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August 31, 1979 - Image 2

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1979-08-31

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

2 Friday, August 31, 1919

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Purely Commentary

Historic Truths Will Not Be Negated or Desecrated
by Bigots ... Sensation-Seeking Writers Render Great
Injustice by Polluting Facts Thereby Spreading Venom

By Philip
qiomovitz

History Will Not Be Polluted With Falsifications

When the story of the 20th Century will
slavery is still practiced and blacks
be written by objective historians, two
are regarded as inferior beings.
events will stand out among the most
There is no connection between
human and the most glorious for mankind:
American blacks and the oil bil-
One will be the rebirth of Israel and the
lionaires of the Middle East. Nor is
redemption of Ziori. It was treated as such
there a connection between the
when Israel was re-established as a sover-
terrorist PLO and the American
eign state. The second theme is the peace - civil rights movement founded on
accord reached by Israel with Egypt.
the non-violent principles of Dr.
Yet, out of the vilifications that made the
Martin Luther King, Jr.
past few days so tense for Americans of
The PLO was created 15 years
good will, both these occurrences were pol-
ago not to liberate the West Bank —
luted. They were misinterpreted and were
which was then occupied by Jor-
dragged through gutter-like observations.
dan, not Israel — but for the sole
Suddenly, a racial issue was created and
purpose of destroying Israel. That
there were few in the ranks of the makers
is still its purpose. Terror is still its
of the controversy who seemed inclined to
tactic. Among the PLO's
rise above prejudice.
thousands of innocent victims
From American Jewish spokesmen —
have been American diplomats,
Detroit's were exemplary — come calls for
Olympic athletes, international
cool, calmness, understanding." From
airline travelers, children at school
those who chose to be adversaries there
and Palestinian Arabs wishing to
were few words to match it. Therefore, a
live in peace with Israel.
platform must be given the chairman of the
The Jewish community did not
Conference of Presidents of Major Ameri-
ask for Ambassador Young's res-
can Jewish Organizations to summarize
ignation. Our differences are with
and define the shocking occurrences of the
the State Department and its Mid-
last two weeks.
dle East policy. That policy has
Theodore Mann, the spokesman for the
been to find a way to bring about
major American Jewish organizations, in
PLO recognition of Israel's right to
his memo, declared:
exist and of UN'Resolution 242 so
"American Jews were and remain the
that the Palestinians will feel free
greatest allies in the struggle far racial
to engage in peace negotiations.
justice for which Martin Luther King gave
Thus far, the Palestinians have de-
his life. American Jews will continue their
clined all invitations to take part in
efforts to strengthen the cause of human
the peace negotiations. There is
rights in our country. This means continu-
only one reason for this refusal: the
ing the struggle for full employment, de-
PLO threatens to gun them down if
cent housing, national health insurance
they do.
and all over human needs that must be met
The PLO itself cannot produce
if there is to be true racial equality in our
anything worthwhile for the Pales-
country."
tinian Arabs. If, by some miracle,
Mr. Mann's definitive statement on the
the PLO relinquished its designs
issue that has arisen is contained in this
on Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem
dignified declaration:
and accepted the legitimacy of a
American Jews are troubled by
Jewish state in the Middle East, it
the tensions arising out of Andrew
would still absolutely insist on a
Young's resignation as ambas-
PLO state on the West Bank. If by
sador to the UN. We are particu-
some greater miracle, the PLO was
larly concerned that black civil
willing to accept not statehood but
rights leaders committed to the
autonomy, it would still insist on a
cause of racial justice should ap-
PLO presence in the West Bank.
pear to be expressing sympathy
Israel quite rightly regards even
with the band of murderers known
such
a presence as a form of na-
as the PLO.
tional suicide.
The PLO's chief supporters are
Considering what the PLO has
the oil-rich sheikdoms of the Arab
done to Arabs — not only its ter-
world like Saudi Arabia where
rorist acts and assassinations of

"

No Sanction to Blackmail:

Such a heartening encouragement was expressed in a
Chicago Tribune editorial (Aug. 15). The very title of th e
editorial, "Can We Be Bought With Oil," suggests its corn
plete quotation. Here it is:

Mr. Arafat is irked by the United States' threat
to veto a Kuwaiti resolution to be considered on
Aug. 23 by the United Nations Security Council.
The Kuwaitis propose that UN resolution 242 of
1967, which declares Israel's right to exist, be ex-

Let it be reiterated, as the heads of 11 of
the major national Jewish organizations
stated, that there will be no buckling under
attacks on the Jewish people that are based
on falsehoods. Tragically for America,
there have been entirely too many fabrica-
tions, an avalanche of untruths that could
confuse the public.
The venom that has enveloped the
shocking events caused some to resort to
the charge that Israel's intelligence bug-
ged Andrew Young's meeting with the
PLO spokesman. It was denied by Israel
and disputed by U.S. Attorney General
Benjamin Civiletti who stated: "Based on
the knowledge I have received, I have no
reason to believe the meeting was tapped,
bugged or surveyed."
Yet the poison that permeated some of
the columns on the subject were reeking
with poison and were given notoriety in
American newspapers.
In this respect the Nick Thimmesch col-
umns on Israel are not to the credit of re-
spectable newspapers. Carl T. Rowan also
should have known better than to ap-
proach the issue with what could be sensed
as bias.

* * *

The Detroit Free Press, often subjected
to criticism for its editorial policies on the
Middle East, provided a good lesson in
judging untruth or misrepresentation in
letters from correspondents.
A letter that was printed under the head-
ing "Diggs, Victim of Bias," needed correct-
ing. An editorial note called attention to
facts that were overlooked by the writer of
the letter. Nevertheless scores, hundreds
of letters appear that are filled with un-
truths. This applies also to many colum-
nists. If editors were to check for facts and
truths there would be less bigotry in the
world. There would be less hate among the

races and the peoples who deal with the
Jews in the Middle East.
* * *
Many other factors relate to the confu-
sions that have been permitted to disrupt
unity, understanding and cooperation
among Americans. Vanessa Redgrave has
a role in it.
The able actress, who has appeared with
gun-toting PLO terrorists in *demonstra-
tions advocating Israel's destruction, e,
'fended her desire to portray the life of
survivor from the Auschwitz ovens. The
survivor objects to such an enemy of Israel,
and, therefore, the Jewish people, char-
acterizing her in a movie sponsored by the
UN. The survivor called Vanessa an anti-
Semite. The actress denied being anti-
Semitic and launched an attack on
Zionism, assuming the sanctimonious role
of asserting that Judaism is not Zionism. It
is on this score that the obligation properly
to present the Zionist ideology rests upon
liberal and fair-minded Christians as well
as Jews.
Judaism is Zionism, and Zionism is
Judaism. They are inseparable. The
Zionist idea stems from the Prophets. It is
the hope of the Jew for redemption and was
the sustaining -aspiration during the cen-
turies of persecutions.
Major among the libertarian movements
in civilized society, the Zionist ideal had
the support, the encouragement, the
endorsement of the noblest in Christianity,
the freedom-aspiring in Jewry. It is a
movement based on creativity, on redeem-
ing the neglected soil of the Holy Land on
the advancement of the highest spiritual
and cultural aims for humanity.
It was during the period of British per-
fidy that Jews had to resort to the gun to
protect the homeland, only when Arabs at-
tacked Jewish settlements that were es-
tablished with the sweat and blood of
home-builders that there were military
aspects in Zionism. Only during statehood
in defense of the security of the homeland
was there resort to arms.
The Zionist ideal remains imbedded in
Judaism and cannot be erased from it.
When the hatreds of those seeking Israel's
destruction assumes to give a wrong con-
notation to Zionism, there is a duty to de-
fend that idea. Israel's friends surely will
not be hesitant to rise to the occasion,
whether it is from the PLO-Redgrave camp
or their cohorts elsewhere.

American Obligation Never to Permit Domination Over Our Freedoms

So distorted are many of the aspects relating to t he
Middle East, so delicate is the issue involving threatene
energy crises, that there is a challenge to all fair-minde d.
Americans to strive for the truth. Fears and prejudic es
have affected the interpretations of conditions that a re
vital to evaluations of American policies relating to th e
need for vast oil supplies and the frequent demands th at
Israel be the target. Since Israel is the scapegoat, whe n
there is a rational and positive word on the subject it mu st
be welcomed and commended.

Yasir Arafat, chairman of the Palestine Libera-
tion Organization, seems to think he can use oil as
a means of frightening the United States into sup-
porting the Palestinians' demand for separate
and independent statehood. In an interview the
other day with Murray Gart and Walter Taylor of
the Washington Star, he noted that Arabs control
"80 percent of the world's oil." Asked if this oil
were committed to the Palestinian cause, he re-
plied, "Definitely." •
"Any complication for the Palestinian cause,"
he said, "means a complication in the Middle East
crisis."

Palestinian moderates, but its at-
tempts to destroy Jordan in 1970-
1971 and its actual destruction of
Lebanon more recently — can
anyone imagine what would be in
store for Israel? That is why Israel
refuses to negotiate with the PLO.
And that is why we believe black
Americans and their leaders- will
reject any attempt to create a con-
stituency for the PLO in the black
community.

panded to endorse the Palestinians' right to
statehood.

The United States has said it would veto any
resolution acknowledging this right and would
refuse to deal with the, PLO until it openly ac-
knowledged Israel's right to exist — which it has
so far refused to do.
But given the UN's past attitude and the present
makeup of its Security Council (one member is
Nigeria, which has already used oil as a weapon to
soften British support for the new government in
Rhodesia), a United States veto may be the only
thing that would stop the Kuwaiti resolution.
Whatever the merits of this resolution and of
statehood for the Palestinians, Mr. Arafat's ap-
parent assumption that we can be influenced by
threatening us with oil — or the lack of it — is
insulting. It is insulting especially to those of us
who have been warning for years that Israel
should not expect our automatic support on every
issue, and have been calling for an even-handed
policy based on how best to bring peace and sta-
bility to the whole Middle East. And the good rea-
sons for seeking a fair and just settlement in the
Middle East now to be tainted by the suspicion
that we are yielding to blackmail?
If there is any message to be derived from Mr.
Arafat's loose talk, it is that if is more important
than ever to free ourselves from undue depen-
dence on foreign oil. We resent the implication
that we can be bought by the oil sheikhs; but we'd
be better off if we weren't so vulnerable to being
bought.

Much, too much, is at stake for the menacing threats to
Israel to be ignored.

An escalating danger was defined in a New Republic
editorial, "Saudi Blackmail."

The implications of reorienting U.S. foreign pol-
icy at the behest of a foreign power, lest we be
denied a vital resource, ought to be fairly obvious
(The New York Times put it succinctly in its edito-
rial "The Issue Is Blackmail"). Summer gas lines
are unpleasant. But surrendering to foreign de-
mands in exchange for eliminating these line ,
will, over the long run, prove incomparably more ,
unpleasant. The United States is capitulating at
the moment of perceived maximum weakness.
Legitimating external coercion is not a onetime
proposition.

Agreeing to pursue a given policy because an-
other country wants us to, and is able to threaten
us, announces that we are vulnerable to
blackmail. Once the U.S. government begins re-
sponding to foreign economic blackmail, there
will be no turning back. The course we are em-
barked upon holds out the promise of infinite re-
gress.

Blackmail keeps menacing the American role and
cannot be ignored. The American social and political scenes
are affected by what has emerged in this new menace
operating as blackmail. It is well that the White House and
State Department are alerted. Let this be an effort in the
interest of protecting this nation from the poisons infiltrat-
ina this land

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