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February 06, 1981 - Image 20

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1981-02-06

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

20 Friday, February 6, 1981

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Detroit Public Schools Withdraw Disputed Arab Guide

(Continued from Page 1)
Based on her complaint and
those of other Jewish
teachers, Region Superin-
tendent Seymour Gretchko
had the guide withdrawn.
Ms. Yehiel then took the
issue to Detroit's central

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administration. After a re-
view of the guide and the
objections, Dr. Marvin L.
Greene, assistant superin-
tendent for curriculum, and
other administrators
recommended that the
guide be withdrawn.
"In its place," Dr. Greene
told the Detroit Teacher
newspaper, "we are recom-
mending that a writing
team, independent of spe-
cial interest groups, utiliz-
ing the services of consul-
tants, develop a guide that
will include the cultural
and historical development
of the various ethnic groups
in the Middle East.
"We are aware that at
the middle and senior
high level, the course
might have to be taught
in the context of controv-
ersial issues. We would
hope that our students
would be well-informed
and yet not captives of
any single disputed point
of view," Dr. Greene said.
Dr. Greene was unavail-
able for comment this week
and his office could not say
whether the guide had al-
ready been withdrawn from
Detroit schools.
The Jewish News was

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unable to contact Ms.
Yehiel, but she was quoted
by the Detroit Teacher as
saying that the guide pro-
vided valuable information
for students learning about
peoples from Arab lands.
But she said it was insensi-
tive in its approach to Israel
and the Jewish people.
The Detroit News re-
ported on Monday that the

author of the guide and
leaders of Detroit's Arab
community were upset by
the controversy.

Haifa Fakhouri, execu-
tive director of the
Arab-Chaldean Social
Services Council, wrote
the guide and said she
was shocked that she had
'not been notified of the

objections or given a
chance to discuss possi-
ble corrections.
Arab leaders were out-
spoken about the recom-
mendation to remove the
guide and called for letter-
writing campaigns and
bringing the issue to the at-
tention of the American
Arab Anti-Discrimination
Committee in Washington.

Economy, Anti-Semitism Linked

(Continued from Page 1)
jobs less scarce, people
seem more compatible.
"Prejudice is there but
the aggressiveness is less
apt to surface," he says.
But when inflation soars
and people labor under fi-
nancial burdens, many tend
to vent their frustrations on
"classic discriminatory vic-
tims," notably blacks and
Jews.
"We have a stereotype of
the Jew as being in control
of the financial sector of
society and therefore in con-
trol of the economy," says
Levak.
Prejudice, he adds, comes
early through socialization.
Americans have always
been ethnocentric and ra-
cially insular, preferring to
"stay within their own
ethnic groups." From the
beginning, he says, Ameri-
cans have also been taught
Anglo-conformity — the no-
tion that anyone coming
into the society should put
aside their own cultural
heritage.
"The Jews do not
readily put aside their
cultural heritage so they
are always a standby for
Anglo prejudice."

Katz says that anti-
Semitism is just one re-
sponse of stressed people
who don't understand the
real reasons for their prob-
lems. During hard times,
expecially, such people tend
to misdirect their anger and
feelings of helplessness, he
explains.
"The spontaneous expres-
sion of irrational hatreds
and fears is generated by
deteriorating economic
conditions and the need to
find an explanation for
them.
"But it would be a mis-
take to focus only on anti-
Semitism. In times like
these, blacks come in for
similar treatment. You
have to see both types of
prejudice as deriving from
the same source."
According to Katz, dur-
ing hard times, blacks are
often seen as immediate
rivals for a decreasing
number of jobs, while
Jews are viewed as the
ruling group responsible
for the deterioration of
conditions.
"In times of crisis," he
says, "hardpressed people
tend to perceive all Jews as
rich and all the rich as
Jews."

Some also believe that all
economic problems derive
from a sinister interna-
tional Jewish conspiracy
tent on depriving the rest
the population of their
livelihoods, he says. It was
this line of reason, Katz
notes, which prompted
August Bebel — a pre-
World War I German politi-
cal leader — to denounce
anti-Semitism as "the
socialism of fools."
"Of course," says Katz,
"such irrationality still
tends to pop up when condi-
tions are bad and Jews are
available to provide a con-
venient scapegoat popula-
tion."
Both Levak and Katz
agree also that overt acts of
racial prejudice signal a de-
eper malaise.
"We have a high level of
educational training in
this country, but Ameri-
cans are not really fully
educated to understand
human relationships,"
explains Levak.
"I'm not so sure the
American public really
understands the meaning of
democracy, namely that the
rights of all individuals to
be individuals must be
preserved."

M.E. Expert Warns of Arab
Drive to Delegitimize Jewry

NEW YORK — The
Arabs, "abetted by oil-
soaked funds and the
world's critical energy
needs, are gearing up for a
no-holds-barred attempt to
delegitimize — indeed to
dehumanize the collective
existence of Jews as ex-
pressed in the sovereign
society of Israel," Dan
Schueftan charged in his
address to presidents, lead-
ers and educational direc-
tors of American and Cana-
dian Jewish youth move-
ments.
Prof. Schueftan teaches
Arab-Israeli affairs and
contemporary Arab history
at the University of Haifa
and lectures at the Israeli
Defense Forces Command
Staff College.
Prof. Schueftan, who will
be the Detroit Zionist Fed-
eration scholar-in-
residence at the end of the
month, alerted the partici-
pants in a workshop semi-
nar on Arab propaganda,
"The Case for Israel —
Know What to Answer,"
that "the implications of
this Arab campaign consti-
tute a basic assault on the
principles of human rights,
dignity, morality and free-
dom whose values are the
basis of Western society and

civilization.
"This onslaught has
giave consequences for
the United States and the
free world," he em-
phasized.
"For freedom loving
peoples and nations to be
seduced by oil wealth and
energy shortages is to assist
in an Arab-PLO effort
whose effect is to undermine
everything they hold preci-
ous."
The workshop on Arab
propaganda and how to
counter it was sponsored by
the North American Jewish
Youth Council (NAJYC)
under the aegis of the
American Zionist Youth
Foundation.

AJCongress Ask'
Boycott Probe

NEW YORK (JTA) —
The American Jewish Con-
gress has called for a federal
investigation of Arab plans
to expand the economic
boycott of Israel. The ex-
panded economic boycott
was proclaimed in Taif,
Saudi Arabia, at the conclu-
sion last Thursday of a
three-day summit confer-
ence of leaders of 37 Islamic
nations and the Palestine
Liberation Organization.

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