THE JEWISH NEWS
Incorporating The Detroit Jewish Chronicle commencing with the issue of July 20, 1951
THE SCALE OF DEMOCRACY
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CARMI M. SLOMOVITZ
Associate News Editor
Sabbath Scriptural Selections
This Sabbath, the second day of Tevet, 5743, is the eighth day of Hanuha
and the following scriptural selections will be read in our synagogues:
Pentateuchal portion, Genesis 44:1-44:17, Numbers 7:54-8:4. Prophetical portion,.I Kings 7:40-50.
Candlelighting, Friday, Dec. 17, 4:44 p.m.
VOL. LXXXII, No. 16
Friday, December 17, 1982
American Jewry's most distinguished schol-
ars, as well as those in the ranks of leadership;
have constantly drawn upon the urgency of em-
phasizing learning as the most pressing need of
honoring the legacies acquired historically and
in inherited traditions.
Whenever Louis D. Brandeis was asked for a
Hanuka message, his theme was always the
need to know, the obligation to learn, the
urgency of acquiring the knowledge necessary
to be fully informed about one's people and the
challenges they confront.
Louis Marshall always made Jewish educa-
tion a priority in his appeals to American Jews
and in his explanatory speeches and articles
outlining the basic needs of possessing the
weapons needed to counteract anti-Semitism, to
attain the pride needed to honor Jewish tradi-
tions, to be so knowledgeable that the non-
Jewish fellow citizens will respect the con-
tinuity of Jewish devotions which lend strength
The changing conditions in Jewish experi-
ence, which call for emphasis on the partnership
with Israel, the obligation to protect the Jewish
state, the issues that have arisen which make
that unity obligatory, give new emphasis to the
educational factor, albeit it is only a continuity
of Jewish duties to themselves.
So drastic are the obstacles placed in Israel's
path resulting from Arab antagonists and Third
World hatreds, so deep-rooted are the suspicions
arising from the controversial issues, that Jews
will be in a constant dilemma. There must be
fullest understanding of the needs, a knowledge
of the roots of the animus, an awareness of the
difficulties on the road ahead for both Israel and
the Jewish people. The most venomous indig-
nities must be recognized so that friends and
fellow citizens with a sense of justice will know_
how to approach the threats with the aim of
It is senseless to complain about non-Jews not
being fully informed about existing conditions
affecting the Jewish people if Jews themselves
are uninformed about developments and untu-
tored in ways of tackling the most serious is-
It has often been charged that Jews, while
benefiting in pride from having given the world
the basic spiritual teachings, are themselves
only peripherally knowledgeable about the
Holy Scriptures and the teachings of the
Prophets. There is the repeated rebuke that
many in the ranks know very little about
In the current crisis, so many Jews have been
misled into the ranks of Jewry's enemies that
such denigration adds to the regrettable status
It does not mean that all Jews are unin-
formed. It declares that many need to be better
This becomes a lesson especially applied to
Hanuka, which was chosen for appeals for the
strengthening of Jewish values through knowl-
edge by the giants in Jewish scholarship and
leadership. Then the duty to know and under-
stand one's status becomes a year-round, end-
Such are the present lessons for Jewry, ad-
monitions for all times, to make knowl-
edgeability a source of pride, - its application -an
emphasis on Jewish dignity.
A suspicious atmosphere predominates on Is-
rael's borders. Even the coveted friends emerge
problematic. The road to peace is not only obsta-
cled: it is strewn with thorns and is militated by
numerous inerasable hatreds.
Exemplary is the plea for a peaceful accord
between Israel and Lebanon. The hoped-for re-
juvenation of Lebanon, with Lebanon for the
Lebanese, toward which Israel contributed a
high-priced task, is not too promising.
It has its roots in an earlier Lebanon. For
perhaps two decades there was a silent expres-
sion of Lebanese friendship for Israel. It existed
in the ranks of the Maronite Christians. They
were mainly responsible for a neighborliness
that prevented a war between the two countries.
There was never a military confrontation be-
tween Israel and Lebanon.
But when it same down to brass tacks, to
definite assertions of a cooperative spirit be-
tween two peoples, between two nations, the
status remained one-sided. Israel pleaded for
peace . . . the Lebanese aligned with the Arab
League and the latter was among the architects
of the "destroy Israel" aim that remains the
basic in PLO purposes.
That's the continuing tragedy at this time.
Menahem Begin and his associates in the pre-
sent Israel administration said the aim was a
peace accord with the Lebanese, and they went
so far as to predict that this was about to be
attained. At the moment they not only appear
wrong in their anticipations but even misled
into hopefulness resulting from the Amin
Gemayel visits to Saudi Arabia, his flirtations
with Israel's enemies, his accusations against
the Israel that created opportunities of
presidential leadership for him.
Is there a possibility of cementing the desired
friendship between the two nations? Right now
it is as secretive as was the hesitation of Maro-
nite Christians to openly strive for and advocate
peace with Israel. This is not too happy a time
for Israel's hopes and diplomacy.
Hatred has no limits.
The Nobel Prize Committee in Stockholm had
already rejected proposals that the Nobel Peace
Prize be withdrawn from Menahem Begin. But
his enemies are finding funds to make it an
objective in newspaper advertising.
With the list of signers of such an ad, the aim
is not surprising. With Noam Chomsky and
James Abourezk in the American list, it was to
be expected that there is no limit to the venom.
Anti-Nazi Boycott Recorded
as Major Unifying Force
Boycotts are not generally endorsed in Jewish reactions to prej-
udices. If they were, it might at times be necessary to be in constant
warfare with the world. In the present circumstances, It could be a
battle with most of the press, with the media.
It was a different story during the rise of Hitler into power in
Germany. Then, too, there were divided opinions. At the outset, many
feared boycott as a double-edged sword. The attitudes changed with
the rise of Nazism and the boycott became a weapon against the most
vicious element in mankind.
Recapitulation of the processes under which the boycott de-
veloped provides one of the most interesting chapters in American
history, with emphasis on the unification of forces mobilized to fight
the Nazi terror.
Dr. Moshe Gottlieb provides a very thorough account of the
anti-Nazi movement in this country in his splendidly documented
"American Anti-Nazi Resistance — 1933-1941" (Ktav). Well
documented, factually stated, this is a work that must serve as one of
the most important yet compiled on the subject, with the movement
for a boycott of Nazi goods the vital subject under review.
It traces an exciting historical occurrence, a movement that was
first initiated by the Jewish War Veterans under the leadership of
Col. Morris J. Mendelson, then the national commander of the JWV,
on April 1, 1933, coinciding with the Hitlerite inauguration of a
boycott of Jews throughout the world.
The American Jewish Congress became the leading force in coor-
dinating the efforts, after brief opposition to the idea. Then it emerged
as the American movement to combat Nazism, in the form of the
Non-Sectarian Anti-Nazi Leaguesto Champion Human Rights, under
the leadership of Samuel Untermyer.
It was in August of 1933 that the boycott movement gained the
American Jewish Congress support and organizational skill, Stephen
S. Wise assuming a leading role.
There were others who had a leadership participation and who
inspired the activity which brought better results than anticipated.
They included Barich Vladeck, manager of the Jewish Daily Forward
and a leader in the Jewish Labor Committee and the labor movement
in this country; Abraham Coralnick, the popular Jewish Daily Day
(now defunct Der. Tog) columnist; Joseph Tenenbaum of the AJCon-
gress and others.
Truly becoming non-sectarian, William Green, AFL president,
played an important role in the movement.
Thus, the anti-Nazi boycott became an American movement.
How did it affect Germany? Adolf Hitler himself expressed con-
cern by writing, April 28, 1939, to President Franklin D. Roosevelt:
"It is likewise an unbearable burden for world economic relations
that it should be possible in some countries for some ideological
reason or other to let loose a wild boycott of agitation against other
countries and their goods and so practically to eliminate them from
Dr. Gottlieb's important historical record could prove there was
more resistance to Nazism than is generally conceded. Then there are
the indications of conflicts as well as the silence of the U.S. in the era
of barbarism — the spread of Nazism.
"American Anti-Nazi Resistance" is perhaps the most important
work produced on the subject as a summary both of the boycott history
and the related Hitlerite threat to Jewish existence. The Gottlieb
work is valuable not only as an informative work for individuals but
should prove valuable as a textbook for advanced classes and study