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July 08, 1983 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1983-07-08

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2 Friday, July 8, 1983


Purely Commentary

Acclaim for Max Fisher's Leadership . . . Tribute
to, Gus Newman ... Support Is Vital for American
Red Cross Emergency Fund . . . A Curfew Enigma

By Philip

Limelight on Max Fisher: A Birthday Party Embracing Two Nations


Limelight is not unusual for Max M. Fisher. It will
have more rays than ever, fusing into a single universal
beam, when the distinguished leader marks his 75th birth-
This is the eminence of a man who rose to Jewish
leadership from the ranks and became the top-ranked
spokesman and emissary both for American and world
Jewries and for the partners in Jewish affairs with Israel.
With the same qualities for leadership, Max Fisher
rose the highest ranks in civic affairs in Detroit and Michi-
Simultaneously, the Fisher image became significant
on a national American scale when he was called to the
White House by several Presidents, as a guide and adviser.
In the important chapter of American Jewish history's
turbulent 20th Century, the Fisher name will be among the
predominant in leadership. He assumed responsibilities
gradually. His philanthropy could be measured by the de-

Gus Newman: He Was a Symbol
for Communal Cordiality

Until only a year ago, nonagegenarian Gus Newman
was among the most sought-after, cheer-exuding persona-
lities at the Jewish Welfare Federation and Allied Jewish
Campaign functions. He had the quality of brightening and
environment with a smile, a good word for every associate,
always serving as an example for cheerfulness in the serv-
ices he was rendering.
At the Home for the Aged, his every visit was a signal
for warmhearted acclaims as a never-forgotten ex-
president who retained a role of leadership.
He had been a marvelous volunteer solicitor for the
causes that shared importance with the United Jewish
Appeal and other national movements included in the Al-
lied Jewish Campaigns. But much more vital than his
ability to encourage philanthropy was the delight he
created with his friendly mien, the welcoming smile, the
comradely handshake that created loyalties and friend-
Such was the personality of the man who inspired
fellow workers in great causes and who had an important
role in an environment that benefited from the cheerful-
ness of so warmhearted a celebrity whose passing invites
multiple, deserved tributes.

The Detroit Curfew .. .

Declaration of a curfew for youth under 18 by Detroit's
Mayor Coleman Young drew national attention. It also
aroused protests from the American Civil Liberties Union.
Mayor. Young's decisive action is regrettable because
of the earlier experiences that caused it. As a preventive act
it must be accepted as a necessity. The ACLU viewpoint is
sheer sentiment and unrealistic.
Hopefully, the summer will not be marred by violence.
Hopefully, there will be a lessening of unemployment, thus
reducing the tensions that compel preventive curfews.
Hopefully, this will be a peaceful and law-abiding commu-
nity for the elders as well as youth, and curfews will be
temporary means of assuring crime prevention. Hopefully,
Mayor Young's resort to an extreme act in behalf of this
important American community will be proof of recognized
sincerity that has the cooperation of a peaceful community.

News Coverage From Israel:
Limited Emphasis on Positive
Factors Tests the Reporters

Israel is never out of the limelight. That nation has
certainly gained a place among the most newsworthy. Re-
grettably, the emphasis is usually on the military or on
conflicts with her neighbors.
The creative elements in Israel are always volumin-
ous. Scientific research is a compulsion in the several uni-
versities and in the technical institutes. There is always
something new in the creative efforts of the academic com-
munity. Yet; none of the foreign correspondents who flood
the newspapers with reports from Israel make the positive
results subjects for headlines. If it isn't a confrontation in
the settlements which have become means for disputes, and
if it isn't the means for introducing challenges to the
people's morality, the contributing elements toward social
betterment are often ignored.
David Shipler, certainly one of the ablest foreign corre-
spondents, who covers the Israel scene for the New York
Times, offers an example in testing the news coverage. He
is thorough and he covers a lot of ground. He authored
several reports about the Sephardi-Ashkenazi conflicts.
But it was not until June 26 of this year that he found it
necessary to report on Project Renewal.
This activity has been in action for several years. But
until a few days ago the subject was apparently considered
unimportant. Now it emerges as a discovery. The headline
on his article, "A New Focus for U.S. Jews: Israel's Slums,"
gives the impression that only at this late date have

cades. When he started he was a $10 contributor. When means were urgently, needed, he
came forth with a very sizable gift. This applies to the Jewish causes and to the civic as

That's not the major point of glory about him. Most important is the fact that he
retains a modesty that leads him to the most powerful in government and equally, as
compassionately, to the masses. He is responsible and identifiable: that's the commenda-
tion he earns.

The record, to his credit, assures the anticipation that Max Fisher will be visible in
Jewish ranks when he is needed on the national American scene. He will be with
volunteer workers in many causes.

He'll be searched for in the limelight in the Michigan community, and some gossip-
ers may choose to sensationalize the name. When the total account of the life and work of
this eminent personality is registered in the records of social-service-philanthropic-
political achievements, the name Max M. Fisher will serve as a guide to a succession of
leaders who will do well to emulate him. He has earned the glory that attaches to his

the poverty-stricken in Israel begun to receive attention
from American Jews.
If this were true, it would be an indictment of Ameri-
can Jews as well as Israelis. The fact is that Project Re-
newal has for five years served as evidence that there is
concern and definite action.
Shipler's report lists that the United Jewish Appeal
raised $52.6 million for this purpose, that new areas are
being developed as aid to the underprivileged. His report
also accounts for a $200,000,000 grant for this purpose by
the Israel government.
Indeed, there is proof here that neither Diaspora nor
Israel ignore this urgent need. Yet, after years of its func-
tioning, Project Renewal has just been discovered by Ship-
This is only . one item in proof of the positive being
ignored. At the Technion, Hebrew University, Bar-Ilan
University, Weizmann Institute, Ben-Gurion University,
Haifa University and also in the ORT machine shops, there
are always new discoveries, major scientific advances,
contributions in the fields of health and technology. Little
attention is paid to these positive factors by the foreign
If only they could treat the creative, technical and
health research projects with as much concern as they do
the military. Goodwill would be strengthened thereby, and
perhaps they would thus contribute toward better Arab-
Jewish-Israeli relations.

Diaster Funds Drained:
Urgent Help for Red Cross

So many crises have struck this nation, so much help
was needed on a world scale, that Red Cross emergency
funds are wiped out.
The needs never vanish, and the humane appeal is
Hopefully, the campaign just launched for emergency
funds will meet with success. Southeastern Michigan Red
Cross Chapter, 100 Mack Avenue, Detroit 48232, is the
recipient of the urgently needed contributions in these un-
ending critical periods that are marked by a multitude of
demands for human services.

Yasir Arafat as a Puzzle
in the Speculative Realm

Yasir Arafat is portrayed as a haunted victim in a
struggle for power. Many commentators have fallen into a
trap with impressions that the fomentor of terror is on the
road to collapse.
Meanwhile, he monopolizes the headlines, and
prophesies that his career has ended and that he will be
gone soon may be false assumptions. Not to be ignored and
forgotten whenever there are conflicts in Arab ranks is that
hatred for Israel unites them. Therefore, it is unrealistic to
believe that the person who symbolized that hatred will be
eliminated by those who have used him as the inspirer of
the venom that has symbolized the anti-Jewish terrorism.
The New York Times had an editorial comment on the
'latest Arafat episode:
The issue becomes how to wrest control of the
PLO fighters from Mr. Arafat. Hence the Syrian-
sponsored "revolt" inside the PLO, which oc-
curred only after Syria rejected the American
plan for coordinated Israeli and Syrian with-
drawals from Lebanon.
The Syrians have opted for the indefinite par-
tition of Lebanon into Israeli- and Syrian-held
zones. It promises to be an untidy but cozy ar-
rangement, provided only that no PLO firebrands
are allowed to upset the co-occupation.
The Israelis will not attack if spared the daily
casualties among their • occupation troops. The
Russians will go on supplying the Syrians and
retain a veto over arrangements in Lebanon if Mr.
Assad avoids a major war. And if the Palestinians

now refuse to cooperate, well, there's always the
Not to be 'ignored is the fact that Arafat found
welcome in several countries after being ostracized by
Syria. It was as a welcome as well as a partial refuge when
he went to Czechoslovakia from Syria.
A lengthy Newsweek article questioning whether he
can survive concluded:
The question is, who can control the radicals?
The Saudis wield some influence over Assad, but
they can do little but counsel moderation while
financing him, argues Prince Talal, a member of
the royal family. "Saudi Arabia cannot ignore
Syria," he says. "It is the heart of the Arab world.
If we cut out aid to the Syrians, then what is going
to happen? They are going to go farther to the
other superpower."
The Reagan Administration sent special
envoy Philip Habib and his assistant Morris
Draper back to the Middle East to resume their
flagging peace shuttle, but Assad has said he will
not receive Habib to discuss a Syrian troop with-
drawal from Lebanon. The Administration is
sounding out Britain, France and Italy about ex-
panding the multinational peacekeeping force in
Lebanon — a strategy that envisions prolonged
tensions in the divided country.
Arafat will be very much on his own. For
years he has cultivated his skills as the Middle
East's best illusionist." He fled King Hussein's
Jordan dressed as a woman in 1970, but these
days he flies into Amman for embraces and high-
level diplomacy. As a strategist he has managed to
alienate his more impatient PLO gunmen while
simultaneously remaining a most-wanted ter-
rorist in Israel. Even after his latest flight to
safety, he is fully capable of showing up for a
standing ovation in the United Nations or even, as
he did in May, posing with Assad for an improba-
ble portrait in Damascus.
As a stateless head of state, Yasir Arafat is
used to living with adversity. Now with his Syrian
problems and the revolt within his own ranks, the
most persuasive argument that he will survive is a
little bleak: that, so far, he has always survived.
Perhaps the most telling element in the speculative
developments is the Russian role. Arafat was and perhaps
remains the darling of the Kremlin. Yet Russia, if political
analysts are correct, now hesitates to adopt an extreme
position and is acting with reserve in attempting to avert a
war between Syria and Israel, out of concern that her mili-
tary advice could end in a calamity for the USSR. Therefore
Russia continues to provide arms for Syria while hoping to
prevent a full-scale war. .
In the long run, there is little to dominate the Middle
East situation as an optimistic occurrence for Israel's bene-
fit and in the interest of peace. There is still the continuing
united enmity toward Israel in the Arab world and that
remains a tragic factor in world affairs.

Fisher Addresses Jewish Agency

Tor Artacm
ma ma



Max Fisher is shown delivering the opening ad-
dress at the Jewish Agency Assembly in Israel. It was
his last address as chairman of the agency. Among
those sitting are Teddy Kollek, Chaim Herzog, Leon
Dulzin and Bernice Tannenbaum.

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