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September 17, 1982 - Image 45

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1982-09-17

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

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

The ancient rabbis com-
pared superstition to
idolatry.

API President Hits Israeli Policies

NEW YORK — In its Sep-
tember 3 issue on Lebanon,
the journal Sh'ma printed
responses to a question that
had been posed to American
Jewish and Zionist lead-
ers on the topic of American
Jewry and the war in Leba

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non. Stating, "At these
High Holy Days American
Jewry faces a new chal-
lenge," Sh'ma's editors
asked the respondents to
guide American Jewry at a
time when so many believe
that because of the human
suffering caused by the Is-
raeli advance beyond 25
miles from the Lebanese
border, Israel has "morally
compromised the human
stance that, for many years,
Israeli spokesmen have
projected on their state."
Further, the editors
wrote, American Jewry
"wonder in what way, if at
all, they can honestly re-
sume their old role as
apologists and lobbyists in
the United States for the
state of Israel."
In her response, Inge A.
Lederer, president of
Americans for Progressive
Israel, wrote, "Both as a Jew
out of the Prophetic tradi-
tion and as a socialist
Zionist, I have never be-
lieved that it was our role to
be 'apologists and lobbyists
in the United States for the
state of Israel.' To the extent
that many of our organiza-
tions and leaders have
played this role, they have
not only strengthened the
most reactionary forces in
Israel, but they have sadly
misled our people here, at
best, into a no-questions-
asked 'check-book Zionism,'
or at worst, into alienation
and indifference."

Discussing the role of
American Jewry, Lederer
said, "We must, of course,
never deviate from raising
consciousness, within the
Jewish community and
without, that Zionism is the
national liberation move-
ment of the Jewish people,
that the creation of Israel
was the first in a series of
steps that mainstream
Zionism undertook, that its
aim is to be a nation of so-
cial, political and economic
justice."
Moreover, she discusses
the importance of fighting
both the anti-Zionist left as
well as -explaining why "re-
visionist Zionism, which the
Begin-Sharon government
represents, is dangerous to
the Zionist vision which
created Israel."
"At the same time," Le-
derer added, "we must begin
the public process of
separating our passionate
commitment to Israel's sur-
vival and security needs
from our legitimate ques-
tions about its political and
military leadership.
Addressing the issue of
dissent and speaking out
against Israeli government
policies, Lederer wrote, "To
say that Israel's govern-
ment is elected demo-
cratically; therefore sac-
rosanct, and must not be re-
proached when it behaves
unwisely, un-Jewishly, and
undemocratically is not in
the best Jewish tradition —
nor in the best democratic
tradition."
Lederer concluded, by
pointing out that it is
American Jewish support
for the hawkish policies in
Israel that may cause

bloodshed, and, "If the slo- Zionists — must begin to
gan "We are one' is to be
taken as more than a fun- support the peace move-
draising gimmick, then ment in Israel and political
American Jews who have solutions to problems that
taken seriously their re- military actions will never
sponsibilities as Jews and solve.

.

Friday, September 17, 1982 45

One of the first propo-
nents of equal rights for
men and women was the
prophet Hosea, who said
that God will not punish
Women for the sin of im-
morality as long as their
men-folk are guilty of the
same crime.
—Hosea 4:14

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