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July 02, 1982 - Image 19

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1982-07-02

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


Boris Smolar's

`Between You
. . . and Me'

, Emeritus, JTA

(Copyright 1982, JTA, Inc.)

A LOOMING DANGER: Jewish leadership in this
country is now engaged in a serious fight to prevent the
crippling of the U.S. Constitution.
There is an attempt by a considerable number of state
legislatures to force the Congress to call a constitutional
convention for the purpose of amending certain articles in
the Constitution. This can affect the Bill of Rights, the
separation of state and church, the banning of prayers in
schools and other aspects of basic American legislation in
twhich the Jewish community is deeply interested.
Under the Constitution, the Congress is mandated to
Summon a constitutional convention if petitioned to do so
by two-thirds of the states. This would mean that such
petitions must come from 34 of the 50 states. By now, 31
state legislatures have passed resolutions calling for a con-
stitutional convention. Only three more are needed to
mandate action by Congress.
A majority of the states requesting the calling of a
convention seek primarily to amend the Constitution in a
way that will put the government under obligation to
maintain a balanced federal budget. But other states re-
quest the amending of other laws guaranteed by the Con-
stitution. There are today about 40 issues on which differ-
ent states have called for a constitutional convention for
the purpose of proposing amendments.
Jewish organizations do not have a position on the
necessity of a balanced federal budget. They oppose the
move to impose upon Congress the calling of a constitu-
tional convention because they consider this move an at-
tack on the present Constitution which has served the
country so well for nearly 200 years. Constitutional experts
believe that there would be no way to limit a constitutional
convention to the issue of a balanced budget. They assert
that the requested convention could pass any amendment.
If ratified later by three-fourths of the state legislatures,
this could change the entire Constitution, including the
Bill of Rights. Leaders of Jewish organizations fear such a
COMMUNITIES ALERTED: An alarming call to
Jewish communities throughout the country to fight
against the request for a constitutional convention has
been issued by the National Jewish Community Relations
Advisory Council — the roof organization of 12 leading
national Jewish organizations and more than 110 local
Jewish community relations agencies standing guard over
civil rights.
The NJCRAC considers the issue as "a serious and
high priority issue." Since most Jews in the country are not
aware of the issue and its potential dangers, the NJCRAC
urges its constituent bodies to initiate and participate in
educational campaigns to alert the Jewish community —
and the general public — to the dangers of a constitutional
convention. It also urges them to join in broad-based coali-
tions to "vigorously" oppose the calling of such a conven-
There is only one precedent in the American history for
calling a constitutional convention. That convention was
held in 1787 and was called to revise the Articles of the
Confederation. It went beyond its mandate. Instead of
amending the Articles, it scrapped them and produced a
new constitution. Attempts were made in later years to
bring forth another constitutional convention but they
failed to achieve the backing of the required two-thirds of
the states needed before a convention can be called. The
potentially disastrous consequences of a constitutional
convention for the character and structure of the United
States were among the reasons.

U.S. Vetoes UN Resolve
Asking for Israel Pullback

(JTA) — The United States
vetoed a Security Council
resolution demanding the
immediate withdrawal of
sraeli forces "to a distance
if 10 kilometers from the
periphery" of Beirut and
calling "upon all armed
elements in the Beirut area
to respect and abide by the
exclusive authority of the
government of Lebanon."
The veto of the French-
proposed resolution was
cast by the acting U.S. chief
delegate Charles Lichtens-
tein. It placed the U.S. in


opposition to the 14 other
Council members, includ-
ing its major West Euro-
pean allies who backed the
The U.S. and Israel cast
the only votes against a
resolution in the General
Assembly demanding Is-
rael's immediate with-
drawal from all of Lebanon
and asking the UN to con-
sider punitive actions
should Israel fail to comply.
The measure, adopted by
a vote of 127-2, unlike Secu-
rity Council resolutions, is

President Appoints U.S.
Director of Lebanon Relief

Friday, July 2, 1952



WASHINGTON — requiring humanitarian re-
President Reagan has sponse.
Contributions are being
named Peter McPherson as
his personal representative accepted by American
for U.S. disaster assistance Jewish Joint Distribution
Committee for Lebanon Re-
to Lebanon.
All work guaranteed
McPherson, the adminis- lief, P.O. Box 2287, New
trator of the Agency for In- York, N.Y. 10163.
Free Estimates
In a related development,
ternational Development
_(AID), will corrdinate all Israel's Ministry of Foreign
government relief activities Affairs has announced that
for Lebanon. He can call on the government will grant
28829 Orchard Lake Rd., between 12 & 13 Mile
any government agency for passage through Israel to
Farmington Hills, MI. 48018
emergency relief or techni- voluntary organizations
Max Fleischer
and supplies duty-free.
cal assistance.
In addition, through
AID's Office of U.S. Foreign
Disaster Assistance,
McPherson can channel re-
lief assistance through U.S.
voluntary agencies such as
Catholic Relief Services,
Per Cooling
CARE and Church World
Service, as well as through
international organiza-
tions, such as the Interna-
tional Committee of the Red
Cross (ICRC).
Meanwhile, the Ameri-
can Jewish Joint Distri-
bution Committee (JDC)
has joined the appeal for
Lebanese relief spon-
sored by the Catholic Re-
—Call For Free Information—
lief Service and the
Church World Service
The Interfaith Hunger
Appeal is the agency coor-
dinating the three-faith
10 years experience
ecumenical campaign. It
has previously campaigned
Licensed Electrical Contractor Inc.
in behalf of Cambodian ref-
ugees in Thailand and in
other cases of emergencies


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