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February 24, 1984 - Image 2

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1984-02-24

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2 Friday, February 24, 1984

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Purely Commentary

ADL Utilizes American Theme
for Important Anniversary
and Germany Provides Recordings

Preservation of historic records is always the obliga-
tion of nations and the scholars who engage in research in
their behalf. It is the chronicling of available records that
emerges as history, both in the literary sense as well as in
retaining a knowledge about the peoples involved. It is an
emphasis on the principle that without knowledge of the
past there can be no proper recognition of the present or
preparation for events to come.
For the Michigan communities there is approaching a
series of exhibitions, each of which will carry with it the
craved-for historic message and a knowledge of an impor-
tant period which retain relationships with the present.
Three immense exhibitory productions are in anticipa-
tion by the Michigan communities.
The Czech Jewish legacies from Prague will yet have
more than a year of preparation for presentation at the
Detroit Institute of Arts, after the illuminating com-
mencement at the Smithsonian in Washington. This one
has an international significance and in addition to the
initial views there will be much to see and to say about it.
In the immediacy is the display of the documentaries
on "German Jews Under Prussian Rule," including per-
sonalities and events in the collection to be shown for the
first time in this country. The exhibit, which opens next
weekend at the Jewish Community Center, under the
sponsorship of the Holocaust Memorial Center, has much of
importance to commend it. It has the endorsement and
cooperation of the German government. It received assis-
tance from the German Consulate under the direction of
Consul General Deutz. It portrays an important era in
German Jewish history and perhaps it serves also as the
resounding rebuke to anti-Semitism in its documentation
of years when there was German-Jewish cooperation and
fellowship.
Another aspect attaches to a third exhibit, one to com-
mence early in April as a tribute to the work of the Anti-
Defamation League of Bnai Brith, on the occasion of ADL's
75th anniversary. On a national scale it is dedicated as a
collection of historic records about the "Jews of America."
This is, in itself, an attraction for all, as an American
document. The local sponsors of the exhibit, to be displayed
in the Detroit Historical Museum, are gathering material
for an addendum of vast importance. It is to be an exhibit
about the Jews of Michigan, with an important emphasis
on Detroit Jewry. This has vast significance. Unless data is
gathered, either about individuals or communities, both
will vanish from the records. The current effort assists in
preservation of such important data.
An additional comment is in order here. Let it serve as
an admonition. There is procrastination in plans in the
offing for the publication of a history of Detroit Jewry. The
longer the delay, the more difficult the task to fulfill such a
community aim. Perhaps the "Jews of Michigan" aspect
linked with the "Jews of America" exhibit will contribute
toward the realization of the dream for a history of this
Jewish community.
What may be considered an encouraging beginning for

Chronicling the Records and Portraying Historical
Experiences
Immense Communal Values in Approaching
Exhibitions Emphasizing the Foreign and American Eras

such a demanding project is the doctoral thesis and his
subsequent essays on early Detroit history by former De-
troiter Dr. Robert Rockaway, currently professor of history
at Tel Aviv University. Rockaway's start has always been
considered an inspiration for a continuing effort in gather-
ing all available records about this community.

By Philip
Slomovitz

,
that quality of mind that has debased history and
brought journalism so low in our time.
1
Lots said about NBC and John Chancellor? Enough.
Never! As long as it is necessary to condemn bias in order to
prevent its repetition.

Gender Vacuum Bridged

Shown during the Selma, Ala. civil rights mart h
are, from left, Ralph Abernathy, Rev. Martin Luthe r
King, Jr., Ralph Bunche and Rabbi Abraham Hes
chel.
From 'Jews of America' Exhibi t

Reasoning Over the TV
Prejudicial Views on Israel

ERA did not attain a total victory. Yet, in practice, it k
a triumph. No one dares treat subjects only in the mas-'
culine designation.
The National Conference of Christians and Jews pro-
ves it this week.
There is a tradition for the honorary chairman of whatl
had been Goodwill Month of the NCCJ, the President of the,
United States, to issue a statement proclaiming Broth . :-.1.-'
hood Week. It began with emphasis on Goodwill Month,
marking the Lincoln and Washington birthdays. Then if
became Brotherhood Week, with emphasis on the truest
forms of Americanism and humanism among all elements.
in the population. Now it is no longer mere Brotherhood. It
is Brotherhood and Sisterhood!
No other eminent personality than President Ronald
Reagan makes this possible, and the NCCJ is his insti u-'
ment for bridging the gap. He is not such a keen supporter
of the Equal Rights Amendment, yet with hesitancy towarc:
ERA President Reagan adds to its triumph with this state-
ment just issued over his signature by the NCCJ:
On this occasion, we mark the 50th anniver-
sary of the celebration of Brotherhood-
Sisterhood Week. For half a century this event.,
has played a major role in encouraging greater
understanding and communication among con-
flicting segments of society.
Brotherhood-Sisterhood
Week furthers our aware-
ness of the universal na-
ture of the human experi-
ence. In promoting the
spirit of brotherhood
among the people of our
nation, we strengthen our
respect for the rich diver-
sity of our country. By
focusing on the impor-
tance of the dignity of the
individual, we acknowl-
RONALD REAGAN
edge the bonds of birth, hope and freedom that
gave meaning to our way of life.
In reaching out in brotherhood to our fellow
citizens, we help stem the tide of historic chal-
lenges to mankind's advancement — starvation,
disease, poverty and war. Recognizing the pre-
cariousness of man's life on this planet, we strive
to undergird the work of men and women of
goodwill to bring about a world built upon the
true values of fellowship and mutual respect.
Claim to 50th anniversary is a partial exaggeration.
NCCJ is, indeed, observing its 50th anniversary, and so is
Brotherwood Week on the occasion of Washington's Birth-
day. Brotherhood and Sisterhood is the modernity of it all.
It is the triumph for unachieved ERA as a totality. And the
President of the United States lends Sisterhood a boost,
thanks to NCCJ.
So be it . . . because so it is.

Cable TV last Sunday provided a full hour of documen
tary revelations indicating NBC's biased presentation an d
interpretation of the events that affected Israel's activitie
in Lebanon.
Entitled "NBC in Lebanon: A Study in Media Misrep
resentation," guilt was primarily directed at John Chancel
lor. The many quotations served to show how bias domi
nated uring 600 hours of broadcasting, filled with charged
distortions and exaggerations, all tending to give Israel an
evil image.
An interesting advance review of that one-hour ex-
pose, facts for which were gathered by Americans for a Safe
Israel, appeared in the Feb. 18 New York Times, by-lined
John Corry.
Special interest attached to the Corry review to his
defense of the media. Corry stated:
"NBC in Lebanon" says that Reuven Frank,
the president of NBC News, declined to comment
on its charges, but that RCA, the parent company
of NBC, issued a statement. "Standards of accu-
racy, fairness and balance are basic to NBC
News," it said. "NBC personnel are required to
adhere to them."
This viewer sympathized with Mr. Frank;
some of the criticism the documentary brings
against NBC is too diffuse to rebut. Meanwhile, in
constantly asking why NBC covered the Israeli
invasion the way it did, the documentary suggests
that NBC was consciously favoring the PLO,
presumably for political reasons.
It is possible, however, that the answers are
simpler. Television journalism has a dynamic of
its own; it can be a captive of its own images. The
images of collapsed buildings, ruined streets and
grieving civilians make a good story. Indeed, they
become the whole truth of the story. Journalism,
in general, suffers from a lack of memory, and
television journalism suffers from it grievously.
Thus the images are presented without
perspective. NBC, along with CBS and ABC —
JERUSALEM (JTA) —
whose coverage, according to the documentary,
U.S. Ambassador Samuel
was only marginally better — compresses daily
Lewis said here that he re-
history into 22 minutes each night. Events have no
gards Jerusalem as the cap-
past. The PLO had no history of terrorism and
ital of Israel and knows it is
murder; Lebanon was not an ancient
an "affront" to Israel to have
battleground. Truth was born anew each night.
the U.S. Embassy in Tel
"NBC in Lebanon" is flawed; it is also disquieting
Aviv rather than in
for people who watch the evening news.
Jerusalem. It should have
Right or wrong, Corry calls attention to an important been moved there in the
factor in journalism, with emphasis on television. It is the
1950s, Lewis said.
sensational that is craved for and usually adhered to, and
The U.S. envoy made his
therefore crime is specifically sensationalized in pro- remarks to 70 American
gramming. It stands to reason that in the instance of the
Jewish leaders represent-
Beirut massacre the brutal was given special attention,
ing the Conference of
and perhaps it is only fair to say that nearly all the media
Presidents of Major Ameri-
shared guilt with NBC. Yet Americans for a Safe Israel
can Jewish Organizations
prove in the documentary that NBC is guiltiest, and John
at a dinner at the Jerusalem
Chancellor will need a lot more than a mere "I am sorry" to
Hilton last week. He ex-
gain absolution from condemnations.
plained that over the years
In relation to John Chancellor, there is an additional it had become difficult for
condemnation in a Feb. 19 Detroit News article by Dorothy the United States to trans-
Rabinowitz, New York Post columnist, who commented on fer its embassy to
Chancellor's defense of Walid Jumblatt as a moderate.
Jerusalem because of the
Commenting on two elements in the Chancellor treatment belief that the move would
of the Druze leader, Rabinowitz stated:
harm the U.S. ability to
Chancellor's equation . . . like his comparison
make peace in the Middle
of the Israeli invasion with the fascist bombing of
East.
Madrid, is depressingly eloquent testimony to
The Senate Foreign Rela-

Lewis Pushes Jerusalem
as Site for U.S. Embassy

A synagogue clock from Pisek, Bohemia, circa
1870.

From 'Jews of Germany' Exhibit

tions Committee was
scheduled to hold a hearing
this week on a resolution by
Sen. Daniel Moynihan (D-
N.Y.) asking that the em-
bassy be moved to
Jerusalem. The situation
could be resolved eventu-
ally only through a peace
agreement that invluded a
section on Jerusalem, Lewis
said.
Lewis denied charges
made to the visiting
Americans by Deputy
Premier David Levy that
the U.S. failed to consult
with Israel on its moves
in Lebanon. "We don't
always do it so well," he
said referring to consul-
tations. "We have done it
well or better with Israel
than with any of our
other friends," he added.
Lewis also said the U.S.
does not favor the German
plan to sell arms to Saudi
Arabia.

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