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July 31, 1981 - Image 2

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1981-07-31

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

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Friday, 114 31, 1181

Purely Commentary

By Philip
Slomovitz

A Tragedy in the Heart of Lebanon and the Perpetrators
of Hatreds Who Are the Cause of Horrors for Which Israel
Is Being Needled, Her Prime Minister a Scapegoat of Haters

Panic-Stricken Critics of Israel Must Look at the Record in Latest Sad Occurrence

For 33 years, civilians on Israel's borders with the Arab states were attacked
terroristically. Their homes were shelled, mostly with weapons provided by the Soviet
Union as well as Libya and Saudi Arabia. There were no condemnations of the in-
humanities. The fact that most of the victims were children didn't stir much anger. Even
the Vatican was consistently silent.
There was a change of heart in the last two weeks. Under compusion to prevent the
spread of the terror that emanated from the haters of Israel headquartered in Beirut,
there were many, hundreds, of civilian victims. It was a tragedy widely deplored. It also
provided heydays for the media, and the Vatican as well, in the opportunities provided for
them to needle Israel. It became an occasion for condemnation, for the searching of a .
scapegoat. One was immediately available. His name is Menahem Begin.
Out of hatred for this man who would not permit his leg being pulled, who counters
his interviewers with sentiments he will not abandon, who deploys weapons when he
speaks for his people, advice-providers dominated newspaper space, editorial columns,
radio and television time, with accusations which served to incite rather than to clarify a
tragic situation.
Some Jews joined the affray and utilized the unhappy events to vent their bitterness
at the scapegoat. Such elements belong to the panic-stricken. They have no patience for
proper judgment based on the time elements that contribute toward clarification of
issues.
Realities now are coming home to roost. The loss of so many lives is cause for deep
concern and great anguish. The causes that led to the attacks on arsenals aimed at
Israel's destruction are inerasable.
Realism dictates acknowledgement of existing facts. There has never been an apol-
ogy for the attacks on Israeli civilians. There is yet to be negated the threat to Israel's
very existence. Therefore, there must be a concession also to Israel's determined will to
resist that aim. The casualties resulting from such defensive methods must be attributed
to those in the Arab ranks who seek an end to Israel's existence.
A realistic analysis of the occurrences as well as the regrettable accompanying loss of
life appears in the current issue of Near East Report. It commences by quoting the "Voice
of Palestine" Radio:
. The heavy rocket and artillery units of the (Palestinian) Joint Forces
continued to shell Israeli military positions in northern Palestine from the
very same positions the Israelis claimed to have destroyed. The Joint
Forces launched heavy rocket and artillery attacks yesterday (July 18) on
Israeli positions at Nahariya, Misgav Am, She'ar Yashuv, Dan, Eshkol, and
Kiryat Shmona. The same units launched another today on the Israeli
positions in Upper Galilee and inflicted heavy casualties.
Thereupon, in an editorial, "The Raids in Lebanon," Near East Report presents a
challenge to world public opinion, declaring:
The world expects Israel and the Jews to behave better than anyone
else. T _ o suffer long and in silence. To turn the other cheek. And, in fact, if to

examine the long historical record of the Jewish community of Palestine
and Israel in the face of concerted Arab hostility, rejection and deadly
violence, . a history of patient Jewish self-defense — with only rare moments
of zealous excess — would unfold.
How long and to what extent must this community forbear? And how
much explanation would suffice, ever?
Day after day, night after night, year in, year out — PLO rockets, rifles
and artillery shell Israeli towns and farms — and the world ignores it.
Howls of outrage arise only when Israelis retaliate.
The double standard is also evident in the equation of Israel's actions
and the PLO's. If the PLO can be called terrorist, so the argument runs, then
Israel's bombing of apartment buildings is not less so.
But the simple truth is that Israel attacks only military targets and
arsenals — mostly Soviet-supplied and Libyan-bought — and if civilians are
"tragically struck down, it is only because the PLO deliberately, with callous
cruelty, emplaces its military sites within residential buildings and areas
thus ensuring the death of their own innocents, and guaranteeing a
worldwide hue and cry.
The PLO, on the other hand, has virtually never assaulted Israeli mili-
tary targets. It has specialized in the tilling and wounding of civilians, and
the destruction of hospitals, homes, schools, buses, passenger airplanes.
This glaring truth reveals the most fundamental position of the PLO
and its Arab supporters toward the Jewish presence in the region: Any-
thing goes. All is legitimate in their war — for Jewish civilians, even chil-
dren, are explicitly seen as invading soldiers, and their mere presence in
peaceable farms and cities, everywhere and anywhere in Palestine, is ipso
facto defined as foreign intrusion and theft, and alien occupation.
In the endless cycle of retaliatory killing which this Arab war sets in
train, one thing is tragically clear: innocent people are killed on all sides.
The lives of Arab and Israeli children are equally precious in the sight of
God and man. This is the teaching of Judaism as of Christianity and Islam,
and of the moral law of all civilization.
No words, then, in this latest chapter of the tragedy, can remotely
convey the compassion we feel for the innocent lives devastated in Beirut
and in Nahariya.
When will the vicious circle of violence stop? Only when Arab rejection
turns to acceptance.
This is, indeed, a challenge to the hypocrisy shared by the media, by the notables on
the New York Times Op-Ed pages, by those who ignored the tens of thousands of
Lebanese lives lost in a struggle for that nation's survival, but have jumped on Israel's
back when that nation utilized the right to protect life and liberty on her borders and
within her land.

Manifold Rescue Activities of HIAS Portrayed in Memorable, Record on Centennial

capees from persecution and
humiliations in their search
for refuge in this country.
The past decade causes
doubts in many minds, con-
sternation in many hearts,
over the conflicts generated
by the Russian Jewish
emigration trends. Because
HIAS conceded to the pref-
erences of those Russian
Jews who preferred the
United States, Canada, Au-
stralia and England, HIAS
was held to blame for not
insisting upon Israel as the
eventual landmark for
those leaving the USSR.
The HIAS position is not
entirely denigrated by these
protests and the right of all
escapees to choose the
haven lends defense for the
HIAS position.
New arrivals at the
The dispute over the Rus-
HIAS project in sian Jews' attitudes in no
Beersheva draw water in way diminishes the great
1946.
role of HIAS as an historic
factor in providing assis-
tance to the multitudes who
sought and acquired a

HIAS — Hebrew Immig-
rant Aid Society — for
many a generation repre-
sented the most glorious in
the human efforts to assist
the hundreds of thousands
— the millions!! — of es-

North African Jews
disembark in Haifa in
1962.

Jewish refugees from
Egypt receive vaccina-
tions in Rio de Janeiro in
1957.

A Soviet Jewish emi-
grant is reunited with her
family at New York's
Kennedy Airport.

haven of comfort in this
country.
HIAS' great contribu-
tions to succor for the op-
pressed constitute an in-
erasable chapter in
humanism. Wherever one
turned in the century of its
services now being re-
corded, there was relief,
comfort, a great measure of
hope for a better future for
those in flight from
tyranny.
A HIAS pamphlet de-
scribing the movement's ac-
tivities, 1880 to 1980, is a
most revealing document. It
portrays HIAS activities in
behalf of refugees through
the years and it shows that
the organization's head-
quarters were not limited to

New York, that branches
functioned in Japan, in
European capitals, in areas
where escapees from
Nazism were assisted in
their migrations to Israel.
There was a HIAS instal-
lation in Beersheva. Arri-
vals of survivors from
Nazism are shown on their
arrival in New York in
1946. Another example is
the photo of Hungarian
Jews who fled Hungary into
Austria.
Imagine the extent of ac-
tivities indicated in a photo
of Jewish refugees from
Egypt arriving in Rio de
Janeiro in 1957!
A bit later there was the
arrival of North African
Jewish refugees arriving in
Haifa, in 1962.
Even the Cuban exodus is
portrayed, in the arrival of
refugees from Cuba in
Miami.

Then there are the illus-
trated portrayals of Jews
arriving in this country
from the USSR.
. Few chapters in Ameri-
can Jewish history are as
impressive as those of
HIAS.
The story is best told in
the photos reproduced here
describing the movement's

manifold activities. They
merit the commendation
due the movement, the
appreciation of Jewry and of
all who are interested in
human values and they in-
vite heartiest greetings to
HIAS for its historic role
now emphasized on its cen-
tennial.
—P.S.

The first 800 concentration camp survivors to ar-
rive in New York after World War II are shown corn-
ing into port aboard the SS Marine Flasher in May
1946.

A-400f44 **4

Cuban refugees are
shown in 1963 learning
English in Miami.

– -
Jews flee across the border to Austria during the
1956 Hungarian uprising.

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