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January 11, 1980 - Image 6

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1980-01-11

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

6 Friday, January 11, 1980

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

French Aviator Gruenblat Boosted Tel Aviv Port Before Its Time

(Continued from Page 1) inhabitants were called
and is now Lithuania, the "hahme Zager" on ac-
village of Zager, whose count of their high level
of culture. His father was
one of the first Zionists,
LO
PRICES
against
many of the old-
Cassette
fashioned traditionalists.
Dictating
Claude Gruenblat left his
Transcribing
native town at a young age
Machines
to study in Mitau and Riga
and
finally in what was still
342-7801 .
St. Petersburg to graduate
as a mining engineer, de-
spite all the obstacles which
YOUR DWELLING
were placed in the way of
acquisition apprehen-
Jews. He soon left Russia for
sions will be allayed at
France, where he continued
his studies as an engineer
Amber flatlets with fire-
and a geologist.
places.
For his thesis, in 1911, he
went to Palestine, which he
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studied on horseback and
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walking. He studied the
geology of the Dead Sea,
which was then a forlorn
and desert region where one
met carcases of animals
dead o.. thirst. He em-
phasized the importance of
the phosphates, which were
later exploited by
Novomeisky and are still
one of the resources of Is-
rael. His doctorate was bril-
liantly obtained.
Soon after, he went to
North Africa, where he dis-
covered in Morocco an im-
portant mine of manganese
and some years later an ex-
ceptionally rich copper
mine. But the First World
War broke out in 1914.
Gruenblat volunteered in
the French Army. He was
severely wounded but re-
fused to be discharged. He
was then taken into the ar-
tillery, but he soon volun-
teered for aviation and, as a
pilot, was decorated with
the Legion of Honor and
promoted to lieutenant.
At the time, a French
detachment was being

sent to Syria and Pales-
tine. He was allowed to
join it and finished his
service in Palestine,
where he was known
among Jews as "the
French aviator." He left
the army with many
medals and decorations.
When the war ended he
started the creation of the
port of El Mina-Tripoli in
Lebanon and was later sent
as the first French engineer
to Turkey, where Kemal At-
taturk received him very
favorably in Ankara and
entrusted him with the be-
ginning of the port of Mer-
sina.

Meanwhile, he had man-
aged to help his relatives
out of Russia, where they
had suffered immensely
from the Revolution. He
could obtain for them, ex-
cept for one brother who al-
ready rived in America,
immigration visas for
Palestine, where they set-
tled and where their chil-
dren and grandchildren

live. One of Gruenblat's
nieces married Israel
Rokach, who succeeded Di-
zengoff as mayor of Tel
Aviv.
In spite of his occupations
in Morocco and other places,
Gruenblat went back to
Palestine every year. That
is how he conceived the idea
of improving Tel Aviv. He
conceived a vast "Tel Aviv
Foreshore Reclamation
Project." Land was to be re-
claimed from the sands, a
magnificent seaside avenue
was to be built where beau-
tiful buildings would be
erected, to be used as a
museum, commercial cen-
ters, private houses, which
would have made of the city
one of the splendors of Eretz
Israel.
The project was ap-
proved by the British; it
was wrecked by the
Jewish Municipal Coun-
cil, mainly by a man of
German descent who
owned a hotel which he
feared would not be on
the seafront anymore.

Some of the ideas were
taken up much later by
others, of course without
mentioning Gruenblat's
name, and in a poor and
insufficient manner.
Some men had under-
stood him, among others
the late General Kisch,.
but their help was of no
avail.
Alas! The Second World
War broke out. Claude
Gruenblat was a French re-
serve officer, a captain and
holder of the Legion of
Honor; he had to join the
army. He was discharged
when the French-German
armistice was signed. He
joined the Free French Mis-
sion in New York, where he
rendered great services to
the cause he defended. A
year after the end of the
war, he went back to Perris
and also to Palestine and he
had the immense joy of se-
eing at last the birth of an
independent state.
He passed away in Paris
in 1969.

Egyptians Using U.S. Aircraft

*DE

WASHINGTON (JTA) —
American aircraft are
engaged in "training" exer-
cises with Egyptian airmen
at the West Air Base in
Cairo, the State Depart-
ment said Tuesday. The de-
partment's chief spokes-
man, Hodding Carter, re-
fused to comment as to
whether the U.S. aircraft
were reconnaisance planes.
But he emphasized that
they were there for training
purposes with the Egyptian
air force.
State
Department
sources also said that "pos-
sibly" additional U.S. air-
craft will go to Egypt. The

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sources said they were "not
aware" that the American
planes may have flown over
Sinai or made any use of the
Israeli facilities on the
peninsula. This is the first
time American aircraft
have been engaged in such
exercises.
Egyptian Defense Minsi-
ter Kamal Hassan Ali said
Monday "We have been dis-
cussing the question of
facilities with the United
States." He said the exer-
cises were aimed at training
Americans in the use of
those facilities. Earlier,
President Anwar Sadat of-
fered Egyptian facilities to
the U.S. — but not bases —
to enable the rescue of
American hostages in Tehe-
ran and to protect Arab
countries against aggres-
sion.
Premier Menahem
Begin of Israel said that
he was not troubled over
the reports. He said it was
only natural that the U.S.
should seek such
facilities in Egypt, Israel
and other countries in
view of events in Iran and
Afghanistan.
Defense Minister Ezer
Weizman and his deputy,
Mordechai Zipori, both re-
jected the claim that Israel
was surprised by American
use of bases in Egypt and
argued that this was actu-
ally to Israel's advantage.
Weizman, appearing be-
fore the Knesset's Foreign
Affairs and Security Com-
mittee, recalled that there
were more than 10,00 Rus-
sian experts in Egypt in
1970 and observed that it
was certainly preferable to
have Americans there.
In another Washington
development, the State De-

LAPELS

partment gave a carefully
worded response to Rep.
Pnilip Crane (R-Ill.) who
said it appeared that
"Palestinian radicals" were
involved in the seizure of
the American hostages in
Teheran.
This development came
as reports were received
here from Beirut quoting
Arab leaders as saying that
U.S. efforts to safeguard
Western military and eco-
nomic interests in the Mid-
dle East are doomed-unless
the U.S. presses Israel hard
for an overall Middle East
settlement including "self-
determination" for the
Palestinians.

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