4 Friday, J!‘ 27, 1984
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
THE JEWISH NEWS
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BY JULIUS BERMAN
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CANDLELIGHTING AT 8:38 P.M.
American Jewish consensus
on Israel security spelled out
Special to The ell
Today, as in the past; the news
media are only too eager to seize on
any expression of difference voiced by
American Jews vis-a-vis Israel gov-
ernment policies. This is variously
called a "split," a "rift" or "erosion" of
Jewish support for Israel. Indeed, it is
a well-known secret that the fastest
way to get your Op-Ed article pub
lished in a daily newspaper or weekly
newsmagazine is to criticize Israel or
call for American pressure aimed at
changing Israeli policies.
There are, of course, differences
between the organized Jewish com-
VOL. LXXXV, NO. 22
So who won?
Where else but Israel do you hold an election, count up the votes and still
not know who won? Better yet, where else does the party with fewer seats
rejoice at its "victory" over the part ,that won more seats?
It's far easier to determine who lost in this week's national election. The
losers were those who had hoped that the vote would lead to a resolution of
• some of the major problems facing the Jewish state, chiefly the economy, with
a 400 percent inflation rate, withdrawal from Ltbanon, and new initiatives in
the peace process°with neighboring Arab states.
Instead, experts agree that whichever coalition is formed — headed by
Likud, Labor or even a national unity government — it will be weak, highly
unstable, and probably short-lived.
'Likud, the party of Prime Minister Shamir, won fewer seats than Labor
but elahned victory. Not only because Likud did better than most experts
predicted but, more importantly, because Likud has a better chance to form a
coalition with like-minded smaller parties.
. Labor, which ruled Israel from 1948 to 1977, is dearly in trouble. The fact
• that the party, led by Shimon Peres, could not win a decisive victory in lightof
• all the troubles that have befallen the ruling Likud government —the failure
of the war in Lebanon, runaway inflation, the absence of charisinatic
Menachem Begin — underscores Labor's woes.
Likud appears to be the majority party in Israel because it is better able
to hold voters, especially Sephardim; even in the face of political traulna:
Optimists will look at this election and say that it gives greater voice to
-- the small parties, reflecting the democratic vision of proportional
representation. But realists must conclude that while democracy flourishes,
government flounders today in Israel.
One ironic footnote: Rabbi Meir Kahane, founder of the Jewish Defene
League and, more recently, the Kach party in Israel, won a seat in the
Knesset for the first time. Kahane had been barred from the election because
of his campaign pledges to deport Arabs from Israel. The courts, though,
protected Kahane's civil rights —thus allowing him to go on threatening the
civil rights of Israeli Arabs.
Julius' Berman: Israel has a duty to
protect its people from terror and hostility.
munity and Israel. But the essence of
the American Jewish relationship
with Israel, as I have found it to be in
my travels, is one of pride, respect,
admiration, support — and love.
I have also found that there is a
broad consensus in the views Ameri-
can Jews hold about Israel and U.S.-
Israel relations. Let me try to spell
out. this consensus:
First, we regard the central and -
. overriding impedinient to • peace in
the Middle East as the Arab world's
continued rejection of the existence of
On July 1, Julius Berman stepped down after
completing two one-year terms as chairman of
the Conference of Presidents of Major
American Jewish Organizations.
Shades of Jesse Owens
As the echoes of Hitlerism resounded, here, and a voice of extreme
demagoguery -incited bitterness, there Came to mind another voice. As
athletes from all parts of the globe were gathering for the Olympics, one was
compelled to ask whether the compatriots of Jesse Owens forgot the courage
of one black man, one of the greatest in his people's history, who held high the
• American banner when Adolf Hitler walked away from him in rebuke to a
person the color of whose skin was not like his.
It was in 1936 when Jeise Owens emerged as one of the heroes of our
time. From that time on, there was an even closer relationship between
blacks and Jews in the form of a perpetuation of amity between two of the
. friendliest groups in American society.
No one should really dare disrupt such a glorified association between
Americans striving to forge a continuing cooperative spirit. When the
memory of Jesse Owens is defiled by some of his kinfolk who glorify Hitler
and therefore besmirch Owens, the hope arises that from the ranks of the
people who bless the memory of Jesse Owens will come forth rejection of a new
,Hitlerisni.,Bigei hate& blaPks 11111 0 .45ekw
Israel, the Arab denial of the legiti-
mate and rightful place of Israel in
the family of nations, and the Arab
refusal to recognize and negotiate
openly and directly with the Jewish
state. We are dismayed that the Arab
world, with the sole exception of
Egypt, continues to adhere to a policy
of rejection and intransigence.
We welcome Washington's
friendship for Israel and concern for
its security, a recognition of the
American people's high regard for Is-
rael as a strategic ally that shares
with our country the values of
democracy and freedom. But we also
know that Israel cannot and must not
rely on any outside power, no matter
how friendly, to repel attack, and
that Israel must therefore be strong
enough — economically and politi-
- daily, as well as militarily — to de- •
We reaffirm' our conviction that
the government of Israel has the
right — indeed, the duty—to protect
its people from the terror and hostil-
ity that threaten them. And we be-
lieve that the arrangements for
achieving that security must be de-
cided only by the people of Israel, as
represented by • their
through direct negotiations with
their Arab neighbors.
Although there are differences of
opinion among us with respect to set-
tlement policies in the West Bank,
the • overwhelming majority of
American Jews reject the idea that
Israeli communities in Judea and
Samaria are illegal.
. We oppose the establishment of a
Palestinian state as a peril to. Israel's
survival. Whatever arrangements
are finally made by Israel and its
neighbors regarding the West Bank
and Gaza, any possibility of estab7
lishing a Palestinian state must be
There can be no going back to the
pre-1967 Arab-Israel border, because
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