Friday, September 7, 1984
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
THE JEWISH NEWS
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c - ,) 1964 by The Detroit Jewish News (US PS 275-520)
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CANDLELIGHTING AT 7:38 P.M.
VOL. LXXXVI, NO. 2
Only Ronald Reagan could get away with it. At a prayer breakfast in
Dallas during the Republican convention, the President said that politics and
religion were inseparable and that those who argued otherwise were
"intolerant of religion."
Theodore Mann, president of the American Jewish Congress, was one of
the first to respond, suggesting that President Reagan's talk, which went on
to attack opponents of organized school prayer, represented a "gross
misunderstanding of our Constitution and of the importance it plays in the
lives of all Americans."
The President's political proselytizing is worrisome. New York Times
columnist William Safire noted that "some Jews have been beguiled by the
fundamentalist support of Israel, and others, mainly Orthodox, are allied
with Catholics supporting tuition tax credits for religious schools. Because
today's religious political movement is un-Semitic rather than anti-Semitic,
short-sighted Jews fail to see the danger to any minority religion from a
`Christian Republican Party'."
No matter how well intentioned, the President's effort to turn religious
belief into political action should be rejected.
Remembering in faith
Dedication of the Holocaust Memorial Center reaches out spiritually into
the heights. It is much more than a soul-stirring local event. It assumes
universal aspects and adds continuity to the slogan of Zahor — of
remembering the past as an assurance that the future will prevent
recurrence of Evil.
Zahor! — Remember — has become a compelling slogan - for the victims in
the horrifying tragedies and for their fellow humans everywhere. It is by
remembering that the recollections of the victims of the Nazi terrors can be
They were not only the Six Million of the Jewish people. There was the
equal number among non-Jews, from the ranks of Christians as well, that
Hitlerism reaped a toll that must serve as a warning of Never Again!
Thus, it is not the memory of the martyred but the glory of future
generations that is taken into account as the Holocaust Memorial Center
nears completion with the dedication dinner on Sept. 16. All faiths have a
stake in the reminder to mankind of the evils which indict every semblance of
inhumanity of man to man, and affirm the commitments to strive for the faith
that will not permit repetition of the crimes or the re-emergence of social evils
The Sakharov tapes
The strange episode of the Soviet Union filming Andrei Sakharov and is
wife, Yelena Bonner, and making the footage available to the West is the best
proof yet that Moscow does care about the world's concern over the
The film was made to offset the reports that Sakharov was dead or that
his wife was tried for "slandering" and banished to five years of internal exile.
But the fact that the Soviets made and released the propaganda film shows
that they do listen to Western complaints, that protests and agitation do help.
We must raise our voices louder now in hopes that the Sakharovs and
thousands of other suffering dissenters will someday be freed.
An open letter to the officers
of the National Press Club
BY BERL FALBAUM
An Open Letter to the Officers of
the National Press Club:
Your public explanations why
Black Muslim Minister Louis Far-
rakhan was invited to address your
club has shed some light on why you
extended the invitation — you don't
seem to understand the issues in-
Not only do your arguments miss
the mark but it is a bit amusing to find
you accuse the media — your own
brethren — of being unfair and hypoc-
ritical in their criticism of Far-
But let's take a look at some of
1. Freedom of speech.
Unfortunately, that is not an
issue in this case. No Farrakhan critic
has suggested that he is not entitled to
his opinions — although they are
abhorrent in their anti-Semitism.
One can defend his right to his
views and yet object to the fact that the
National Press Club gave him not only
a megaphone but also institutional
I might point out, however, that a
Constitutional argument could be
raised that his comments are subject to
the rarely-used charge of criminal
libel which, as you know, is a limita-
tion on the absolute freedom of speech.
But let's stick with the issue at
hand. If your club had not invited him,
no abridgement of his right to expres-
sion would have occurred.
2. He is "news."
That argument, coming from the
National Press Club, of course, is a
tautology since it is you and your
members that define news. How can
one effectively argue against his
newsworthiness when the media are
the creators of the definition? So for
you to raise the point is redundant.
In other words, you maintain, that
you wanted to hear him personally to
ascertain whether indeed he had been
misquoted. That was a magnanimous
and benevolent gesture and not one
extended to hundreds of other public
officials who have made similar
claims. Why did the club owe Far-
rakhan an opportunity to "define" his
views when others are not accorded
Would not personal interviews or
reviewing tapes have accomplished
the same ends? Further, assuming
Farrakhan had strategically adopted a
less hostile posture before your audi-
ence, would that have been proof that
Farrakhan's visit assured
a sellout crowd and that
makes for successful
he had been misquoted in his other
In short, the arguments don't
But you are correct on one point —
in criticizing your colleagues for
You rightly point out that the
media" have taken .issue with you
while giving ample coverage to. Far-
rakhan's demogoguery on the front
page of the nation's newspapers and
television talk shows.
There appears to be a double-
standard here. What's more, according
to news reports, you had an over-flow
crowd for the Farrakhan meeting.
If your members were sincerely
appalled at the Farrakhan appear-
ance, a boycott would have been a
more meaningful testimonial than all
the editorials expressing righteous in-
What it comes down to is media
and your club were interested in what
sells. Why not just admit it. Far-
rakhan's visit assured a sellout crowd
Cont i nued on. Page 20