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June 08, 1984 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1984-06-08

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4 Friday, June 8, 1984



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
TELEPHONE 424-8833

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

Marlene Miller
Dharlene Norris
Phyllis Tyner
Pauline Weiss
Ellen Wolfe

Drew Lieberwitz
Danny Raskin
Seymour Schwartz

Donald Cheshure
Cathy Ciccone
Curtis Deloye
Ralph Orme

© 1964 by The Detroit Jewish News
(US PS 275-520)
Second Class postage paid at SoUthfield, Michigan and additional mailing offices. Subscription $18 a year.

VOL. LXXXV, No. 15


Auschwitz jokes

Auschwitz jokes are the rage in West Germany these days. That
depressing news comes from a report by an American anthropologist and
_ German ethnologist who note that this form of "gallows humor" fills some
psychic need for those who tell them and those who listen to them and "they
demonstrate that anti-Semitism is not dead in Germany."
An article in the current issue of Harper's magazine cites several
examples, but we will spare you. The point is that jokes are a reliable
barometer of the attitudes of a group, and these jokes show little evidence of
remorse. Centuries of German anti-Semitism apparently did not end in the
ashes of Auschwitz.

Bridging racial gaps

A call issued by Reform.Jewish leaders to black fellow citizens to
preserve their mutual social interests and thereby eliminate the "traumas of
the moment" which were engendered in the current Presidential campaign, is
linked with a strong declaration calling for the bridging of the racial gaps
between two peoples. On that score, Rabbi Alexander Schindler, president of
the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, deplored the befouling of the
political arena with anti-Semitism and the . glorificaion of Hitler by a
supporter of Jesse Jackson. Schindler declared:
"Our commonality far outweighs our differences. Our agendas for
America, if not identical, are felicitiously congruous. In the final analysis,
only our common enemies will benefit if we allow ourselves to be torn apart.
"We must not permit the offensiveness of Jackson's rhetoric and manner
obscure the moral worth of his domestic agenda. We cannot permit the
stresses and strains of the hour to divert us from our historic pursuit of social
justice and human decency."
This is an admonition that strikes at the very root of human decency and
honorable American citizenship. There is every reason to believe that in the
main this sentiment has the support of responsible black leadership, just as it
commits Jewish representatation in the American society. Therefore, the
duty to bridge the gap and to raise high the standards of American

`Sanctified' evil


Inevitable emphasis on the evils which have polluted the morals of a
noble Israeli society appear to have gained a distressing limelight. The
shocking "fundamentalism" of evil-minded people in the Jewish state gave
the media a topic on a large platter. It is an experience that must be exposed
not only for the evils perpetrated but also for the exaggerations that tend to
give Israel a sad image.
The shock of Israelis emulating the worst in terrorism is all the greater
because there are factually so few among the perpetrators of the criminal
acts. They do not even number a portion of one percent of the Israelis. But
those who have resorted to the crimes are quoting Scriptures. They are in the
lowest forms of "fundamentalism." Therefore, the impressions are so
distressing, the experience so shocking, the earned contempt so deeprooted.
There is no room for such forms of bestial terrorism anywhere, and especially
in Israel.

Jewish alternatives suggested
for Jesse Jackson 'campaign'


Special to The Jewish News

negotiation, there might be some
room for improvement on his part,
Besides, Jackson is highly ambitious.
He might undo some political dam-
age if, with some Jewish help, he can
back off the racial, anti-Semitic limb
onto which he has climbed.
The problem is that all this
would take great political deftness
and gentle handling. The other
organizations would have to restrain
their criticisms of the Reform while
nevertheless pursuing alternate op-
tio'ns. The others would have to work
behind the scenes to make sure that
the Reform do not split the moral
force condemning anti-Semitism nor
give away Jewish interests for a pit-
tance in such negotiations. Here
again, ideally, Jews should work
both sides of the street.
Currently, there is no
mechanism to allow e Jews to explore
this possiblility. The Conference of
Presidents of Major American
Jewish Organizations is too weak in
staff and process to handle this. It is
likely, then, that the absence of
Jewish internal political process will
preclude this approach. This is proof
again that we need a community
think tank in public affairs.
The Jewish alternative is to
bring heavy pressure on Walter
Mondale —and on the press and
opinion molders — that anti-
Semitism be confronted and put be-
yond the pale. American Jewry
should reinforce the Administration
for Vice President Bush's outspoken
critical comments on the failure to
challenge Jackson. Far from dis-
counting Bush's comments as politi,
tally motivated, the community
should seek to generate political
rivalry among candidates to disown
anti-Semitism in the public affairs
arena. -
The Jewish side has one great
strength going in this struggle over
Jackson's role and, views. Unless
Jackson shifts — repents — his can-
didacy will prove to be a dead end for

Jesse Jackson's success in the
Democratic primaries has created a
political dilemma for American
The overwhelming bulk of Jews
are angry at Jackson's "Hymie" and
"Hymietown" slurs. The anger
moved toward contempt after
Jackson's refusal to repudiate a "sur-
rogate" who called Hitler "a very
great man" (albeit "wickedly great").
There is danger that Jackson's cam-
paign in the '80a will complete the
restoration of anti-Semitism started

It would take a dramatic
shift on the Jewish

question to make a
Jackson opening to white
America credible.

by some white radicals and black
nationalists in the 1960s.
Ideally, there should be some
centralized mechanism for the var-
ious Jewish groups to assess policies
and come to an overall community
set of choices. The Reform movement,
with its strong liberal, pro-black cre-
dentials should be delegated to go be-
yond its call for renewed Jewish-
black cooperation and to directly ap-
proach Jackson and explore some
moves to break the present cycle of
alienation and hostility.
Some of Jackson's wrong direc-
tion stems from his easy drift into
"third world" and conventional "pro-
gressive" positions. He has risen to
political prominence without re-
socialization from childhood anti-
Semitic exposures. Jackson's low
ability to self-criticize locks him into
his initial mistakes. The absence of
Jewish (as well as other white) advis-
ers further desensitizes him to the
need to correct his views.With

Rabbi Greenberg is
president of the National
Jewish Resource Center.

Continued on Page 22


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