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August 10, 1984 - Image 33

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1984-08-10

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

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

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...:Y

• Friday, August 10, 1984 33

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Information Act violation
dropped at N.Y. college

New York. (JTA) — The
State University of New
York at Stony Brook is not
criminally liable for provid-
ing false information to the
Long Island Jewish World
in response to a Freedom of
Information Act request be-
cause the law itself contains
no penalties and there are
too many "gaps" in existing
laws to make them appli-
cable, Nassau District At-
torney Denis Dillon ruled
last week.
"The issue presented by
this situation is novel," ac-
cording to a legal opinion
sent to Dillon by his staff
after a month of research.
"No authoritative answer is
possible and reasonable
men could certainly dis-
agree, but my guess is that a
potential defendant has
slipped through the gaps in
several pre-existing sta-
tutes which were never in-
tended to apply to the Free-
dom of Information Act."
The Jewish World had

sought documents from
Stony Brook last February
detailing the university's
attempts to solicit foreign
governments or businesses
in the Middle East for the
purpose of establishing
endowments or chairs of
learning. It formally asked
for all such communications
under the Freedom of In-
formation Act. A week la-
ter, the university replied
that no such documents
existed. Five months later,
the Village Voice news-
paper published the docu-
ments and the Jewish
weekly also obtained them.

The Jewish World then
turned the documents over
to Dillon. Last week Dillon
said that as a result of his
office's findings, there was
"only an outside chance that
we could have made a case.
There were many legal hur-
dles and the chances for suc-
cessful prosecution were
slight.

Israel releases defendants
in 'underground' terror trial

Jerusalem (JTA) — The
Supreme Court released on
bail Friday two defendants
in the Jewish underground
trials, Maj. Ronni Gilla and
Capt. Shlomo Livyatan,
both linked to the attacks
against the Arab mayors
four years ago.
The court rejected an ap-
peal by the state, which
wanted to keep the two in
custody until the end of the
legal proceedings.
Last
month,
the

Bond dinner
to feature
Israel envoy

New York — Ambassador
Meir Rosenne, Israel's Am-
bassador to the United
States, will address the
dinner of the 1984 Israel
Bonds National' Leadership
Conference to be held in
Boston Sept. 13-16 it was
announced by Detroiter
David R. Hermelin, na-
tional campaign chiiirman.
More than 300 Jewish
leaders from the United
States and Canada will take
part in the conference and
will plan an expanded cam-
paign to meet Israel's in-
creased needs for develop-
ment funds to overcome its
current economic difficul-
ties.
Also scheduled to address
the confernce is Dr. Martin
Feldstein, former chairman
of President Reagan's
Council of Economic Advis-
ers. Dr. Feldstein, who is re-
turning to Harvard Univer-
sity, will speak on develop-
ments in the American and
Israeli economies.

Jerusalem district court de-
cided to release them on
bail, accepting the defense
argument, that since the
trial had to wait the tes-
timonies of other members
of the underground and
those could only be heard in
the autumn, there was no
point in keeping the two
officers in jail until that
time.

I

"There are no penal sanc-
tions in the Freedom of In-
formation Act and when we
tried to apply the Penal
Law, we got hung up as to
the definition of an official
document," Dillon ex-
plained. He said that as a
result of this research, he
will "probably" recommend
some changes in the law
when he puts forth his legis-
lative recommendations
this fall. "We are now seri-
ously considering trying to
close some of the loopholes
by an amendment to the
Penal Law or by adding
sanctions to the Freedom of
Information Act," Dillon
said.
New York State Assem-
blyman Saul Weprin (D-
Fresh Meadows), chairman
of the Assembly Judiciary
Committee, said he was
"considerng introducing
legislation to give teeth to
the law. What is the sense of
a law if it can't be enforced?"
he asked.

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The state appealed-the
district court's ruling, but
lost in the Supeme Court
last Friday.
The two were released on
a million shekel (about
$3,500) personal bail and
another million shekel bail
by a third party, each. They
•were ordered to deposit
their passports with the
police.

Will U.S. Jews become
disillusioned with politics?

BETH ABRAHAM HILLEL MOSES
A CONSERVATIVE SYNAGOGUE

BY DR. MARC TANENBAUM

If the American Jewish
community develops an al-
lergy toward political cam-
paigns, it will not be with-
out good and substantial
reasons.
First, American Jews
genuinely suffered emo-
tionally through the
eight-month campaign for
the Democratic President-
ial nomination. The anti-
Semitic slurs from Jesse
Jackson and the Nazi-like
attacks from his cohort,
Louis Farrakhan, left the
Jewish community feeling
battered and worried.
Now the cliff-hanging
election in Israel resulted in
widespread confusion and
concern. As most Ameri-
cans know, Jews care a
great deal about the health
of democracy both in our
country and in Israel. The
fact' that the Israeli elec-
tions could not produce a
majority government is de-
pressing.
Israel has massive prob-
lems that require a strong

central government that
has the power to make
clearcut decisions. The
economy of Israel is in deep
trouble with 400 percent in-
flation. Only a strong gov-
ernment supported by a
wide consensus of its demo-
catic citizenry can enter
into peaceful negotiations
with Jordan and other Arab
neighbors.
Sadly, this election has
disclosed how divided Is-
rael's citizenry has become.
Sephardic versus
Ashkenazic, religious ver-
sus secular, labor versus
management. Only a unity
government that will
mobilize the political and
moral strengths of the two
major parties — Likud and
Labor — will have the
capacity to mobilize the na-
tion to do decisively what
needs to be done.
No one can prophesy how
such unity can and will
happen in the face of these.
fragmented election results.
A Seven Arts Feature

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