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August 31, 1984 - Image 26

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1984-08-31

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

26 Friday, August 3 1,,1984;

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United Nations (JTA) —
An international peace con-
ference on the Middle East
was endorsed by Syria last
week. Ambassador Dia-
Allah el-Fattal said, in re-
sponse to a letter on this
subject from Secretary Gen-
eral Javier Perez de Cuel-
lar, that "events that have
occurred in the Middle East
region have demonstrated
that partial and piecemeal
solutions cannot lead to the
establishment of a corn-

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said that there is considera-
ble doubt, in his opinion,
whether or not the Mexican
Indian Jews were in fact
"real Jews," since their
physical appearance is so
vastly different from that of
the 40,000 Ashkenazic and
Sephardic Jews who pre-
sently live in the country.
Since the Mexican Indian
Jewish community was
"discovered" by Israeli
emissaries, more than 20
young people from the vil-
lage have visited Israel,
with several of them cur-
rently serving in Israel's
Defense Force.
Like Jews everywhere;
the Mexican Indian Jews
are concerned with the fu-
ture of their children and
their education: Many of
them have left their humble
origins behind and are now
graduates of Moxio's lead-
ing universities.

Syria endorses proposal
for Mideast peace talks

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though poor in material
possession, enjoy, a never-
theless, a rich Jewish
spiritual life.
A number of years ago
they built their own
synagogue, largely by hand,
as they lacked modern
machinery. Whenever
possible, this unique Jewish
community has attempted
to reside in close proximity
to the synagogue so that
they would be able to walk
to the synagogue on Shab-
bat, a day which all Mexi-
can Jews revere.
One of the major prob-
lems affecting the Mexican
Indian Jews has been the
lack of recognition and sup-
port from Mexico's estab-
lished Jewish community.
On a recent visit to San
Francisco, one of Mexico's
most prominent Ashkenazic
Jewish leaders and a major
supporter of the Hebrew
University in Jerusalem,

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San Francisco (JTA) —
Venta Prieta is a small vil-
lage which resembles
thousands of other anonym-
ous and sleepy Mexican
hamlets one frequently sees
from the vantage point of
Mexico's newly improved
highway system. A large
market square where much
of the village life is con-
ducted, dominated by a
large Catholic church, ap-
pears no different than any
other.
Yet, there are significant
differences. For among the
5000 inhabitants of the vil-
lage, Vents Prieta is the •
home to more than 100 Mex-
ican Indian families profes-
sing to be Orthodox Jews,
tracing their lineage to the
early Spanish conquests of
Mexico almost 500 years
ago, and to the Marranos,
who were among the ear-
liest families of Spanish
conquistadors.
many
are
There
similarities between
Mexico's Indian Jews and
the Beta Israel (the Jews of
Ethiopia). Both are proud
peoples who trace their
Jewish origins many gener-
ations. The Mexican Indian
Jews, like their Falasha
brothers, have experienced
a life of poverty, violence
and discrimination. Never-
theless they have refused to
assimilate and give up the
basic tenets of their faith.
According to legend,
Mexico's Jewish community
enjoyed a renaissance in the
late 1800's. They trace their
community to Ramon
Girona, a descendant of a
prominent Marrano family.
Mexican Indian Jews, al-

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prehensive, just and dura-
ble peace in the region."
The Syrian envoy added
that the main obstacle to
lasting peace was the "pol-
icy of force and the fait ac-
compli which Israel has
been pursuing with the un-
limited support of the
United States."
The call for an interna-
tional peace conference on
the Mideast was issued at
the international Confer-
ence on the Question of
Palestine that was held last
year in Geneva under the
auspices of the UN. It called
for the participation of all
parties to the Arab-Israeli
conflict, including the PLO,
the United States and the
Soviet Union "on an equal
footing."
Recently, the Soviet
Union renewed the call for
an international peace con-
ference, which Israel, the
U.S. and Britain promptly
rejected, saying it would be-
come a sterile propaganda
exercise.

Israel invited
to Romanian
anniversary.

Jerusalem (JTA) — The
Romanian government has
officially invited Israel to
participate in celebrations
commemorating the 40th
anniversary of the libera-
tion of Romania from Nazi
occupation, it was reported
last week. Israel's Ambas-
sador in Bucharest will re-
present Israel in the cere-
monies.



7'1

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