2 Friday, October 30, 1981
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
The Chemistry of Nobel-ism:
New Jewish Additions to Ranks
and the Auto-Da-Fe Interpreter
Some have credited the large percentage of Jewish
Nobel Prize winners to the genes.Whatever the reason,
and the cause, it is heartening to know that two more
exceptionally-gifted Jews are among the current Nobel
How interesting that both of the 1982 Jewish Nobelists
are chemists! Only one is an active chemist, having shared
in the Nobel Prize in Chemistry awarded last week. He is
Dr. Roald Hoffmann of Cornell University. The second,
Elias Canetti, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature
but he also studied and specialized in chemistry, even if he
did not make it his life's work. Nevertheless, he is "the
chemist - who defined an historic era.
The Swedish Academy, choosing Canetti, credited his
book - Auto-da-Fe" as "a great novel carrying the sense of
the fantastic and the demonic, equating him with the great
Russian masters Gogol and Dostoyevsky."
It should he kept in mind that Canetti is a Sephardi
and therefore must have been influenced by the history of
the Spanish Inquisition, by the Auto-da-Fe which sym-
b.dized .Jews burned at the stake.
The honor accorded Canetti therefore serves as a re-
minder for all who know the history of that tragic period
,l , out the Anusim, the role of the Marranos.
In his oft-quoted - A Book of Jewish Concepts," Dr.
Philip Birnbaum gave this definition of the Anusim and the
According to one theory, the ceremony of an-
nulment of vows on the eve of Yom Kippur, known
as the Kol Nidre service, was instituted for the
benefit of Spanish crypto-Jews, or Aniisim, in
order to absolve them from any promise for the
i:bservance of another religion in the following
The medieval Inquisition, which was instituted
in Spain and Portugal to detect and punish
crx pto-Jews as well as Christian heretics,
reached its climax with the famous Auto-da-Fe
an act of the faith), a ceremony at which the sen-
tences of the Inquisition were announced or car-
ried out. The Inquisitors burned their victims in
keeping with the prohibition against shedding
hind. The heretics were handed over to the seen-
;;sr arm for carrying into execution the sentences
m posed. The day chosen was usually a Sunday.
In the procession through the streets, the
Dominican monks marched first; then the peni-
tents, followed by those condemned to die, dres-
sed in horrifying robes called Sanbenitos (from
Saint Benedict) and with dunce-caps on their
heads; and next black coffins containing the
hones of those who had escaped sentence by
dying in prison.
The first Auto-da-Fe was conducted by Tor-
quemada in 1481; the last was in 1826. Some 30,000
men and women were put to death by the Inquisi-
tion in the course of the 3Y2 centuries of its exist-
ence. Those who confessed that they had prac-
ticed Judaism secretly were first strangled by the
executioners; then their bodies were laid on the
scaffold beside the living men and women already
hound there. A prominent dignitary set fire to the
faggots while the priests chanted praises to God
from the hook of Psalms.
Elias Canetti arises as the new bright star on the
His first language was Ladino. This, too, is of unusual
Interest. Would that he and others who retain a knowledge
of that dying Spanish-Jewish dialect could give it a new
lease on life!
There is fascination in the fact that a Swedish
Academy selection should serve to arouse an historical
interest. It was for Yiddish and the Yiddish language in the
naming of Isaac Bashevis Singer for the Nobel Prize in
Literature. Now it is in Ladino and as a reminder of the
Spanish-.Jewish tragedy in the case of Elias Canetti.
Basic Facts About the PLO
Threats to Israel as Guidelines
for the Diplomatic Corps
Ambassadorial status granted by the USSR to Israel's
chief enemy in Arab ranks compels renewed emphasis on
the need to prevent the hiding of basic facts about the
threatened renewed holocaust for the Middle East. That's
what the PLO and Arafat-led ranks seek to be enabled to
carry on their devilish programs.
There is nothing new in the Kremlin credibility for
terrorists. It is discouraging, however, to learn that chiefs
of democratic states are unaware of the facts.
During her recent visit in Kuwait, at a press confer-
ence leaving for a meeting of British Commonwealth
leaders in Australia, British Prime Minister Margaret
Thatcher was questioned about the PLO. She was asked
Jewish Prize Winner in Literature Elias Canetti Symbolizes
Memories of Another Tragic Past: the Era of Inquisition .
The Genocidal Aims of the Terrorist PLO Fully Documented
why the British government was hesitant in pursuance of
the EEC initiative on the Middle East. She replied: "We
quite rightly do not recognize the PLO. We do not recognize
organizations, only countries. But I do not wish to rest on
that in my reply. The reason we do not go further and have
ministerial meetings with the PLO is, first, because of its
association with terrorism; and, secondly, because of the
statements by parts of the PLO that their real objective is to
drive Israel into the sea and wipe her off the face of the
Then she was challenged by an Arab journalist to iden-
tify the occasion of the PLO threat to Israel's existence and
"It was at one of the conferences of either a part of the
PLO or the whole. I cannot remember whether it was the
one in Damascus or the one in South America or both, but
one thing is frequently quoted to me in the House of Com-
mons, taken from a communique by a part of the PLO. I will
see that it is sent to our Kuwaiti friends."
Therefore, it is necessary to trace the sources of
threats. Let it be noted, first of all, that Arafat himself, on
his visit in Japan earlier this month, was asked by a
Japanese reporter whether he recognized Israel's right to
exist, and he replied: "Always you are looking from an
angle, the Israeli angle. We are the victims."
Therefore, it is also important that an interview with
Farouk Kaddoumi, who is rated as the PLO foreign minis-
ter, should be kept in mind. In his interview with the West
German newspaper Stern, Kaddoumi states the basic PLO
attitude, as indicated in the following:
Stern: Why, when (your) isolated commando
raids provoke such terrible Israeli pre-emptive or
retaliatory strikes, do you go on with them?
Kaddoumi: We must continue the military oper-
ations in the occupied territories ... We shall
never allow Israel to live in peace. We shall never
allow it total security. Every Israeli will feel that
"behind every well there might be a guerrilla who
is aiming at me."
Stern: You cannot expect Israel to put up with
such behavior passively.
Kaddoumi: Most important of all — it was Israel
that started it. Israel has escalated the situation.
Israel is responsible for the casualties on both
sides. We have no choice — unless we capitulate.
And the actions in the occupied territories are our
signal that we do not yield.
Stern: Another alternative would be to talk to
Kaddoumi: With a Zionist? No. Because Zionism
means the colonization of Palestine.
Stern: With whom, then, do you wish to talk?
Kaddoumi: One cannot expect the Palestinians
to talk to their enemy. Israel has occupied our
country for 32 years, and the primary precondi-
tion is that it retreat from the occupied territories.
Stern: When you say "occupied territories,"
what do you mean?
Kaddoumi: For the present, the West Bank, the
Golan Heights, and the Gaza Strip.
Stern: That means, first of all, the retreat, and
afterwards you might talk?
Kaddoumi: First of all, the unconditional re-
Stern: Provided you were now to get a state on
the West Bank and in Gaza — and there are not a
few who would wish you to have it with all their
heart — what would then happen to the remain-
der, to Israel in its 1948 boundaries?
Kaddoumi: I shall make it perfectly clear to you.
We shall never recognize Israel, never accept the
usurper, the colonialist, the imperialist.
Stern: But then what?
Kaddoumi: We shall fight for our right to return
to our country.
Stern: Thereby you bind the hands of your
Stern: Your attitude means the destruction of
the state of Israel.
Kaddoumi: Yes, I want to destroy the enemy
who keeps my homeland occupied, who has mur-
dered my parents, my brothers and sisters.
Stern: In your opening address to the current
(Arab League) conference (in Tunis), you de-
nounced the U.S. as an aggressor, and you stated
that the Soviet Union is your most trustworthy
friend. One of the arguments with which
Menahem Begin seeks to withhold potential aid
from you is his claim that a future Palestinian
state would necessarily be a Soviet satellite.
Kaddoumi: We are a national movement.
Everyone who can help us is welcome. The Sy-
rians are helping us, as well as the Iraqis, the
Libyans and the Chinese.
Stern: Does this aid take the form of arms?
Kaddoumi: The Chinese were first. They pro-
vided us with arms. The Soviets, as well as the
other socialist countries, provide us with both
political and military aid.
Stern: Your Arab friends in the region are
somewhat more reserved toward the Soviet
Kaddoumi: That might apply to Saudi Arabia.
But King Hussein of Jordan has quite recently
visited Moscow, and, judging by the joint com-
munique, understanding between him and his
hosts was excellent. You see, there has been some
Stern: But it does not seem likely at present that,
in an emergency, he would side with the Soviet
Kaddoumi: In case all-out war actually broke
out, we would be the allies of the Soviet Union —
for we prefer to be the friends of Communists,
rather than to be the victims of the Zionist and
imperialist occupation forces.
For a proper understanding of the Arab extremists'
attitudes in the current Middle East situation, it is neces-
sary also that the reactions to the assassination of Anwar
Sadat should be known. Here are some of the declarations
of joy that were uttered in Arab quarters over the tragic
Yasir Arafat: Sadat was killed by the Egypt-
tian Army, in the name of the courageous Palesti-
nian people that bears the yoke of the Zionist oc-
cupation. This operation proves that the Palesti-
nian struggle lives on in the conscience of-the
great Egyptian people, which has not forgiven its
president for having neglected Jerusalem, traded
in the Palestinian cause and signed the treacher-
ous plot of Camp David ...
—(upon arrival in China, Agence Press Francaise,
Oct. 6, 1981)
With the downfall of one of the symbols of Camp
David, we see the beginning of the downfall of
Camp David itself ... We believe that the Egyp-
tian people is filled with courage and that it is
faithful to its national cause, of which Palestine is
the heart. The heroic Egyptian Army and the
heroic Egyptian people will not forgive those who
neglect Jerusalem, the cause of our people and its
revolution, and the cause of the Arab nation as a
—(Arafat, at a dinner given in his honor
by the Prime Minister of China,
"Voice of Palestine," Beirut, Oct. 8, 1981)
Farouk Kaddoumi: This is the best news we
have had in many years. It is the Egyptian people
that has got rid of Sadat. The Egyptian people has
also rid itself of the shame and the dishonor that
Sadat had imposed upon the grand history of
Egypt. The death,of Sadat marks the beginning of
the collapse of the conspiracy represented by the
triumvirate Begin-Sadat-USA. Yankee im-
perialism has lost another pillar of America's
—(Agence Press Francaise, Havana, Cuba, Oct. 6,
From communique issued by PLO's PFLP Gen-
eral Command: The agent Sadat was executed by
the heroic Egyptian soldiers, in front of his
American and Zionist guests — witnesses both of
his treachery and of his execution."
—(Beirut, Oct. 7, 1981)
All of the unpleasant details about Arab viewpoints
and threatened intentions toward Israel, and the hatreds
for whoever expressed even a modicum of friendship for
Israel, are displayed in these disheartening statements.
But the situation is too serious to permit the hiding of truth.
The Younger Rabbis Who
Assume Communal Roles
The Jewish calendar is filled with anniversaries. The
record of Jewish experience is marked by so many occur-
rences of unusual interest that there is hardly a week
without an anniversary. Dr. Jacob R. Marcus indicated it in
a special listing of anniversaries published in The Jewish
News Rosh Hashana edition.
Therefore, a local anniversary involving an individual
is not of great moment, yet, in a present instance, it denotes
an important trend.
The 10th anniversary of Rabbi David Nelson's services
here merit recognition. The event is of special importance
in the fact that it emphasizes the services here of the
younger Conservative rabbis. They began with Rabbi Irwin
Groner who is still a very young man. Rabbi Spectre, Rabbi
Stanley Rosenbaun and Rabbi Morton Yolkut belong in
this group of rabbinic leadership that contributes im-
mensely towards inspiring the youth in this community.
Rabbi Nelson, who has just been honored for 10 years
for service here is like Rabbis Groner, Spectre, Yolkut and
Rosenbaum, a seeker of strength among all, ranks, espe-
cially the youth. For such labors, he merited being honored.