Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options


Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

The University of Michigan Library provides access to these materials for educational and research purposes. These materials may be under copyright. If you decide to use any of these materials, you are responsible for making your own legal assessment and securing any necessary permission. If you have questions about the collection, please contact the Bentley Historical Library at bentley.ref@umich.edu

January 06, 1984 - Image 64

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1984-01-06

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

64 Friday, January 6, 1984


U.S. Interests in Israel Have Christian Roots

A friendship that is gain-
ing new status, the U.S.-
Israel accord, has Christian
roots of long duration. Much
of it has a religious fervor
and stems from the devo-
tions acquired from the
Bible and the Prophets. The
social aspects have their as-
pects in the support for
Zionism and its aspirations
provided by the U.S. Con-
gress and the Presidents.
Peter Grose traces many
of the roots in "Israel in the
Mind of America" (Knopf).
If it were only for the re-
collections about the
Blackstone Memorial, the
Grose volume would merit
much acclaim as a chapter
in Zionist and Israel re-
cords. It is supplemented by
much more, which accords
his researched history of
American interests in a re-
constructed Jewish home-
Blackstone, a Methodist
Bible student, who never
attained a theological
degree but was referred
to as a Reverend, who
was born in 1841, wrote
the famous document
which he presented to
President Benjamin Har-
rison on March 5, 1891. It
was so stimulating and
inspired that 413 eminent
Americans, including
members of Congress,
John D. Rockefeller, J. P.
Morgan, Cyrus McCor-
mick, Supreme Court jus-
tices, editors and people
in many fields of
endeavor endorsed it.
As in the present era
when concern is shown in
the fate of Russian Jewry,
the Blackstone document
If they could have au-
tonomy in government, the
Jews of the world would
rally to transport and estab-
lish their suffering brethren
in their time-honored habi-

tation. For over 17 centuries
they have patiently waited
for such a privileged oppor-
tunity . . . Let us now re-
store to them the land of
which they were so cruelly
despoiled by our Roman an-
cestors." _
Grose points out in this
reconstructed story of advo-
cacy of Restoration that
Blackstone sent a copy of
the Old Testament to
Theodor Herzl, emphasiz-
ing the Prophetic while dif-
fering views which would
endorse a Jewish state
elsewhere than in the Holy
Land. He marked the pas-
sages in which the- Prophets
designate Palestine as the
chosen land for the Chosen
People. Grose states that
the marked Bible is on dis-
play at Herzl's Tomb in
Jerusalem and a forest
planted in Israel. in
Blackstone's memory.
While there were no
specific results from the
memorandum issued by
Blackstone, and
President Harrison had
done nothing about it,
this root in Zionist his-
tory has other aspects re-
ferred to in the Grose ac-
count in that Jews ap-
parently were frightened
by it and there was an
evidence of early Jewish
anti-Zionism which
mainly disappeared in
the Hitler era and with
the redemption of the
Holy Land into the Israel
All the interesting as-
pects in the approaches to
present-day American
interests arc outlined by
Grose. They were not all
positive. There were the
negatives and the political
involvethents, including
Grose goes into many de-
tails regarding Jewish di-
visiveness as well as devo-
tions and he comments for

example, in reference to Re-
form Jewish opposition to
Zionism, the objections to
the movement by the foun-
der of the Reform movement
in this country: "Ironically
it was the younger genera-
tion of I.M. Wise's own Re-
form movement that pro-
duced the American leaders
of the Jewish national
Louis D. Brandeis'
dynamic leadership and in-
spiration are recorded in
this historical analysis and
so are many of the other
American Jewish leaders
including Stephen S. Wise
and the enthusiasm that
was engendered by the Bal-
four Declaration.
Inevitably, Chaim
Weizmann is in eminence
here and so are the issues
revolving around the
Arab-Jewish conflict.
Franklin D. Roosevelt is
accounted for and deplora-
bly he is portrayed as not
having interceded in Brec-
kenridge Long's treatment
of Nazi victims which is
considered violently anti-
Semitic in the history of the
FDR and Ibn Saud and
the pursuant anti-Zionist
development are not ig-
Grose gives an extensive
account of the David Niles
association with Roosevelt
and President Truman and
Niles is quoted as having
"For years to come,
American Zionists would
eagerly accept all reassur-
ances of Roosevelt's fidelity.
As late as 1944, a powerful
White House functionary
named David Niles told
Zionist petitioners that
Roosevelt was 'completely
with you.' Palestine's future
would be settled in a 'highly
satisfactory' way, the sym-
pathetic Niles told his vis-

JNF Stamps Honor Blue Boxes


n 3- *1 woo t




"Yet not five years la- for by Grose:
ter, the same David Niles
"At dinner on the last
confessed to 'serious night at Yalta, Roosevelt
doubts in my mind that asked Stalin directly if he
Israel would have come favored Zionism. Stalin
to being if Roosevelt had `answered warily: yes, in
principle, but he recognized
"Bernard Baruch, no the difficulty of solving the
Zionist but concerned with Jewish problem,' according
the Jewish destiny nonethe- to the American interpre-
less, surveyed the choice in ter, Charles E. Bohlen.
1944 between Roosevelt and
"Then, roguishly an-
his Republican presidential ticipating Churchill's an-
challenger, Thomas E. De- noyance at being caught
wey, and said bluntly, 'I unawares — and worse, in
would rather trust my the presence of Stalin —
American Jewishness in Roosevelt, casually an-
Mr. Dewey's hands than in nounced that he was stop-
Mr. Roosevelt's.'
ping on his way home the
"Secretary of State Cor- next day for a meeting with
dell Hull wrote that the King of Saudi Arabia...
Roosevelt 'at times talked
" The President re-
both ways to Zionists and
plied with a smile that
Arabs, besieged as he was there was only one con-
by each camp.'
cession that he thought
"Something odd hap- he might offer,' Bohlen
pened between the living noted, 'and that was to
Roosevelt, trusted and re- give Ibn Saud the six mil-
vered by America's Jews, lion Jews in the United
and the portrait of political States.' Even bad jokes
hypocrisy that came out fell flat with Stalin."
There is this summation
after his death. What is the
fair judgment to be made by Grose of the result of the
about Roosevelt and the FDR-Ibn Saud meeting at
Jews? The role of the 32nd Yalta:
"Roosevelt 'wished to as-
President of the United
States in the long drama of sure His Majesty that he
the Jewish restoration would do nothing to assist
poses a challenge to the his- the Jews against the Arabs
torian. The reality is and would make no move
stranger and more complex hostile to the Arab people.'
than either critics or defen- Soothing words, capable of
varying interpretations,
ders suppose."
It is of interest, there- but to Ibn Saud they were
fore, to note in the Grose enough to justify the whole
story that Churchill and adventure beyond his fron-
Stalin were annoyed with tiers."
Abba Hillel Silver, the
Roosevelt's proposals to
be made to Ibn Saud. Biltmore Conference which
There was a "bad joke" emphasized the demand for
by FDR, thus accounted statehood, David Ben-

Gurion, the Holocaust and
its effects, partition, Tru-
man and the emergency of
Israel, and the subsequent
events are adequately re-
The summary to this
extensive story takes into
account the many nega-
tives, the divisiveness,
frustrations, the saga of
many discords. Yet Grose
concludes on an optimis-
tic note:
"No American adminis-
tration ever seriously
entertained the possibility
of reversing the decisions of
1947 and 1948, which estab-
lished the Jewish state in
law and sovereignty. Calls
by Palestine Arabs in the
1970s for a binational state
of all Palestine — the for
mula rejected in 1947 —
continue to fall on deaf ears
in Washington and across
the United States.
"For, liking it or not,
Americans who are willing
to look see something for
themselves in Israel. Even
as,they go their own way, in
pursuit of their own . na-
tional interests, -Americans
and Israelis are bonded to-
gether like no two national
sovereign peoples.
"As the Judaic heritage
flowed through the minds of
America's early settlers and
helped to shape the new
American republic, so Israel
restored adopted the vision
and the values of the
American dream. Each, the
United States and Israel,
grafted the heritage of the
other onto itself."

New Volume on Apocrypha

in Israel's past. This
pseudepigraphal litera-
Although many Jews ture has now been
know that the Bible shaped gathered under one
not only Judaism but much cover and analyzed by a
of the Western culture, they distinguished group of
are generally not familiar scholars who not only
with the fact that a vast provide accurate transla-
body of Jewish literature tions, but critical com-
was composed -roughly be- mentaries as well.
tween the years 200 BCE
In "The Old Testament
and 200 CE — the crucial Pseudepigrapha, Apocalyp-
years marking the begin- tic Literature and Testa-
nings of rabbinic Judasim ments" (Doubleday), edited
and early Christianity.
by James H. Charlesworth,
These books, known as the authors include 27
apocryphal and pseudepig- books, some thought lost
raphal writings, never and only recently found in
achieved canonicity; that is, libraries, others never men-.
they were. not included in tioned in ancient literature.
the final redaction of the
These writings em-
Hebrew Bible.
phasize such ideas as per-
The Apocrypha, consist- sonal resurrection and sal-
ing of 14 books, was in- vation, and the coming of
cluded in the Vulgate — the the MesSiah — ideas
official Catholic Bible—but hardly mentioned in the Bi-
was considered uncanonical ble. Included in this first
by the Protestants. volume of a projected two-
Ecclesiasticus, or the Wis- volume work on the
dom of Jesus, son of Sirach, Pseudepigrapha are 19
is the only apocryphal book apocalypses — books of dis-
quoted in the Talmud. The closure or revelation. (The
apocryphal • books of Mac- only apocalyptic work
cabees and Judith were re- familiar to most Jews today
claimed by Jews during the is the Aramaic Book of
Middle Ages and were Daniel in the Bible.)
linked with the Hanuka
This first volume also in-
cludes eight testaments at-
Apocrypha tributed to "Old Testament"
means "hidden writ- figures, such as Moses, Sol-
ings," Pseudepigrapha omon and Job. These testa-
connotes writings falsely ments are reputed last
attributed to ideal figures words and wills of model






r, t

The Jewish National Fund has issued two new stamps in its philatelic series to
mark the 82nd anniversary of the founding of Keren Kayemet LeIsrael. The stamp
on the right shows the JNF blue box and the stamp on the left shows trees and
flowers growing from it. Since 1902, JNF has issued 4,200 stamps which are valued
by collectors because of their topical subjects and depictions of famous per-
sonalities in Jewish history.


figures, which were de-
signed to instruct their
heirs in the paths of right-

In light, of such as-
tounding recent dis-
coveries as the Dead Sea
Scrolls and the excava-
tions of early synagogues
in the Syro-Palestinian
area, scholars are being
forced to abandon the
widely accepted idea of a
"normative Judaism," or
a Judaism ruled by an
all-powerful orthodoxy
centered in Israel.

This important volume is
strongly recommended to
all students interested in
Judaism and Christianity.


Back to Top

© 2021 Regents of the University of Michigan