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January 29, 1982 - Image 36

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1982-01-29

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

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

36 Friday, January 29, 1982

SPIFFY'S

French President
Attends Exhibit
on Dayan's Book

24825 GREENFIELD, N. of 10 Mile

557-6888

PRESENTS 3 GREAT
BREAKFAST SPECIALS

(JTA)
PARIS
President Francois Mitter-
rand inaugurated an ex-
hibition of drawings and
etchings last week illustrat-
ing the late Moshe Dayan's
book on the battle of Mas-
sada, which has been post-
humously published in
France.
It was the first time in re-
cent years that a French
president took part in such
an event. French officials
said it was in keeping with
Mitterrand's commitment
to Israel and his former per-
sonal relations with Israel's
military hero. The etchings
are by modern artist
Raymond Moretti.

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"The Knesset has occu-
pied a critical place in the
Israeli political system. The
creation of a new state
places great demands upon
all existing political institu-
tions, and many very dif-
ficult decisions have had to
be resolved by the Knesset
in its first 30 years of exist-
ence.
"There was never any
doubt that a legislature
should exist in the new
political system; Israel was
from the outset committed
to democratic political
structures, and the 120-
member Knesset (literally
`assembly') was an obvious
political structure."
The above passage is from
Prof. Gregory S. Mahler's
book, "The Knesset: Parli-
ament in the Israeli Politi-
cal System." Published by
Fairleigh Dickinson Uni-
versity Press, the volume is
a study of the eighth Knes-
set (1973-1977), "the last
Knesset controlled by the
Labor Party prior to the as-
cendency of Menahem Be-
gin's Likud coalition."
The Knesset was
created by Israel's found-
ing fathers soon after
they had proclaimed
their country's indepen-
dence. They also decided,
soon afterwards, against
framing a single written
constitution. Instead,
they agreed to authorize
the Knesset to enact a
system of so-called Fun-
damental Laws for gov-
erning the country.
Thus far, the Knesset has
enacted the following Fun-
damental Laws: "The Knes-

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set" (1958); "The President
and the State" (1964); "The
Government" (1968); "The
Economy" (1973); "The
Army" (1975). Currently,
the Knesset is considering a
"Human Rights" Funda-
mental Law.
In addition, the Knesset
passed a series of statutes
"which are perceived by
many to be equally broad
and fundamental in scope."
They include, among
others, "The Law of Return"
(1950); "The Equal Rights
for Women Law" (1951);
"The Judges Law" (1953);
"The Courts Law" (1969);
and "The Nationality Law"
(1952) that, inter alia, regu-
lates the naturalization of
non-Jews.
It should be emphasized
that the Knesset is sover-
eign in the Israeli political
system and is immune from
judicial review. It elects the
president and the prime
minister, and has the power
to declare a vote of no-
confidence in the govern-
ment (a procedure of forcing
a government to resign).
Like the European
monarchs, the president
has limited powers. He
is obligated to sign bills
passed by the Knesset
and has the responsibil-
ity to "entrust to one of
the members. of the Knes-
set the duty of forming a
government." But once
the government is
formed, the president
cannot dissolve it.
MKs in Israel, like parli-
ament members in demo-
cratic countries the world
over, have the right of im-
munity. The special law
passed by the Knesset in
1951 guaranteeing this
right, reads: "A member of
the Knesset shall not be
held civilly or criminally re-
sponsible, and shall be im-
mune from legal action with
regard to any vote cast, any
oral or written expression of
opinion, or any other act
performed in or out of the
Knesset, provided that such
vote, opinion, or act per-
tains to, or has as its pur-
pose, the fulfillment of his
mandate as a member of the
Knesset."
Similarly, the Knesset
building itself has immun-
ity and is under the control
of the speaker and the
sergeant-at-arms.
The Knesset building, a
gift from the Rothschilds,
consists of five floors. The
first floor contains com-
mittee meeting rooms and
offices of committee chair-
men and their staffs. The
second floor has offices for
cabinet members. The third
floor includes a public
cafeteria, a members' res-
taurant, the Speaker's
offices and the plenary hall.
The fourth floor is
composed of the spec-
tators' gallery and offices
for the press. The fifth
floor is reserved for party
offices, caucus rooms
and rooms for "party
members to use as dor-
mitories in case of long
sessions."
But the offices for the
Knesset members are lo-

cated in a special area out-
side the Knesset building.
These members, the author
remarks, have no legisla-
tive assistants or
secretaries, they must per-
sonally answer their own
mail. Nevertheless, they
appreciate this link with
the public. It shows that
they "are paying attention
to what the people think."
Especially important for
Knesset functioning are the
committees, the workshops
where all legislation is
hammered out prior to its
presentation to the Knesset
plenum.
There is, according to
Prof. Mahler, "a hierarchy
among the committees."

The most prestigious are
the foreign affairs, defense,
finance and interior. The
others include justice,
police, immigrant absorp-
tion, tourism and religious
affairs. A Knesset member
may belong to as many as
four committees or to none.
The speaker and deputy
speaker "may choose not to
hold seats on committees."
Cabinet members, who are
also MKs (some are not) are
not assigned committee
positions.
Unlike the congressional
districts into which the U.S.
is divided, Israel is single
national electoral district.
As a result, the Knesset- -
members do not represent,
geographic areas.

Jewish Groups Ask Removal
of Parleys from Poland

NEW YORK (JTA) —
The Center for Russian and
East European Jewry and
the Student Struggle for
Soviet Jewry (SSSJ) have
called upon the chairmen of
the International Math-
ematical Union, located in
Paris, and the American
Association for Computer
Machinery, based in New
York, not to hold their 1982
international gatherings in
Poland unless martial law
is lifted, those arrested are
freed and the anti-Semitic
campaign is halted.
The IMU and AACM had
planned gatherings in Po-
land, especially the Inter-
national Congress of Math-
ematicians in Warsaw and
an international sym-
posium on computer sci-
ences in Gdansky, formerly
Danzig, as a sign of support
for Solidarity.
The Center and the SSSJ
reported that while only a
tiny percentage of those
interned in Poland have so
far reached the West, they
are known to include the fol-
lowing of Jewish origin:
Historian Stefan Amster-
damski; historian Marior
Brandys; veteran publicist
Ludwig Dorn, in his 80s;
historian Broneslow
Geremek; writer Jan
Letinski; leading intellec-
tual Adam Michnik; scholar
Karol Modzelewski; and
writer V. Moroslski.
The Center and the
SSSJ noted that the fol-
lowing, if not already ar-
rested, are in danger of
being apprehended:

Marek
Cardiologist
Edelman, already ar-
rested and released a
month ago; scholar Ana
Hochfeld; journalist
Simon Jakubowicz;
philosopher Marian
Mialoyan; writer Arthur
Miedzyrzecki; Warsaw
University. rector Henry
Samsonowicz; and
Spanish War veteran
Barbara Torunczyk.
In a related development,
Rabbi Alexander, Schin-
dler, president of the Union
of American Hebrew Con-
gregations, has joined
Christian and labor leaders
in calling on President
Ronald Reagan to release
surplus food stocks to the
people of Poland for distri-
bution by international food
assistance movements and
Catholic Relief Service of
Poland.
Meanwhile, a group of
former Auschwitz inmates
in West Germany is seeking
to help Auschwitz survivors
who live in Poland.

Hate Museum
Set for NY

NEW YORK (JTA) —
The Jewish Identity Center,
an activist organization
which has long focused on
the rise of anti-Semitism in
the United States and its
ominous threat to American
Jews, has announced it will
open a permanent exhibit
on anti-Semitism in New
York City. The exhibit will
be a branch of the Museum
of the Potential Holocaust
which is based in
M.E. on Agenda Jerusalem.
Shifra Hoffman, execu-
UNITED NATIONS tive director of the center,
(JTA) — Secretary General who has been touring the
Javier Perez de Cuellar, of U.S. with a display of hate
Peru, who replaced Kurt literature from the Na-
Waldheim on Jan. 1, said tional Socialist White
last week that as Secretary People's Party (Nazi Party),
General he will maintain the Ku Klux Klan and othe-
"great interest in the rapidly-rising hate group,
Mideast" and its problems. said that the purpose or
Speaking at his first press opening a branch of the
conference since his elec- Jerusalem-based museum
tion, the Secretary General would be to make American
Jews "aware of the mag-
said in response to a clues
tion that he does not intet.i, nitude and scope of Jew-
at this time, to send any hatred that is being dis-
emissary to the Mideast to seminated with impunity
explore the situation there. here, seeking to make Jews
"The time is not ripe for the scapegoat for economic
such a mission," he said.
and social ills."

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