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August 12, 1983 - Image 64

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1983-08-12

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64 Friday, August 12, 1983


When Jews Terrorize — A Non-Jew's Judgment

on a hill controlling the ap-
proach to the city, was a
military target. Before the
strike, the Jewish freedom-
fighters warned civilians to
get out of the way.


National Institute
on the Holocaust

What is Jewish terrorism?
Sooner or later this delicate
question has to be faced, for
recent incidents in Mea
Shearim and Hebron show
that terrorism is not limited
to the gentiles.
One of the basic lessons of
the Holocaust is learned by
thinking about the rise of
the Nazi Party to power:
terrorist Apparats must be
identified, and damped
down or smashed early on.
The year to kill the NSDAP
was 1923, when it became
overtly treasonous; 1933
was too late.
Jewish freedom-fighters
are not to be confused with
Jewish terrorists. There are
several signs distinguish-
ing a freedom-fighter from a
terrorist, but the two most
important are: Is the target
a legitimate government or
a dictatorship? Are the
specific strikes aimed at
civilian' or- at military
"King David Hotel"
and "Deir Yassin" are the
two incidents which have
been made buzzwords by
those who blackened ear-
lier Jewish freedom-
fighters as "terrorists."
The propaganda of the

Arab League, the Com-
munists and yellow jour-
nalism all agree that
these incidents prove
Menahem Begin a
politician. (Hidden mean-
ing: trust Arafat, he too
will turn sober if given
power.) The incidents
prove nothing of the
The King David Hotel
was the military HQ of an
occupying power. At consid-
erable risk, warning was
given 27 minutes before the
explosion. Deir Yassin was
a heavily-fortified village
held by the Jordanian
Legion in the siege of
Jerusalem, a siege only re-
lieved by heroic action after
8 1/2 months. Deir Yassin, set

In both incidents the in-
nocents who died; and there
were some, died for the
same reason Danish and
Dutch and Norwegian civi-
lians died when freedom-
fighters wrecked trains car-
rying troops in Hitler's em-
pire. They died because
modern war the innocent
die along with the guilty,
often in greater number.
I have often said that if
the PLO had confined itself
to strikes against military
targets they might possibly
be called "freedom-fighters"
— at least in areas con-
trolled by Israeli military
government, though not in
Lebanon. But the PLO re-
cord from the beginning has
been typically terrorist,
with civilian targets cold-
bloodedly selected for
strikes to destabilize
legitimate governments.
It was not "terrorism"
when in nearly a dozen
cases conspirators tried
to assassinate Adolph
Hitler, and on July 20,
1944, nearly succeeded.
The Third Reich, under
its Fuhrer, was not a
legitimate government.

It was not "freedom-
fighting" when the PLO as-
sassinated 11 Israeli
athletes at the Munich
Olympics: they were un-
armed civilians and Israel is
a legitimate government.
(All praise to Los Angeles
for the plan to make a
memorial to the 11 a central
object in the 1984 Olym-
Was it "terrorism" when
the Lebanese army moved
into Sabra and Shatila? The
anti-Semites had a field
day, since it happened in a
war zone where Israel's
army was still dominant.
Many European anti-
Semitic rags simply pub-
lished that "the Jews
slaughtered the poOr Pales-
tinian refugees." The more
subtle news agencies and
newspapers in the U.S.
blamed the Israelis and
wrote of "thousands of inno-
cent victims." It has now be-
come clear that almost all of
the "victims" among the
several hundred killed were
young males.

But of course Newsweek
and Time, let alone Reuters
and AP, would not think of
giving front-page treatment
to the true facts concerning
Sabra and Shatila. The
basic fact, which would
puncture their anti-Semitic
and mythic sensationalism,

is this: defeated warriors
were slain while attempting
to "go underground," — dis-
appear into the civilian
When masked men at-
tacked an Arab academy
recently in Hebron, kil-
ling or injuring a number
of students by automatic
rifle and hand grenade,
was it "terrorism"? Yes, it
was: unarmed students
are not legitimate targets
any more than are un-
armed athletes.
The fundamental moral
difference, and it is a qual-
itative difference in level of
civilization and culture too,
is shown by what followed.
Israel's President expressed
the severest condemnation
and- Israel's Prime Minister
ordered an all-out effort to
apprehend the culprits.
When the athletes were kil-
led, the PLO leadership
bragged about it.
When unruly mobs, egged
on by religious fanatics, at-
tack tourists and ar-
cheologists and police in
Mea Shearim, is it "ter-
rorism"? It comes close, for
terrorism is not just killing:
it involves a complex of
muted as well as highly-
vocal and visible aggres-
sions and threats to law and
order.There are at least two
ironies in the Mea Shearim
explosions. First one of the

most dangerous tinder-
boxes is a sect which has
been disloyal to Israel from
the day of independence.
They refuse to serve in Is-
rael's defense, they tender
friendship to Israel's
enemies, and now they do
their best to de-stabilize an
austere and economically-
besieged democracy whose
loyal citizens provide them
food and protection.
The second irony is
that many, if not most, of
those apprehended by
the police followed vio-
lent actions are young
Americans. They too
have not been con-
strained by Scriptural
admonitions as to the
proper conduct of stran-
gers in the land.
Teddy Kollek, has
suggested that they be sent
back where they came from.
Bar-Ilan's president,
Emanuel Rackman, has —
like the recent Emunah
convention in the Laromme
— condemned those who
cultivate violence as un-
worthy Jews. On this all
sensible Israelis, whether
Labor or Orthodox, are
In sum, what is Jewish
terrorism? Jewish ter-
rorism is abandonment of
the Torah. "Jewish ter-
rorism" is non-Jewish.

Kadima Flight Represents a New Kind of North American Aliya

The 240 olim who arrived in
Israel two weeks ago on the
special "Kadima Aliya" re-
present a new. kind of North
American aliya. It can be
called "lifestyle aliya" —
people from a variety of
backgrounds who are at-
tracted by the quality of life
in Israel.
While no hard-and-fast
data are available on this
phenomenon, random in-
terviews with North Ameri-
can olim of different ages,
backgrounds and geograph-
ical locations conducted by
the Jewish Telegraphic
Agency aboard the special
"Kadima Aliya" flight indi-
cated several of their salient
• They have visited Israel
many times or lived there
for one or more long periods,
enjoyed the atmosphere and
have friends and or rela-
tives there.
• They have given much
thought put considerable
planning into making aliya,
including pilot trips, get-
ting advanced degrees, and
buying machinery to start
new businesses.
• They are aware of the
difficulties that will be fac-
ing them in finding jobs and

in some cases, new profes-
sions, and housing, and are
somewhat skeptical about
the abilities and willing-
ness of Israeli officialdom to
help them find these easily.
• They feel Israel is a
wonderful place to raise
children, the best place to
raise them as Jews, and for
those with offspring, this is
a major factor in their deci-
sion to make aliya.
Aron and Simha
Shtull-Trauring of
Philadelphia are a couple
in their late 20s with two
children, Ittamar and
Hadar, both under three.
Aron hails from an Or-
thodox family, Simha's
father is a Conservative
rabbi, and both attended
Jewish day schools.
Simha has a master's de-
gree in Jewish studies
from Graetz College in
Philadelphia, where they
lived for the past four

Both have been to Israel
many times and, said Aron,
"Our hearts have always
been there. We felt more in-
volved with Israeli culture
than American culture, and
didn't feel attuned to the
goals of the American
Jewish community.

©Carol Gooter

These children and adults danced the hora while
waiting to board the El Al plane in New York that took
them to Israel July 26. They were part of a group of
240, the largest contingent from North America to
ever make aliya as a group.

"If you have a strong
Jewish identity in America,
you're outside the
mainstream. You can't be
too Jewish or people look at
you as if something is
wrong. Assimilationist
pressures cause Jews to be
insecure in their identity.
It's easier to be a whole per-
son in Israel than America
if you're Jewish."
They decided on aliya
when Simha, then a
teacher, became pregnant
with their first child. "We
had to decide what kind of
community we wanted to

raise him in. We didn't want
him to have an identity
struggle. We-want our chil-
dren to wear costumes on
Purim, not on Halloween,"
she said.
Aron, a computer sys-
tems analyst, has a job
lined up in Tel Aviv:
Simha has been working
in the word processing
business at home for the
past year in preparation
for Israel.
While many of the North
American olim have tradi-
tional Jewish backgrounds,
many, like William and
Melanie Schoenfield of
Flushing, N.Y. "came to the
religious experience in
adulthood." Another
newly-observant couple are
also newlyweds (June 5)
Rob and Bambi Kantrowitz,
of Baltimore and New Jer-
sey, a couple in their 20s,
plan to live in Zichron
Yaakov, where he will

study at the town's branch
of Yeshiva Ohr Sameach
while Bambi seeks an ad-
vertising job.
They met five years ago
on a Haifa University
overseas student pro-
gram, said Rob. "At the
time, I had no special feel-
ing about going to Israel
— I could just as well
have gone to Denmark
like my other roommates
What changed Rob's life
was a chance meeting with
an Orthodox Jew, Baruch
Levine — now renowned for
his one-person out-reach
program — who invited him
to stay with a religious fam-
ily in Bnei Brak. "I was
struck by how contented
their lives were," recalled
Rob. "This stuck in my
mind" and he eventually
went to study at
Jerusalem's Ohr Sameach
Yeshiva, where he enjoyed
"Judaism's logical system."
Later, Bambi studied at the
sister yeshiva, Neve
Like Rob and Bambi Kan-
trowitz, Marcy Broder, 25,
first went to Israel from
Seattle on a one-year pro-
gram. "It was a chance to be
an adventurer," she said.
She spent her year in
Sherut Laam as a social
worker in Kiryat Shmona
and became involved with
the problems of develop-
ment towns, which she
hopes to work on in her new
job at the Haifa municipal-
ity. She got a master's de-
gree in community organ-
ization at the University of
Washington for this pur-

Aliza Slatis is a 40-year-
old widow from the Detroit
area with three children —
Evan, 15, Joel, 13, and
Ruth, 11 1/2. Having
dreamed of making aliya for
20 years and planning it for
seven, she realizes "this is a
great risk — it - takes
hutzpa." Her greatest worry
is finding a job: her field is
arbitration and mediation,
which she worked at for the
American Federation of
State, County and Munici-
pal Employees.

"I belonged to the
Hashomer Hatzair (the
Socialist Zionist youth
movement) as a teenager
— the only one in the fam-
ily with strong Zionist
leanings," she said. She
and her late husband, a
genetics professor at
Wayne State University,
were "ardent Zionists,"
and visited Israel many
times. "I like the rhythm
of life in Israel," she con-
tinued. "I've always felt
comfortable there.
After her husband died in
1976, she visited Israel
again and started to make
plans to settle there, includ-
ing getting a degree in labor
relations, preparing the
children and selling the

Her family, said Aliza, "is
very proud that I'm finally
doing what I've talked
about for 20 years."

Aliza Slatis, her three
children, and 236 other
North American olim ar-
rived at Ben-Gurion Airport
in Lod at 3 p.m. on July 27 to
begin a new life.

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