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October 17, 1980 - Image 2

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1980-10-17

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2 October 17, 1980

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Purely Commentary

The Citizen Voter, .the King for a Day on Nov. 4.
and the Multiple Issues That Will Be His Duty to
Judge for the Selection of the Next President

By Philip
Slomovitz

Casting the Die in the Hotly-Disputed Political Struggle for the Presidency

In a matter of two weeks and five days, the die will have been cast, judgment will be
pronounced, the millions of American constituents will know the name of the family that
will either continue to occupy the White House in the prestigious portion of Pennsylvania
Avenue in Washington, D.C., or whether it will be one with another name that will do the
displacing.
In the process of deciding who - is to be the occupant, the humble individual, the
Citizen. is Ruler for a Day once in Four Years, will collectively, do the deciding.
This humble fellow must do a lot of testing, much judging, before making an
irrevocable decision.
What the Citizen does will be final. Yet there may enter into the Final Judgment a
possibility of a lack of a majority vote, the planting of the final act in the hands of a new
House of Representatives.
Many factors enter into the drama now being enacted. The Electoral College will do
the final choosing. In normal fashion, if Nov. 4 will register a majority for one of the
candidates, the ,die will have been cast. If there is no majority vote in the Electoral
College voting session towards the end of December, there may be some bargaining,
because the Elector in the Electoral College is a free agent.
Meanwhile, the voter has the awesome duty of deciding on a preference, and this is
the tough year marked by prejudices, doubts, suspicions, uncertainties, agonizing pres-
sures.
For some weeks, prior to the election, the Jew was an object of interest and concern
and the Jewish Vote was touted as an issue. In spite of the fact that the three leading
candidates for the high office of President declared themselves in support of a secure
Israel, in defense of the Jewish Democracy in the Middle East, skepticism continues to
predominate. Therefore, the resort to the chance of historic experience that whoever is
preferred will have the courage never to yield to anything approaching the terrorism that
threatens Israel.
Now there is talk about Ethnic Catholics as a major factor in the campaign for votes,
because there are so many in this category among. Poles and especially among Poles and
Irish. Thus there is a brief respite in the quest for the Jewish vote.
Jews have also been listed as an ethnic group. How does that square with the new
method of political campaigning? Interest now, therefore, attaches to the ethnic term,
which is thus defined in the Webster New Collegiate Dictionary:
eth'nic (eth'nik), adj. Also eth'ni-cal (-ni-kal). L. ethnicus, fr. Gr. ethnikos, fr.
ethnos nation, (eccles.) to ethne the nations, heathens, gentiles.) 1. Neither
Jewish nor Christian; pagan. 2. Of, pertaining to, or designating races or
groups of races discriminated on the basis of common traits, customs, etc.;
ethnological; as, the ethnic divisions of mankind. — eth'ni-cal-ly, adv.
So, now it is the Pagan who may have the deciding vote in the election! This is
additionally challenging in view of the characterization of the Evangelical entrance into
the political sphere, something that has been described as "threatening" to American
freedom. Therefore, it is time now to deal with the Fundamentalists and the Evangeli-
cals.
* *

The Evangelical role in the political contest and Ronald Reagan's association with
the new religious politicians has become a matter for concern in so many ranks that the
Jewish approach is a matter of special interest. Thus, the editor of Seven Arts Feature
Syndicate, a Jewish news and feature service supplementary to the Jewish Telegraphic
Agency, expresses his views on "Evangelicals and Jews" as follows:
Many Jews are perplexed over how to consider Evangelical Christians,

The Crime of Anti-Zionism;
Woman Leader Expresses Horror

An official news bulletin of the French embassy in
Washington this week carried this item among those ex-
pressing horror over the occurrences in France:
Simone Veil, the
president of the
European Par-
liamentary Assem-
bly, expressed her
horror at the attack
on the Rue Copernic
synagogue in a radio
debate on Tuesday
evening, but rejected
any equation of
anti-Semitism with
anti-Zionism.
"Racist hostility
toward a community
has nothing to do
with a political atti-
tude toward a coun-
SIMONE VEIL
try such as Israel,"
said Mrs. Veil. "Misguided attempts to equate
anti-Semitism with anti-Zionism may come from
either Jewish groups or leftist extremist elements,
which are deeply anti-Semitic."
Mrs. Veil, who was deported to Auschwitz dur-
ing World War II, expressed her concern over not
only the resurgence of anti-Semitism in France
but also the tolerance of terrorism in Europe.
This is a quick answer to those who give credence to
anti-Semitism by equating Zionism with racism. The
tragedy is that some Jews are as guilty of this offense as the
anti-Semites.
Anti-Zionism has become a tool for the Arab and Soviet
blocs and for the outrageous manner in which a peaceful
movement for the fulfillment of Prophecy, the redemption
of Israel, is being besmirched.
This is indeed a time for those who would not permit
misinterpretation of one of the greatest of the world's liber-
tarian movements again to wear the identification "I Am a
Zionist."

particularly those who are now so vocal on right-wing-issues. Their call for
a "Christian America" threatens the Constitutional guarantee of separa-
tion of church and state — a necessity for a pluralistic democratic society
which has permitted the American Jewish community to flourish. Yet their
position on "moral" issues such as abortion, homosexuality and the Equal
Rights Amendment, while opposed by the majority of the Jewish commu-
nity, are not so different from that espoused by Orthodox Jews.
At the same time, the Evangelicals are the very Christians who support
the drive to convert Jews to Christianity. Orthodox Jews and Jews living in
small towns are the ones most upset by these activities.
But we have another anomaly. Evangelical Christians are among the
most ardent supporters of Israel, partly for religious reasons since it is an
element of their doctrine that Jews must be in control of Israel before there
can be the Second Coming. The Rev. Jerry Falwell, head of the Moral
Majority, supports Israel, including its settlement policies on the Wer"
Bank.
This support was dramatically shown recently when Evangelical
Christians from 20 countries dedicated a "Christian Embassy" in
Jerusalem. It was established as a reply to the withdrawal of the 13 embas-
sies from Jerusalem in the wake of the Jerusalem law.
Perhaps the response to Evangelicals by Jews should be to act towards
them as they act towards us: join with them when there are grounds for
agreement and oppose them vigorously on the issues where we differ.
Perhaps this is begging the issue. But it does offer relief—that the Evangelicals are
not antagonists. Apparently Reagan himself is not cowed and refrains from offering them
control of a Cabinet he would choose if elected.
Nevertheless, the entrance of clerics, including Jews, into politics remains a debata-
ble subject. It may be unreasonable — doesn't a rabbi or a priest have a right of reference
for candidates and an opinion on issues? In the long run the cleric will probably insist on
having such privileges and will win his point.
Whatever may be said about Ronald Reagan's involvement with the Evangelicals,
and there are attempts to use it to his detriment, 'the Republican candidate must be
credited with realism when he asserts insistently that if there are qualified candidates
for official posts in an administration he may head he will consider them for appointment.
This is understandable. This does not make him an Evangelical Fundamentalist, al-
though his preaching of Bible reading in the schools is a matter of concern. But it appliis
also to the other two candidates.

* * *

To choose well, a citizen must know the candidate and should have an idea of the type
of administrator to be anticipated in the next administration. There are many predic-
tions. William Safire, in the New York Times, and others, are already anticipating that
U.S. Senator Henry Jackson may be Reagan's Secretary of State. Jackson would have to
declare himself for a Republican candidate to give assurance to such an anticipation.
Nevertheless, it is an interesting speculation.
There are other speculative factors not to be ignored. The basic one is that candi-
dates, even if they are suspect now, are expected to rise ethically (now it is ethnically),
practically, with a sense of justice, when in so high and responsible position as the
Presidency. That's the most soothing of all anticipations in a political campaign like the
present.

Interesting Speculation
About Unity Among Arabs

In its analysis of the Iran-Iraq conflict, Newsweek
speculated:
Israel is enjoying the spectacle of two well-
armed enemies smashing each other up, a split in
the Muslim world that could wipe out the united
threat against Israel for years. And as long as
Washington focuses on the war there is less pres-
sure on Israel to make concessions in the Camp
David peace process.
This is treated not as prophecy but as speculation.
The fact is that enmity for Israel has been the only glue
for Arab amity. Is it conceivable that this venom which has
cemented their actions in the past will melt to permit re-
spite in the war against Israel?
It is too much to expect, judging by the experiences of
the last decades and the generations of hatred that have
accumulated in the Moslem world.

Kurt Waldheim of the UN:
It's the USSR That Dictates
Choice of a Secretary General

United Nations prejudices have become so regular,
even in their violence, that their repetition is being ac-
cepted as inevitable.
It is all,ascribable to the Soviet and Arab blocs, to the
Third World, whose regrettably biased attitudes are guided
by the influence of the Soviet Union.
A note in Newsweek's Periscope has some relevance to
the existing dominance. It states:
• Kurt Waldehim seems headed for another
term as UN Secretary-General. The reason, say
UN sources, is that the diplomat whom many
countries favor to succeed him — Tanzanian
Ambassador Salim Ahmed Salim — is unaccept-
able to the Soviet Union. When Waldheim was
elected to hls second term in 1976, it was widely
expected that in 1981 an African would be cho-
sen Secretary-General. Most UN hands have
high regard for the 39-year-old Salim, but the
Soviets see him as too independent — and they
are worried because Tanzania is friendly with

China. The likely result: at election time next
year Waldheim will be picked if he clearly sig-
nals that he wants to remain.
Between the lines there is the proof that the UN
is under Soviet domination and that no one does anything
to curb it.
This- accounts for much of the bigotry that rules the
anti-Zionist and anti-Israel sentiments in the world organ-
ization. The United States submits to it. So do the European
powers. Then the blame is not entirely that of the Third
World.

Baptists Blast Rev. Smith
Over Prayer of Jew Issue

By RABBI MARC H.
TENENBAUM

(A Seven Arts Feature)

A number of readers ex-
pressed approval of my
criticism of Rev. Bailey
Smith's absurd statement
that "God does not hear the
prayer of a Jew." One reader
wrote, "We appreciate your
comments, but why have
Southern Baptists and
other Christians remained
silent?"
Well, they haven't, and
the outpouring of their pro-
tests is one of the encourag-
ing signs that Jewish-
Christian dialogues have
led to real friendship and
mutual respect. Some
examples:
In Fort Worth, Tex., Dr.
Jimmy Allen, former
president of the Southern
Baptist Convention, told
the press, "I'm sure Bailey
Smith's views do not repre-
sent the position of most of
the 13 million Southern

Baptist Christians. God lis-
tens to the needs of every
person who calls on him."
Rev. John Laney, Bap-
tist minister of Rockville,
Md., wrote that "Bailey
Smith posits a God who
could have listened to si-
lent Christians in Nazi
Germany while turninfr a
deaf ear to milli(); 'f
Jews who cried out i, dm
the concentration camps
and gas chambers of the
Holocaust. I cannot con-
ceive of a God who would
eagerly listen to Jerry
Falwell and Bailey Smith,
but who would not
tolerate a prayer from
such great souls as Mar-
tin Buber and Abraham
Heschel."

The transition from trou-
ble to comfort gives us more
pleasure than uninter-
rupted comfort.
— Maimonides

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