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March 30, 1984 - Image 82

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1984-03-30

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Friday, March 30, 1984


Inter-Arab conflicts pose trouble for Israel


the core of the United States
policy in the Middle East is
the assumption that peace
and harmony will reign in
the region once the Arab-
, Israeli conflict has been re-
solved. This assumption is
wrong. The Arab-Israeli
conflict is not the prime
cause of the long-standing
problems plaguing the
boundary disputes, and hos-
tilities based on religious
differences have kept the
region in a constant state of
instability and turmoil, to a
point where local armed
skirmishes have led to civil
wars and to outright and
widespread wars between
There are conflicts be-
tween Iraq and Iran, be-
tween Iraq and Kuwait, be-
tween North and South
Yemen, between South
Yemen and Oman, and be-
tween Syria and Lebanon.
In addition, there are
ongoing confrontations
and local wars by the of-
ficial governments
against minority groups:
in Iraq against the Kurds;
in Egypt against the
Copts; in Lebanon
against the Druze; and in
Iran against the Bahai.
Not to be overlooked is
the Soviet invasion of Af-
ghanistan and the terri-
ble loss of lives there.
These local and intra-
state conflagrations baffle
Western minds and are
enigmas to the Western way
of thinking. Efforts by
Western powers to mediate
these struggles have been
fraught with failure; their
insights, judgements and
value systems ran aground
trying to understand atti-
tudes totally alien to their
systems of logic and histori-
cal perspectives.

The bitterest conflict is
the war between Iran and
Iraq, which began in Sep-
tember 1980 and which
shows no signs of being re-
solved in the near future.
The consequences for both
countries show how border
disputes can get out of hand,
how they defy logic and ra-
The hostilities between
the two countries (dubbed
the Persian Gulf War in the
media and in political cir-
cles) have led to devastating
results: more than 100,000
dead and wounded,
thousands of homes de-
stroyed, lives disrupted and
economies derailed. At
stake is the border between
Iran and Iraq and the area
around the Shatt al-Arab,
the major shipping lane
through which the oil tan-

kers pass on their trips to
the West and Japan.
Conflicts about demarca-
tion lines go back about 50
years. Iraq denied Iran con-
trol of the shipping lanes.
Each country tried to sup-
port insurgents against the
other. It was a smoldering
conflict which finally
seemed to have been re-
solved by an agreement
signed in June 1975. But
three years later the Shah
was deposed and the Islamic
revolution, led by the
Ayatollah Khomeini,
created chaos in Iran.
Iraq's ruler, Saddam
Hussein, saw in oppor-
tunity to regain lost terri-
tory and influence. In
September 1980 Iraq re-
nounced the 1975 agree-
ment. This was a prelude
to a full-scale invasion of
the 90 square miles from
Qasr-i-Sheiria (in the
north) to Badra and
Mehran (in the south). At
the same time, Iraq
claimed unilateral con-
trol of the Shatt al-Arab.
The invasion was suc-
cessful. Iraq took an oil-rich
Iranian province and ad-
vanced into other areas
without meeting serious
Iranian opposition. But
Khomeini's Iran recovered
from chaos and rebuilt its
army. Iran has vowed to
continue the war until it has
overthrown the Iraqi gov-
ernment. Iraq has begun to
use chemical warfare
against Iran, in violation of
the Geneva Protocol of
1925, which Iraq agreed to
adhere to in 1931.
The ease with which Iraq
tore up the 1975 agreement
raises some thorny ques-
tions. If agreements signed
by Arab states with each
other can be abrogated at
will, what can Israel expect
when it signs an accord with
an Arab state? Will the
peace treaty with Egypt
withstand the test of time?
Will future agreements and
treaties last or will they be
renounced as soon as the ink
is dry?

Certainly, the abrogation
of the Israel-Lebanon May
17 agreement by Lebanon
under the relentless pres-
sure of Syria bodes ill for fu-
ture agreements between
Israel and Arab states.
Agreements by Arab gov-
ernments are about as con-
stant as the wind-blown
grains of sand in their des-
ert kingdoms. For example,
President Hafez Assad of
Syria said he would recall
his troops from Lebanon as
soon as the Israelis said that
they would evacuate their
troops. Israel began its re-
deployment, but Syria re-
fused to budge. It is now ap-
parent that Assad has not

the slightest intention of
having his troops leave
Lebanon quickly or easily.
As long as Iran and
Iraq are locked in corn-
bat, they cannot take part
in the "solution" of the
Arab-Israeli conflict;
they can only exacerbate
the problem.
Iraq has sought to destroy
Israel ever since 1948. Dur-
ing Israel's War of Indepen-
dence, and again during the
Yom Kippur War in 1973,
Iraqi forces were massed
against Israel. At times,
Iraqi forces were stationed
in Jordan to support that
country in its struggle
against Israel.
Now, war with Iran has
turned Iraq's attention
away from Israel. This has
provided Israel with some
military relief on its eastern
border. As long as the Gulf
war continues, there is one
less threat for Israel. But
the dialectic of the situation
is that as long as the war
continues, the instability

Inter-Arab conflicts
leave Israel and the
U.S. in a quandary.

and tensions in the region
become aggravated and Is-
rael's security is further
There was a rumor some
time ago that Israel pro-
vided some spare parts and
equipment to Iran, in part to
help it defeat Iraq and
thereby help to curtail its
nuclear production activi-
ties, and in part to alleviate
the hostage situation of Ira-
nian Jews. Iran hotly de-
nied such a deal. But true or
not, the Gulf war has
created some strange politi-
cal alignments.

Iraq is supported by
other Gulf states. Saudi
Arabia, Kuwait and
others have loaned Iraq
more than $25 billion of
oil money on favorable
terms. Iraq is further
supported, by Jordan
which opened its port of
Aqaba for the shipment
of war material. There
was a general declara-
tion of support for Iraq
issued at the Fez summit
conference in September
In addition, Iraq has the
backing of the Soviet Union
which is always eager to in-
crease tensions. The Rus-
sians deliver military
equipment and get, in turn,
hard currency for this
On the other hand, Iran
has the support of Syria and
Libya. Syria closed the oil
pipeline from Iraq which
passed through its territory,

thus making it difficult for
Iraq to export its oil. The
loss from the pipeline clo-
sure is estimated to amount
to some $6 billion annually.
A flow of weapons from
Syria and Libya sustains
the offensive capability of
the Ayatollah's army.
Iran also has friends in
the West. Last year it be-
came West Germany's
biggest Middle East trading
partner, a position that tra-
ditionally has been held by
Saudi Arabia. The impor-
tance of Iran's trading posi-
tion is not lost on Bonn.
German government offi-
cials say that when selling
arms to the Saudis, Bonn
will have to take into con-
sideration Iran's position to
the Gulf kingdom.
Israel and the U.S. are in
a quandary. Any move on
the part of Iran towards the
south would pave the way
for a spread of the Islamic
revolution. Regimes in the
Gulf states would be
threatened by insurgency
and face the same fate as the
Shah's regime. Terrorism,
Iranian style, would plague
the West and endanger
whatever property and in-
vestments they now have in
the Gulf countries.
Most ominous and
threatening of all, Iran
could decide to mine the
Strait of Hormuz, thus
creating havoc for the West.
The oil tankers which pass
through it could be 'de-
stroyed, or at the very least
be easy targets for attack.
The flow of oil could be
Israel would feel the
brunt of a victorious Iran; it
could become the target of
the fanatical fundamen-
talist Islamic wrath of

A war cannot be ruled
out, and the U.S. could be-
come embroiled in it. The
stakes in the outcome would
be very high indeed, for
Iran, for Israel and for the
U.S. and other Western
powers. But no matter who
would win, Israel would lose
in the ensuing Middle East

Royal couple
cites JWB

London — Prince Charles
and Princess Diana paid
tribute to the social service
programs instituted by
JWB at a fund-raising
dinner in London's Guil-
dhall earlier this month.
At the dinner, which
raised nearly $1.5 million
for JWB programs, the
royal couple was presented
with a rocking chair hand-
crafted by elderly members
of a JWB day center.

Canada Justice Laskin dies

Montreal (JTA) — Bora
Laskin, chief justice of the
Canadian Supreme Court,
died March 26. He was 71.
Prime Minister Pierre El-
liott Trudeau appointed Mr.
Laskin to the post in 1973.
Mr. Laskin was born in
Thunder Bay, Ontario, the
son of Jewish immigrants
from Russia. Mr. Laskin re-
ceived his Bachelor of Arts
degree in 1933 from the
University of Toronto and a
Master of Law degree from

Herman August

Herman A. August, an at-
torney, died March 28 at age
Born in Detroit, Mr.
August earned a B.A. de-
gree and a J.D. at the Uni-
versity of Michigan, where
he received the Order of the
Coif. After graduation and
before going into private
practice he was with the law
firm of Ernest A. O'Brien
and Associates.
Mr. August was ap-
pointed public adminis-
trator by Gov. Fred Green.
He was a member of the De-
troit Bar Association, the
Michigan Bar Association
and the American Bar
He was a life board
member of the Jewish Home
for the Aged, a lay life
member of the Sinai Hospi-
tal of Detroit and a trustee
of the Detroit Rehabilita-
tion Institute.
Mr. August also held
membership in the
Hundred Club, Cong.
Shaarey Zedek and the
Franklin Hills Country
He leaves his wife, Eve-
lyn; a daughter, Mrs.-Cole-
man (Shirley) Mopper; a
son, Martin B. of Los
Angeles, Calif.; and four
grandchildren. Services 10
a.m. today at Ira Kaufman

Judah Cahn,
led rabbis

New York (JTA) — Rabbi
Judah Cahn founding rabbi
of the Manhattan Reform
synagogue and a past
president of the New York
Board of Rabbis, died March
24. He was 71.
Ordained at the Hebrew
Union College - Jewish In-
stitute of Religion, the Re-
form seminary, in Cincin-
nati, Rabbi Cahn had a
bachelor's degree in gov-
ernment from New York
University and a master's
degree in political science
from Columbia University.
He served on the board of
the NAACP from 1947 to
1974 and was a vice
president from 1954 to
1964. He was also a member
of the board of the Jewish
Telegraphic Agency for sev-
eral years.

"Serving the Jewish community with traditional dignity and understanding"

Bora Laskin
Harvard University in
1937. He then turned to an
academic career, joining the
University of Toronto in
In 1946, Mr. Laskin was
appointed to the Ontario
Court of Appeals and in
1970 he was appointed to
the Supreme Court. A few
years later, he became
Canada's first Jewish chief
Prior to this appointment
he served on the board of
trustees of Holy Blossom
Temple in Toronto, was
chairman of the Toronto
chapter of the Canadian
Friends of the Hebrew, Uni-
versity, and was chairman
of -the legal committee and
vice chairman of the com-
munity relations committee
of the Ontario Canadian
Jewish Congress._

Arnold Zalenko

Arnold Zalenko, an ac-
countant, died March 28 at
age 66.
Born in Poland, Mr.
Zalenko lived most of his
life in Detroit. He was past
president of the Indepen-
dent Accountants Associa-
tion of Michigan and of the
Enrolled Agents of Michi-
gan Chapter.
Mr. Zalenko practiced
public accounting for the
past 43 years in the Detroit
area. He served on the tax
study committee for the
state of Michigan.
He was a life member of
the Zionist Organization of
He held membership in
the Downtown Synagogue
and is a former board
member of Cong. B'nai
David. He also was a
member of the B'nai David.
He also was a member of the
B'nai B'rith Accountants
He- is survived by his wife,
Libbie; four sons, Neal
Zalenko, Sherwin Newman,
Joel Newman and Sanford
Newman; three dadghters,
Mrs. Joseph (Resa) Landau
and Suzanne Sirotkin, both
of Santa Monica, Calif., and
Mrs. Benson (Susan) Barr; a
brother, Hyman; a sister,
Mrs. Harry (Ruth) Golds-
tein; and 12 grandchildren.







Alan H. Dorfman
Funeral Director & Mgr.


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