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September 28, 1984 - Image 80

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1984-09-28

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Friday, September 28, 1984


TO SAVE A LIFE is Judaism's most noble mitzvah, and in carrying out that command-
ment, Israel returned some 4,500 Palestinians held captive in southern Lebanon in ex-
change for six Israeli soldiers held by the PLO. Above, one of the precious six celebrates.

STRONG-MAN ARIEL SHARON suffered a political defeat in his bid to head the Jewish
Agency Aliyah department when a number of Diaspora officials, including leaders of
Hadassah, blocked his nomination. That move, on the heels of chairman of the Jewish
Agency board of governors Jerold Hoffberger's ousting of Raphael Kotlowitz from the
Aliyah post, were viewed as signs of a new Diaspora assertiveness in Israeli life.


ranged where the new prime minister is congra-
tulated by his predecessor who is also to be his
Perhaps more troubling to the Israeli psyche
this year than the terrorist attacks she suffered
at the hands of the PLO on the streets of Jeru-
salem was the knowledge that Jewish terrorists
had planned attacks aimed at driving Palesti-
nian Arabs from the West Bank. The long-sus-
pected existence of a Jewish terrorist network
was confirmed when Israeli security forces foil-
ed the underground's attempt to blow up five
Arab-owned buses in East Jerusalem during
rush hour this spring. More than two dozen
young men, some of the best and brightest Israel
has to offer, religious advocates of the settle-
ment movement, stand trial now on a variety
of terrorist charges. The turn of events is deep-
ly disturbing to most Israelis as questions of
right and wrong, security and self-protection vs.
racism and domination, grow more complex and
turn inward.
In America, the political process took a distur-
bing turn as issues like anti-Semitism and the
politics of religion came to the fore. The can-
didacy of the Rev. Jesse Jackson sought a "rain-
bow coalition" but was mired in an ominous
cloud of anti-Semitism as the black leader es-
poused pro-Arab policies and was heard using
anti-Jewish rhetoric. At first he denied referring
to Jews as "Hymies" from "Hymietown," then
he took his time apologizing. But in the end he
never completely disassociated himself from the
even more virulent anti-Jewish sentiments of one
of his chief supporters, Rev. Louis Farrakhan
of the Black Muslims.
Black-Jewish tensions were heightened by the
controversy as Jews argued that you didn't have
to be a racist to oppose Jesse Jackson.
But it was an unholy mix of church and state
that caused equal concern to many Jews, brought
on by President Reagan's closeness to Christian
evangelical leaders, the Supreme Court decision
allowing Nativity scenes on municipal proper-
ty and a general blurring of the lines between
religion and politics. "We are in times of great
peril," worried Rabbi Joseph Glaser, a leader of
the Reform movement.
Within Jewish life there was increased tension
between the Orthodox and non-Orthodox, par-
ticularly in Israel. The Conservative movement
made history when the faculty of its theological
school voted to accept women for ordination,
after six years of debate.
Elsewhere in the Diaspora, there was good
news from Argentina, where after a decade of
military dictatorship and officially sanctioned
anti-Semitism the new civilian government
sought to restore human rights and democracy.
But the situation in the USSR deteriorated even
further as emigration came to almost a complete
halt and prisoners of conscience like Shcharan-
sky and Sakharov continued to languish.
At year's end, Jews, who are optimists by
defeat, could look to the fact that U.S.-Israel
relations were on a smooth course and that the

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