Friday, April 27, 1984
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
THE JEWISH NEWS
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CANDLELIGHTING AT 7:06 P.M.
VOL. LXXXV. No. 9
`F' is for freedom
Texas is generally considered a long way from Michigan. But until the
end last week of a ten-year restriction on references in textbooks to evolution,
the long shadow of Texas reached into Michigan — and beyond.
As the largest single purchaser of textbooks in the U.S., the State of
Texas has an inordinate influence on the contents of public school textbooks
used nationwide. So when Texas' board of education ruled in 1974 that it
would only purchase biology textbooks with curtailed sections on evolution,
every new biology text in the country was also affected. Since only one version
of a textbook is published, only -a fiscally foolhardy publisher would risk
incurring the wrath of the Lone Star state by bucking its rule on evolution.
The effect was dismal. Coverage of evolution in textbooks reportedly
decreased by 30 to 80 percent since 1974.
People for the American Way, a national anti-censorship group, has
called the repeal of the rule as significant as John Scopes' 1925 conviction for
teaching evolution in a Tennessee school. Perhaps so. The freer our textbooks,
the freer our children's minds. Shackles on their books are also shackles on
The Texas rule was a subtle incursion on our civil liberties. But it is these
subtleties that can do us in. It has happened before. Huey Long and Joe
McCarthy were masters of the slow undermining of freedoms. So was Hitler.
The underlying commonality of social cataclysms is that they never start as
"big bangs." Instead, they creep along, sputtering and coughing, perhaps
even backfiring occasionally, until they reach a frightening momentum:
The Texas rule was knocked down ten years after it had almost become
an unassailable institution in that state. Luckily, it was knocked down. We
breathed a sigh of relief, for with the rule's demise went one more inhibition
on free speech and free press. Any such caveat is also a curb on ourselves and
our futures, on our intellects and our visions of the world. That must never be
Jewish Mafia in America:
Israeli and Soviet style
BY WOLF BLITZER
The Jewish News Washington correspondent
Washington — Israeli and Soviet
Jewish immigrants are becoming in-
creasingly more involved in organized
crime in America, according to a just-
published U.S. Senate Judiciary
The study, which analyzed _or-
ganized crime by other immigrant
groups as well, was based on testimony
provided the panel last year by the
New York City Police Department's
Organized Crime Bureau.
The report said that former Is-
raelis are believed to be involved "in a
myriad of organized criminal activi-
"Intelligence, to date, indicates
there are approximately 1,000 indi-
viduals, loosely structured, with sev-
eral key members, possibly in leader-
ship roles," the report continued. "Ap-
proximately 100 legitimate businesses
in the New York area have been iden-
tified as being operated by this group."
The Soviet organized crime group,
based mostly in the Brighton Beach
Both groups are structured
by relatively recent emigres
from their respective
homelands; both show a
propensity for a. violent
action .. .
section of Brooklyn, "does not yet ap-
pear to have the sort of sophisticated
structure that characterizes tradi-
tional organized crime, but it appears
to be well-structured and ominous in
its embryonic stage."
Emil Ciccotelli, deputy chief of the
New York Organized Crime Control
Bureau, was quoted in the report as
saying the Israeli and Soviet Jewish
groups were totally disconnected.
Still, he noted, there are
similarities. "Both groups," he said,
are structured by relatively recent
emigres from their respective home-
lands; both show a propensity for vio-
lent action consistent with that which
is observed' among other organized
crime groups; both have international
contacts; and both show operations in
wide-spread areas of the United
"As with the Italian organized
criminal network," he continued,
"these groups show wide diversifica-
tion of criminal enterprise."
Regarding organized Israeli crime
in New York, the study concluded by
noting that the "group appears to be
growing, and becoming increasingly
more violent. Furthermore, the group
seems to be able to generate large
sums of revenue from illicit activities,
and, in turn, reinvests these monies in
The group will remain relatively
unknown and insulated, because of
their low-key lifestyle, ethnicity, and
the sophisticated nature of their
crimes. They will utilize the services of
other organized crime groups, if their
expertise or conduits are needed. Ap-
parently, this group will pose a sig-
nificant problem for law enforcement
authorities in the coming years."
The study noted that the or-
ganized Israeli crime network was
based largely in New York but there
was evidence it was spreading the
northeastern portion of the United
States. At the same time, it said, the
group has been operating on an inter-
national level for some time."
Thus, it said that the group is
well entrenched in southern Califor-
nia, Arizona and southern Florida, as
well as having extensive contacts in
the Near East, southern Europe,
South America, Canada and Mexico.
Several members have served prison
sentences in Israel."
According to the report, Califor-
nia and Arizona authorities have said
this group was involved in insurance
frauds, ficticious billing, bankruptcy ,
Again, as in recent years, despite the economic pressures and the ensuing
difficulties, Greater Detroit Jewry rose to commendable heights in tackling
the philanthropic responsibilities. The immense success of the current
fundraising effort is a tribute to the community's pursuance of duties that
involve responses to the needs for scores of agencies and Israel.
Especially noteworthy is the large number of contributors and the large
army of volunteer workers. It is to the latter and their leaders that special
recognition is presently due. The acceptance of leadership by a younger
element in the community, the understanding by them of the challenges
involved, all combine to speak volumes in an acknowledgement or a
continuing devotion to duty.
The fact that this progressive leadership knows what it is laboring for
must lead to a similar understanding of the background of the needs and their
sources, thereby emphasizing an historic understanding of the involvements
which call for philanthropy in the present. They must also encourage a vision
for the future.
It is the creation of a progressive leadership that lends status to a
successful fundraising campaign; and it is because of it that great pride is
merited in the current Allied Jewish Campaign achievements. The
leadership of Jack Robinson and his associates has meritoriously earned the
acclaim accorded it.