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February 15, 1980 - Image 6

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1980-02-15

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

6 Friday, February 15, 1980

AJCongress Battles Massachusetts School Prayer Law

Ton

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coercion by their peers,
their neighbors and their
government."
The AJCongress-CLUM
suit is being supported by
the Massachusetts Council
o(Churches, Massachusetts
Commission on Christian
Unity, and individual
ministers of the Unitarian,

Baptist, Episcopal and
Methodist churches in the
Boston area.
Massachusetts is one of
nine states to require
either spoken prayer or
silent meditation in pub-
lic schools since the Sup-
reme Court's 1963 land-
mark decision that ritual

JERUSALEM (JTA) —
Premier Menahem Begin
forcefully took issue with
recent policy statements by
U.S. officials at a session
with the American Jewish
SINCE 1959
11\ Committee's board of gov-
ernors here. He used the
Call Now For
term "appeasement" to de-
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scribe the American ap-
proach that a Palestinian
solution would help Ameri-
can strategic deployment in
the entire region.
Israel would not be "the
sacrifice" in a policy of ap-
peasement
towards the
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Arabs, Begin declared. He
by Joanna, Pinecrest
did not refer to Administra-
tion officials by name but he
left no doubt that he was re-
ferring especially to recent

statements by Secretary of
State Cyrus Vance that a
resolution of the Palesti-
nian problem would boost
American influence with
Moslem and Arab states
and ease the strategic posi-
tion against Soviet ad-
vances in the Middle East.
AJCommittee officials
said later they clearly un-
derstood the premier's mes-
sage to them to be a call to
resist this line of U.S. pol-
icy.
Begin said Israel for its
part would "resist voices
which remind us of the
1930s ... of appeasing a
strong combination of
States at the expense of a
little country, perhaps
sealing its fate."
He reasserted Israelis'
rights to live anywhere in
"Eretz Yisrael." "A right
exists in order to be used,
not to remain unused," he
said. The settlements were
"part of our national secu-

rity in the most absolute
sense of the word. How can
we give them up?"

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reproach and insults on ac-
count of their religious be-
liefs.
"Such implementation,"
the complaint adds, "will
also interfere with the free-
dom of the plaintiff school
children and of their par-
ents to select their own reli-
gious observances free of

(Continued from Page 1)
leave the room.
According to the AJCon-
gress complaint, the im-
plementation of the com-
pulsory prayer period "will
cause immediate and ir-
reparable harm to the
plaintiff school children and
others who object to partici-
pation by subjecting them to
the cruel dilemma of either
participating in a prayer
period in a coercive secular
setting which is offensive to
them or seeking excusal
which sets them apart from
their classmates and risks
their becoming the objects
of peer pressures, criticism,

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Meanwhile, the au-
tonomy negotiations re-
sumed at the working group
level in Cairo this week
with the Israeli, U.S. and
Egyptian teams still at-
tempting to place the pow-
ers and responsibilities of
the projected autonomy into
agreed categories.
Next week, the talks will
transfer to the Laromme
Hotel in Tel Aviv, in keep-
tin with the recent resolve
of the autonomy plenum
that the working groups
meet "on an accelerated and
intensified schedule."
The climax of this
stepped-up activity will
come on Feb. 26, in London,
when the top three
negotiators, U.S. envoy Sol
Linowitz, Egyptian Prime
Minister Mustapha Khalil
and Israeli Interior Minis-
ter Yosef Burg will meet.

recitation of prayers and
Bible readings in the
schools violated the "es-
tablishment of religion"
clause of the Constitu-
tion. The other states are
Connecticut, Florida,
Maryland, Mississippi,
Nevada, New Hampshire,
New Jersey and Texas.
Michigan is considering a
similar law. Highland Park
Rep. Ethel Terrell last week
distributed material pub-
lished by the radical Liberty
Lobby to support her bill for
prayer in the schools.
A bill that would forbid
the Federal courts to review
any case related to prayer in
public schools is being
studied by the House
Judiciary Committee. The
bill has already been ap-
proved by the Senate.
Meanwhile, a North
Dakota statute requiring
the posting of "the Ten
Commandments of the
Christian religion" in every
public school classroom has
been ruled unconstitutional
by Federal District Judge
Paul Benson.

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Syria Plan Precipitates

New Terrorist Attacks
on Lebanese Christians

(Continued from Page 1)
tian forces commanded by
Maj. Saad Haddad re-
taliated by shelling the ter-
rorist stronghold at
Nabatiyeh.
Lebanese Prime Minister
Selim al-Hoss telephoned
President Hafez Assad of
Syria and flew to Damascus
on Tuesday — his second
trip there in a week — in a
further effort to persuade
the Syrians to remain in the
Beirut area. The Lebanese
fear that if the Syrian forces
are withdrawn their posi-
tions will be taken over by
Palestinians.
In South Lebanon, Sy-
rian troops are
encamped only three
kilometers from Marja-
joun, the largest Chris-
tian town, with tanks and
artillery. Their presence
apparently has
encouraged the Palesti-
nians to step up their at-
tacks on the Christians..
Israeli Premier Menahem
Begin told a foreign press
luncheon last week that "If
the Christian minority in
Lebanon is attacked, either
in the south or in the north,
Israel will not remain pass-
ive." He did not elaborate.

He reiterated that Israel
was carefully watching the
movements of the Syrian
army in Lebanon.

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