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September 05, 1980 - Image 7

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1980-09-05

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New Right Threat to American Freedom

(Continued from Page 1)
supporters with an esti-
mated core of 12 million.
One example of their ef-
fectiveness is the struggle to
stop ratification of the
Treaty to Ban Genocide.
This international treaty,
drafted in the offices of the
Union of American Hebrew
Tregations (UAHC) by
h. Aael Lemkin in the late
1940s, attempts to imple-
ment into international law
concrete steps to prevent a
repetition of the Holocaust.
The treaty has been
ratified . by 87 countries but
the U.S. has failed to ratify
it for over 30 years because,
according to Sen. Proxmire,
"every time we try to have
the treaty brought up for a
vote, the mail runs 100-1
against it." The far right
has made this issue a cause
celebre, sending out mil-
lions of pieces of mail asking
readers to oppose the treaty
as an abrogation of Ameri-
can sovereignty.
The second factor is the
political sophistication
with which the New
Right groups use their
large campaign chests.
Each election they raise
millions of dollars and
target that money to de-
feat leading liberal mem-
bers of the House and Se-
nate. This year, among
y have
the candidates the
targeted in the Senate are
Sen. Alan Cranston,
majority whip; Sen.
Frank Church, chairman
of the Senate Foreign Re-
lations Committee;. Sen.
George McGovern,
member of the Foreign
Relations Committee and
the symbol of Senate lib-
erals; Sen. Birch Bayh,
chairman of the Constitu-
tional subcommittee of
the Senate Judiciary
Committee; Sen. John
Culver, one of the
youngest and most re-
spected. liberals; Sen.
Jacob Javits; senior Re-
publican on four commit-
tees including the
Foreign Relations Com-
mittee; and Sen. Robert
Packwood, liberal pro-
Israel Senator from Ore-
According to Inter-
change, an organization
which monitors the activi-
ties of the New Right, this
new right wing is far more
willing to involve itself in
lftedient, .though ideologi-
711111y questionable, al-
liances than was the "old
right." Thus, for example,
Sen. Church, one of Israel's
staunchest supporters,
faces an opposition financed
by an alarming amalgam of
New Right and Arab
If the New Right succeeds
in defeating these and simi-
lar candidates, not only will
the complexion of the Con-
gress and its leadership be
radically altered for years to
come but a message will be
sent to every other U.S.
Congressman and state
legislator: "If you want to be
re-elected, you must play
ball with us. The liberals
are no longer a significant
factor in American politics."

Another problematic al-
liance involves the New
Right and Israel. Several
groups, including Rev. Fal-
well's Moral Majority, be-
lieve that Israel is not only a
strong opponent to Soviet
expansionism, but that the
second coming of the Mes-
siah can only take place
after the re-establishment
of Jewish authority in the
biblical land of Israel.
Recently, a number of
fundamentalist Christian
leaders led by Rev. Fal-
well were warmly re-
ceived by Prime Minister
Begin to whom they ex-
pressed their strong sup-
port for Israel. Some
Jewish leaders argue
that we must not be over-
tly critical of the religious
New Right lest it result in
a cutback of this support.
Others however, dis-
turbed by Rev. Falwell's
domestic political
agenda, criticize this al-
The third factor concerns
the religious overtones of
this movement. The re-
surgence of born-again fun-
damentalist Protestantism
has provided a religious
facade for much of the ac-
tivities of the New Right.
The growth of the electronic
church, using television as
its pulput, trivializes
American religion, while
creating a broad-based
group of millions of Ameri-
cans who are being taught
that to be a good Christian
means to support extreme
right-wing political views.
Several of the more prom-
inent TV churches have es-
tablished active right wing
political arms — in particu-
lar, the Christian Voice and
Rev. Jerry Falwell's Moral
Majority. At a massive rally
of fundamentalist Chris-
tians in Washington on
April 29, the basic message
participants delivered as
they lobbied Senators and
Congressmen was, "We will
pray to Jesus to show you
the light so that America
can be a good Christian
The fourth factor has
been its highly sophisti-
cated use of modern prop-
aganda techniques. Its at-
tacks on liberal politicians
and positions are often
based on midleading or ad
hominem arguments. By
mouthing extreme right
religious slogans or express-
ing support for the particu-

lar concern of a single issue
group, it has been successful
in reaping a rich harvest of
financial and political sup-
port from the unwary who
do not understand the real
position of many of the
fringe groups involved in
the New Right.
As the New Right
marshals strength and
numbers it has resulted
in a draining of efforts
and resources from the
real issues facing the na-
tion. Furthermore, as
Jacob Clayman,
president of the indus-
trial union department,
AFL-CIO, has pointed
out, By besmirching and
dividing legitimate ave-
nues of debate and deci-

sion, (the New Right) in-
hibits our ability to con-
trol our own destiny."
The fifth factor is the
quiescence of American lib-
erals. At a time when the
Vietnam War, Watergate,
and Abscam scandals have
fostered a skepticism about
political leadership; at a
time when inflation and
growing unemployment
have created a sense of de-
speration among people
who then seek panaceas and
scapegoats; at a time when
the Great Society programs
have failed to bring the
messianic age, the liberal
community has thrown its
hands up in frustration and
withdrawn from the great
struggles of our times.

Friday, September 5, 1980 1





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New Day Schools
Bring Total to 473

NEW YORK — Seven
new Hebrew day schools,
including two at the high
school level, will open in
time for the new school
year, it was announced by
Torah Umesorah, National
Society for Hebrew Day
The seven new schools
bring the total number of
Hebrew day schools in the
United States to 473 with
an additional 56 in Canada.
It is expected that enroll-
ment will reach a total of
about 94,000 students, in-
cluding 11,000 Canadians.

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