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February 11, 1983 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1983-02-11

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14 Friday, February 11, 1983


Parkes and HisCourageous Associates in Anti-Semitism Battle

When the record of resis-
tance to religious hatred,
with emphasis on the
courageous who assumed
leadership in the battles
against anti-Semitism, is
fully chronicled, the name
of James Parkes will be
among those whose
spiritual armor was the
most effective.
He had associates whose
labors added to the vindica-
tion of the honor of Chris-
tians who not only refused
to dignify bigotry in any
form, but who, by their ac-
tions, issued the challenges
that were required to offset
the hatreds that had taken
root through the ages.
Dr. Parkes' classic in-
dictment of the anti-
Semites is his series of es-
says which were first pub-
lished as a volume in 1954.
They have been out of print
for many years and are now
made available in this coun-
try under the title "End of
an Exile" (Micah Publica-
tions of Great Britain).

The title of the book it-
self is an immediate indi-
cation of Dr. Parkes'
philo-Zionism and
philo-Semitism, if the
terms can really be
applied to the eminent
Christian theologian's
devout spirit. Dr. Parkes
was among the leading
Christian Zionists. His
hatred and his expose of
the anti-Semitic virus
was among the most ef-
fective on record.

Similarly, the editor of
the republished "End of an
Exile," Roberta
Kalechofska, adds her em-
phasis to an application of
the Parkes views to the cur-
rent Middle East situation


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and the Arab antagonisms.
In her introduction to this
volume she states in part:
"In 'End of an Exile,' he
regarded the espousal of the
cause of the Palestinian
Arabs by the other Arab na-
tions as altruistic. By 1969,
when he published his var-
ious lectures in 'Prelude to
Dialogue,' he appraised the
relationship of the Arab
states to the Arab living in
Israel differently:
" 'They are an embarras-
sed minority, because as
long as Israel is surrounded
by hostile Arab states, so
long do her Arab citizens
know that a peculiarly
beastly fate would await
them were there a sudden
attack on Israel, and did
they fall prisoners to their
brother Arabs. Many dare
not show excessive Israeli
patriotism, and the Israelis
are realists enough not to
expect them to.

" 'Much of the prop-
aganda alleging that they
are treated as second-
class citizens ignores
these obvious facts. It is
part of the paradox of Is-
rael that only the sur-
rounding Arab states can
make the Arabs of Israel
into first-class Israeli
citizens. But within Is-
rael, their difficult and
isolated situation is well
understood but little
talked of.'

"To render justice in the
Middle East it is not suffi-
cient to have the attention
of the media, to have a mic-
rophone, a format, a brief-
case and a diplomat's
license plate. It is not even
sufficient to lend the weight
of institutional, papal or
state or parliamentary
authority declaiming 'the
legitimate rights of the
Palestinian Arabs.' To ap-
proach the problem, one
must be James Parkes."

While "End of an Exile" is
the supreme work under
consideration, there are ap-
pendices to this classic re-
sort to justice that are of
equally superb value. There
is "A Christian Apology for
Israel" by Robert A.
Everett, a discussion of arti-
cles by another of the great
defenders of just rights to
Jews and Israel, Reinhold
Niebuhr, by Carl Hermann
Voss; the Niebuhr essay,
"Jews After the War"; "The
American Christian Pales-
tine Committee" by Dr.

ably arise out of a return
based on a political decision,
and realized in terms of
day-to-day practical pos-

Jewish history receives
thorough study in the
Parkes analyses. The
exile, the denial of civil
rights to Jews, the Chris-
tian guilt — they are all
enumerated and they are
treated without restraint.
This is where the indict-
ment includes not only
the discriminating Chris-
tians but also the Moslem


Voss; an essay by Rose G.
Lewis, "James Parkes:
Parkes Library" by Dr.
Parkes; and an "In
Memoriam: James Parkes,"
by Roy Eckardt.
Here is an accumulation
of names of noble Christians
who had a great share in the
Parkes activities.

Dr. James Parkes
(1896-1981) was the lead-
ing personality in the es-
tablishment of the best
in Jewish-Christian rela-
tions. He was the pro-
tagonist of Zionism be-
fore statehood, the de-
fender of Israel upon its
establishment and its
advocate during the final
years of his life.

He commenced his liter-
ary classics with a delving
into the roots of Judaism.
He wrote that "the whole
Jewish religious tradition
has impressed upon every
successive generation of
Jews as a fundamental con-
sequence of the first Divine
call at Sinai, that as a
people they are called to ful-
fill a Divine purpose which
can only be fully, expressed
through the life of an inde-
pendent society."
Concerning himself with
the Messianic aspirations,
he dealt deeply with the
Zionist code, with the aims
for national rebirth, taking
into account the historic
elements in the national
movement. He drew upon
the many interpreters and
he affirmed:

"The slogan of Israel
Zangwill: 'The land without
a people for the people with-
out a land' was exaggerated
but it had quite enough
truth in it to veil the diffi-
culties which would inevit-


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His interpretation of the
Zionist goals, the aims for a
"religious destiny" in the
historic dream of redemp-
tion is among the most im-
pressive that has ever
been applied in definitions
of Zionism.
Historians will be im-
pressed by the James
Parkes' view of tracing "the
actual continuity of Jewish
life in Palestine." There are
lessons here for the an-
tagonists, for Jewish dis-
senters and Arab oppo-
nents. History is recapitu-
lated, the domination of
Moslems and the period of
Turkish rule recalled,
Jewish communal rule in
Palestinian areas
enumerated. The new im-
migration of Jews into
Palestine at the end of the
19th Century is the corn-
mencement of the fulfill-
ment of the dream that has
become Israel as a reality. It
preceded the Balfour Dec-
laration by decades.

The commencement of
agricultural settlements
is accredited in their his-
torical realities.

Dr. Parkes described the
costliness of the trends
which marked the resettle-
ment, the interest accorded
to the effort by Jews on a
worldwide basis. The Na-
tional Homeland treat-
ments under the British
have a role here in the
Parkes review of historic
Dr. Parkes took into ac-
count the Arabs. He main-
tained that the Arab refusal
to make peace with Israel
"could be remedied tomor-
row if the Arabs willed it."
The reader of "End of an
Exile" must take into ac-
count the theological char-
acter of the Parkes ap-
proaches, as he evaluated
the difficulties and the re-
sponsibilities in Israel's
statehood. Thus, he drew
upon Prophecy:

"A child must walk be-
fore it can run; the prob-
lems which Israel needs
to solve she needs to solve
for her own sake; and the
right solution will be that
which meets her own
needs, whether the
ouside world notices it or

"It would be well for her
if, for a period, she would
forget the glowing
prophecies of the conse-
quences of restoration
which fill the prophets. And
yet not wholly forget, for the
words have been spoken,
and they can be summons to
courage as well as a call to

Thus saith the Lord of
hosts: It shall vet come to
pass, that there shall come
people, and the inhabitants
of many cities:
'And the inhabitants of
one city shall go to another,
saying, Let us go speedily to
pray before the Lord, and to
seek the Lord of hosts: I will
go also.
'Yea, many people and
strong nations shall come to
seek the Lord of hosts in
Jerusalem, and to pray be-
fore the Lord.
'Thus saith the Lord of
hosts; In those days it shall
port of Zionism at a time
come to pass, that ten men
when the movement had
shall take hold out of all
both Jewish and non-
languages of the nations,
Jewish opposition.
even shall take hold of the
Niebuhr, who was a
skirt of him that is a Jew,
Congregational minister
saying, We•will go with you:
for we have heard that God in Detroit before assum-
ing the ministerial post in
is with you.'
Zechariah 8:20-23. the United Church of
This immense work, the Christ in New York, was a
study of anti-Seinitism and strong defender of the
the roots that have led to cause, a leader in the
national rebirth, combine battle for justice and op-
into an historical Christian position to anti-Semitism.
viewpoint that _has its His high record for serv-
agenda in the supplemen- ice is outlined in an in-
tary treatises by the emi- troductory comment by
nent American scholars. Dr. Carl Hermann
* * *
Robert Everett, in "A Chris-
Appropriately, the James
tian Apology for Israel," ap-
Parkes book provides oppor-
tunities to relate the back-
ground of activities in be-
half of the Zionist move-
ment by noted Christians.
This is where the history of
the American Christian
Palestine Committee fig-
ures prominently.
Dr. Voss, as the executive
director of the movement
and its inspirational guide,
is the proper person to re-
late the history of that
movement. It had some im-
portant branches and a
most active one in Detroit.
The chronicled story of
the movement by Voss in
proaches this theme on a this volume is of great sig-
nificance to the histories of
positive note:
both Zionism and Israel.
"Perhaps on no other
* * *

issue are Christians quite
as perplexed by the
Jewish experience as by
the state of Israel and its
meaning to Jews. There
is simply no parallel in
the Christian experience
which couples land and
people, religion and poli-
tics, piety and society.

The "In Memoriam" to
James Parkes by Prof. A.
Roy Eckardt is the ex-
pression of a fellow
Christian in appreciation
of his immense labors in
the cause of justice for

Dr. Eckardt pays his trib-
ute movingly:
"Throughout the Jewish
"From Parkes's early
tradition, the land of Zion years to his death (and be-
has been an integral part of yond?), he has been living
the Jewish consciousness as out the motto of his family
reflected in the unbroken crest, Vous pouvez me
covenant between God and rompre mais je ne plie pas
His people Israel."
("you may break me, but I
Reviewing the Parkes do not bend"). His prodigi-
treatment of roots relating ous intellect was matched
to Israel's rebirth, Everett by his valor, his prophetic
asserts that "Parkes be- indignation, his steadfast-
lieves that European anti- ness, his hopefulness. But
Semitism should not be seen greatest of all was his em-
as an essential factor" in the pathy. He was not a Jew, yet
rebirth. The ideological fac- he was a Jew."
tor in Parkes is thus given
The mere title of the essay
acclaim by a fellow Chris- by Rose Lewis, "James
Parkes: Christianity With-
* * *
out Anti-Semitism," attests
An appendix to "End of an to the appreciation for the
Exile" assumes importance Parkes legacy.
for the record of Zionist ex-
In its totality, "End of an
periences. The important Exile" is a great work, a re-
articles that appeared in the minder of the saintliness of
Nation in January and Feb- an inspired Christian. It
ruary 1942 by the eminent adds immeasurably to the
theologian, the late history of Zionism and Is-
Reinhold Niebuhr, serve as rael.
a record of Christian sup-

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