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September 12, 1980 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1980-09-12

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2 Friday, September 12, 1980


Purely Commentary

By Philip

The Devotional Good Wish for Happy Years Rooted
in Quest for Justice and the American Road of
Fair Play That Must Also Assure Israel Security

5741: A Year to Test Mankind's Ability to Face Many Challenges and Tensions

Anticipating a year filled with tensions, with anxieties resulting from the ac-
cumulating problems, the year about to be welcomed may be among the most challenging
of the century.
This is a presidential year, and for Americans of all shades of opinion, all racial
backgrounds, all religious affiliations, there are now the unanswerable questions relat-
ing to another four years of American history amidst the hitherto unsolvable and the
oncoming innumerable problems.
From all quarters come requests for guidance: who to vote for?
Party preferentials will undoubtedly predominate again, and on that basis this
column repeats the admonition of some weeks ago: don't be too hasty in the temptation to
bet against the incumbent.
Advice-givers will no doubt be found at every corner of every city in the land and in
an age of many tensions the voter will be confronted with partisanships and bitterness.
At the same time, the prophet will loom high. That's how it works; that's how it'll be
For the panic-stricken, because there is so much agony in the assertions that the
candidates offer poor choice, there is the resort not to rumor but to an ongoing sentiment
of inner conflicts. The fact is that there is a lesson in historic experience: the next
President will be in the White House for four years. The country survived heads of state of
differing qualities of character and abilities. The country survives the strongest and the

Israel's Yerida Defined in the
Contrasting Explanation of the
Generations by Prof. Scholem

Israel's problems are so staggering that they over-
whelm the imagination. They are enough to cause panic in
ranks unprepared by historic experience to defy dangers.
The external problems, those relating to the conflicts
with the Arabs, the hatreds generated in the United Na-
tions, the difficulties with world powers, not excluding the
United States, often emerge as frightening. The internal
issues are equally oppressive — the political, the social, and
especially the economic.
Due primarily to the latter there is a Yerida. There are,
reportedly, some 400,000 former Israelis who now live in
the United States.
The Yordim are cause for concern. It stands to reason
that the economic agonies have contributed towards creat-
ing Yordim, a defectors' exodus, as much as the obligations
to serve in the army for many years as reservists and the
many other pressing issues related to them.
Prof. Gershom Scholem, a true pioneer who settled in
Palestine in the early 1920s, a noted scholar who is now
among the world's leading authorities on mysticism, was
interviewed for the New York Review of Books by David
Biale. He was asked how he evaluates the development of
the Zionist movement since he first set foot in the Jewish
National Home in 1923. He replied:

The people who came to Palestine between 1923
and 1933 had made up their minds that they
wanted to live among Jews and not in a ghetto.
They wanted to be free men and women and work
for the renaissance of the Jewish people. These
people — and I was one of them — regarded them-
selves as the vanguard of the Jewish people.
In 1933, Hitler came to power and everything

Some advice-offerers will be cautions and will play a safe game. Take as an example
a New Year message by Rabbi Alfred Gottschalk, president of Hebrew Union College-
Jewish Institute of Religion, who admonished:
"Let us choose wisely and well, for the choice we make as individuals in the electoral
process will profoundly affect our own lives, the future of America, of Israel — in whose
fate all Jews are involved — and, indeed, the whole world."
wnow, this is what one would call non-political, non-partisan, inderdenominational,
bi-partisanship! No candidate can lose on this platform!
Yet it does advise that people should study the issues and be acquainted witl -
nation's needs.
Such advice applies to the responsibilities people have to their families, to the
community. Jews have the duty to be aware of the many needs that involve an assurance
that people will be informed and that while protecting the approaches to a good life there
also be an assurance that people will not condone the spread of distortions which lead to
divisiveness among peoples.
Let there be a loyalty to the humanism that makes Americans united for just rights
and affirms the duty of Jews always to stand firm in support of such rights. In such a
program there must develop fairness for Israel and rejection of the bigotries that divide
In the quest for justice there is again rooted the devotional good wish for a Happy
New Year.

changed. Hitler proved that the Zionist analysis of
the Jewish situation was right and the anti-
Zionist analysis was wrong. But the majority of
people who came after 1933 did not have the same
idealistic convictions as those who had come be-
fore and they came because they had no choice.
These were a different type of people; they did not
come to create a new Jewish society, but just to
live in Israel because there was no other place for
them to go.
After 1948 there came a major influx of Jews
from Islamic countries who were also refugees.
They also did not come with the conscious pur-
pose of rebuilding something; very few of them
were even Zionists. This affected the climate of
the country and created the social problems we
are now faced with.
Some of these problems are not solvable in our
generation. The Jewish state, which had to be
created as a result of the historical crises of our
generation, now has to confront social problems
which never existed before in Jewish history. For
example, for the first time there is serious physi-
cal violence between Jews, including cases of
rape. There has also emerged a Jewish under-
world which was virtually unknown in Europe.
We now realize that there are two very different
social groups among the Jewish people, the
European or Ashkenazim and the Jews from Is-
lamic countries. There has emerged a common
stock of European Jews where there used to be
German Jews and Romanian Jews; we all have
the same grandparents and we have all experi-
enced the Holocaust.
But the Jews from the Arab countries have a
very different background and often a different

The Zionist movement actually paid very little
attention to the Oriental Jews. All the great
Zionist leaders were from Eastern Europe and
they imagined that Israel would be a state of
European Jews. The Holocaust changed all that;
all these Jews were massacred. As David Ben-
Gurion said: "Those Jews we hoped for are dead."
So Hitler changed the whole climate of the
country. For me and my generation, this was quite
a disappointment although perhaps we should
not have been disappointed. We never imagined
what it would be like to have a state of over three
million Jews. We thought of perhaps a million
halutzim (pioneers), but instead, we have three
million Jews trying to live in Israel and solve their
social problems there.
These are changing times. The eras of the first Aliyot,
of the periods of the true pioneering, are no more. The
Halutziyut of the creators of the first settlements in the
Jewish National Home in Palestine is a memory and the
Halutzim of old are not the people who go on Aliya today.
Nevertheless, there are comparisons. New settlers
have idealism which must not be denuded.
At the same time, devotion and idealism are mandat-
ory for the sabras, for the natives, for those who have
witnessed the emergence of Israel.
This is where Zionism idealism comes in, the devotion
to fulfillment of an historical prophecy, the libertarian
principle that gives dignity to Jewish living.
There is the boasting that homelessness neared its end
with the rebirth of the state of Israel. One of the great
messages of freedom comes from the ancient homeland
where Jews are re-established as human beings. Is this
ideal to be destroyed? Those who live in Israel, those who
settle there, must re-assert loyalty to the basic ideal of
perpetuating the honor of a nation redeemed. Away with
Yerida! Up with Aliya!

Europe Has Become the Appeasers in the Middle East Dilemma


foreign ministers of the
European Economic Com-
munity (EEC) tried to es-
cape the miserable summer
weather by heading to Ven-
ice for a summit meeting.
Perhaps they blamed the
bad weather on the Jews, as
their predecessors did in the
Middle Ages. In any case,
they adopted a resolution
which, in the final analysis,
is tantamount to uncondi-
tional surrender to the
Palestine Liberation
Organization for Europe
and for Israel.
Immediately after the
declaration was adopted in
Venice the headlines stated:
"Israel est isolee"; "Israel
isoliert"; and "Israel iso-
lated in the world." Reading
the editorials and the
slanted news presented by
almost all the French, Ger-
man and Swiss. newspapers
f,a`d experience. Israel
has become, next to South
Africa, the whipping /-ooy of

the nations.
The editorials that agree
with the Venice 4eclaration
and the demands at the
United Nations in the Gen-
eral Assembly and in the
Security Council that Israel
evacuate all the so-called
occupied territories justify
their position by noting the
absence of a strong Ameri-
can leadership and point to
the weakness and near
paralysis of the Carter Ad-
This, surely, is a flimsy
excuse for the behavior
of the West European na-
tions which did not ear-
lier support the Arabs in
the Mideast conflict. In
the fall of 1973 the EEC
published a declaration
which cited the principle
that territories taken by
force must be returned to
the former inhabitants
and called for Israel's
confintrinont to the 1967
fie EEC did not bother
itself with the Soviet Union

which more than once
seized territories by force,
nor did they refer to the
suppression of minorities
and dissidents in the Soviet
Union. Neither did they, for
example, cite India which
grabbed Portugal's colonies
in the Indian Ocean.
But these same nations
feel no compunction about
labelling Israel an occupier
and the Arabs who have at-
tacked Israel four times are
viewed as the pitiful victims
of "Israeli agression."
It has reached the point
where whatever Israel does
or does not do is held against
memories of the
Crusades in the Middle
Ages, especially after
reading editorials deal-
ing with the proclama-
tion by Israel's Knesset
that united Jerusalem is
that nation'.

The editorials seem set to
organize another Crusade
to free Jerusalem from the

infidels. The outcry, par-
ticularly in the German and
French press, was great.
The Swiss newspapers
which, for years, tried to be
impartial on issues dealing
with the Mideast, are be-
ginning to reflect the influ-
ence of Arab pressure.
Europe has increasingly
been relegated to a satellite
status: first of America and
now of the Arab world. The
thought process this depen-
dency has generated in-
spires the awkward and
spine-numbing posture of
fence-sitting. The effort to
retain their economic well-
being and the frantic at-
tempt to assure ongoing
prosperity has led the Euro-
pean nations to wallow in
greed, selfishness and an ir-
reverent zest for the good
In Europe, the ideal of
justice or even fair play has
- - - -
peen scrapped in favor of an
abject surrender to those
who complain the loudest.
This attitude has led to

some strange behavior
on the part of the Euro-
pean powers in the
Mideast conflict, in Af-
ghanistan and in their
participation in the
Olympic Games in Mos-
cow. The consequences
of this can be highly dis-
The German newspaper,
Die Welt, reported that a
journalist, Dr. Paul Martin,
was indicted by a court in
Cologne for "war monger-
ing." He had discussed in
his column the obvious
situation that some day the
industrial states of Europe
and the United States
might find it necessary to
occupy the oil fields in Arab
countries. The risk in doing
that is so "great" that the
volunteer fire brigade of
Tulsa, Okla. would be suffi-
cient to accomplish the mis-

Qin'!" hn





IL• 16 1111


possible to imagine a more
blatant attempt to curb any
voice that might arouse
Arab displeasure.

Meanwhile, the Arab
propaganda barrage is
going full blast. A presenta-
tion of the Jewish cause is
sorely lacking to counteract
this. The International
Herald Tribune, on its front
page, printed an interview
with PLO chief Yasir Arafat
who tried to minimize the
recent PLO resolution cal-
ling for the annihilation of
Israel. It was, he explained,
only a draft resolu
Even the Swiss newspk., rs
appear to accept this view.
King Hussein of Jor-
dan, who has a great deal
to lose from a PLO-
dominated West Bank,
cries about an "unavoid-
able disaster." But no one
is doing anything about it
as oil is being poured on
the fire.
Tragically, too many
people, including many
American Jews are going
about their business as
usual. Fr„in this ; tde of the
ocean, this inaction and in-
difference is truly alarming.

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