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January 21, 1983 - Image 46

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1983-01-21

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

46 Friday, January 21, 1983


Book Analyzes Defense Needs

TEL AVIV — A new book
published by Tel Aviv Uni-
versity's Center for
Strategic Studies says that
Israel would not be able to
defend its highly-populated,
narrow central plain if it is
not able to keep its forces in
Judea and Samaria.
Brig. General (res.)
Aryeh Shalev, deputy direc-
tor of the center and author
of "The West Bank: Line of
Defense," says that Israel
would not have enough
warning time or defensive
maneuvering room if it does

not have soldiers in Judea
and Samaria.
Israel's central plain con-
tains 67 percent of the coun-
try's population and is only
nine to 14 miles wide.
Shalev's book examines
the security risks of various
peace options for Judea and

There is often as much
good sense required in
knowing how to profit from
good advice as there is to
give it.
—La Rouchfoucauld


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Mystery Novel Explores Ritual Murder Libel


It has been a long time
since I have read a murder
mystery I have enjoyed so
much as "Ritual Murder" by
S.T. Haymon (St. Martin's
Usually not my favorite
oeuvre, I was delighted to
find the book both engaging
and compelling from its first
intriguing page to its startl-
ing conclusion.
While mysteries are not
normally described as seri-
ous or anything more than a
good story, this one is both.
Anti-Semitism has to be
taken seriously. The con-
text of our story forces us
to take a fresh look at this
old problem.
Set in a medium-sized
city in modern-day
England, the story opens
with Detective-Inspector
Benjamin Jurnet inves-
tigating graffiti found in the
city's famous cathedral. We
learn early - on that
enshrined within its walls
is the tomb of Little St. Ulf,
a child found murdered in
1144 CE. His death led to
the first ritual murder ac-
cusation in history.
Through careful research
the author illuminates the
dark beginnings of the
libelous ritual murder ac-
cusation leveled against an
entire Jewish community,
leading to a pogrom and vio-
lent death for many Jews.
This devastating form of
anti-Semitism had its ori-
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gin in merry old England in
the Middle Ages, but sub-
sequently it had no trouble
crossing the English Chan-
nel and spreading its venom
all over continental Europe.
Ritual murder accuses
the Jewish people of
murdering Christian
children at the Passover
season, draining their
blood and using it for
making matzot. Prepos-
terous as it sounds, it was
widely believed in the
-Middle Ages, often lead-
ing to an excuse for viru-
lent anti-Semitism.
Could the accusation rear
its ugly head again in the
20th Century?
Inspector Jurnet is on the
innocuous case of the
graffiti, a choir boy is mur-
dered in the cathedral, sex-
ually mutilated and has a
Star of David carved on his
chest. His body is discovered
in Little St. Ulfs tomb in
the midst of an archeologi-
cal dig being conducted at
the site.
When details or the
grizzly murder reach the
eager ears of English Men,
an anti-Semitic group of
rabble rousers, violence di-
rected at the city's Jews
The mystery takes the
reader step-by-step
through the detective's
investigation of the
child's murder, up and
down the many hidden
stairways and into every
nook and cranny of the
old cathedral. Literally,
no stone is left unturned.
No one is immune to Ben
Jurnet's probing — from
the headmaster of the
cathedral school to the
homosexual choir master, to
the Jewish archeology stu-
dent. Each suspect and
character is carefully drawn
and plays an important part
in the story.
Most importantly, we get
to know Detective-Inspector
Jurnet. He is in love with a
Jewish woman, Miriam,
and wants to convert to
Judaism so that she will
marry him. Basically an ir-
reverant man, he nonthe-
less finds comfort and solace
during this case in his
friendship with Rabbi Leo
Schnellman with whom he
is studying for his conver-
Ben Jurnet is a compas-
sionate, earnest man. As he
attempts to solve the mur-
der and other attendant
mysteries, his personal life
and the facts of the case be-
come entangled.

Characteristic of so
many murder mysteries
is an author's intrusion of
more characters and
events than readers can
keep straight as they
struggle to follow the
ever-thickening plot to
the inevitable surprise
ending. S.T. Haymon,
gratefully, is more merci-
ful. There is just enough
complexity to make the
plot challenging and the
proper surprise ending is
not denied us, but we are
not burdened with ex-
traneous sub-plots and
It becomes obvious from
page one that our author
hails from the other side of
the Atlantic — not only be-
cause the story takes place
in England but because her
writing style is more in the
English tradition. It takes a
bit of getting used to at first.
Beyond that, I found that

she strains the language
frequently in an effort to be
cutesy. She is a good writer
and does not have to try so
hard to be effective.
This is not Ms. Haymon's
first book featuring the
'charming Ben Jurnet as
detective-hero. Her other
novel, "Death and the Pre-
gnant Virgin," introduces
us to this memorable sleuth.
She has also written biog-
raphies of Bonnie Prince
Charlie and an historical
novel of Norwich, where she
Finally, aside from being
an exciting murder mys-
tery, this book is instruct-
ive. It serves to remind both
Jew and Gentile of the ori-
gin and possible modern day
ramifications of the ritual
murder accusation. As such,
it carries with it a message,
making it more important
than one curtomarily . ex-
pects from this kind of book.

Subcommittees Begin Talks
on Lebanon-Israel Agenda

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A Shamir-Sharon-Kimche
subcommittee to deal with team and with Lebanese of-
ending the state of war be- ficials in an effort to bring ,
tween Israel and- Lebanon the two sides together. The
was set up by delegations of American diplomat has al-
the two countries meeting ready impressed on the Is-
in Khalde Monday morn- raeli ministers President
ing; It is the first of several Reagan's urgent desire that
subcommittees which will progress by achieved with-
negotiate the various items out delay.
on the agenda agreed to by
Habib is said to be wait-
Israel and Lebanon last ing for the opportune mo-
Thursday, an Israeli ment to draw Syria into the
spokesman said. negotiating process.
The state of war subcom-
Syrian cooperation is
mittee is headed jointly by the prerequisite for the
the chief • Lebanese early withdrawal of all
negotiator, Antoine Fatale foreign forces from
and Elyakim Rubinstein, Lebanon. Reports from
legal adviser to Israel's Damascus said the Pales-
Foreign Ministry. Israel tine Liberation Organiza-
Radio said that the sub- tion leadership there has
committee might meet more begun practical dis-
frequently and on a differ- cussions on the removal
ent sequence of days than of the estimated 6,000
the full negotiating teams.
PLO fighters from Leba-
The latter have been non. Israel insists that the
meeting twice weekly for PLO forces pull out first
the past three weeks, alter- to be followed by the
nating between Khalde, simultaneous with-
just south of Beirut, and the drawal of Israeli and Sy-
Israeli border town of rian forces.
Kiryat Shmona.
At the opening of Mon-
As the talks got under- day's negotiating session,
way Monday, U.S. special Kimche reiterated Israel's
Ambassador Philip denial of Beirut press re-
Habib waited in ports that the Israelis and
Jerusalem for word of Syrians had reached a
any substantive pro- secret understanding to
gress. He met at length partition Lebanon into
with Israeli Foreign spheres of influence. Fatale
Minister Yitzhak Shamir, thanked Kimche for clarify-
Defense Minister Ariel ing that matter.
Sharon and David
Sharon claimed credit for
Kimche, director general the agenda agreement on
of the Foreign Ministry Monday, earning the ire of
who heads the Israeli both government and oppo-
negotiating team.
sition politicians. He called
According to Israeli a press conference to make
sources, Habib said he his announcement at the
thought agreements in same time the negotiators
principle could be worked were 'meeting with the
out within a week. The press.
sources said Habib would
Shamir emphatically
try to persuade the ruled out on Wednesday a
Lebanese government to ac- reported American sugges-
cept an agreement he tion that U.S. personnel
worked out with the Is- could man early warning
raelis. stations in the security zone
The negotiations are now in south Lebanon.
proceeding on parallel
Israel did not put forward
The, Israeli, the demand, the condition
Lebanese and U.S. delega- "that Israeli forces man
tions continue to meet reg- these stations in order to
ularly while Habib talks forego it," Shamir said on a
separately with the radio panel discussion.

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