2 Friday, September 17, 1982
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
An Unusual New Year Needs Reiteraticin of the
'J'Accuse That Indicts Resort to- the Big Lie
at Root of Anti-Semitism . . . Emphasis on Life
The Time of American Jewry's Most Serious Testing
Prayer, chanted- with emphasis on the sacred days, needs deliberation, more so than
ever before in modern history.
In the blessings of the Free World, when Jews can differ without apologies with their
non-Jewish neighbors, when citizens in lands of freedom need not fear resort to criticism
of their own government, provocative conditions arise, often causing dismay. This is a
simplified way of saying that immense problems are plaguging this generation. There
has seldom been a time of such serious testing as the present.
It is not the Israel situation alone that is so heartrending and oppressive. The factors
that have enveloped it cause great distress.
In the center of the stage on which the great drama has been and continues to be
enacted as a target. He is the Prime Minister of Israel who is depicted as a villain. He was
democratically elected by his people, yet the Americans who oppose and hate him
hammer away in the desire to oust him. Editorial writers and media commentators who
really should know better keep demanding that Menahem Begin should be removed from
office. They go so far as to assert that there can be no peace as long as Begin is in office.
This is so unprecedented in political maneuvering and thinking, in human reactions,
that it blossoms as the most fantastic in the search for scapegoating. No one ever heard
the same politicians and Wise Folk in the Media demanding the ouster of Brezhnev in the
USSR or Arafat in the PLO. But Begin is an available target for hate.
In the process, there has developed a biased press, vicious cartooning, hate on so vast
a scale that the extent of the venom is inconceivable to a rational mind.
* * *
An editor was once quoted: "Let me write the headlines, and I don't care who makes
and writes the news." To it was added: "Let me write headlines and I don't care who writes
It has happened to Israel, to her friends, to the sensitive who are concerned about
truth: the headlines have been so angled, written with such venom, that the atmosphere
has been filled with poison, Israel being the first victims, with the Jewish people
thereupon the total sufferer.
Even more damaging is the cartoon. What a distressing reminder of the worst days in
modern history that Jews and Israel should be so vitriolically caricatured, that there
should be such maligning of the Jewish state, its chief officer, with the suggestive toward
These are sad days for Jewry, and the copyreader and the cartoonists are the
architects in an age of revived hatreds.
* * *
Of course, this will be judged as irrational, as biased, as a kind of chauvinism.
Naturally, since the truth has already been sacrificed and the Big Lie has become the
dominant factor in a sad period in history.
Therefore, a glance at the record:
The entire world is in the throes of one of the worst manifestations of anti-Semitism
in 50 years, matching in some degree the Hitlerism of the 1920s through the mid-1940s.
In large measure the new hatreds are ascribable to the venom that has been poured on
Israel and the Jews under the inspiration of the terrorists who have just been driven out
of Lebanon and who threaten revivalism, and because of the Big Lie for which the
American media also is responsible.
In the Page One ear of The Jewish News, July 30, a commentary in that issue was
called attention to with: "J'ACCUSE: Expose of Spread of Shocking Libels Against Jewry
and Israel. The "J'ACCUSE" is emphasized in the current issue of Commentary maga-
zine by its editor Norman Podhoretz. In an 11-page essay he provides a study of the
media, the distortions dealing with Israel, the spread of the Big Lie. Is it falling on deaf
Podhoretz did not place emphasis on the emerging anti-Semitism. It needs to be
recorded. Jew-baiting is rampant everywhere. It is in evidence in this country. In
countries where the Jewish populations were annihilated by the Nazis the Hitler spirit is
alive again. In Austria and Greece the PLO leader was embraced by chiefs of state and
PLO headquarters are given diplomatic status.
In Ireland, where Jews have such a wonderful record of Jewish-Christian friend-
ships, swastikas are visible wall-length.
In Paris there was a Kristallnacht, a synagogue set on fire after several incidents of
murderous attacks on Jews in the spirit of the Czarist pogroms.
The many incidents of anti-Semitism in England do not lend glory to a sad era in
Some Christians have spoken in condemnation of such occurrences, there have been
isolated voices deploring such events. Will the voices of decency, of Christendom, be
heard again in a quest for decency? Is it too much to expect that Islam also will join in a
genuine call for peace and justice rather than subscribing to a damnation of Israel which
also spells Jewry?
* * *
Truth has become a premium. There is need to beg for it. There are the distortions
that sicken the pleader for facts.
Now there is an attempt to revive Eisenhowerism, in the claim that he had called
Israel's bluff when he compelled David Ben-Gurion to withdraw the Israeli troops from
the Sinai it captured and the collaboration it had with Britain and France against Egypt.
Here is a fact to be recorded again:
Arthur Brock, veteran New York Times Washington correspondent, in
his book "Sixty Years on the Firing Line — Presidents I Have Known," in
which he describes his experiences with Presidents since Theodore
Roosevelt, wrote glowingly about President Eisenhower and praised his
record, with this reservation:
A blemisn on this record, in both the contemporary and hind-sight c.
judgment of some experts in foreign affairs, was the frustration by the
United States of the Anglo-French-Israeli military expedition against Egypt
in 1956. It is conceivable that these allies, probably the Israelis alone,
could have kept the Suez Canal international and free for all shipping,
overthroweGamal-Abdel Nasser's regime in Egypt and at least postponed
for a while the threat of general conflict generated in 1967 by the provoca-
tions of the Six-Day War in the Middle East."
Now the claim is advanced that President Eisenhower threatened Israel with sanc-
tions to exert the yielding of troop withdrawals by Ben-Gurion.
The fact in that case:
U.S. Senators Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas and William F. Knowland of California,
the minority and majority leaders at that time, in 1956, went to Eisenhower and warned
him that sanctions against Israel would cost him his foreign aid proposal. There were no
This Commentator ought to know and remember these facts: he consulted Senator
Knowland at the time and found him sympathetic with Israel, in opposition to the
President whose policies he was directing as the Republican senatorial leader.
* * *
Does it help to reiterate these truths, to utter the old cries for justice, to plead for
It is doubtful whether Norman Podhoretz's "J'ACCUSE!" will bring the desired
result, but it must be uttered.
* * *
These things must be said for the sake of Jewry. The Jewish people dare not buckle
under, when anti-Semites prepare to dominate and gain an audience in the Free World.
The appeal to reason must be sounded. Jews must understand the issues and must not be
misled by false propaganda and animosities. They must not sink into fear.
There is an effort in the offing to provide assistance to the embattled people of Israel,
to uphold their hands, to cheer them on to life. There must be no minimization of these
How sad that a new year must be welcomed with such utterances! There must be no
ignoring of the factual and of the responsibilities to truth, to whatever leads to fulfillment
of the will to live. That's really the message of this Rosh Hashana: the glory of the will to
Secretary George Shultz's Call to Action and the Unfulfilled Appeals for Face-to-Face Talks
"A split Jewish community" is the impression given of
the reactions to President Ronald Reagan's latest proposals
for peace between Israel and the Arabs. There is an evident
truth to these assertions and the warm reception given by
United Jewish Appeal leaders to Secretary of State George
Shultz, Sunday night, indicates much more than that: it is a
re-emphasis on a deep-rooted
and impassioned urgency for
amity with the Arabs that the
communities of Jews
everywhere would go to ex-
tremes to achieve.
Like President Reagan,
Secretary Shultz presented the
U.S. position with great dig-
nity and in many respects con-
vincingly. They have not, how-
ever, resolved the issues by any
means. In fact, Secretary
Shultz placed his finger on the
basic obstacle to every effort
that had been made for peace
by Israel: the failure to con-
struct a negotiating table.
When the Secretary speaks about "negotiating," there
is just cause, serious concern, over the elimination of "ta-
ble" as inseparable from negotiations. Had the Arabs re-
sponded to the Isareli and Jewish appeals by joining them
at a "negotiating table," there would have been an elimina-
tion of wars, an end to conflicts. Arabs and Jews would have
been, as they should be, good neighbors. They refused!
When they met at television sessions, they demanded a
partition between them and Israeli spokespeople.
That's the tragedy, and unless they sit together, what
hope is there for an Arab-Israel accord?
How long can the anchronism continue? Is an approach
to good will to be blocked, as the selectees for hatred in
There is a tragic element iii the current confrontations
Detroit Free Press articles anticipate? What sort of press over the peace plans and they seriously affect the approach
has it been during the entire Lebanese war, that it failed, as to the latest Presidential and Secretariat proclamations. It
some have, to provide means to express themselves to is the abuse that had been poured on Menahem Begin, the
Lebanese Christians in their efforts to expose the terror charge that the admistrative forces in Washington are
that gripped them for more than seven years? ganging up with the media in a hatred aimed at deposing
There was one very important assertion in President the Israeli prime minister and thereby glorifying the image
Reagan's address, now described as "historic" in its ap- of his chief opponent, Shimon Peres.
proach to peace, that must be given special emphasis. It was
William Safire (N.Y.Times Op-Ed Page, Sept. 13)
not in his original text as it was released to the press just poses a damaging question, thereby also making the ac-
before he delivered it, but the President interposed the cusation that Peres was the only Israeli who, twice invited
to the White House, was informed in advance about
I have personally followed and supported
President Reagan's peace-proposing speech:
Israel's heroic struggle
What would your reaction be if Menahem
for survival ever since
Begin invited Ted Kennedy to Israel, and in re-
the founding of the state
turn for Democratic Party support of Israeli pol-
of Israel 34 years ago. In
icy, promised to help him oust Ronald Reagan?
the pre-1967 borders Is-
Outrage, of course. No democracy has the
rael was barely 10 miles
right to conspire to overturn the electoral deci-
wide at its narrowest
sion of a democratic ally.
point. The bulk of Is-
Yet that is what Mr.
rael's population lived
Reagan has done. He in-
within artillery range of
vited the twice-beaten
hostile Arab armies. I am
, 1 leader of the opposition
not about to ask Israel to
Labor Party, Shimon
live that way again.
Peres, to Washington
It is to the credit of the
and made a tacit ar-
President that he is aware of
rangement: support our
a danger that spells "return
Mideast plan and it will
to 1948 status." Due credit
be clear to Israeli voters
should be given him for possessing a knowledge of the past.
that you, and not the
Now there must be an emphasis on the dangers that stem
stiff-necked Begin, are
from it. It is the threat that is constantly emphasized by
the chosen instrument of
Arab extremists, demanding "a return to the 1948 status,"
and that means the end of Israel's existence, a menace ruled
out by the President.
(Continued on Page 8)