Friday, April 6, 1984
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
THE JEWISH NEWS
Serving Detroit's Metropolitan Jewish Community
with distinction for four decades.
Editorial and Sales offices at 17515 West Nine Mile Road,
Suite 865 Southfield, Michigan 48075-4491
PUBLISHER: Charles A. Buerger
EDITOR EMERITUS: Philip Slomovitz
EDITOR: Gary Rosenblatt
BUSINESS MANAGER: Carmi M. Slomovitz
ART DIRECTOR: Kim Muller-Thym
NEWS EDITOR: Alan Hitsky
LOCAL NEWS EDITOR: Heidi Press
Bethlehem's mayor in U.S.
BY WOLF BLITZER
Jewish News Washington correspondent
Washignton — Bethlehem's popu-
lar mayor, Elias Freij, came to Wash-
ington the other day, a guest of the
State Department. It was his first seri-
ous visit to the U.S. capital since 1978.
He had a full schedule of meetings
with senior State Department offi-
cials, members of Congress, aca-
demicians, journalists, Arab dip-
lomats and others. There were ses-
sions arranged for him at the Carnegie
Endowment for International Peace,
the American Enterprise Institute,
the Foreign Press Center, the Na-
tional Press Club and other prestigi-
ous institutions. In short, he was roy-
ally welcomed as a moderate Palesti-
CC) 1984 by The Detroit Jewish News
(US PS 275-520)
Second Class postage paid at Southfield, Michigan and additional mailing offices. Subscription $18 a year.
CANDLELIGHTING AT 6:43 P.M.
VOL. LXXXV No. 6
Israel's decision to hold new elections is welcome news, regardless of
which party one favors. The Shamir government has been unable to break out
of the post-Begin syndrome and the Labor opposition has not had a chance to
test the post-Lebanon political waters.
In fact, Hussein, shortly thereaf
ter, denounced U.S. policy in the Mid-
dle East — resulting in the cancella
tion of the Reagan Administration's
proposed Stinger anti-aircraft missile
sale. The king was clearly sending= a
signal that he did not really anticipate
any movement on the diplomatic front
during the U.S. Presidential campaign
this year in any case. Why bother to
irritate the Syrians, therefore, with
talk of peace negotiations?
The prospect of new elections resulting in a more stable, broad-based
government is compelling for it has been proven that a Jerusalem
government with a narrow base is unable to carry out necessary, though
controversial, public policy decisions.
Israel's parliamentary system of elections needs to be improved upon.
The power — even the tyranny — of the small, sometimes tiny, parties over
the large is improper and imbalanced. The major parties should hold sway
over the smaller ones rather than the other way around. At present, one or
two individuals can topple a government. But such changes, which have long
been discussed, must come after this election.
Our glorious saga
Sharing with a selected group of American communities the privilege of
seeing and studying the record of Jewish achievements during the centuries
that commenced with the very founding of this nation, Michigan will host
the important exhibit, "Jewish Life in America: Fulfilling the American
Marking the 70th anniversary of the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai
B'rith, the exhibition, which opens Thursday at the Detroit Historical
Museum, emphasizes many significant objectives.
The recognition it accords to tht ADL and its immense services, not alone
to the Jewish community but to the country at large, is in itself vital to the
documentary elements in a noteworthy undertaking. The contributions made
by ADL to every effort in support of civic protective undertakings and to the
elimination of prejudices is basic to the attention attracted to the display of
American Jewish gifts to the democratic ideals of the nation.
Adding importance to the oncoming event is the historic factor of
Michigan Jewry's share in the saga about to be witnessed and Studied at the
Historical Museum. With Greater Detroit Jewry's leadership role in these
historical analyses, and with much of the non-Jewish community sharing in
it, this aspect of a very important historic documentation in reconstructed
and assembled documents and photographs makes the event here one of the
most impressive in this generation's experiences.
It is important to note that only once before, during the American Jewish
Tercentenary celebration, were the Detroit Historical Museum's facilities
assigned to so vital a Jewish sponsorship.
All of these elements in a noteworthy project provide expectations that
non-Jews as well as Jews will not miss the opportunity to benefit from an
inspired opportunity to learn anew about the Jewish contributions toward
the fulfillment of the American Dream.
But Freij, a familiar figure on the
Israeli and West Bank scene since th'
1967 Six-Day War, is not yet prepared
to give up. He came to Washington
shortly following a highly-publicized
mission to Jordan, together with
nearly 40 other West Bank leader._,-,
including six mayors. There, they met
with King Hussein and, despit,
threats of possible Israeli reprisals,
with PLO Chairman Yassir Arafat as
Freij emerged as the spokesma
for the West Bankers during those
meetings in Amman. Their objectiv,
was to obtain a commitment from
Hussein and Arafat to enter into peace
talks. But that, of course, did not occur.
The ruling Likud party had sought to put off the elections until the fall,
hoping that the economy might improve by then. Labor wanted elections as
soon as possible, as early as mid-May, to capitalize on growing dissatisfaction
among the electorate. It is a healthy sign that a compromise was reached,
with elections now set for July 23. The major issues are clear: the economy
and how to get out of Lebanon. Now it is time for the parties to explain their
policies and let the people choose.
neighbors, each in his defined home-
land or state."
The most recent war in Lebanon.
he continued, has underlined "once,
and for all" that no military solutio
really possible. But time is running
out for a peaceful settlement," the
mayor said. He cited the "high spee -
and frightening size" of Israeli settle=
ments on the West Bank and Gaza
"Eventually," he added, "they
make it impossible."
nian leader prepared to live in peace
When we met for coffee at the Em-
bassy Row Hotel, he was clearly tired
from the seemingly endless rounds of
discussions. This is the first day I
have had a chance to rest," he said. But
he was determined to continue, ever
"It is the destiny of Israelis and
Palestinians to live together in peace,"
he said, repeating his basic theme ex-
pressed throughout meetings in Wash-
ington. "We must live as good
Freij agreed that Israeli elections,I,
also moved up to later this year, have
combined to suspend any serioue
thinking about difficult Israeli conces-
sions in the near future. In the course
of discussing the Israeli elections „
Freij demonstrated an impressive
understanding of the Israeli politicE.2
arena and the main — and sometimes
not-so-main — characters involved.
know a lot about Israeli politics," he
said rather straightforwardly. "It's my
Thus, while certainly aware of the
Continued on. Page 6