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August 26, 1983 - Image 11

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1983-08-26

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

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Friday, August 26, 1983 11

Jewish Anguish Over Saturday's Washington March

(Continued from Page 1)
march, asking for assurance
that it will not be exploited
for anti-Jewish purposes.
Virtually every major
Jewish group has called on
its constituents to sponsor
special Sabbath services
honoring Dr. King and
commitment to the un-

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finished civil rights agenda.

*

The American Jewish
Congress, which had
held off making a deci-
sion regarding its role in
the march until negotia-
tions were completed, is
joining the commemora-
tion "despite serious ini-
tial reservations, (and
despite) disagreement
with a number of organ-
izations who have joined
as sponsors of the
march," according to
Henry Siegman, execu-
tive director of the AJ-
Congress.
In a letter to Coretta Scott
King, co-chairman of the
event, Siegman wrote, "We
had the most serious reser-
vations about joining as a
sponsor of the 20th An-
niversary March, precisely
because its focus seemed to
have diverged from the pur-
poses of the march which it
seeks to commemorate by
including .in its agenda a
whole range of unrelated
and divisive issues, includ-
ing positions that are hos-
tile to Israel and
gratuitously adversarial
towards this Administra-
tion."
The AJCongress decided
to join in the march, how-
ever, "because of our com-

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plete and unqualified confi-
dence in you and your col-
leagues and in the assur-
ances that you have given
us," Siegman said in the let-
ter.
But other Jewish organ-
izations that did not endorse
the march because of simi-
lar objections to some of the
rally's sponsors, parts of its
original platform, and its
scheduling for the Sabbath,
have not reversed their de-
cision.
A spokesman for the
American Jewish Com-
mittee, one of those
organizations, said, "We
appreciate the good faith
efforts" on the part of the
march leadership, but
still consider it "a serious
mistake to detract from
the central theme" of civil
rights by including such
issues as nuclear dis-
armament, Central
America and the Middle
East in the march's
agenda.
Rabbi Alexander M.
Schindler, president of the
Union of American Hebrew
Congregations (Reform),
will deliver the closing
benediction at the march.
Rabbi Schindler said he
had accepted the invitation
to deliver the closing prayer
at the ceremonies in front of
the Lincoln Memorial after
receiving "assurances" from
leaders of the march that
they would publicly dis-
avow any anti-Israel or
anti-Semitic act or state-

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NEW YORK — Israel
will mark the 20th anniver-
sary of Martin Luther
King's "I have a dream"
speech with the planting of
additional trees in the
Jewish National Fund for-
est that bears his name near
Nazareth, in the hills of
Galilee.
The new trees will be
planted by Lenore Siegel-
man, a Washington, D.C.
economist and leader of the
American Jewish Congress,
who established the Dr.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Memorial Forest in 1976.
The memorial to Dr.
King, for which every black
and Jewish member of Con-
gress serves as an honorary
sponsor, has been enlarged
by gifts from American
Jews and blacks each year
since then.

New Warden

NEW YORK — The
Ansar detention center in
south Lebanon for Israel's
PLO prisoners will get a
new commander soon, ac-
cording to Newsweek mag-
azine.
The magazine said recent
prisoner riots, cramped
conditions and "daily" es-
capes have led to the
change.

What is defeat? Nothing
but education; nothing but
the first step to something
better.
—Wendell Phillips

ment made during the
event.
Lebenbom,
David
president of the Jewish
Community Council, re-
leased a statement on be-
half of the Jewish commu-
nity in Metropolitan De-
troit:
"Jews responded to Dr.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
overwhelmingly, involv-
ing themselves emotion-
ally and physically in the
civil rights struggle he
ignited. With exuberance
and bravery, Jews
trusted and worked with
Dr. King. Many Jews
risked their lives in the
freedom marches, with
rabbis and others being
hosed, beaten and jailed
during the demonstra-
tions.
"Jewish representation in
the struggle was dispropor-
tionately high, a black-
Jewish alliance being at the
heart of the movement.
Through it all, it was the
vision and awesome
dynamism of Dr. King him-
self that motivated Jews to
be at his side.
"During his lifetime, Dr.
King was supportive of
many Jewish causes and
concerns. He was a forceful
advocate of peace in the
Middle East: 'I believe quite
strongly that peace can be
attained in the Middle East.
We must protect Israel's
right to exist as a state,
along with her territorial

integrity, for Israel is an ex-
cellent example of democ-
racy at work.' He chastised
the Arab world for being on
an 'endless quest to find
scapegoats,' describing Is-
rael as 'a very convenient
one.'

"After his assassination,
the Israeli government de
clared that 'Israel, we
Zionists and Jews have lost
a great leader, whose roots
are so close to ours — the
Bible, the Word of God and
the Prophets.'
"The Jewish commu-
nity of Detroit continues
to feel his absence and
remembers Dr. King with
special warmth and iden-
tification and love.

"On this occasion, we
hope and pray that his
dream of full equality in a
free society for all Ameri-
cans will one day be
realized. To that end, we
reaffirm our commitment to
carry on with the un-
finished work of Dr. Martin
Luther King, Jr."
Some 3,000 persons from
Michigan, including the De-
troit Chapter of New Jewish
Agenda, will participate in
the march.

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