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February 29, 1980 - Image 6

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1980-02-29

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

6 Friday, February 29, 1980

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

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Jakobovits Urges Diaspora View
on Israel Policy, Critical or Not

LONDON (JTA) — Chief
Rabbi Immanuel Jakohovits
declared that it is his "belief
that Jew', in the Diaspora,
while not wishing or
entitled to participate in Is-
rael's decision-making
process, should contribute
to it by freely expressing
their views, even in public
and even if they are some-
times critical."
The British Chief Rabbi
affirmed that position in a
statement released last
week, responding to wide-
spread criticism here and
abroad of his recent re-
marks in which he took
issue with the present Is-
raeli government's ap-
proach to peace and a solu-
tion of the Palestinian prob-
lem.
Jakobovits, an Orthodox
rabbi, also sharply assailed
the use of religious beliefs to
justify certain policies. "I
regard it as hypocrisy to use
the slogan 'the Bible is our
mandate' to demand rights
from others and not to im-
pose duties on ourselves
equally mandated by the
Bible," he said.
"I cannot see the jus-
tification for relying on
divine province for the
security of Israel, unless
we are prepared — by
moral rectitude and
spiritual excellence — to
fulfill our part of the
covenant whereby the
land was promised to us
unconditionally.
"Whether I live in

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Jerusalem or London, I
cannot help being alarmed
at the prospect of Jewish
religious fundamentalism
being seen (rightly or
wrongly) as a i impediment
to peace, with incalculable
damage to Judaism itself,
especially in a world now
threatened with reversal to
the Middle Ages by reli-
gious fanaticism elsewhere.
Hence, I want Jewish reli-
gious voices of moderation
to be heard .. ."
Rabbi Jakobovits went on
to clarify and amplify those
remarks he made to a group
of Anglo-Jewish and Israeli
journalists at his home a
week ago which drew the
most fire from critics here,
in Israel, the U.S. and the
British Commonwealth.
These were his willing-
ness to see the establish-
ment of a Palestinian state,
even with its capital in East
Jerusalem, if the Palesti-
nians proved over a sub-
stantial period that they
could live peacefully with
Israel; and his assertion
that, "If I knew we could
never attain peace with the
Arab world, I would say
'liquidate Israel now.' "
In his statement last
week, Jakobovits de-
clared "Far from con-
templating a Palestinian
state now, or from ex-
pressing any views on the
present autonomy talks,
or even the settlement
policies, I argued that all
options should be left
open after a 10-year
period of completely
normal relations with the
Arabs to provide Israel
with a breathing space,
while gradually creating
a new psychological cli-
mate of understanding
between neighbors and
greater sympathy from
the world community.
"Far from advocating any
immediate territorial con-
cessions as the Peace Now
movement does, I would not
surrender anything until
convincing evidence of real
peace has been demon-
strated," Jakobovits said.
"And far from con-
templating Israel's liquida-
tion (perish the thought), I
asserted my absolute faith
in the state by spelling out
the alternatives, designed
to nourish the hope of an
eventual settlement."
Among the critics of
Rabbi Jakobovits'
statement were South-
Africa's Chief Rabbi,
Bernard Casper, and the
Rabbinical Council of
America and the Reli-
gious Zionists of
America.
Rabbi
Bernard
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criticized the remarks as
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