Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options


Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

The University of Michigan Library provides access to these materials for educational and research purposes. These materials may be under copyright. If you decide to use any of these materials, you are responsible for making your own legal assessment and securing any necessary permission. If you have questions about the collection, please contact the Bentley Historical Library at bentley.ref@umich.edu

June 22, 1984 - Image 25

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1984-06-22

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


Friday, June 22, 1984 25


Jewish terrorism is a moral dilemma for Israel


Special to The Jewish News

The arrest of a ring of
Jews planning a terror
bombing of Arab buses in
Jerusalem; Interior Minis-
ter Yosef Burg's reaction
condemning the planned ac-
tions but stating that he
understood how Jews could
be led to counter terror with
terror; the evidence that the
Jewish underground, TNT,
is a significant organized
group — point to another
unfolding chapter in the
ethics of Jewish power.
TNT stands for the He-
brew words Terror Neged
Terror — Terror Against
Terror. The bilingual title
pun which depends on
knowledge of Hebrew and
English disturbingly
suggests that the group
originates in a circle where
Americans are participat-
ing or are close by. The West
Bank settlements and
religious/nationalist circles
where Gush Emunim
flourishes have an extraor-
dinary number of Ameri-
cans. They are mostly Or-
thodox olim — drawn by
religious fervor.
The values of settlement
and pioneering appeal to
the idealism that led to
aliyah in the first place.
When one adds the post-
Holocaust disillusion with
"all goyim" and the feeling
that the Arab terrorists will
only be stopped by counter-
force on the Arab popula-
tion in which they — like all
guerillas — operate, you
have the ingredients for ter-
rorist actions — by
These tendencies have
been compounded by a
weakening of the univer-

salist impulses in modern
Orthodoxy — which leads to
denial of ethical obligation
to gentiles. Some dismiss
ethical restraints vis-a-vis
gentiles as soft-headed
liberalism, reflecting inau-
thentic assimilationist val-
ues. So wrote Meir. Kahane
in a column published — in
a grievous lapse of editorial
judgement — by Sh'ma
magazine in the summer of
1983. Even more radical
statements of these views
are circulating in Hebrew
language internal publica-

To insist on
procedures is to
hand .the
which could lead
to more innocent

tions appearing far from the
unsympathetic eyes of lib-
eral Jews and non-Jews.

Although they reveal dis-
turbing phenomena, the ar-
rests are actually good
news. Neither the June
1980 bombing of West Bank
mayors' cars nor the attack
on the Hebron College led to
arrests. Last year, an assis-
tant attorney general's re-
port charged that higher-
ups were not prosecuting

Jewish West Bank settlers'
vigilante actions — and ac-
tion on the report itself was
initially blocked.
Everyone who cares for
Israel's moral health had to
be concerned. The arrests
make clear that the gov-
ernment Was not prepared
initially for the emergence
of Jewish terror groups. Ob-
viously, the government
was weak in the counter-
intelligence needed to stop
such rings — but it
promptly set in motion cor-
rective action. It is like the
FBI under J. Edgar Hoover,
which overconcentrated on
the dangers on the left and
was weak in coverage of the
KKK and neo-Nazi threat.
The FBI did some shifting
•but not without failures, in-
cluding agents and infor-
mers so socialized to the
right that they stood by or
may have conspired in as-
saults on liberal whites and
Initial American press
coverage also stressed the
government's use of harsh
anti-terrorist techniques,
including extended interro-
gations, denial of sleep, poor
living conditins, hooding
the head and holding pris-
oners without a lawyer.
While truly regrettable,
such actions may be un-
avoidable in dealing with
small violent groups which
are not bound by democratic
and legal norms. As long as
the police actions are kept to
a minimum and not
generalized, they are
legitimately deemed
"necessary evils."
The arrests prove not that
anti-democratic tendencies

are spreading cancerously,
but that the government is
willing to use the same tac-
tics against Jewish ter-
rorists as against Arab ter-
rorists. This is a good sign.
It means that Arab blood is
not cheap in Israel — an im-
portant moral response to
the memory that Jewish
blood was held cheap.
It is painful that Israeli
civil liberties are curtailed
but terrorists are, by defini-
tion, not bound by legalities
or reason and typically do
not work in situations
where full legal corrobora-
tion of the crimes is possi-
ble. When determined
minorities set out to over-
throw or endanger a legal
system, democracies cannot
always fight back cleanly.
To insist on absolutely nor-
mal procedures is to hand
the aggressor advantages
which could lead to more
innocent dead.
It has been argued that
were Israel not holding the
West Bank none of this
would have happened. The
oft-repeated argument is
that Israel must choose be-
tween the West Bank and
democracy. But this is a
simplification. I. write as
one who favors giving up
West Bank territory for a
true peace. There is not yet
an Arab leadership that is
reliably able to offer peace
in return for the West Bank
entity. So the need to hold
down Arab terrorism will be
with Israel for some time.
There have been bad inci-
dents of West Bank terrorist
murders of Jewish settlers
and road "accidents" in
which Arab trucks

Yosef Burg

Meir Kahane

endangered or killed
settlers. But in a democracy
only the government can be
permitted to take "unor-
thodox" measures as cur-
tailing civil liberties or
blowing up homes of
families to counter ter-
It is not morally neat to
offer such distinctions. It is
like carrying a controlled
infection to cure A disease.
But these moral distinc-
tions are unavoidable right
now. To allow any group of
settlers to pursue their pri-
vate agenda would release
terrorism not accountable
to democratic electorates or
governmental checks and
balances. The best proof of
this distinction is what has
already happened.
The government agencies
focus on guilty Arab ter-
rorists and their associates
as best they can identify
them. The aborted bomb
plot revealed a truly ter-
rorist intention to re-
cklessly kill innocent
After the arrests, the key

is that strong groups of
opinion leaders — espe-
cially in West Bank and Or-
thodox circles — dissociate
themselves from Jewish
terrorism. Orthodox leader-
ship must make crystal
clear that indifference to
the value of innocent
"goyim" life will not become
a norm in Orthodox circles.
This past year, there was
a most disappointing re-
sponse by a number of lead-
ing rabbis to the shooting
death of an Arab girl in the
Nablus area. The moral re-
sources are there in Or-
thodoxy to make the right
response. The judgements
must be made unequivoc-
ally and now.
The whole - situation is
further proof that the exer-
cise of power is testing Jew-
ry's and Judaism's moral
capacity to the limit. In the
forge of history; Jewish re-
sponse will strengthen — or
break — the moral tradi-
tion. The outcome is in our,

Copyright 1984, the
National Jewish Resource Cen-

Egypt is now playing both sides of the foreign policy street


Special to The Jewish News

Mubarak's regime is at-
tempting to build a com-
munications bridge be-
tween Egypt and leaders of
Israel's political opposition
in the apparent conviction
that the Labor Alignment
will be returned to power in
Israds parliamentary elec-
tions in July.
The new Egyptian tactic
is described as not so much
evidence of a desire for a
closer relationship with the
State of Israel as it is an ef-
fort to convince the United
States that the Egyptians
want to adhere fully to the
conditions of the Camp
David accords and serve as a
catalyst for peace in the
Middle East.
The Egyptian strategy is
almost Byzantine in its
complexity. At one and the
same time, Egypt seeks to
demonstrate to Washington

by these overtures to Israel
that it is firmly committed
to the United States and the
cause of peace while it seeks
to prove to the Arab states
to whose collective bosom
Egypt is so anxious to re-
turn, that its aloofness to Is-
rael, as revealed in the state
of "cold peace" — a descrip-
tion coined by a leading
Egyptian diplomat — is
evidence that Egypt is not
under the American thumb.
Basically, Egypt is trying
to distance itself from the
onus in Arab eyes of being a
handmaiden of Washington
and, by its agreement to re-
sume diplomatic relations
with the Soviet Union,
estblish for itself some sort
of neutral position in which
it can play off one super-
power against the other, re-
tain the enormous benefits
of American aid and make
itself available for wahtever

crumbs the men in the considered Mubarak's top
Kremlin are prepared to priority.
Dr. Boutros Ghali, the
strew about.
Egyptian Minister of State
Because of Arab hostility
for Foreign Affairs and one
to the United States,
of Cairo's most able and ef-
President Mubarak is un- fective diplomats, is the
comfortable with his close
point-man in the new ap-
identification with Wash- proach to the Israelis. He
ington although American has stressed to his guests
military and economic aid and to Israeli journalists
has been a mainstay of his who have been given a very
regime. He seeks to position friendly reception in Cairo
himself among the non- official circles when they
aligned naions of the Third came in May to write about
World, thus reaping the
the fifth anniversary of the
benefits of all possible
Egyptian-Israeli peace
treaty, that Egypt wants to
The current Egyptian move from a "cold peace" to
reaching out to prominent a genuine peace burthat
personalities identifed with this can happen only when
opposition to the Likud gov- Israeli troops are with-
ernment in Israel paradoxi- drawn from Lebanon and
cally is a move primarily progress is made on a set-
designed to expedite tlement of the Palestine
Egypt's return to the center Arab question.
of the Arab family of na-
President Mubarak him-
tions. That objective can be 4 self appsrefttly places the

emphasis on the latter since
the Arab world is more con-
cerned about the Israeli-
held territories than about
the fate of the Lebanese.

Yosef Goell, another
Jerusalem Post correspon-
dent, spent a week in Cairo
— his first visit there since
1978 — to appraise the ef-
fect of peace on the Egyp-
A significant and reveal-
ing aspect of these tians. He was delighted
with the friendliness dis-
encounters was the evident played by the Egyptian
desire of the Egyptians to man-in-the-street and
see them widely publicized shocked by the treatment of
in Israel and abroad al- Israel in the government-
though news abut them was controlled media which
carry anti-Israel
carefully kept out of the regularly
Egyptian press.
Goell, who had access to
Jerusalem Post reporter
Mark Segal pointed out that most Egyptian leaders dur-
the Egyptian public did not ing. his stay, asked Boutros
even know that former Is- Ghali bluntly why the gov-
raeli Foreign Minister Abba ernment permitted violent
Eban was in Cairo and that anti-Israeli attacks to ap-
although Egyptian report- pear in the press. The Egyp-
ers were present when Eban. tian official replied that the
spoke before the assembly of charge of anti-Semitic ex-
Foreign Ministry officials, cesses by the Egyptian
"not a word appeared in the media was "very much
exaggerated." ,

Back to Top

© 2021 Regents of the University of Michigan