he immediately ruled out any possibility for an accord on his
terms when he asked for a total Israeli surrender and a return to
pre-1967 conditions when Israel was in constant danger of being
annihilated from priximity to enemy guns.
There will be a meeting of foreign ministers in London, but a
meeting of minds is not yet in the cards. The Sadat demand of
complete abandonment by Israel of areas which spell her security is
so inconceivable that the extremism of the Sadat plan emerged as
another surprise for realists concerned with achieving an agree-
ment on good neighborliness for Arabs and Jews. Prior to their
meeting in Vienna, Shimon Peres called the new Sadat proposal
unacceptable.
Sadat's talkativeness is in itself a notable achievement in an area
of the world where Jews could not get a gesture out of an Arab. He
went to Jerusalem and since then has talked to Israeli leaders. He
has just met with the leader of the opposition to Menahem Begin,
Shimon Peres, in another of the gestures that offers a measure of
encouragement for possible easing of tensions. The Sadat-Peres

Max M. Fisher's 70th Birthday:
Dynamism of a Dignified Leader

Max M. Fisher is the acknowledged leader in the major
spheres of world Jewry. Therefore, his 70th birthday, which
he will reach on July 20, becomes an event for celebration
by the scores of communities throughout the world who
look to him for guidance and inspiration.
He provides both. He has dedicated himself to service for
world Jewry and he is as tireless in his tasks as he was two
decades ago when he emerged into a career of service in all
aspects of Jewish life. His devotion has inspired the scores
of his co-workers in their aims in support of the highest
ideals in Jewish life and in defense of Israel's sovereignty as
a democratic state.
It is the dignity of the
man and the unselfishness
of his motivations that have
earned him the respect of
the people he represents in
the high spheres of public
life.
Whether in the White
House, where he was a
friend and confidant of two
Presidents, or in a role as
envoy of his people in the
creative tasks of assuring
homes for the homeless and
cultural opportunities in
the elevation of the highest
standards of _life for Jews
MAX FISHER
wherever they may be, he
has carried the burdens of
leadership with great dignity.
Not only the Jews of America, but the Jewries of all
democratic countries, have made him their leader in the
efforts that have called for courage and dedication in sup-
port of the state of Israel.

meeting is called a euphemism without merit or value except for the
readiness to talk. This is in itself valuable, although it is under-
standable that in time of crisis for the country there is no such thing
as an opposition. For Israel's security there is no divisiveness and
those who continue to treat Menahem Begin as a scapegoat, blaming
him for all ills, fail to understand that on the question of Israel's
right to exist and to defend herself there are no divisions in Israeli
ranks. There isn't an element in Israel today so vulnerable as to
accept the Sadat proposals lying down. It is only in the White House
where Sadatism is called moderation and that's where the trouble
brews.

The jugglers with public sentiments regarding the reactions of
Diaspora Jews may also have much to learn from the reactions of
Jewish communities. Of course there are those who, like the
Washingtonians, would have Israel give up, and keep giving up,
without inquiring whether those who are asking for total submis-
sion (in the Sadat plan) are offering anything in return. But the vast
majority of Jews who have confidence in the Begin sincerity and his
leadership in adhering to defensible motivations will support him
sentimentally.

There are vacillations on the international front, but they are not
excusable in Jewish ranks. That's where Israel's strength may be
retained.

Thus, he is the chief spokesman for the Jewish Agency for
Israel, the major activist body of world Jewry.
Few men have earned the respect accorded him for labors
for which he has been recognized by world leaders and by
his people.
Few men have been as respectfully acclaimed for con-
tributions to social services for people of all faiths.
Therefore, the greetings on his 70th birthday will be
global.

When Affluence Dulls
Judgments in Observances

A number of years ago a prominent wealthy Detroit Jew
put on a big show to sensationalize his daughter's wedding
with lavishness he displayed on a radio program. It was a
nauseating experience for all who are accustomed to dig-
nity in Jewish family and religious observances.
Some weeks ago there was national publicity for an
affluent display of lavishness by a father who gave a big
party at the Florida Orange Bowl to mark his son's Bar
Mitzva. The incident was so shocking that resentment was
kept at a low ebb. But the Jewish Post and Opinion did
carry a piece by Rabbi Maurice Davis, who expressed his
views under the heading "Why the Bar Mitzva Party Was
Obscene" in which he stated:

Not everyone's Bar Mitzva makes the New York
Times. Harvey Cohen's did. Of course, the . Miami
boy had a little help in gaining notoriety. His Bar
Mitzva reception took place in the Orange Bowl
complete with a 64-piece band, cheerleaders,
pompon girls (wearing H for Harvey,) bartenders
dressed as referees, and waitresses dressed as
cheerleaders.
Harvey, dressed in a cream-colored tuxedo, an-
nounced at an impromptu press conference on
the 50-yard line, "It was bigger than anything I
ever expected!"
The 200 guests, the 820,000 tab, the golf carts to

When Menahem Begin and
Anwar Sadat clasped hands in
friendship and introduced hopes
for an end to warfare.

bring the people onto the "playing" field, the six-
course dinner; all of these are no worse than other
Bar Mitzva parties in less grandiose style.
Why then was I so revolted at the account of it?
Why did I somehow feel that there was something
obscene going on?
There was no mockery of Bar Mitzva. That
ceremony took place in the synagogue. Whit
happened afterward was a party, and who deter-
mines what is proper or not proper for a party?
Does the party have more than a peripheral
relationship to the religious ceremony from
which it derives its name?
I think it does. And that, I suggest, is the crux of
the matter. A birthday party held precisely as the
Bar Mitzva party of Harvey Cohen would not
have attracted newspaper and television cover-
age. It would have been just another lavish dis-
play of wealth without wisdom, and simply not
newsworthy.
But when you call it a Bar Mitzva paity, you
bring in the heritage of Judaism, the meaning of
that special moment, the memory of centuries,
and suddenly it is something more than witless.
And that is where the obscenity occurs.
In short our people, like any other people, have
a right to be crude or gauche or insensitive. Of
course, they have. And I defend their right to be
tasteless.
But when they attach it to a religious event, that
—I suppose —is where I feel the advent of napsea.
I realize there are no boundary lines to decency
— or to indecency, for that matter! Ijust wish that
somehow people even in the midst of nonsense
would respect the meaning and the purpose of a
faith that continues in spite of them.
Let's share these views as a lesson for all who wish to

emphasize dignity in Jewish observances.

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