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December 03, 1982 - Image 2

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1982-12-03

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2 Friday, December 3, 1982

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Purely Commentary

The World Zionist Congress Invites World Jewry's Intimate
Attention, Demanding the Fulfillment of Basic Ideals ...
Luther Anti-Semitism Expose Demanded by Commemorative

By Philip

SIOMOVitZ

The Unblemished Ethical Codes . . . The Principles That Defy Obstacles Without and Within

American Civil Liberties Union policies are fully in evidence in Israel. All sorts of
obstacles have emerged as challenges to the ethical codes which dominate the actions and
thinking of Israel and the Israelis. Nevertheless, the needling of Israel with charges of
abandonment of the "morality" of the nation keeps demanding countering. Even the
ACLU that should have recognized the determined will of a people to perpetuate its
idealism has undertaken to establish a branch movement in Israel based on accusations
that could undermine that nation's security. The developing actions by a commission of
inquiry into charges of inhumanities in Lebanon refute the unjust accusations.
Jews everywhere, in consort with Israelis, are distressed by the inquiry commis-
sion's findings, by the warnings to government officials and its military based on de-
mands for further testimony from officials on highest levels. These very warnings are
indications of adherence to highest principles in the morality codes that had become
means of accusing Israel and tormenting Jewry with the distressing reports which seem
to be adding fuel to the fires of distrust and flames of hatred.
It is by being undeterred in the task of arriving at truth and reality in quest of justice
that the inquiry exonerates Israelis from venomous attacks.
There is much more proof of decency and quest for justice and fairness than the
openness with which the inquiry commission demonstrates decency in contrast with the
searchings for means of accumulating bitterness against Israel.
There was a typical example in the case of a Washington nurse who was welcomed as
witness against Israel and whose background should bar her from any and all courts of
justice. Ellen Siegel was given a platform to accuse Israel of guilt in the massacre in the
Palestinian camps in Beirut. A subsequent interview with her in the Washington Post
(Nov. 13) exposes her.
She has been an agent for the PLO since 1972. She worked with the PLO advocates in
London two years ago. She was in Beirut ostensibly as a nurse but actually she was a PLO
agent. She now seeks platforms among Jews, seeking funds from them, expressing desire
to address Jewish audiences. She is now the sanctimonious who, saying she is a total
Jewess and had been Bat Mitzva, uses her talents to undermine justice for Jews.
The mere fact that this type of enemy within was given a hearing in the inquiry is
another indication of the unlimited scope of openness applied to the investigation. In this
instance the commission rendered an injustice: it should have known the Ellen Siegel
background and should have exposed it. Instead, the libelous in that Jewess' testimony
had front-page notoriety in newspapers throughout the U.S. and undoubtedly elsewhere.

World Jewry's Israel Concern
Echoes at Zionist Congress

From more than 40 countries throughout the world,
Jewish representatives will assemble next week to elabo-
rate on the urgencies that affect Jewish life everywhere.
The central theme, of course, will be Israel.
It was out of the ideology of the Zionist cause as it was
developed under the tutelage of Theodor Herzl, Max Nor-
dau and their associates, that the ideal of redeemed state-
hood became a reality.

THE 1968 JERUSALEM PROGRAM
The aims of Zionism

*

The unity of the Jewish People and the
centrality of Israel in Jewish life.

*

The ingathering of the Jewish People in
its historic homeland, Eretz Israel,
through Aliyah from all countries.

*

The strengthening of the State of Israel
which is based on the prophetic vision of
justice and peace.



The preservation of the identity of the
Jewish People through the fostering of
Jewish and Hebrew education and of
Jewish spiritual and cultural values..



The protection of ;ewish rights every-
where.

The WZO Department of Information,
World Zionist Press Service, Jerusalem

Lacking in ethical principles, she became an emissary for those who challenged Jewry's
and Israel's "morality."
In this instance, there is added reason to express regret that Israel's public informa-
tion activities are weak, that the Israeli newspapers, instead of searching for villains
within should be on the alert against the enemies both within and without.

* * *

They are many in these ranks, the villians who themselves abuse the ethical while
charging Israelis and Jews with immorality.
Critics are pathfinders on the road to emphasizing human values. When they become
destructive they underline the very aims they seek to achieve.
Jacobo Timernian is an example of thwarting of opportunities to be helpful in time of
need. He had the glory of a welcoming nation when, as he claimed, he fulfilled his Zionist
dreams by settling in Israel. He was treated royally. He found much to criticize. But the
form his accusatory role assumed was to denigrate. While doing so, he now makes the
entire Jewish people the scapegoats and the victims of his attacks. He has made himself a
means of being demonstrated as Example Number One of a great libertarian in Israel
who exposes his people's "crimes." What he does is so negative that it is among the most
deplorable.
It is not so certain that the critic's role now assumed by one of the hitherto most
admired Israeli leaders, Abba Eban, is even minutely commendable. He is now the chief
witness in the condemnations of Israel, and it is not totally reassuring that the eminent
statesman is not free from political bias. What he says and the way he says it will not help
the opposition party get back into power in Israel, and he certainly is not inviting a
government priority position for himself with his latest manifestations which are grist
for enemy bias. His failure to speak out more positively — as does, for example, Chaim
Herzog, and many other Israel opposition party leaders -= is most deplorable.
Painful distress was experienced during the October High Holy Days — Yamim
Narayim — period in numerous synagogues in some cities in this country when the
rabbis preached antagonistically to Israel. They copied the scapegoat anger with attacks
on Menahem Begin and his government. It was in Chicago specifically when a group of 35
rabbis uttered their protesting views, and they drew a response from 65 rabbis who, in a
statement published as an advertisement in the Jewish Sentinel, repudiated their views
and declared:
(Continued on Page 8)

Now the realism of Zionism must be kept intact, and
the sessions in Jerusalem will carry with them serious
responsibilities.
World Jewry will be listening in on the deliberations
and will be reading the procedures in whatever form they
may be broadcast for all to hear and to read.
Chief among the obligations will be fulfillment of the
duties delineated in the Jerusalem program.
Much of this platform remains unfulfilled. The agonies
under which Israel labored since these ideals were promul-
gated created difficulties, especially in the aliya program.
This remains a basic Jewish obligation, a Zionist commit-
ment — to encourage the settlement of Jews from all lands
as a means of strengthening the Jewish state and of provid-
ing it with the highest ideals inherent in aspirations for a
free and sovereign state fortified by the spiritual and cul-
tural legacies of the Jewish people.
Most of the old problems remain on the agenda. Anti-
Semitism, mixed marriages, assimilation — they are the
burdens that cause concern. They are over-all Jewish prob-
lems, yet they are major on the Zionist program because
solutions are made available by the Zionist ideal and by the
state of Israel.
Therefore, the World Zionist Congress whose sessions
commence on Dec. 7 is as vital, if not more so, than ever.
Out of its deliberations must emerge a stronger Zionist
adherence on a worldwide scope and commitments to Israel
which will help strengthen the Jewish state and provide it
with the dedication vital for Jewish unity.

The Luther Commemorative Stamp:
The Evils That Pursue It

Philatelists may cherish it, but in the realm of
humanism and contempt for prejudices of all sorts, the
Luther commemorative U.S. stamp, which • will soon be
made available by the U.S. Post Office, is certain to cause
aggravation.
There is anti-Semitism at its worst, the kind that in-
spired Hitlerism, in the history of Luther. The religious
faith that carries his name surely abandons such a legacy.
Lutherans and Jews are on the friendliest terms, they re
spect the adherents of the respective faiths. Yet the mem-
ory of Luther cannot be erased and his teachings keep
calling for repudiation.
In the New York Times (Nov. 19), Dr. William W.
Brickman, professor emeritus of educational history and
comparative education at the University of Pennsylvania,
stated in a letter entitled "Unlikely Tower of Religious
Tolerance":

Postmaster General William Bolger has
authorized a stamp to commemorate the 500th
birthday, in 1983, of Martin Luther. According to
Mr. Bolger's spokesman, "Martin Luther will be
honored not as a religious figure, but for his views
on freedom of religion and press . . . "
Luther's views on freedom of religion were
expressed in various writings including "Of the

Jews and Their Lies" (1543), in which his "sincere
advice" was "to set fire to their synagogues or
schools."
"I advise," he continued, "that their houses be
razed and destroyed. For they pursue in them the
same aims as in their synagogues . . . I advise that
all their prayer books and Talmudic writings, in
which such idolatry, lies, cursings and blasphemy
are taught, be taken from them . . . I advise that
their rabbis be forbidden to teach henceforth on
pain of loss of life and limb" ("Luther's Works,"
vol. 47, Fortress Press, Philadelphia, 1971, pp.
268-269).
A few pages later (285-286), he again urged
"that their synagogues must be burned down, and
that all who are able toss in sulphur and pitch; it
would also be good if someone could also throw in
some hellfire . . . "
And he went on with his "advice": " . . . that all
their books — their prayer books, their Tal-
mudic writings, also the entire Bible — be taken
from them, not leaving them one leaf, and that
these be preserved for those who may be con-
verted . . . that they be forbidden on pain of death
to praise God, to give thanks, to pray, and to teach
publicly among us and in our country . . . that they
be forbidden to utter the name of God within our
hearing . . . "
Luther then exhorted "our rulers who have
Jewish subjects . . . (to) burn down their syna-
gogues, forbid all that I enumerated earlier, force
them to work, and deal harshly with them.. . . " (p.
292).
You report that the stamp is to be issued next
November. Luther was born Nov. 10. Doubtless by
coincidence, during the night of Nov: 9-10, 1938,
his German disciples burned down and otherwise
destroyed 267 synagogues and hundreds of
homes and shops, arrested over 30,000 Jews and
assaulted and injured countless others, killing 36
of them.
The Postal Service has a curious concept of
freedom of religion.
It is important that a condemnation of religious prej-
udice and anti-Semitism should be by a non-Jew. Dr.
Brickman thus rendered a great service to human decency
with his expose of the Luther prejudices.
A sad recollection relates to the U.S. Post Office deci-
sion to issue a Luther commemorative. When this Com-
mentator was chairman of the Michigan Committee of the
American Jewish Tercentenary, in 1954. He proposed to
the then Postmaster General Summerfield, who prior to
becoming postmaster by appointment of President Dwight
D. Eisenhower was a Flint industrialist, that a com-
memorative stamp should be issued commemorating the
historic Jewish event. Summerfield flatly rejected the pro-
posal.
Judgments cannot be controlled, but they do not elimi-
nate being themselves judged, as the Luther notoriety now
demands.

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