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January 22, 1982 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1982-01-22

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LSPS 27o 020

Incorporating The Detroit Jewish Chronicle commencing with the issue of July 20. 1951

Copyright Z. : The Jewish News Publishing Co.

Member of American Association of English-Jewish Newspapers, National Editorial Association and
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Sabbath Scriptural Selections

This Sabbath, the 28th day of Teuet, 5742, the following scriptural selections will be read in our synagogues:

Pentateuchal portion, Exodus 6:2-9:35.,
Prophetical portion, Ezekiel 28:25-29:21.

Monday, Rosh Hodesh Shevat, Numbers 28:1-5.

Candlelighting, Friday, Jan. 22, 5:15 p.m.

VOL. LXXX, No. 21

Page Four

Friday, January 22, 1982


Why the shock over resort to anti-Semitism in
a country beset by unlimited difficulties, al-
though less than 5,000 Jews remain in agonized
Poland, when probably every generation in
mankind had the evidence of the resort of the
available scapegoat: the Jew!
Conceding the role for the Jew, as an avail-
able target for attack when confronted by trou-
bles, there nevertheless are graduations in the
venomous degradations in mankind. Surely, for
every anti-Semite there are the scores who will
not condone anti-Semitism. The anti-Jewish
sentiments now reported in this country make
the American the subject for the basic studies
and polls.
In his ranks, the American must be judged as
inherently decent, as humanly inclined. Else,
,here would be no living in peace for anyone.
Threats of violence have already created- fears
for one's life on public avenues. Even this trend
is believed to be exaggerated. In the main, there
is a compulsive confidence that the good in hu-
manity far outweighs the intolerable. Else, if
the haters are overwhelming in numbers, the
Jew would be unprotected, the black would be
especially hounded, intolerance would vie with
social and political prejudices.
Accepting such realities, there is neverthe-
less the matter of a rising anti-Semitism to be
considered, and the facts must be studied and
treated seriously.
Important studies of new developments are
conducted by the Anti-Defamation League and
the American Jewish Committee. Polls indicat-
ing public opinion have been conducted by Gal-
lup and Yankelovich, Skelly and White. Their
findings are vital to the issue.
A study conducted by the Gallup organiza-
tion, which has just been released by the Ameri-
can Jewish Committee, shows that there is less
concern with alleged Jewish influence than is
often imagined. Here are the results obtained in
response to the question: "Which, if any, of the
groups listed below do you feel has too much
political influence in the United States?" The

Oil companies
Labor unions
The Catholic Church
Born Again/Evangelical
Arab Interests
None of these
Don't know

- 70.2


Therefore the exaggerated fears lest Jews be
made the scapegoats in the search for a target in
time of national trouble. It is sad enough that
Jews should even be included in a query of
political influence which involves negative
considerations. But there are more serious
targets, and the Jewish position is less
threatened than is generally imagined.
There are the oil companies and the labor
unions, and Blacks, Evangelicals and the

Catholic Church are not ignored. Jews are in
good company in the latter designations, and
the average American must be given credit for
good sense in not making the Jew that much the
culprit politically.
Judging the current situation, the past must
be given some attention. American Jewish His-
tory, the official magazine of the American
Jewish Historical Society, is devoted to a study
of anti-Semitism. In a major article in its cur-
rent issue, "Anti-Semitism in America: 1945 to
1950," Dr. Leonard Dinnerstein, professor of
history at the University of Arizona, author of
"The Leo Frank Case" and the forthcoming
"America and the Survivors of the Holocaust,"
presents results of queries on "The Percentage
of People Who Think Jews Have Too Much
Power in the United States." Conducted be-
tween March 1938 and February of 1946, the
results show:

March, 1938
April, 1940
February, 1941
October, 1941
May, 1944
June, 1945
February, 1946


The Gallup study certainly indicates a nota-
ble improvement over the attitudes of four de-
cades ago.
Now, however, a growing concern is over the
prejudices that have emerged as a result of the
controversies that have been magnified by Is-
rael's role in the world affairs and the Jewish
state's struggle for security.
There is no doubt that much of the dis-
criminatory trend is applicable to the Middle
East situation. This increases the demand for
proper public relations, for especially serious
efforts to clarify the issues for the non-Jews, to
erase the misunderstandings that have de-
veloped in recent years vis-a-vis both Israel and
world Jewry.
On a worldwide scale, the growth of anti-
Semitism is a confirmation of the generally ac-
cepted view that when the economy declines
hatred rises. Then there is the inherited, the
legacies of medievalism, of the venom that has
been pursued from generation to generation.
It has not been abandoned in Austria where
the Nazi impact apparently left an indelibly
poisonous atmosphere. Distressing, however, is
the emergence of a new hatred in Italy, where
the attitude was in the main especially enervat-
And the many anti-Semitic incidents in
England have not added encouragement to the
hope for improvement in human values.
Grave responsibilities thus rest upon Dias-
pora Jewry to have the facts on hand, to share
them with the non-Jewish communities, to
exert every effort to eliminate the ignorance
which presently is at the root of the growing
anti-Semitism. The facts are at hand and so are
the responsibilities.


U.S. Concern in Dreyfus
Affair Told in WSU Book

American interest in L'Affaire Dreyfus assumed vast propor-
tions, in spite of the initial indifference. Sharing in world public
opinion, Jews and Christians rallied to protest the injustice to the
French Jewish army officer who was innocently maligned and ac-
cused of treason.
Perhaps the most incisive analysis
of Jewish reactions to the Dreyfus af-
fair, the need for intercession, the
fears that usually creep in when action 1
is called for, are offered in "The
Dreyfus Affair and the American Con-
science, 1895 to 1906" (Wayne State
University Press) by Dr. Egal
Feldman, professor of history and
Dean of the College of Letters and Sci-
ence at the University of Wisconsin-
Prof. Feldman emerges as highly
authoritative on the subject in this
volume filled with revealing data. The
author received the YIVO Institute for
Jewish Research Award for his schol-
arly attainments. His earlier works
include Jewish experience in the U.S.
The emphasis given by Prof. Feldman to the interest evoked in the
U.S. by the Dreyfus affair is impressive and revealing. Noteworthy
are the concerns that were shown by the most distinguished Ameri-
cans, including the then New York Governor Theodore Roosevelt,'
University of Michigan President James B. Angell, presidents of
many other universities, governors of several states and leading
Theodore Roosevelt, for example, stated that "it was a rare thing
for the whole nation to watch the trial of a single citizen of another ,‘
Dr. Feldman points out that Americans were conscious of the
anti-Semitic undercurrents of the Dreyfus affair, "although social
discrimination against Jews existed in the United States as well, as
the French were fond of pointing out . . . violence perp' ted I
against the Jews of France, and unpunished by the h_ _ .est-
authorities, was viewed as an additional symptom of French -deca-
In Protestant ranks there was greater concern for the fate of
Dreyfus and the Catholic Church was blamed for inflaming the
hatred. The Vatican was blamed for its silence.
The author makes these interesting observations:
"American Jews, more than any other group, felt the Dreyfus
affair personally and deeply, yet even their prospective reflected
cultural, economic, and ideological differences. Whereas the more
Americanized German Jews tended to universalize the issues, more
recent East European immigrants tended to personalize them.
"Zionists and non-Zionists each saw French events and the world'
response to these events as a confirmation of their respective ideologi-
cal positions. Despite these varied reactions, however, when Ameri-
cans overwhelmingly supported the cause of Dreyfus, and when he -
was finally vindicated and France publicly admitted its judicial error,
all American Jews appeared to have been reassured about their
future position and security in their new home."


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