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September 03, 1982 - Image 64

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1982-09-03

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

68 Friday, September 3, 1982

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Yeshiva Students in the IDF

Statistics of the Lebanese Fighting

By JAMES LEWIN

World Zionist Press Service

Yeshiva students at the Ramat Hagolan Yeshivat
Hesder study with their weapons at their side. Stu-
dents spend four years at the yeshiva, alternating
study with service in the army. All of the students
were called up for active service in the "Peace for
Galilee" campaign in Lebanon. The American Jewish
Joint Distribution Committee supports 170 religious
schools in Israel, with a student population of 27,000.

Would you believe that as
the flames were consuming
these innocent victims, the
inquisitors . . . were chant-
ing our prayers? These piti-
less monsters invoked the
God of Mercy and kindness

and pardon while commit-
ting the most atrocious,
barbarous crime, acting in a
way which demons in their
rage would not use against
brother demons.
—Voltaire

To: The Jewish News

1'

17515 W. 9 Mile Rd.

Suite 865

Southfield, Mich. 48075

Yet, the search for
exact information has
proven somewhat elu-
sive. Economics Minister
Yaacov Meridor, co-
ordinator of a special
committee to assist the
Lebanese, declared be-
fore the Knesset that the
final, correct figures for
the number of victims, in
total, actually numbered
less than 500 dead and
approximately 1,000
wounded. This may be
substantially correct.
Yet, more exact figures
later released by the IDF
tabulated exactly 331
dead and no more than
1,000 wounded.

ViElf JUST

from:

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NAME

Effective Date

JEURSALEM — Perhaps
the greatest flaw of the Op-
eration Peace for Galilee
has been the failure, par-
ticularly in the first days of
fighting, by Israeli govern-
ment sources to make
known the true nature of
what is happening in Leba-
non today and to facilitate
its reporting. First reports
of 10,000 dead, five or six
times that number of
wounded, and 600,000 refu-
gees were based on wild
exaggerations invented by
the PLO propaganda
machine, and seemingly
legitimized by the false con-
firmation of the "Lebanese
Red Cross."
In reality, there were not
that many people in the
entire area now under Is-
raeli control, including the
115,000 residents of the sec-
tor governed by Lebanese
Major Saad Haddad. Among
Lebanese civilians, as has
been well documented now,
leaflets warning the popu-
lation of the impending in-
vasion allowed the vast
majority to escape from
their homes before the Is-
raeli air attack.
Also, many of the civilian
casualties which did occur
were caused directly and
indirectly by the PLO, who
chose hospitals and homes
for their installations,
shielding themselves be-
hind non-combatants. The
crucial difference betweei
the IDF and the PLO is that
while Israel cannot always
avoid civilian casualties,
the terrorists specialize al-
most exclusively in attacks
on innocent victims.

I

Despite Meridor's denials
during sharp questioning at
a press conference near the
Lebanese border, he later
had to admit that the IDF
figures included only the
Lebanese casualties while
the numbers of Palestinian
dead and wounded in south-
ern Lebanon have not yet
been released, and can
probably only be estimated
at best.
The total of homeless sur-
vivors was at first officially
set at about 20,000. Yet
again, it's now evident that
these latest statistics did
not include the Palestinians
who were presumably al-
ready classified as "refu-
gees." Latest statistics in-
clude up to 30,000 Palesti-
nian homeless in addition to

previously quoted number
of native Lebanese.
Even the best intentions
cannot prevent the human
suffering which results
from armed conflict. But at
least there can be no doubt
that Israel has made every
effort to ensure the
maximum of humanitarian
aid to the injured on the
scene.

sonnel, as well as 20 ambu-
lances from Magen David
Adorn, have been sent back
home for lack of work. Im-
prisoned PLO men have
been visited by the Red
Cross.

rian prisoners-of-war are
also receiving medical care
in Israeli facilities.
Some of the volunteers
who came to help the war
victims, including Swedish
and Finnish medical per-

*

Approximately 250 .
Lebanese were treated
under fire by Israeli med-
ical field units. In addi-
tion, around 300 sick and
wounded Lebanese
patients are now in Is-
raeli hospitals, brought
by ambulance and
helicopter.

Presently, there are 22
hospitals functioning in Si-
don, Tyre and Nabatiye,
which deal with most of the
needs of the populace. All
wounded terrorists and Sy-

A Lebanese family returns to Sidon after the fight-

ing.

KEEPING THE
DREAM ALIVE

By Don McEvoy

VICTIMS AND EXECUTIONERS

E

lie Wiesel is a Holocaust
survivor. He is also a
writer, „ a teller of tales. More
poignantly than any other who has
attempted to translate that cataclysm
into human language, Wiesel forces
us to confront this man-made
nightmare that divides history into
two sharply demarcated ages. He
speaks and writes of Holocaust. not
because he wishes, but because he
must. Despite the inadequacy of
language, he speaks because silence
would be betrayal: one final betrayal
of.Hitler's helpless victims.
His first book, and the best known,
is entitled "Night". It is
autobiographical. It tells the story of
his own years of imprisonment; from
the morning when he was only. four-
teen years of age, when all the Jews of
his village in Transylvania were herd-
ed like cattle and shipped away; to his
own ultimate liberation.
One cannot read this story and
ever be the same again. It ii the
chronicle o-f what it means to be a vic-
tim. It sears itself into the conscience
and the consciousness of the reader.
But Wiesel has written more. He
has other tales to tell. His second
hook is entitled "Dawn". It, too, is
the story of a Holocaust survivor.
The central character, Elisha, having
been liberated from Buchenwald, has
gone to Paris. There he is befriended
by Gad, who recruits him to join the
Jews of Palestine who are fighting the
British prior to the establishment of
the State of Israel.
Gad explains that the time has
come for the Jews to seize their own
destiny and create their own nation.
Too long we have been the world's
victims. Too long the only ones- to
obey the commandment, Thou shalt
not kill, is Gad's plea.

Elisha immediately responds:
"This was the first story I had ever
heard in which the Jews were not the
ones to be afraid. Until this moment I
had believed that the mission of the
Jews was to represent the trembling
of history rather than the wind that
makes it tremble. –
He goes to Palestine anti becomes a
part of - the liberation movement.
Ultimately he finds himself as the
guard of a British officer who has
been taken in retaliation for the cap-
ture of David hen Moshe, the com-
mando leader. The British have an-
nounced their intention to execute
Moshe at dawn, and the Zionists
have promised to answer in the ex-
ecution of John Dawson if their
leader is not set free.
Through the long night the two
men, the guard and his hostage, wait
and talk. At dawn word is received
that David ben Moshe has been shot,
and the order is given to kill Dawson.
Elisha places his gun on the cheSt of
his prisoner. Just as he pull the trig-
ger, Dawson has begun to speak,
"Elisha
"I fired. When he pronounced my
name he was already dead. A dead
man, whose lips were still warrn,.had
pronounced my name....That's it, I
said to myself. It's done. I've killed.
I've killed Elisha."
In that terrible moment he
discovers that killing another is
somehow akin to killing something in
oneself, and that it is no better to be
an executioner than to be a victim.

(Don McEvoy is Senior Vice President of
the National Conference of Christians and
,Jews. The. opinions expressed are his own.)

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