2 Friday, December 31, 1982
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
Purifying the Waters
Muddied by Arafatism
and Jordanian Monarchy
Even the muddiest waters can be purified if an ear is
given to truth and an eye to reading the facts in the most
crucial of human conflicts. It is taking a long time to ac-
complish it, and even in the terrorized Middle East there is
hope for a proper understanding of the complicated de-
Both the King Hussein visit and the many attributes
appended to the Arafat manipulations continue to confuse
as well as to prejudice many minds. The glorification of the
Jordanian ruler has long been cause for serious concern
because the monarch is constantly acclaimed as a hero
while he remains the obstacle to peace. He is an obstacle
because he is also subjected to the fears that have domi-
nated the Arab world — the panic over the repeated threats
of assassination lest he yield to the demands of the ex-
tremists whose one aim is the demolition of Israel.
The Arafat role must be exposed whenever there are
claims angled at Israel's very existence. Thomas Friedman,
New York Times correspondent, in one of his many il-
luminating reports from Damascus, gave an account of the
It appears to many officials that Mr. Arafat is
trying to satisfy the part of the Reagan'plan call-
ing for an association between Jordan and any
Palestinian entity, without actually getting into
the sensitive issue of whether that entity would be
an independent state, as the PLO wants, or some-
thing less than that, as Mr. Reagan proposes.
This, some diplomats have noted, is a char-
acteristic Arafat tactic: give the appearance of a
concession to one side while telling the rest of the
PLO leadership that nothing has been conceded,
then wait to see what happens.
The tragedy is in the panic that has enveloped the Arab
world. It stands in awe of Arafat, although it is often indi-
cated that he is both despised as well as feared. Even the
so-called moderate Mayor Elias M. Freij of Bethlehem, in
an article in the New.York Times, "An SOS to Hussein and
Reagan: Act Now," -purportedly intended as an approach to
peace, actually offers an Arafat plan. It could as well have
been written by the PLO chief.
Such are the agonies of an era that is bathed in prej-
udices and is marked by distortions which must be cor-
Even on the Lebanese side, where it was to be expected
that Israel's aims for an accord would be respected, there
are the manipulative . contortions that hardly spell good
will. Thus, while it was anticipated that the new Lebanese
rulers would concur in Israel's requests for a peace pact,
there are now new approaches.
Thus, instead of adhering to the major duty of eradicat-
ing the PLO terror and its leadership, a responsible
Lebanese leader now leans towards making Red Baiting
his aim. In another of the revealing reports by Thomas
Friedman, this time from Beirut, Friedman stated:
Asked the other day to explain the recent out-
break of murders and kidnappings among Chris-
tian and Druze villagers in the Shouf mountains
southeast of here, Pierre Gemayel, the founder of
the Christian Phalangist party and father of
President Amin Gemayel, had no trouble finding
an answer. Clearly, he said, it was the fault of
Mr. Gemayel's explanation might be consid-
ered a bad joke if it had not been delivered with
great conviction. The Christian elder statesman, a
hardliner who does not seem to share his son's
conciliatory spirit, used to blame the Palestine
Liberation Organization for all of Lebanon's
woes, but now that the PLO is gone from most of
the country, he has fallen back on an old standby,
the Red Menace.
Blaming "international Communism" for an
intercommunal feud dating back more than 120
years is typical of a local tendency to attribute the
country's tribulations to outsiders rather than to
take a critical look at Lebanon's own social and
That's how the Middle East political game is played.
There is no doubt about the Communist terror and its
manipulative means of disrupting the already troubled
area. But the approach as exposed by Friedman is in itself
Meanwhile, there is the weakness in Washington and
the oft-related failure to call a spade a spade that is very
aggravating. A letter to the New York Times by Arnold
Forster, general counsel of the Anti-Defamation League,
touched upon the seriousness of the situation. Forster
Careful readers of the Times (Dec. 6) know
that efforts to move the Lebanese-Israeli postwar
negotiations forward have been failing primarily
because our own government is actually blocking
the road to a peace treaty.
A Sad Year-End and Continuity That Hardly Spells Greater
Humanism, Unless the Vigilance Remains Undiminished
and the Accumulated Friendships Remain Continual
President Gemayel was prepared for broad
-negotiations with Israel until our State Depart-
ment encouraged the Lebanese leader to oppose
any bilateral peace arrangement that touched no
other Mideast problems. According to several
Times dispatches, Washington would support
only a comprehensive Middle East peace, not an
arrangement limited to the two nations.
Absurdly, the Israelis are made to appear
dreadful simply because they ask of Lebanon
open borders, tourism both ways, trade relations,
negotiations in their respective capitals and reg-
ular political contacts — all the stuff of a healthy,
peaceful relationship between countries.
Our government argues that if genuine peace
is achieved only between Israel and Lebanon, the
pressure would then be off the Jewish state to
resolve the West Bank Palestinian problem along
the lines of President Reagan's fading peace plan.
Secretary Shultz's clever tactic is therefore to
ignored the Jewish accomplishments, the achievements by
deny Israel the peace with Lebanon it hungers for
musicians and by the creators of the Jewish state.
— unless Israel simultaneously withdraws from
This is applicable to many others. A typical example is
the West Bank.
that of the eminent military authority, Hyman Rickover.
This is an American position thoroughly ac-
He was never too close to Israel nor to his people. But Israel
ceptable, of course, to those Arab nations which
is magical. He fell in love with the country, in his studies of
themselves have thus far refused to endorse the
it very recently and his visit there early in 1982.
Camp David peace negotiations.
So it is with human experience — that the concerned do
It is incredible that our government should,
not forget Jerusalem and the state the Holy City serves as
for any reason, frustrate political peace and nor-
malization of relations between Lebanon and Is-
Here is the traditional example of this truism:
rael. Worse still, opposing a peace treaty between
Upon reading the review of "Cecil Roth: Historian
two neighboring nations only because our State
Without Tears" (Sefer Hermon Publishers) by his widow,
Department prefers a comprehensive peace in the
Irene Roth (Jewish News, Dec. 17, 1982), a Roth admirer
area shows it has learned nothing from the Sadat
located in his files the text of an address Cecil Roth deliv-
ered in Detroit's Shaarey Zedek, April 16, 1962. The text of
It is forgotten that former President Carter's
that speech, in which the distinguished scholar gave an
first reaction to Sadat's trip to Jerusalem, sub-
outline of conditions affecting Jews on a worldwide scale
sequently changed, was chagrin and disapproval.
and uttered a plea for unstinting support of Israel. That
That's how a very difficult civil year concludes for plea has continuing applicability. Prof. Roth defined the
Israel. To be realistic, it must be conceded that it is the way
fate of Jewry dependent upon Jewish loyalties everywhere:
a New Year begins. That is why it is so necessary to be
Israel always stands on the brink of a crisis,
vigilant and to lean on friends. May the latter multiply as a
and we all wonder . . . Will it survive? The answer
good wish for Israel, the Middle East and mankind for a
to that does not depend on us . . . it depends on
better year and more peaceful decades ahead.
two million Israelis who are determined to sur-
vive. It is the determination of those two million '
Rubinstein as Israel's
Israelis to survive which is the determining fac-
Supporter in the Ranks
However, will you please remember this . . .
of the World's Notables
that, though their fate is in their hands, it is our
Artur Rubinstein left a rich legacy, primarily, of
fate also that is in their hands. I tell you as a
course, in music, and also as a friend of Israel.
historian, that if Israel were to go under, we
He retained memories of the past, commencing as a
would go under . . . It would be the greatest dis-
mere child when Jews were subjected to pogroms:
aster to Judaism . . . to organized Judaism . . . to
Then came the series of visits to Israel, his association
Jewish life and to the Jewish religion that has
with the leading musicians who contributed to the progress
ever happened, in the course of our millenial his-
made in musical circles generally and particularly through
tory, and will affect all . . .
the Israel Philharmonic.
Something of the same sort happened in the
Rubinstein's memoirs published in the decade before
17th Century at the time of the pseudo-Messiah
his death made many references to his devotion to Israel,
Sabbetai Zevi who was found to be an imposter.
his admiration for the Israel Philharmonic, his continuing
When this was discovered, a wave of defection
contacts with all who are concerned about Israel's security
swept the Jewish community and Judaism was
and the progress made in music by Jewish musicians, as
weakened as at no other point I can remember in
well as the popularity of the Israel orchestra in the capitals
the whole course of Jewish history. That would be
of the world.
repeated if Israel, were to go under, on a scale
In his last book, "My Many Years," (Knopf— 1980) he
immeasurably greater . . . with results im-
made an important reference:
measurably more tragic.
One day I received a visit from Bronislaw
Wherever we are and whatever we are, Is-
Hubermann. It was a most interesting meeting.
rael's fate is our fate.
There was a wealth of important matters to talk
In an address in Philadelphia recently, Beverly Sills,
about. Hubermann was a noble-hearted, remark-
the director of the New York City Opera who was among
able man. Before Hitler, Germany and Austria
the most admired in the Metropolitan Opera before her
considered him the greatest violinist of the time.
retirement, severely criticized those who created divisive-
Brahms had kissed him when the 13-year-old boy
ness in Jewish ranks. In her statement she declared:
had played his concerto for him. So now, deeply
"It just seems that the Israelis are damned if
hurt by the attack on the Jews by Hitler's blindly
they do and damned if they don't, no matter what.
obedient Germany, he wrote an accusing letter to
I object to self-righteousness when talking about
Goebbels which was widely read and commented
Israel's involvement in the Lebanese massacres.
upon and which Wilhelm Furtwanger repudiated
Meanwhile, the whole world stands by while an
on Goebbels' order.
Arafat is embraced as a hero."
He poured out to me the reason for his visit. "I
She also expressed her dismay, according to
have conceived a plan which I hope you will ap-
the Exponent of Philadelphia, at American Jew-
prove. The idea is to create an orchestra in Tel
ry's divisiveness over Israel. "Americans in gen-
Aviv consisting of the many excellent orchestra
eral are great breast-beaters, but we Jews are
musicians who have been expelled from so many
also known as people of action. Well, now is the
cities, not only in Germany but in countries which
time to open our mouths on behalf of Israel."
have followed Hitler's example, like Austria, Po-
She was and continues among many in the leadership
land, Hungary, and Romania.
in arts and sciences who have not buckled under.
"I already seem to be getting good results, but
There are dissidents wherever one turns, but the
I must have your help. We are in great need of
representatives among the masses, as well as in leadership,
contributions from wealthy Jews in the still free
stands by Israel. It is expressed in the views of Rubinstein,
world and you would have the opportunity on
Rickover, Sills, the cross-section of the responsible.
your concert tours to raise funds for this or-
The tributes to Artur Rubinstein served to emphasize
chestra." I accepted this challenge with fervor
these devotions. What Rubinstein did for Israel, how he
and promised to do everything in my power.
interpreted his admiration for the people in an embattled
This is especially significant because of the current- state, and the manner in which he respected his legacies,
observance of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Bronis-
are indicative of two factors: the inspiration that comes
from the genius of Israel, the devotion that is linked with
Thus, genius recognizes genius, and Rubinstein never the Jewish heritage. Both are indestructible.