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September 04, 1981 - Image 2

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1981-09-04

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

2 Friday, Septa,ier 4r J9H1 i

THE

paRolis: JEA?Sll ItyS

Purely Commentary

James Parkes, His Role Among
Hasidei Umot HaOlam and the
Admonishing 'Sin of Silence'

People of eminence are tragically often forgotten too
soon. This is true on a global scale. It became evident in the
case of James Parkes. He died in London on Aug. 7 and it
was not until Aug. 16 that this commentator learned of it,
becoming aware of his passing in the columns of the
Jerusalem Post.
the
Fortunately,
noted American Jewish
leader, Dr. Mark Tan-
nenbaum, devoted one
of his columns appear-
ing in this newspaper
as a tribute to the de-
vout Christfan who was
inspired by a sense of
justice and who was a
leader in the battle for a
Jewish state and
against anti-Semitism.
James Parkes earned
a place of honor among
the Hasidei Umot
HaOlam, the saintly
among the nations of
the world. Dr. Tannen-
baum defined his place
JAMES PARKES
in human ranks ap-
preciatively. Among the columns recalling Dr. Parkes'
human gifts, in the Jerusalem Post, was a noteworthy one
by Shmuel Katz, the former South African who settled in
Israel and who is one of the leading interpreters of Israeli
affairs in the Israel press. Appropriately, his article was
entitled "The Sin of Silence." The subhead reads: "The
future historian will ponder why Israeli governments fail
to establish adequate machinery to counter the flood of
Arab mendacity."
Because Dr. Parkes rejected and exposed such sins, Mr.
Katz's tribute to the eminent Christian has a place in
current considerations. In his article, Mr. Katz stated:

Dr. James Parkes, who died this week in
England, deserves his niche in Jewish history. He
labored most of his life to improve relations be-
tween Christians and Jews, and was naturally
found in the forefront of the battles against anti-
Semitism.
In his works, which included a comprehensive
history of Palestine, he wrote extensively on the
Land and his attachment to it flowed both from
his Christian faith and from his empathy with the
Jewish people.
Out of that concern, and in his pursuit of truth,
he did not hesitate to criticize his friends. Thus, he
wrote in his book "Whose Land":
"The Zionists' real title-deeds were written by
the ... heroic endurance of those who had main-
tained a Jewish presence in the land all through
the centuries, and in spite of every discourage.
ment. This page of history found no place in the
constant flow of Zionist propaganda ... The omis-
sion allowed the anti-Zionist ... to paint an entirely
false picture of the wickedness of Jewry trying to
establish a 2,000-year-old claim to the country."
He was being kind, or maybe he did not realize
how far latter-day Zionists — and, more particu-
larly, the information services of the Jewish state
— by withholding Zionist truths, helped the
Arabs build their monstrous mythology of an his-
toric national relationship to the Land of Israel.
He himself emphasized the mendacity of one
central element in Arab propaganda: He called
his readers' attention to the fact that Palestine is
not a land "holy to three faiths." It is holy only to
two, to Judaism and to Christianity. This applies
most clearly to'Jerusalem, which played no part
in Moslem theology and remained an unconsid-
ered political backwater through centuries of
Moslem imperial rule.
If, however, Israeli official spokesmen —
whether out of ignorance or diplomatic coziness
— did nothing to expose the hollowness of Arab
claims, one cannot expect the average Western
statesman, unversed in history and incessantly
importuned by Saudi princes about their agoniz-
ing passion for Jerusalem (in which they did not
set foot while it was under`Moslem rule) not to
voice the same absurdities.
Thus Alexander Haig, in one of his early
speeches as secretary of state, even placed Islam
first in the trio of faiths to which Jerusalem is
holy.
The future historian will ponder the strange sin
of Israeli governments who failed to mobilize
friends, non-Jewish as well as Jewish, and to es-

Legacy of Noble Christian, Dr. James Parkes, Guides
Generations Never to Suffer the 'Sin of Silence' ...
Kamtza bar Kamtza Legend Rebukes Splitters of Jews

tablish adequate machinery to counter the flood
of Arab mendacities, propagated by a powerful
and ubiquitous propaganda machine. He will dis-
cover that the Arabs, determined to put an end to
the restoration of the Jewish people to its home-
land, achieved considerable respectability in the
world for their inversion of the truth — for the
claim that it was the Arabs who were being de-
prived of a homeland.
He will be astounded to learn that in the next
phase of the conflict Israeli leaders, having mum-
bled and fumbled over Arab untruths, were now
failing to expose the Arabs' truth: that their dis-
pute with the Jews arises from their utter refusal
to permit the existence of Jewish statehood in the
heart of the Arab world, and their vision of Israel
— at best — as a religious minority under Arab
sovereignty.
Indeed, for the sake of Zion Dr. Parkes was not silent.
Dr. Parkes has left a legacy. It calls for action. It does
not condone submission to fear. It demands firmness in
asserting the right of Israel to live and to prosper. It is this
appeal for justice that gives emphasis to the validity of such
tasks as a Chair in Communications planned at Bar-Ilan
University.
Silence cannot be condoned..lt is sinful. This is the
message of James Parkes who has earned a place among
the saintliest in human ranks.

Kamtza bar Kamtza Resurrected:
Israel l§ Indestructible, Unless
Jews Themselves Do Her Harm

Frequently uttered nonsensically, there has been the
question, "Can Israel Survive?", and half-a-century ago
there were those who wrote about a mythical "Vanishing
Jew." Both terms are sheer stupidities. The Psalmist's pro-
calamation "lo omuth ki ekhye" — "I shall not die, but
live . ." became historic reality.
This is applicable to Israel.
Yet, there are dangers, and they are within the Jewish
fold, not from the external ranks.
There is cause for deep concern when one hears that
the graves of Theodor Herzl, Itzhak Ben-Zvi and Vladimir
Jabotinsky were desecrated, that these occurred while
mobs were interfering with the normal activities of ar-
cheologists.
These concerns apply to the battles between the reli-
gious and the non-religious, when the former, objecting to
the desecration of the Sabbath, throw stones at automobiles
on the Shabat.
There is an historic lesson in these experiences and it
contains a warning to those who would destroy the unity of
the Jewish people. It is contained in a story in the Talmud
about two Jerusalem citizens whose names are connected
in tradition with the outbreak of the insurrection against
the Romans in 66 CE. The tale is recorded in the Universal
Jewish Encyclopedia as follows:
A man once_ prepared a banquet to which was
invited, by mistake, Bar Karat:Ea, an enemy of his,
instead of Kamtza, a friend. Bar Kamtza arrived
at the feast, but the host refused to admit him. In
spite of Bar Kamtza's offer to defray all the ex-
penses of the feast rather than suffer humiliation,
his host turned him out.
Thereupon Bar Kamtza, bent on revenge, went
to the Roman emperor (whose name is not given)
and denounced the Jews as rebellious. As proof
he asserted that they would refuse to accept an
offering which the empeior would send to the
Temple. A young calf was sent, which Bar Kamtza
managed to mutilate on the way in a manner not
offensive to Roman sacrificial law, but violating
that of the Jews.
Aiken then the Jews were willing to offer it as a
sncTifice, for the sake of peace; but Zechariah ben
Abkilas, fearing that such an action would seta
dangerous precedent, intervened to stop it. The
emperor was notified by Bar Kamtza of the rejec-
tion, and immediately proceeded to send against
the Jews first Nero ( who is conceived of as a
Roman general), and afterwards Vespasian (Git.
55b; cf. Midrash Lam. 4:3; edit. Buber, p. 142).
Talmudic tradition warns against brotherly insurrec-
tions. Kamtza bar Kamtza admonishes Jews not to disrupt
the existing social structure. -Yet, it is being ignored.
Discussions of anti-Semitism always relate to
Xenophobia, dislike of the unlike. Is there a term for
dislike of the like? It is being coined tragically by the
religious fanatics in Israel. Would that this could be re-
paired speedily!

`Best Boy' as Medium of
Comforting the. Retarded

Fund-raising campaigns will be "a dime a dozen" in the
coming weeks. Contrasted with the Allied Jewish Cam-
paign, soon also to be inaugurated for 1982, all of the
combined efforts to support many causes will be trivial. In

By Philip
Slomovitz

each instance, however, the need is compelling. The Israeli
causes, even in the supplementary nature of their appeals,
will always retain a measure of importance and great need.
There is one specific cause which stands on its own and
is not related to supplements or competitiveness in the
sense of overlapping of appeals for Israeli causes. It is the
aim to raise the necessary funds for the objectives of the
Jewish Association for Retarded Citizens.
The JARC already supervises four Haverim Homes for
the retarded. It is in the process of establishing a fifth. Then
there surely will be a sixth and a seventh, plus!
The first homes were made possible with the
encouragement of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Frankel, Irving L.
Goldman and Richard Smitt.
The newest of the concerned citizens showing an inter-
est in these tasks is Louis Blumberg, who has expressed an
interest in the expansion program of the JARC. Mr. Blum-
berg has a record of communal devotion and leadership in
the Allied Jewish Campaigns, and is aiding the JARC as a
tribute to his late wife, Edith.

It fits well for the JARC to sponsor the showing of a
most appropriate film as means of raising funds for the
cause: "Best Boy" is an Academy Award winner. Wherever
it was presented it drew record audiences. It is a deeply-
moving story and its appeal was described when reviewed
in this column in The Jewish News on May 23. To give
strength tathe JARC appeal, that review is presented here
again, and it follows:

Show mercy and compassion every man to his
brother.
—Zechariah 7:9
More7telpful than all wisdom is one draught of sim-
ple human pity that will not forsake us.
—George Eliot in "Mill on the Floss."
Mercy and truth are met together.
—Psalms 85:11
It is one of the Lord's mercies that we are not con-
sumed, because his compassion fail not.
—Lamentations 3:22
The merciful man does good to his own soul.
—Proverbs 11:17

Philly, Philip, Faivel, Faivele symbolizes an appeal to
the heart — and to the mind — in a documentary film that
merits top rating for this year and for decades to come.
It is a story that emphasizes common sense in planning
huritan contact and security for a retarded man who is truly
a mere boy, who is provided with comfort thanks to the
interest taken in him by a cousin who sees the need for a
home for the Best Boy Philly and helps to attain it.
Ira Wohl is the producing genius who saw the need to
help Philly-Faivel, who spent several years compiling the
experiences and finding the home for his cousin. He pro-
duced a documentary so immense in scope, so human, that
his name must be recorded among the moskcreative in the
documentary arts.
So valuable is "Best Boy" in the tasks to aid the re-
tarded that the Detroit Institute of Arts must be credited
with a notable contribution for introducing the documen-
tary film to this city and state.
So valuable is the theme in "Best Boy" that its lesson
should be translated into a challenge. It lends significance
to the work of Metropolitan Detroit's Jewish Association
for Retarded Citizens which has already established four
homes of the type of which Philly-Faivel is now domiciled.
The question now arises: how soon a fifth, a sixth, a
seventh such home here for the scores on the waiting list to
be admitted into a Jewish, human, dignified, well-
supervised\housing project for the retarded? Are there
enough people who can give a thousand, thousands, per-
haps a million, to advance this human cause?
That's the appeal of "Best Boy," and its theme to this
community. How many will respond to this appeal?

'

The "Best Boy," Philly Wohl, with his mother
Pearl.

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