2 Friday, April 30, 1982
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
When an Entire International
Community Suffers Guilt
in Its Treatment of Israel
Ahad HaAm (Asher Ginsberg), the most eminent of the
Jewish scholars of this century, in one of his essays in which
he discussed the prejudices leveled at the Jewish people,
posed the question whether it could possibly be conceived
that the entire world could be wrong in its treatment of the
Jewish people. If anti-Semitism is rampant everywhere,
how can Jews claim immunity from the accusations?
He provided an answer. Yes, it is correct to state that
the entire world is wrong. The Ritual Murder accusation
against Jews proves it, he contended. If such an outrageous
libel could be leveled at Jews, with the bigots in so many
countries parties to the libel, then Jewry is correct in its
accusation of mankind as it stands alone resisting bigotry.
This is applicable now to the United Nations Security
Council and to the world powers in its make-up — the
United States standing alone in defense of common decency
The UN Security Council was acting on a resolution
proposed by hatemongering nations condemning Israel for
an act by an individual, an insane person who committed
an inexcusable crime at one of the holiest of the Moslem
mosques in the world. It was an outrage by a mentally-
deranged man, more against Israelis and Jews than at
Moslems. The Islamic world need not be reminded that it
has many assassinations, murders, injustices committed by
unscrupulous, certainly not rational people.They were sad
experiences. No one blamed Arabs or Islamic worshippers.
But when a single Jew committed a crime, all of Israel, all
of Jewry was condemned.
Who joined in the condemning? France, England,
China, the great powers! This is where the guilt lies: that
the world's so-called civilized nations should have joined in
another form of ritual murder lies against the Jewish
people and the state of Israel!
The latest UN Security Council vote is so blatantly
unethical that it explains why the UN is now described
with disgust as immoral and as having betrayed the pur-
pose for which it was created. Sinking even lower is the
joint action by British, French, Scandinavians, those pos-
ing in frock coats,of diplomacy as civilized statesmen. They
sink into the gutter condemning an entire people for the
insanity of an individual.
Let them all look to their laurels and judge in their own
midst to declare whether, whenever there is a crime in their
countries, the international community should step in to
insult their entire nation.
This nation is blessed for having refused to join the
indecency that was perpetrated in the inhumanly
politicized world organization. There should be gratitude in
the heart of every American that our nation refuses to be in
the ranks of uncivilized medievalism in that shocking ac-
tion of the UN.
Yet . . . There Are Too Many
Misconceptions About Israel's
Current Political Actions
Yet, there are blunders and Americans are not im-
mune from blame.
There is still that scapegoat called Menahem Begin.
He is the suitable target, and whenever there is an attack
on Israel and Menahem is selected for hatred, there is
evidence of misunderstanding, often resulting from failure,
perhaps refusal, to look at the facts.
Former Presidential candidate Senator Barry Goldwa-
ter is an example. He judged Begin as it he were a villain.
He undertook to advise the Israelis who elected Begin in
democratic fashion to reject the legally-selected prime
minister. Gold*ater was nasty in passing judgment, in
blaming Begin for the ills of the current period in Middle
East affairs. The Arizona U.S. Senator should have known
better. He didn't look at the record.
Neither have many others who should give credit
where it is due — Begin is the man who engineered the
peace with Egypt, making the Egyptians the only Arabs
who have abandoned warfare; Begin is the man who
worked with Anwar Sadat for that peace, utilizing
President Carter's cooperation for that purpose; it is Begin
who made many sacrifices in the name of his Israeli people
to attain that hoped-for peace. Let this be remembered
udging, and then the judgment will be less harsh.
A musical director also undertook to pass judgment.
Joseph Eger, who directs the Symphony for the United
Nations, while recalling an anti-Semitic slur directed at
him when he was nine years old, has become frightened
over events in Israel. In his panic he wrote on the New York
Times Op-Ed Page under the heading "Why Jews Worry."
He offered advice that Israel, and also Jews of course,
should test the waters polluted by Arafat.
While being an advice-provider he took pot shots at
Begin. This has become the means of seeking credibility for
fears and dislikes. What this UN musician fails to under-
stand, besides his reluctance to look at the facts and ap-
preciate the strains and difficulties under which Israelis
The Eyes and Ears of the World on Israel, But Some
Hearts Are Poisoned and Many of the Leading Powers
Are Cowed Into Panic from Oil-Soaked Threats •
operate, is that if Jews succumbed to panic it would mean
their end. They can't sink into fearfulness even when ad-
vised by fellow Jews to submit to the indignities that made
the word "pogrom" applicable for Jews, under Czarism,
under Nazism and now under the threat of Arafatism. Eger
must have acquired his fears at the UN while serving there
Since so much of these fears stem from the so-called
Palestinian problems and threats, it is encouraging to
read the objective approach in the Wall Street Journal
editorial (April 21, "Palestine Realities"):
From 1949 to 1967, when the West Bank was
controlled by Jordan, there were few Arab calls
for a Palestinian state there. Most Arab states
regard the PLO with intense suspicion; and in fact
both Jordan in 1970 and Syria in 1976 tried to
destroy its military command. But the Palestinian
cause is the only issue that comes close to uniting
the discordant Arab world. Iraq and Syria, Libya
and Saudi Arabia, Algeria and Morocco may be
bitter enemies, but they can join in rejecting any
compromise with Israel or in ostracizing Egypt
for Camp David.
There can be no Palestinian state, however,
without compromise. Israel will never counten-
ance a hostile Palestinian state on its borders.
And so long as the PLO remains pledged to Is-
rael's destruction, Israel cannot afford to give
genuine autonomy to West Bank and Gaza popu-
lations who sympathize with the PLO. Palestinian
self-rule will come only when Palestinian leader-
ship makes peaceable overtures comparable to
those made by Sadat, and when Israel is con-
vinced that the leadership will stay in power. The
tragedy of Palestine is that its nationalism is so
profoundly anti-Israeli, and that those few lead-
ers who urge accommodation are assassinated.
There are only two ways that tranquility could
be restored to Israel's occupied territories. One is
by draconian military rule, of the sort that is dif-
ficult for a liberal democracy such as Israel to
sustain. The second is by the emergence of Pales-
tinian leaders who would be willing to stand up
for peace with Israel.
The second would be clearly preferable for both
Israelis and Palestinians, but it is being thwarted
by those who fan the flames of uncompromising
Amidst the crudities that pile up for people of good will
who do not bear grudges against Israel, there is the satis-
faction of knowing that not all judges of the events of this
crucial age are venomous. The just-quoted Wall Street
Journal editorial provides a measure of comfort from dis-
A Small Town Mich. Newspaper
Editor Sadly Misrepresents
It is hard to believe: there is no limit to the hate that
can be spread by misinformation. How else could one possi-
bly judge a comment by a small town newspaper editor in a
letter from one of his readers who questioned the justice of
American aid for Israel?
In Fenton, Mich., a newspaper entitled the Tri-County
News, circulated in Genesee County, published a letter
from a reader who asked: "Why is the United States pour-
ing $6,000,000 a day into the Israeli economy?" Appended
to it was a reply, signed by Rick Rockman, publisher of the
paper: "The biggest single reason I know is because ;s
country is basically run by Jews, plus you have to
that Israel is one of the few true allies we have left."
The introductory comment is deplorable. Is this coun-
try dominated by Jews? Isn't it sufficient that Israel and the
United States are friends? Why introduce a deplorable un-
truth that the country is dominated by Jews?
A concession that Israel is the lone friend of the U.S.
indicates that colleague Rockman does know the situation.
But why muddy the waters by dignifying the ghost of anti-
Semitism? Who, Dear Rick, are the Jews who dominated
the last few administrations in Washington? Who are they?
And if there are Jews brilliant enough to lead this country
into paths of wisdom, for better economic functions, toward
foreign policies that will dignify this land, wouldn't you
The point is that a single misstatement can poison the
minds of people, and the small town editor exerts more
influence than the most powerful newspapers. That's the
road to follow. Help create friendships, Rick! That's the way
to lend glory even to the smallest of newspapers.
Does Council for Judaism
Seek Limelight Again?
The American Council for Judaism hasn't been missed.
When it was active it was referred to as neither American,
nor a recognized council, nor Jewish in spirit.
Now, as a letter to the editor in this issue reveals, a
spokesperson for it asks for attention again.
The Council for Judaism representative makes a good
point: the U.S. President has a right, perhaps an obligation,
to meet with any individuals he chooses. But any attempt to
disrupt the democratic status of American Jewry merits
condemnation. When dealing with Jewish issues, with the
concern of American Jewry in Israel, it is the organized
community for which must be demanded representative
The Council for Judaism hasn't been — if its policies
persist, can't be — a recognized Jewish affiliate. Therefore,
its challenge to the head of the Conference of Presidents of
Major American Jewish Organizations, Howard Squadron,
invites the definition of hutzpa. It'll be a sad day for Ameri-
can Jewry when a handful of Jews, acting independently,
can assume representation.
Shaarey Zedek Documentaries: Historic Records Perpetuated
Cong. Shaarey Zedek's
volunteer workers who
have planned the 120th an-
niversary festivities are
making a contribution to
the entire community in one
special respect. In the proc-
ess of planning an historical
exhibit, for the May 6-13
period, they have succeeded
in accumulating data which
otherwise might have been
Concern now being shown
generally in recording his-
torical facts could be eased
to a degree with the
documentaries being made
available during the
Shaarey Zedek observance
of its 120 years of progress-
, On the agenda ofcommu-
nity planning, generated by
the Jewish Welfare Federa-
tion, a long-hoped for his-
tory of Detroit Jewry may at
last be compiled and made
What is gathered now
as an exhibit of Shaarey
Zedek becomes a trea-
sure for the entire Jewish
community and for the
state of Michigan.
There is much that is hid-
den, a great deal that gets
lost for lack of appreciation
of the value of photographs
and letters, and their
There are some elders
around who can provide the
story of Greater Detroit
Jewry orally. They need to
be interviewed and their re-
collections recorded. They
need encouragement to
gather up their collected
photographs and written or
published facts for the re-
It is to the credit of Mrs.
Bernard (Judy) Cantor,
jointly with Billie Barak,
that the Shaarey Zedek his-
torical record project is ac-
quiring fruition. Daughter
amue M .
of the late Prof.Samuel
Levin, granddaughter of the
late Rabbi Judah Levin who
was considered Detroit's
Chief Rabbi when he minis-
tered at the Shaarey Zedek,
Mrs. Cantor pursues a fam-
ily tradition with skill. The
community owes her a debt
for her efforts.
This 80-year-old Shaarey Zedek photograph includes, from left, Rabbi Ab-
raham M. Hershman, former Chief Rabbi Judah L. Levin, and former Shaarey
Zedek presidents David Simons, Isaac Shetzer, Isaac Saulson, Louis Smith and
Mr. Friedlander. Persons who can identify others in the photograph should leave
a message for Judy Cantor, archives chairman, at Shaarey Zedek, 357-5544.