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April 09, 1982 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1982-04-09

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


Friday, April 9, 1982 5

Bad Reporting in U.S., Forgotten M.E. Facts Hurt Israel's Image

(Continued from Page 1)
"had assured himself in ad-
vance that his point of view
was shared by Nasser with
whom he had coordinated
his moves at a meeting in

But Nasser was working
a doublecross. While he and
Hussein were telling the
Americans they accepted
the American draft, Nasser
was pressing India to beat
the Americans to the punch
by laying a pro-Arab resolu-
n the Security Council
before Goldberg could
get his resolution in. The re-
sult was protracted debate
and heated wrangling until
a British compromise fi-
nally emerged, minus some
of the significant provisions
included in the American


Resolution 242 does
not, as Times correspon-
dent Kifner asserts, "call
for Israel's return to its
pre-1967 boundaries."
That misstatement has,
been made so often that it
has achieved acceptance
as fact but there is no ex-








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cuse for any newsman,
exercising ordinary care
to perpetuate the error.
The resolution calls for
"withdrawal of Israeli
armed forces from ter-
ritories occupied in the
recent conflict." It does
not say "all" or "all the,"
nor simply "the" ter-
ritories; it says "ter-
ritories occupied in the
recent conflict."
for "withdrawal of Israeli
armed forces from ter-
ritories occupied in the
recent conflict." It does
not say "all" or "all the,"
nor simply "the" ter-
ritories; it says "ter-
ritories occupied in the
recent conflict."
This was not an over-
sight, quirk of draftsman-
ship or semantics but a clear
exposition of the intent of
the resolution sponsors. The
wording was chosen with
the utmost deliberation and
preciseness. It was bitterly
fought by the Soviet Union
and the Arabs who recog-
nized its significance. It

even involved a sharp ex-
change between President
Johnson and Soviet Premier
Kosygin who wanted "the"
inserted before the word
"territories." •
There was good reason for
the wording chosen. The
resolution called for each
state to have "secure and
recognized boundaries."
The Security Council rec-
ognized that Israel's pre-
1967 boundaries were not
secure and so the resolution
was phrased to permit
boundary modifications by
negotiation to permit the
creation of "secure and rec-
ognized boundaries."
The return of territory
was one of two conditions of
equal weight in the resolu-
tion. The second called for
termination of all states of
belligerency and acknowl-
edgement of the sover-
eignty, territorial integrity
and political independence
of every state in the area
and their right to live in
peace within secure and
recognized boundaries free

from threats and acts of
It is 15 years after the
fact and only one Arab
state — Egypt — has
given this recognition to
Israel. Hussein's Jordan,
which has had consider-
able sub rosa diplomatic,
economic and other con-
tacts with Israel over the
years, is as guilty of this
failure as Syria. The
Times story refers to an
Israeli obligation to give
up conquered territory
but it omits reference to
the obligation on Jordan
and the other Arab
There is something naive
or delusionary in portray-
ing the opportunistic, con-
niving Hussein as "one of
the most pro-Western of
Arab leaders" as he was de-
scribed in the Times inter-
view. The problem of the
West Bank could have been
resolved in 1967 had Hus-
sein ever been willing to
negotiate on Prime Minis-
ter Levi Eshkol's offer —

Lost Page of Ancient Codex

:•(Continued from Page 1) that they swore by this
Shulamit Romanov of "Crown of the Law" when
Jerusalem who had re- they had to. take an oath.
ceived it from her aunt, Mrs. The congregation regarded
Mary Hedaya of Brooklyn, theplace where it stood with
N.Y. It was given to Mrs. awe and reverance.
Hedaya by her sister, Mrs.
During the riots in
Regina Tawil, also oftrook- Aleppo in 1948, when the
lyn, 30 years earlier.
Syrians tried to burn down
Great Synagogue ache
The Aleppo Codex is con-
sidered the most trustwor-. time of the establishment of
thy representative-of the the state of Israel, the
Masoretic text (early Ben-Asher Codex was badly
Jewish traditional as to the damaged by fire.
The page now recovered is
correct form of the text of
the Scriptures). Israel's ac- one of some 200 of the origi-.
quisition of the Codex in nal 800-page Codex lost in
1958 meant a major step anti-Jewish disturbances.
forward for world Bible re- The bulk of the Codex, some
search and became a source 600 pages, was saved by
for the Hebrew University's Rabbi Moshe Tawil and was
scholarly "Jerusalem Bi- smuggled to Israel . by Mor-
dechai Ben Ezra Faham. It
Experts believe that the was placed in safety in
Codex was written by the Israel through the efforts of
scholar Aharon Ben-Asher the country's late President
either in Jerusalem or and Bible scholar, Yitzhak
Tiberias not later than the Ben-Zvi. It is part of the col-
year 910. It was carried off lection of the Ben-Zvi Insti-
from Jerusalem to Egypt as tute. •
The last person from
part of the booty, following
the sack of the Holy_City by abroad who saw the
Codex in its entirety and
the Seljuks in 1071.
noted down particulars
In Cairo, it was ran- was the late Prof. Moshe
somed by the Jewish D. Cassuto, head of the
community and placed in Department of Bible
the Synagogue of the Studies at Hebrew Uni-
Jerusalemites. Shortly versity. He had traveled
afterwards, the great to Aleppo in 1946 follow-
Jewish scholar ing the university's deci-
Maimonides saw it and sion to publish a schol-
used it as his authority arly edition of the He-
for the correct Hebrew brew Bible, but the
text for the Scroll of Law. Aleppo congregation did
Maimonides found that not permit him to spend
the Codex was the most more than a few days
accurate version existing examining the Codex.
of Masoretic Bible text,
He was not allowed to
since — as he put it — "it photograph it, and could not
was collated by Ben- even collate it.
Asher who worked on it
In the world of Bible
for many years and col- scholars, it was feared that
lated it many times."
the Codex of Ben-Asher was
The manuscript was later completely lost, but it
transferred to Aleppo, showed up again though
Syria, presumably at the
end of the 14th Century.
When our vices quit us,
The Jews of Aleppo tradi-
tionally submitted to its we flatter ourselves with
authority in various the belief that it is we who
readings of disputed pas- quit them.
sages. It was so holy to them

seriously damaged. Of its
first section, the Pen-
tateuch, only 10 pages were
left, while the middle part,
the Prophets, and the last
part, the Writings, both
were largely intact.
A facsimile of the codex
was published in July 1976
by the Bible Project of the
Hebrew University. It was
published at the Univer
sity's Magnes Press by cour-
tesy of the Trustees of the
The facsimile, in color, is
in the actual size of the orig-
inal. In certain respects it is
even superior to the manu-
script itself, as the text
stands out more clearly, and
disfigurement was largely
eliminated through a spe-
cial photographic method.

brought to him in Amman
by U.S. Ambassador George
W. Ball — to return Weft
Bank areas to Jordanian
rule. Hussein rejected it
Subsequently, Hussein
refused to participate in the
Camp David process al-
though his participation
conceivably could have re-
sulted in a settlement. He
took part in the Arab states'
ostracism of Sadat's Egypt
and the abuse the Arab
leaders showered on Sadat
for daring to recognize. Is-
Throughout his entire re-
ign, Hussein has been
closely aligned with Iraq, a
major Soviet client, and the
king himself has turned to
Moscow for weapons which
could endanger Israel.
Ironically, the Reagan
Administration, Which pro-
fesses such great friendship
for Israel, may be asking
Congress to authorize de-
livery of arms to. Jordan to
keep our good friend Hus-
sein out of Soviet hands.
Another misconcep-
tion fostered . by the
American press which
helps present Israel in an
unfavorable role is the
repetitive use of the
terms "occupied _ter-
ritories," "conquered
territories and "Arab
lands" to describe the
West Bank and Gaza. The
West Bank was never


Jordanian except for the
19 years following its
conquest by. the Jorda-
nian Arab Legion in the
1948 war. If Resolution
242 disqualifies Israel
from retaining these
lands under the principle
of "inadmissibility of the
acquisition of territory
by war" it certainly dis-
qualifies Arab states
from claiming their "re-
The territories were not
"Arab lands"; they were
part of Palestine and under
the Palestine Mandate were
open to both Jews and
Arabs. The fact that armed
forces drove the Jews out
does not alter the basic


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