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CANDLELIGHTING AT 7:26 P.M.
VOL. LXXXVI, NO. 3
Another Israeli feat
For the last five weeks, the two major political parties in Israel, Labor
and Likud, have been jockeying for allies among their country's minor
parties. In Israel, he who gets a majority in the Knesset — no matter how it is
contrived — rules the country. No majority was forthcoming, so Labor leader
Shimon Peres and Likud leader Yitzhak Shamir have agreed to share power
in a unique bipartisan government.
The government will be established for four years and two months. Peres
will be prime minister for the first half of the government's tenure; Shamir
will be his deputy and foreign minister. They will switch roles for the second
half of the - government's life.
Ever since its inception in 1948, the world has been in awe of Israel. It has
frequently done the impossible. It has made the deserts bloom. It has made a
home for the dispossessed. It has vanquished again and again an enemy
_whose numbers are many times Israel's meager population.
Now Israel has again done the impossible: It has given its voters a
bargain basement government. The country will be getting two govenments
for the price of one. It sounds cumbersome. It sounds doomed. But no
government can survive without good intentions and the determination to
succeed. We are sure that however clumsy the nascent Shamir-Peres
government may seem, neither man would have entered into such an
arrangement without a good heart. Israel is in too precarious a condition,
especially economically and militarily, for anyone who cares about it to do
anything rash or ill-conceived.
If this experiment in a government-built-for-two works, it will be one of
the major feats of the modern world. We wish Mr. Shamir luck. We wish Mr.
Peres luck. We wish Israel luck. And we wonder what type of government we
would end up with if this Israeli example of ultimate bipartisanship suddenly
inspired a political marriage between Messieurs Mondale and Reagan.
BY GARY AND LYNNE SMITH
Special to The Jewish News
Are our prayers, votes, and dollars
enough to help the State of Israel
against her multitude of enemies? Are
we certain that the horrors of our his-
tory will never overtake us in
America? Complacency could be our
downfall unless we prepare for the fu-
ture foretold by our Prophets.
Great battles are still to be fought
by Israel. Ezekiel warns of a time
when Russia and her allies will come
against Israel as a cloud to cover the
land. These very enemies are prepar-
ing now for the destruction of our
Although the State of Israel has
proven herself to be capable and val-
iant in battle, would she be any match
for the Soviet threat without help from
America to resupply and diplomati-
cally intervene for her? World events,
such as the loss of Middle East oil to
the Western nations, might cause the-
United States to change allegiance
from Israel to her enemies in order to
avoid nuclear war. Such a drastic
change in U.S. foreign policy would
have a devastating effect upon the se-
curity of Israel and American Jewry.
How would we feel watching the
rape of Israel while we were willing
but unable to help her?
We cannot wait for a major crisis
to occur before we decide to act. The
purpose of this letter is to appeal for an
expanded role by American Jewry in
the defense of our mishpocheh. The fol-
lowing proposal is made with the in-
tention of creating the Jewish Con-
tingency Reserve Force (JCRF) in
America, capable of flying to Israel on
short notice to augment the Israel De-
fense Force (IDF) when needed.
We must put aside our differences
and unite to assure the security of Is-
rael. Now is the time to devise a plan;
to train soldiers under Israeli leader-
ship; to obtain equipment and
supplies; and to prepare American
Jewish men and women for the inevit-
able coming events.
Imagine thousands of American
Jews volunteering to join the JCRF.
The Knesset and IDF could qualify
applicants and call the Force into L.
existence. Israeli instructors could
teach us Hebrew, Middle East geog-
raphy, discipline, military skills, tac-
tics, and prepare the Force to stand
ready fo leave for Israel rapidly. When 1
war against Israel breaks out, the
JCRF could respond in a manner
Imagine thousands of
volunteering to join the
JCRF. The Knesset and
IDF could qualify
applicants and call the
Force into existence.
which the U.S. military could not. This
loyal and able contingent, a valued
enhancement of the IDF, could make _
the difference between victory and de- I
Consider American synagogues
and other Jewish organizations par-
ticipating with manpower, support
money, supplies, communications, and
training facilities. The Force could
permit American Jews to share in the
defense of Israel even while retaining
U.S. citizenship and residency.
Envision a renewed spirit of the
Haganah, the Jewish defense force
which became the basis of today's Is-
raeli Army, embodied in the American
JCRF to face the challenges of the con-
tinuing battle for Israel.
When Israel needs us, we will not
be helpless! Endorse this proposal and -
send a list of JCRF volunteer candi-
dates from your community to:
President Chaim Herzog, President's
Residence, Jabotinsky Street, '=
Vital Israeli duty
There is unquestioned widespread jubilation over the current solution of
the Israel problem over the selection of a prime minister and the
reconstruction of a functioning government. It is accompanied by hopes for an
approaching easing of that nation's serious economic problems. Equally
urgent and perhaps more serious is the regulation still in force which enables
a single percentage point in the electorate to throw a monkey wrench into the
Israeli governmental machinery.
The manner of establishing rules for government functioning is Israel's
business. On this point, however, there is surely near-total agreement and a
bit of advice from the Diaspora may be acceptable. It is the suggestion that
one of the first acts of the new Knesset ought to be a change in the voting
privilege which permits one percent of the population to vote itself into
Knesset membership. It already spells trouble and increasing dissension
should be averted. Trouble can be prevented by regulating that at least five
percent of the voters can allocate unto themselves with their ballots a seat in
the Israel parliament. That should be democratic enough, especially in an
area where extremists find it conscionable to approve of violence. The
endorsement of terrorism by some deluded people should justify regulations
that would curb their means of reaching into the Knesset.
Many Israelis are already thinking in terms of amending voting
regulations. Therefore, this bit of Diaspora advice should prove acceptable.