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December 21, 1979 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1979-12-21

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2 Friday, December 21, 1919


Purely Commentary

Prayers and Identifications .

The Messages of Cheer That Go Forth to the Hostages
in Teheran From People of All Faiths ... the Lessons
of Israel's Role as the Rescuer of the Oppressed

. Helpful Anticipations and Letters of Cheer

President Carter asked the houses of worship of all faiths to pray for the hostages in
Iran. There was a response and its emphasis was in hopeful anticipation that the victims
of an irrational outburst of hatred will not be made pawns in an outburst of hatred.
Now there is another expression of kinship with the hostages — the outpouring of
messages to them, giving them cheer, informing them that the American people are
concerned for their fate and share with them the agonies imposed by demented people.
The calamity that has befallen the sufferers from an insanity that has dragged an
entire ancient people into the gutter was described as having been perpetrated by
students. Some have had the vision to place the word in quotation marks. It is now
becoming apparent that they are not "students." They are a pack of bandits who are now
exposed as the cohorts of the PLO and the vilest elements in the ranks of world terrorism.

Jacobo Timerman's Message
to Freedom-Aspiring People

Jacobo Timerman applied his sufferings in the Argen-
tinian prisons to the highest principles of freedom. He
spoke of the advantages for the liberated from oppression
upon his arrival in Israel where he was immediately wel-
comed into citizenship. He addressed himself as a liberta-
rian Zionist at the Convocation of Solidarity of the United
Jewish Appeal conference in New York. He made his plea
to all lovers of freedom and to the American nation in an
essay in the New York Times, "Girding to Fight for Rights
For Timerman, it was the
satisfaction of his entire
family acquiring a home
and citizenship in Israel.
His wife joined in the battle
for his release, his children
shared in the struggle for
justice. Now they are Is-
raelis and the glory of such
liberation was expressed by
him at the Convocation of
That's when, at the Lin-
coln Center in New York,
addressing many hundreds,
he issued a challenge to
those who may submit to
tyranny. He defined the
Zionist ideal of rejecting homelessness and acclaimed the
freedom that is obtainable for Jews only in Israel, where
the homeless and persecuted are welcomed.
He invited the audience to a Year of Aliya and an
opportunity to welcome them in Israel. It was an echo of
what he had said upon his arrival to Freedom in Israel:
I am proud to be a Jew. Israel is the homeland of
the Jews. It is important for me to show the world
that a Jew who was deported from a certain coun-
try in the world does not have to become a refugee
anymore. Forty-eight hours after I was expelled
from Argentina I have received my Israeli citizen-
ship and I feel at home.
Timerman reflected that he hopes Soviet Jews, his
brothers and sisters would understand this point. We don't
need a land of refuge and we don't have to be refugees in the
countries of the world, in his view.
Timerman found hope in Israel and defeatism in the
world that showed an indifference to his liberation. It is in
"Girding to Fight for Rights GloKilly" that he called for an
ideology to assure the proper approach to a world-wide
adherence to human rights. While he was disillusioned in
the responses he met with, he did not give up hope. This is
part of his ideological acclaim:

Until now, the struggle for human rights has
resulted from the solidarity expressed through
innumerable institutions, individuals and just
one government, the United States'. Today, the
overall threat against rights easily surpasses the
threat that could emerge from just a single state,
as in the cases of Hitler's and Stalin's, or that
could originate from a particular ideology.
Aggression against human rights has become
the recourse of all ideologies, of all tendencies.
Whether in a miniscule rightist country such as
Uruguay or in an immense leftist country such as
China, the simplest formula for arriving at and
staying in power is the unlimited destruction of
human rights.
When aggression against humanity centered on
a symbol — Hitler or Stalin — it was easy to
understand; it was easy to organize against its
apocalyptic message. But today aggression
against humanity is widespread, broken into tiny
particles of infinite variations of aggression. As
we enter the '80s, as we prepare to conclude this
century, which saw the greatest, most beautiful,
most original accomplishments of the spirit as
well as the greatest horrors, it would appear that
the final 20 years will be marked by horror.
Thus, the fighters for human rights should ad-
just themselves to this new situation. What has

By Philip

Tragically, the man elevated to sanctity and voted into a lifetime job as Iran's dictator
kowtows to these bandits, thus granting them immunity from punishment. It is possible
that Khomeini is himself a victim of the terrorist gang, and only time will prove it
National Unity Day proclaimed by President Carter and observed on Tuesday was
one of the occasions on which the American people united to assert their solidarity with
the hostages and their protest against the inhumanities threatened by the barbarians in
this progressive age.
As already stated, the terror in the occupied American embassy in Teheran could
have been dissolved speedily had the so-called civilized nations joined the United States
in rejecting the abductions. They didn't! Each for itself is the international motto. As long
as this exists the world will never be out of trouble.

been a feeling of solidarity should now be trans-
formed into an ideology. What until now has been
an endless sequence of isolated institutions
should solidify into a world-wide movement for
human rights — a private movement without in-
tervention of governments so that it will never feel
the temptations of "reasons of state."
What up to now has been the struggle for the
rights of free speech, of information, of religious
freedom, should convert itself into the struggle
for only one right — the right to life.
Little news pierces the jail cell's darkness. Usu-
ally, it comes as whispers. But the news of this
movement, of its ideology, would arrive.
Even as he remained in his cell, the prisoner of
conscience would find a way to use this news to
survive. This first step would swell us with joy —
even if it were just a first step, because the strug-
gle for human rights will never conclude as long
as men live. Herein lies its beauty, its tragic
This must not fall on deaf ears. It is the message of a
sufferer who has tasted torture and now searches for high-
est human goals, for all. It is from idealists like him that
such messages sound clearest.

The Falasha Issue to the Fore:
Jewish Response Spontaneous

When Prof. Faitlowitch brought news from Ethiopia
about the existence of the Falasha Jews, more than half-a-
century ago, interest in the Jewish sect was spontaneous.
At the time there was no need for aid in their behalf.
When the persecutions began there was some questioning
in the Orthodox ranks about their authenticity. In the
course of time their right to settling in Israel was acknowl-
Meanwhile, charges began to be leveled at Israel that
the government was reluctant to provide refuge for the
black Jews of Ethiopia. Some of the leaders in the move-
ment to rescue the Falashas went so far as to threaten a
boycott of the United Jewish Appeal for alleged responsibil-
ity in the plight of the Falashas.
When the issue came to a head, however, a spontane-
ous Jewish interest was unquestioned. Spokesmen for the
Falashas received acclaim at two national gatherings, the
General Assembly of the Council of Jewish Federations in
Montreal and the Convocation of Solidarity of the United
Jewish Appeal in New York. There was no question in
anyone's mind that the spokesmen for the Falashas, Jews
from Ethiopia who are black, were not ignored. On the
contrary, support for the Falashas is now a major duty for
Jews, in the decisions of the Jewish leadership of the
United States, Canada and the representatives of other
lands who participated in the mentioned sessions.
At the General Assembly of the CJF, Leon Dulzin,
chairman of the World Zionist Organization and of the
Jewish Agency executives, pledged all-out assistance for
the Falashas.
Why the charge of negligence and how was the issue
revived by June Brown in a Detroit News column Sunday?
Because of the failure of leadership to clarify the matter. It
had come to a point that any undue publicity given the
plight of the Falashas would increase the dangers under
which they live. There have been wholesale massacres of
this unfortunate folk for a number of years and it became
necessary not to aggravate the situation. It was dangerous
for anyoue to go to Ethiopia to assist in the emigration of
the remaining 25,000 whose lives were in jeopardy in the
land of chaos.
It is like the situation affecting the Jews in Iran. Moshe
Dayan chose not to discuss it lest it would cause harm for
Iranian Jewry. That's how it was in the matter of the
Falasha Jews. They were in constant danger and the rescue
efforts were affected by the Ethiopian animosity after the
death of Emperor Haile Selassie.
It won't hurt to write to Israel Prime Minister
Menahem Begin on the subject, as June Brown suggests.
But it should be known that the responsibility for the re-
scue of the Falashas by assisting in their emigration to
Israel is now a major plank in world Jewish programming.
It is only to be hoped that the barbarism that dominates
Ethiopia will not interfere with the rescue

A Workshop That Elevates
Glory of Vocational Training

A notable addition to major local services was marked
by a diminution of fanfare when another workshop for the
handicapped was formally opened here last week.
While the event was acclaimed by scores of interested
people, the introduction by the Jewish Vocational Service
of another workshop in the northwest area was like a
routine occurrence. It indicated the continuity of services
begun years ago in the Woodward Ave. structure.
The additional services provided must not be passed up
without recognition of the value of the activities created for
the handicapped who would otherwise be the neglected and
shunned by society.
Jewish Vocational Service objectives are among the
highlights in efforts to assure dignity even for the most
afflicted. The workshops provide labor opportunities for the
handicapped, the mildly retarded, those who otherwise
would be the rejected and often abused. The respect gained
by the untrained who are thus given opportunities for some
creativity adds to the respect of the community that wel-
comes them into productive pursuits, no matter how
limited they may be.
There is no discrimination in these tasks. The religion
of a person, the color of skin, the national backgrounds are
immaterial. The help provided is for all.
The aid given for these tasks by federal subsidies offers
new opportunities for pride in the nation in which the
benefited share citizenship.
The supervisory role of the Jewish community is a
matter to be seriously applauded. The Jewish Vocational
Service is an agency providing great pride for this commu-
nity's constituents.

Good Will Is Unlimited
and Not Nessarily Seasonal

Because it is acknowledged that Hanuka is not
Christmas and Christmas is not Hanuka, what often
emerges as a problem is minimized.
The gift-giving is not a problem. Mutual respect for a
neighbor's and a friend's faith not only justifies but compels
greetings on the ocension of a festival, as much so as on the
occasion of an individual's or a family's occasion for cele-
It is when attempts are made to link religions i nto joi nt
observances that both of the religious sentiments are
abused and negated. Mutual respect does not require aban-
donment of one's adherence with or loyalty to his own faith.
Also: it is when there is commercialization of religious
observance with excessive and obsessive gifts that the ex-
change of presents becomes obnoxious.
It is the good will, the brotherhood of man, that is not
limited to a calendar restriction. In this spirit the Happy
Hanuka extended the Jewish citizen, the Merry Christmas
salutation for the non-Jew, is normal. This is what makes
the greetings applicable, especially for this season.

Ancient Synagogue in Syria

The Torah niche of the Dura-Europos Synagogue'
(See story on Page 64.)

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