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January 07, 1983 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1983-01-07

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2 Friday, January 1, 1983


Purely Commentary

The Trail of Confusion Left in the Nation's Capital
by Jordanian Monarch's Visit, With Extra Footstep
of Misrepresentations About the Middle East Refugees

The Unrefutable Facts
About Middle East Refugees

Every visit by an Arab potentate leaves a trail of suspi-
cion leveled at Israel. The Jordanian monarch has a special
knack of adding disrespect for the Jewish state.
It is always Israel that is guilty when there are delays
in peace talks. It is Israel that is causing trouble in Lebanon
because the troops have not yet been withdrawn. That's
how the statesmanship that gains applause from highest
quarters in Washington and the media permits the Syrian
involvement to be minimized, the PLO terrorists' role to be
It is a tragic experience for Israel, and it is in the
confrontations thus caused that the battles must be fought
in the diplomatic arena as they are on the battlefields.
Perhaps the most shocking form of misrepresentation
is in the treatment accorded the so-called refugee problem.
It is of the utmost compulsion, therefore, that the facts
about the refugees be known in their realism.

The accompanying chart is the factual, presenting the
figures gathered by Jews as well as those from Arab quar-
ters, even the extremest whence comes the threat to the
very existence of Israel.
The chart itself is not sufficient. The claims that Israel
is responsible for the impoverishment of the Arab masses
must be tackled in every available fashion.
The basic truth not to be ignored is that the Arab states
have not only failed but have refused to contribute toward
the resettlement of the homeless.
The massive arming of the PLO with the aim of attack-
ing and striking at the very heart of Israel proved that the
hundreds of millions of dollars invested in military
hardware was the available means of aiding the needy and
was never utilized.
There is the utter uselessness, however, in seeking
justice when the aim to destroy is the ruling factor.
For the record, however, it is Vital that the facts pre-
sented here should not be ignored.

A Chapter in Bi-National
Advocacies: Robert Weltsch
and the Thud Proponents

- Robert Weltsch was among the best-known names in
Zionism, especially the German Zionist ranks, for more
than three decades. He was the editor of the famous
Judische Rundschau, the organ of the German Zionist
movement until its demise in the Hitler era. He left his
native land and his Berlin home in 1938 to settle in Pales-
tine, making Jerusalem his home.
His death in Jerusalem on Dec. 22 at the age of 91
reminded the knowledgeable in Jewish and Zionist history
of his active life as an author and a critic, as a Zionist and as
an advocate of Bi-nationalism.
He will always be re-
membered for his articles in
German, in the Rundschau,
in 1933 and the years that
followed, when Hitler as-
sumed power in Germany.
It was when the Nazis
began to impose the Yellow
Star on Jews, imposing
upon them the use of the
names Isaac and Sarah,
that Weltsch wrote the
famous essay that gave
courage and dignity to the
hounded Jews. On April 1,
in 1945 photo
1933, he authored the arti-
cle that "Tragt ihn mit Stolz, den gelben Fleck" - "Wear It
With Pride, the Yellow Badge."
A pioneering German Zionist, he later became a critic
of the leadership and a supporter of the Ihud movement in
which were enrolled Henrietta Szold, Martin Buber, Judah
L. Magnes and a number of Palestinian Jewish leaders. It
was an effort to enroll Arab cooperation in the establish-
ment of a bi-national state. It was like an abandonment of
the aim for statehood and Jewish sovereignty.
With the so-called peaceniks now visible as demon-
strators in the anti-Beginism that has arisen in Israel, the
one major frustration that attaches to the Ihudniks of the
past and the peaceniks of today is: where are the Arab
leaders to encourage and make such an effort possible?
Even in the matter of negotiations with the Lebanese,
there are obstructions that frustrate and dishearten, espe-
cially when the request for "normalization" meets with
rejections and rebukes.

Weltsch's name is a reminder of occurrences and view-
points in pre-Israel statehood years that are applicable to
the current era.

By Philip


Total Population




Data from
Sources (1979)

Data from
PLO Sources


580,000 (1)



703,600 (2)

818,300 (3)


441,300 (2)




1,100,000 (4)













Other Gulf States
(including Saudi .
Arabia, Oman, Qatar,
Iraq, Bahrain, UAE)


























Camp Residents





Data from
Israeli Sources
re: Camp Resid-
ents (1979)


64,700 (2)
177,000 (2)















Including all of Jerusalem.
1980 figure
Including East Jerusalem
(a) This number refers to Palestinians from the western part of .Palestine who have
migrated to the eastern portion (Jordan); actually, of course, all Jordanians
are Palestinians by ,definition.
(b) Of this number (1.1 m.) 460,000 are Jordanian citizens residing in other countries,
and are listed here also under the respective countries in which they reside.
These 460,000 thus appear twice in this table and have therefore been deducted
from the total, to yield the corrected total figure of 3,409,900.

Not Despair But Self-Confidence as Cure for Economic Ills

An ironic note struck at this metropolitan community.
In this period of economic crisis, Germans, from a dis-
tance of thousands of miles separating Berlin, Bonn and
Hanover from Detroit, offered relief for the impoverished.
It was in Hanover that a German Lutheran minister
reportedly spearheaded a drive to collect food and clothing
as well as money to provide aid for Detroiters who, he had
heard, were suffering hunger.
It was a call for relief that was carried on overseas news
and radio, in the name of Mayor Coleman Young, that
inspired 40 German ministers to join the movement in-
itiated by Lutheran Minister Eckhard Minthe.
Meanwhile, television teams arrived in Detroit from
West Germany to film the soup kitchens and the distribu-
tion of relief in this city.
A feeling of resentment has arisen over these manifes-
tations of pity which sow distrust in the current American
The refutations of such forms of philanthropy seek to
indicate that Detroit is not unique in its economic suffer-
ings, and the realists are quick to indicate that an economic
decline, and the accompanying sufferings stemming from
massive unemployment, are not limited to any one country,
let alone the U.S., and has become a global problem.
While this is not a time for jesting, it is worth recalling
other occasions when brief spells of economic distress
caused foreigners to taunt the U.S. During earlier periods
of recession in this country, Russians were in the habit of
portraying bread lines in America. Those were the days
when Communists sought to discredit everything that had
been labeled as either democratic or liberal. Now it is in
Germany that a sense of compassion is being expressed,
and in the process a basic experience is ignored: just as the
American ills of the past were healed, there is certain to
come a time of normalcy as a correction for an economic
Irony often plays its dramatic theatricals when an
affluent nation like the United States has a measure of
suffering in time of distress. It was evident in Israel as

couple of decades ago when satirists quipped about a tem-
porary economic setback in this country and the cynics
- gave assurance they would organize an Israel United
Jewish Appeal to provide relief for American Jews.
That's how such games are played, and they assume a
tragic mean when advantage is taken of what is truly a
serious social-economic problem. l t is sad enough that there
is a poverty problem, that progress has temporarily eroded,
that in a city like Detroit there is cause for mourning over
miseries striking a former wealthy area, causing the sad-
ness that comes with the abandonment in this city of so
inspired and gigantic an enterprise as downtown Hudson's.,

It is a cause for sorrow. It would be shocking if it were
treated as incurable despair.
The need is for a sense of confidence. Perhaps President
Ronald Reagan goes to unrealistic extremes with his kind
ofpredictions. In the largest measure, however, it is despair
that needs to be abandoned with a sense of confidence that
the American way of life is not destructible.. It is subject to
change, the economy demands repair, but the human skills
have not been defeated in the past. They are curable in
their future treatments.
That's the challenge: the need for a sense of confidence,
for a faith in an improved future. How else does one inter-
pret the American way of life?
An offer of relief from Hanover is a dramatic gesture.
There is a "thank you" in store for the Lutheran minister.
The solution is in the hands of the American under stress
who knows that self-help is the measure of Americanism.
The American way is the Jewish way - that is interpreting
tzedaka as justice. It is in the pursuance of it that one
must await an end to a sad period in this nation's economy
- and may it come in 1983.
Thus, it is in the confidence of America and of every
American that a setback in the economy will not be judged
with despair. There have been bad times and good times.
-Out of the present hopefully come the best times.

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