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August 20, 1982 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1982-08-20

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2 Friday, August 20, 1982


Purely Commentary

By Philip

When Poison Affects the Body Politic of a Generation,
the Emphasis Is on the Need for Jewish Unity and for
Action to Overcome the Bias of George Ball and Others

Militarized Diplomacy . .. The Prayer of the People Israel for a Speedy Peace

In war there are the unavoidable casualties, in diplomacy the agonizing rhetoric, in
militarism the tragic to toughness. When they conflict there is hope for human accord.
When they become inseparable there is danger of tragedy.

Israel is agonized by the severe losses and the threat of a future retaining danger to
security. World Jewry shares in these heartaches.
The great hope is that warfare will cease, that Israelis will be able to return to their

`Plunter' as the Continuing
Symbol in the War of Nerves

Another Yiddish word may make its way into the
English vocabulary. NBC's Tom Brokaw picked it up to
illustrate his broadcast from Tel Aviv last week. He quoted
the application of the Yiddish term Plunter to the current
war-affected situation.
"Plunter" is confusion. It is the "snarl" that creates a
"muddle," with the effect of a "jumble," a "tangle" in the
Yitzhak Rabin, a former Israel prime minister applied
the term to the current situation, when he desaribed it as
"the Beirut Plunter."

* * *

`Plunter' Internationalized

Yitzhak' Rabin could have given the term more apt
applicability had he said it was an "international plunter."
How else is one to judge the developing situation, with its
hatreds, with a remnant of Jews concurring "with the
enemy," the hatred going so far as to invite another
holocaust upon Jewry.
Can it be fully comprehended that in the Munich of the
Hitler Putsch, the German city that bears the memory of
the Arab massacre of the Israeli athletes during the 1972
Olympics, Nazis can march with Arabs in an anti-Semitic
It was in Munich, Aug. 7, when 1,000 West Germans
marched with Arabs shouting anti-Semitic slogans while
assailing Israel for the Beirut military action. Germans
will not officially condone such actions. Nevertheless, the
emergence of a revived Nazism cannot be ignored and must
be viewed in all seriousness. It has become part of a spread-
ing anti-Semitic revivalism.

* * *

The Pogrom in Paris

The conscience of civilized society will hopefully be
aroused by the new anti-Semitism, by what takes place in
Munich as well as the massacre in Paris.
They are not isolated incidents. They have multiplied,
as did the Arab-inspired and often publicly-ignored horrors
inflicted on unprotected people.
In Israel, it has been like this for a long time. The
PLO claimed to be conducting a war against Israel,_and it
was actually against all Jews. They only confronted women
and children, never battling Israel's army. It was only
when Israel undertook to demolish them that there was
actual warfare, tragically forced upon Israel in the
Lebanese environment. In Paris, the anti-Israelis also
launched a war: this time against people attending
synagogue services, as two years ago, and last week upon
diners in a restaurant. That's the kind of war Israel's
enemies are conducting!

* * *

Minimal Jewish ReSponse

Any wonder that a concerned citizen, distressed over
talk shows over which vile propaganda is spread and anti-
Semitic venom is administered, should have called and
said, the morning after the massacre in the Paris restau-
rant: "The Arab terrorist did not ask whether the people
they murdered belonged to the Peace Now movement, the
anti-Beginites, the New Jewish Agenda. They killed Jews.
Why isn't there a louder Jewish voice in defense of justice to
the Jew?"
Indeed, as through the ages, only Jewish unity meant
proper defense. All glory to the kind of tradition which
permits differing views among Jews. In time of most seri-
ous crisis, while taking pride in the freedoms that make
Jews adherents to the right to unhindered expression of
personal views, unity is a vital factor. There will be plenty
of time, very soon, when Israelis hopefully evacuate the
present positions in Lebanon, to criticize, to condemn to
encourage change of government in Israel, to reject uni-

* * *

The George Ball Bias

There is so much to contend with in search for realism
and justice, yet much is repetitive. George Ball, former U.S.
Assistant Secretary of State,` s a typical example.
He has needled Israelis, created stumbling blocks on
the road of Arab-Israel confrontations, is less than helpful
in the present situation as he keeps indicating in news-
paper articles and statements on radio and television.
It's an old George Ball story and it was revealed in an

homes from their battlefields, that peace will acquire a real meaning, that Israel, the
United States and world Jewry will be blessed with a genuine relationship and
World Jewry pleads with the responsible in the ranks of statesmanship to strive, for '
that goal. An end to warring and a reduction of unnecessary rhetoric are the blessings
prayed for in the best interests of Israel, world Jewry, these United States, the Middle
East and the peace of the world.

exchange of letters between him and the eminent Jewish
leader, Morris Abram, the former president of the Ameri-
can Jewish Committee, who is never silent when it comes to
defending fellow Jews.
That exchange of letters was published in the Wash-
ington Post. Abram, writing to Ball, indicted him, as indi-
cated in these excerpts from his letter:
You and I participated in the Public Broadcast-
ing TV program "The Advocates," and, though we
differed on the establishment of an independent
Palestinian state, you were then frank enough to
admit that such a state, with any military capabil-
ity, would be a threat to Israel. I put you down as a
fair-minded, if mistaken, man. Then I saw you on
Host Ted Koppel apparently was somewhat
taken aback by some,of your responses and gave
you a chance to clarify your position.
Koppel: "Mr. Ball, I don't want to put words in
your mouth, but you're almost making it sound as
though three million American Jews, who play
certainly a large role politically in this country,
are able to cause the United States to actin _ its own
disinterest. Is that what you're saying?"
You replied, "I think that's putting it very
bluntly, but I think it is not far from the truth."
' After some pro-forma obeisances, you pro-
ceeded to invoke one of the most classical and
stereotypical anti-Semitic charges in the
catalogue of hate literature:
". . I think that . . . they (the American Jewish
community) have put the United States interest
rather secondary in many cases."
Moreover, this follows your assertion that a
Jewish lobby, particularly in' an election year,
brings financial and other kinds of pressures
which make it possible for "the Israelis . . . to use
our weapons to behave in a 'manner that suits
their policies, but in many cases . . . contrary to
the best interests of the United States."
It frightens me, George, that one of your stand-
ing and reputation should invoke before an audi-
ence of millions the charge of undue influence and
dual loyalty against millions of your fellow coun-
trymen, including myself.'

George Ball kept up an antagonistic attitude in sub-
sequent statements, his reply to Abram having been a total
failure to comment on any of the criticisms.
It is well that the Ball image should not be con
with an important role he had in the U.S. governme
did not and does not whitewash him. He must be judg
what he is, and Morris Abram judged him well.

* * *

The Anti-Begin Venom

From the many regrettably antagonistic affronts to
Israel, there is one that needs attention, especially since it
is on a local basis. It is the lengthy article by Saul Friedman
in the Aug. 8 issue of the Detroit Free Press.
So much venom has been poured on Menahem Begin
who became the chief target of Israel's critics that the
Friedman essay demands attention. It contains all, with
emphasis on the all. The arguments presented are old, very
He dug up the Deir Yasin and the King David Hotel
bombings in the attempt to prove that Begin is the ter-
rorist. These are old incidents which have been tackled.
There is more than one side to the Deir Yasin tragedy.
There were explanations for the King David Hotel mis-
eries. That these should be the weapons directed at Israel,
with Begin as the chief scapegoat, is deplorable.
Then Friedman brings up the matter of the letter in the
Dec. 4, 1948 issue of the New York Times, in__ which
Menaheni Begin, as the leader of the Herut party, was
condemned by a group of notables, including Albert Eins-
tein. There was a reply exonerating Begin in a follow-up
letter in the NYTimes, Dec. 15, 1948.
The proof is in this editor's Page One article in the
issue of May 27, 1977. The Jewish News article proved that
even Albert Einstein could be wrong. Resort to the same
libel in a Free Press article served to add another drop of
poison to a pot boiling with spreading hatreds.
That the poison was then injected into the issues
labeled Israel should again be repeated is deplorable.
There is enough poison without the repetitive.
These are the problems that confront Israel and the
Jewish people. It is a pitiful situation and it demands a lot
of courage to overcome them. It calls for a strengthening of
Jewish responsiveness. Therein lies the basic need for
Jewish unity in time of crisis.

After Beirut: Will PLO Be Born Again?

population hostage in Be-
irut. Israelis discovered
(Editor's note: Robert PLO storage of military
Mayer Evans is a former supplies and equipment
correspondent for CBS in schools, churches and
News and the CBS hospitals.
bureau chief in Moscow.
Will Beirut represent the
He also has covered the end of the PLO? Officially,
Israeli leaders say yes. Pri-
Middle East.)
in vately, however, Israeli 'of-
Jerusalem count the "mili- ficials admit a PLO expres-
tary operation" in Lebanon sion of Palestinian
(they dislike calling it "in- nationalism would con-
vasion") a huge success. tinue. It might no longer
They see opportunities for have the umbrella group of
change in the Middle East Al Fatah as prime represen-
that are stumulating, even tative. It may take several
exciting. But they ruefully years to revive. But in time
note that the United States a form of the PLO will reap-
prevents the Israelis from pear, Israelis concede.
total victory. And they are
Not all PLO leaders are in
disturbed that the PLO ter-
rorists appear under little if west Beirut. Some have es-
any pressure from Wash- caped, joining others al-
ington or the West to corn- ready out of Beirut. A
thousand or more PLO
promise or accommodate.
Discussion already fo- guerillas have also slipped
cuses on the future. The ul- through the Israeli noose.
timate outcome in west Be- Some may be shielded be-
irut is crucial to that future. hind the - Syrians in the
Will there be a PLO in the Bekaa Valley near the east-
years ahead? If so, what ern border. To the south of
form will it take? And after Beirut there may be as
Beirut, who might host many as 1,000 PLO hiding
in the mountains, groves,
them in the Arab world?
Jerusalem officials de- hills and wasteland of
scribe the PLO with the southern Lebanon, north of
analogy of "highjacker" the Haddad enclave.
If the PLO exodus from
or "kidnapper": they say
the PLO is holding a city west Beirut is negotiated,



ultimate disposition of
the organization could be
predictaffle within limits:
A break-up into smaller
factions of the PLO.
Some PLO analysts think
that the setbacks in Leba-
non will generate more
feuding and fighting be-
tween terror groups.
-Knd PLO craving for re-
venge may focus on other
moderate Arab leaders also.
The PLO feels deserted by
the Arab world. Not one
Arab state came to its aid
under Israeli attack. They
may wreak their revenge
upon leaders of the Arab
states that have previously
not been the objects of such
an intensity of assassina-
tion and murder attempts.
But if the PLO founders
for several years, Palesti-

nian nationalism may not.
With PLO hit squads re-
moved from the political
equation, other Palestinian
leaders may speak up politi-
cally. But they must be con-
vinced there is no longer a
threat of PLO murder. That
may take time to develop,
Israeli officials say.
And the story of the PLO
rule in southern. Lebanon
since 1976 could have a
dramatic impact upon its
political image. Residents of
southern Lebanon report
that life under the PLO
"state within a state" was
chaotic, desperate, terror-
filled and frequently non-
The source of all this is
not Israeli information ef-
forts, but it is testimc
Lebanese civilians . _o
stayed behind to endure life
under the PLO.
For Palestinians living in
the West Bank, that cannot
presage a happy prospect of
any future Palestinian rule
by PLO elements. It em-
phasizes the opportunity
that appears now from new
statements of Israeli policy:
Can Israel help new Pales-
tinian leaders emerge who
are no longer intimidated
by the threat of PLO assas-
sination in their villages?

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