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December 23, 1983 - Image 64

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1983-12-23

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64 Friday, December 23, 1983


Jackson, McGovern Candidacies Cause for Concern


new Democratic candidates
have officially launched
their Presidential cam-
paigns — Rev. Jesse
Jackson and former 1972
Presidential candidate
George McGovern. What
characterizes the can-
didacies of these two, other
than the very long odds on
their success, is the clear
departure from the other
candidates' stated positions
regarding Israel and the
Middle East.
Jackson's expressed pur-
pose in seeking the
presidency is to create
"leverage" to allow black
involvement in a range of
issues, including foreign
policy. And as Texas Rep.
Mickey Leland has stated,
"Blacks are not just talking
about foreign policy in re-
gard to Africa and the
Jackson's past actions
and pronouncements on the
Middle East are at variance
with the Democratic Party's
traditional support for close
U.S.-Israel ties, and par-
ticularly offensive to the
party's significant Jewish

Jackson, the director
of the Chicago-based Op-
eration PUSH, has made
his mark.on Middle East
politics with his outspo-

from Arab states."
Significantly, shortly
after his announcement for
the Presidency, Jackson ad-
dressed the Arab-American
Anti-Discrimination Com-
mittee, as did McGovern.
More recently, Jackson has
moved from claiming there
is a "misperception" among
Jews of his Mideast posi-
tions, to saying "increased
strategic cooperation with
Israel is vital to our na-
tional interest."


ken support for, and his
public embracing of PLO
Chief Yasir Arafat. After
embarking upon a "fact-
finding" mission to the
Middle East in 1979
(where he spent a total of
two days in Israel),
Jackson declared, "One
who does not regard
Arafat as a true hero does
not read the situation

He also called U.S. re-
fusal to recognize the PLO
an "international absur-
dity," and announced his
support for the creation of a
Palestinian state, claiming
that a pro-Israel attitude
endangered America's "vi-
tal interests."


Whether Rev. Jackson's
interest in Middle East
foreign policy was moti-
vated by his concern for
America's vital interests, or
lilt of concern for Operation
PUSH's financial needs re-
mains uncertain. But
within a month after his re-
turn to Chicago, Jackson
had raised a substantial
sum of money from Arab-
Americans, and some
$10,000 from the Libyan
government. He made clear
to his new-found friends,
that "there will be no black
leader left willing to come to
the aid of the Palestinian
cause if there is not an im-
mediate infusion of funds
into the black community

It is reasonable to as-
sume that the reality of
fund raising from Demo-
cratic Party .sources
prompted this positive
declaration rather than a
genuine change of heart.
Whether Jackson's can-
didacy and his current ef-
forts to change delegate
selection rules will
amount to more than just
embarrassment for the
Democratic Party re-
mains to be seen.

When George McGovern
announced his surprising
candidacy for President, he
pledged to say nothing
about any issue except what
he honestly believed. In
doing so with regard to Is-
rael, he has followed the
same increasingly critical
line which has char-
acterized his actions of the
past few years.

Orthodox Town Takes Shape in Samaria


The Jewish News Special
Israel Correspondent

TEL AVIV — The in-
itiator of Emanuel, which is
now being built in Samaria,
is American millionaire
Pinhas Erenreich, a grand-
child of the late Itshele
Gerstenkorn, who in 1924
organized a group of Hasidic
Jews from Poland to go to
Eretz Israel and had built
for them the religious town
of Bnei Brak.
Emanuel was planned
years ago with the consent
of the Rabbi of Gur and his
brother, Rabbi Pinhas
Menahem Alter, the chair-
man of the Central Commit-
tee of Agudat Israel, who
was active in building the
A few weeks ago there
was a big celebration on the
anniversary of the founding
of the town. Some 50,000,
mainly Hasidic Jews, as-
sembled. Rabbi Alter was
scheduled to be the main
speaker, but a paratroop
jump was included in the
program. He canceled his
participation, explaining
that such an event should
not be mixed with a reli-
gious celebration. *
When hundreds of buses
with guests arrived, there

was another "incident." he said. "I shall buy it and
Many participants the mountain will vanish
launched a protest because from this site."
one of the bus drivers was a
Rabbi Erenreich is a
member of Agudat Israel
Vice Prime Minister and a Hasid of Gur. People
David Levy addressed the predict that he will be the
assembled guests and called successor of Knesset
for unity of the Jewish member Abraham Shapira.
people for developing Israel.
"Two years ago I was con-
Emanuel should have — ac-
cording to the plan — in the sidered mad," he says. "Now
year 2000, 250,000 inhabi- the building of 500 houses
tants. In the first phase has already started and this
is only the beginning. We
there will be 5,000 families.
shall build here three
The first 35 families have
yeshivot, a modern mikve
settled in the first apart-
building with four floors,
four kindergartens, two big
When Rabbi Erenreich schools, a supermarket, a
proposed two years ago to postal building, two athletic
build an Orthodox town in fields, 30 shops, a branch of
Samaria, Israeli govern- the Mizrahi Bank, a center
ment officials were skepti- for small children, a phar-
cal. Rabbi Erenreich told macy, synagogues and
them he had $100 million at separate swimming pools
his disposal for the project. for men and women."
Now the first 100 apart-
"We intend to build here
ments have been built and
there are also a few paved commerce and industry
enterprises, a hospital and
an electric railway." Vice
Rabbi- Erenreich, father Prime Minister David Levy
of nine children, wears Or- has shown great interest in
thodox clothing — a kaftan the project.
and a shtreiml — viewed
Rabbi Erenreich is an
the surroundings. He early riser. He gets up at 5
looked at the mountain op- a.m. for prayers and then
posite the new town. "This goes to his' office in Bnei
mountain interferes with Brak, where 30 employees
the view of the new town," plan and carry out the

building of Emanuel. Tele-
phone calls come in from all
over the world.
A few days after the an-
niversary, Defense Minister
Moshe Arens visited
Emanuel. He was received
by Rabbi Erenreich, who in-
formed him about the build-
ing project. He told Arens
that it would be taken care
of in advance, that the in-
habitants of the town would
enjoy a quiet life. No car
would be allowed to enter
the town and transportation
would be by an electric
In each house there will
be a computer connected
with the administration of
the town, he said.
Rabbi Erenreich has es-
tablished his own super-
market in the new town. He
has created a bus company
which already transports
Arab workers to and from
construction jobs in
Many inhabitants of Bnei
Brak, which is 30 minutes
from Emanuel, have de-
cided to move into the new
town because of favorable
prices and conditions. Con-
sequently, the prices of
apartments in Bnei Brak
have gone down by 20 per-
The building of the new
town has caused con-
troversy among members of
the Council of Torah Sages,
the highest spiritual and
political institution of
Agudat Israel. Some leaders
are against the new town,
situated in the territory
occupied by Israel during
the 1967 war.

With a George Ball-like
attitude of "saving Israel
despite itself," McGovern
"deplored" the "totally un-
justified" Israeli invasion of
Lebanon and denounced its
settlements policy on the
West Bank of the Jordan.
He has termed former Is-
raeli Prime Minister Begin
a "reactionary militarist
and a disgrace both to
Judaism and the Israeli na-
tion," and has described ef-
forts by American citizens
to promote strong U.S.-
Israel relations as constitut-
ing "bullying tactics" and
Hiding behind his percep-
tion of the attitudes of some
American Jewish "doves,"
and citing the pro-PLO
Jewish Chancellor of Au-
stria, Bruno Kreisky, to jus-
tify his own views,
McGovern is demonstrating

the same lack of under-
standing of Middle East is-
sues he exhibited as a
former member of the Se-
nate Foreign Relations

While McGovern did
support foreign aid, he
was an active proponent
of U.S. arms sales in the
early 1970s to.Jordan and
Egypt and voted for the
sale of F-15s to Saudi
Arabia. At the time, he
described his vote as an'
effort to promote "even-

While one might admire
George McGovern's candor,
and even concede that he
means well, Israel's suppor-
ters should console them-
selves with the knowledge
that his chances of winning
the nomination, much less
the Presidency, are just
about nil.

* * *

Another View of Jackson


(A Seven Arts Feature)

In 1966, when Martin
Luther King carried his
civil rights campaign to
Chicago, he tapped Jesse
Jackson, then only 25, to
take charge of that non-
violent protest program.
Much of the black
Presidential candidate's
difficulties today probably
would not have arisen had
he accepted Dr. King's ad-
vice and philosophy in toto.
The martyred King's gift for
effective oratory is un-
matched to their feet also.
But more than a silver
tongue is needed to gain the
confidence, support, and
trust that characterize an
acknowledged hero.

Jackson's 1979 em-
brace of Yasir Arafat,
and a sorry record of dis-
paragement of Jews are
causing many who might
warm to his cause to keep
their distance from him.
For a man who aspires to
the Presidency to have
complained that he was
sick and tired of hearing
about the Holocaust re-
nders hollow his claim to
be compassionate.

When he blames Jewish
domination of American
media for some of the bad
press he has received, he re-
veals a sad lack of knowl-
edge about media owner-
ship and a tendency to trade
in canards. When he slurs
Jews for "overreacting" to
persecution, he does an in-
justice to all who were ever
oppressed, including his fel-
low blacks.
If he intends to express
regret for this past record,
he has given little evidence
of it save for a simple dis-
claimer that he is not anti-
When we turn to the deci-
sion of a Jewish group with
headquarters in Brooklyn
to form "Jews Against
Jackson," we find another
example of unwisdom and
misguided political energy.
Those who subscribe to this
extremist appeal will learn
eventually that it is coun-


It amounts to driving
still another stake of de-
visiveness into the body
politic. Over the years,
the great majority of
American Jews have
worked to build respect
among this nation's reli-
gious, ethnic, and racial
groups. One sure way to
rip that civic fabric is to
enlist in a "Jews Against
Jackson" campaign.

Coretta Scott King has
said: "Most Jews and Neg-
roes have respected each
other for decades and still
do, despite all the current
sound and fury."
This is not to deny that in
recent years, new strains
have surfaced between Jews
and blacks. A part of the
emergency of such distanc-
ing comes from burn-out in
the long civil rights strug-
gle, a conclusion in some
Jewish quarters that blacks
have "made it." Doubts
about the wisdom of affir-
mative action programs
seen by some as a rebirth of
a quota system account for
tension also.
Here again, we serve our-
selves well by agreeing with
Mrs. King when she says:
"Blacks and Jews united are
a central element in the new
coalition of conscience we
are building to achieve jobs,
peace, and freedom. By
drawing together from our
common Judeo-Christian
heritage of justice, love, and
forgiveness, we can help
bring about a genuine re=


Harold Washington,
who is Chicago's first
black mayor, is authority
for the statement that 50
percent of Jews who cast
ballots in the recent elec-
tion there voted for him.
Philadelphia's successful
black candidate for
mayor also enjoyed
strong Jewish backing.

Jackson obviously will
have very little Jewish sup-
port. To understand why, he
needs only to compare the
animosity he has shown
Jews with the love and com-
radeship Martin Luther
King displayed for them.


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