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September 24, 1982 - Image 27

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1982-09-24

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

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Friday, September 24, 1982 27

Detroiters on Mission See Different Perspective on Lebanon

By BEVERLY WOLKIND

Jewish Welfare Federation

A sobering experience .. .
a different perspective . . . a
sense of partnership .. .
these are some of the feel-
ings reported by the Detroit
members of a recent United
Jewish Appeal mission to
Israel and Lebanon. For a
Christian participant, it
was a special kind of educa-
tion.
Mission participants, in-
cluding Peter Alter, Harold
Berry, David Lebenbom,
Sonny Raichlen, James Saf-
ran, Elwood Simon, George
Zeltzer and Catholic lay
leader Thomas Angott,
viewed areas of northern Is-
rael and southern Lebanon
and talked with citizens of
both countries.
They were impressed by
what they saw — both the
improved living conditions
for the residents of the
Galilee and the sense of re-
lief of the Lebanese at hav-
ing been freed from PLO
terrorism.

Alter recalled a visit to
the northern Galilee
town of Kiryat Shmona
on the day classes began
for thousands of
youngsters. "For the first
time in six or seven years,
school started normally,"
he said. "Not only were
parents willing to bring
their kids without fear of
Katyusha rocket fire, but
the youngsters were not
subjected to training on
how to reach bomb shel-
ters quickly" — a prac-
tice that had become
usual on the first day of
school.

It was in marked con-
trast, said Alter, to a visit he
had made the previous year
when schoolchildren
wanted to know if there
were Katyusha rocket at-
tacks in the U.S., too. "It's
apparent," Safran concur-
red, "that the lives of these
six-year-old kids were al-

ready defined by bomb shel-
ters."
As the group traveled
through the countryside of
Lebanon and into Beirut,
they saw the rem-
nants of war and
the residents' reac-
tion to it. Angott said
that he felt his perspective
as a Christian was some-
what different from the
other mission members. He
participated, he said, "be-
cause I had been influenced
about the morality of the
war by the press. Although
war is never humane, it had
seemed to me that Israel
was violating certain ethics
and I wanted to see for my-
self the amount and type of
damage."
The mission gave him
new insight. From what he
saw, Angott said, the Israeli
attacks were selective and
weren't intended to level
whole cities or populations.
A World War II veteran, he
said his past experience and
current observations "con-
vinced me that the Israelis
didn't indiscriminately kill
and destroy."

In the small village of
Deir-El-Kamar near Be-
irut, Angott had the
opportunity to visit a
church, accompanied
only by a local surgeon
and a shopkeeper. In
conversation with them,
he learned they were
pleased to get the PLO
out of Lebanon. "While
they weren't happy about
the destruction, they we-
ren't happy about ter-
rorism either. They want
to try to reconstruct their
state now."

Others on the mission
agreed with Angott's
assessment. They com-
mented that the Lebanese
saw their country as being
liberated, rather than in-
vaded, by the Israelis. "We
saw a massive rally of Shiite
Moslems whose leader had

** *

been kidnapped by the
PLO," said Alter. "They
waved and cheered when
they saw our bus with its
Star of David insignia." He
said that those Moslems,
like Christians and others,
had no rights under the
PLO's "pervasive reign of
terror."
Angott said that one of his
strongest impressions was
the reality of the region's
geography: he never
realized how small Israel is.
"It's obvious that Israel has
a real security problem."

Angott said he was
struck with the modern,

U.S.-Saudi Relations Remain
Unstable Following Lebanon

LONDON — The
Lebanese crisis has done
nothing to change the
United States' relationship
with Saudi Arabia, but it
has probably strengthened
the Saudi's hand in the long
term, according to an
analysis by Tony Lerman in
the London Jewish
Chronicle.
Intense Saudi displeasure
at Israel's action was lis-
tened to carefully in Wash-
ington. Prince Saud Faisal,
the Saudi Foreign Minister,
met with U.S. Secretary of
State George Shultz in July
and demanded a full and
unconditional withdrawal
of Israeli forces from
Lebanese territory. Faisal
gave the impression that his
country might impose sanc-
tions on the U.S. if Saudi
demands were not met.
Although some observers
like to portray the Saudi
kingdom as the essence of
moderation and stability,

Carlos Left
With the PLO?

NEW YORK — A
monitoried broadcast of the
"Voice of Lebanon" late last
week claimed that the ter-
rorist known as "Carlos"
had slipped out of Beirut at
the time of the PLO evacua-
tion of Beirut last month,
the World Jewish Congress
reported.
The Voice of Lebanon
transmission claimed it had
uncovered evidence that
Carlos had left Beirut by sea
on board a ship evacuating
Palestinian fighters. Repor-
tedly, he had left posing as a
Palestinian and had as-
sumed the alias "Castro".

In June, the Phalangist
Voice of Lebanon
claimed that Carlos had
entered Beirut secretly.

Carlos, whose real name
is Ilya Ramirez Sanchez, is
the son of a wealthy Ven-
ezuelan businessman and a
central figure in acts of vio-
lence carried out by the
network of international
terrorism. He helped or-
ganize the massacre of Is-
raeli athletes at the 1972
Olympics in Munich and in
1975 led a kidnapping
squad that seized 11 OPEC
oil ministers in Vienna.

In the top photograph, James Safran, right, is
part of the group that spoke to an Israeli doctor who
lost his leg when his medical unit was attacked by the
PLO. In the bottom photograph, Elwood Simon, left,
and Thomas Angott, right, take a lunch break while
visiting an Israeli medical unit outside Beirut.

In light of that, Angott
said he doesn't believe that
the renewed presence of Is-
raeli troops in Lebanon fol-
lowing the assassination of
President-elect Gemayel
was "an act of arrogance or
aggression." He said that,
given the geography of the
area, "Israel must be as-
sured that the government
of Lebanon is stable and
that it is not subjected to the
force of international ter-
rorists."

Get-well cards have be-
come so humorous that if
you don't get sick you're
missing half the fun.
—Earl Wilson

the reality is different, ac-
cording to Lerman. Saudi
oil policy, Lerman wrote, is
characterized as being sym-
pathetic to the West, but the
Saudis did nothing to pre-
vent prices from rising in
1980 and 1981.
Lerman concludes that
the cozy picture of U.S.-
Saudi relations does not
stand up to scrutiny and
that encouraging the
Saudis through a distorted
relationship is counter-
productive.

A

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D
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F
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The mission included a
stop at Tel Hashomer Hos-
pital near Tel Aviv, where
the group saw wounded
Lebanese and Syrians, as
well as Israelis, being cared
for. Safran told of visiting a
31-year-old physician who

had lost a leg when his
mobile medical unit was
fired upon. He commented
that even with the unit's
medical insignia visible the
enemy had attacked.
"I saw what this man had
personally sacrificed," Saf-
ran recalled, " and it made,
me realize the importance of
whatever we can do to help."
Safran said he believes
that American Jews must
support Israel, "not just
with our money, which is a
necessity, but by visiting
the country and even by
buying Israeli products
whenever possible."

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