Friday, November 30, 1984
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
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CANDLELIGHTING AT 4:44 P.M.
VOL. LXXXVI, NO. 14
New UN approach
Israel is taking a new and welcome aggressive stand at the United
Nations these days, thanks in part to her new Ambassador to the UN
Benjamin Netanyahu. We have nothing to apologize for," the 35-year-old
successor to Yehuda Blum told The Jewish News in an interview this week, in
acknowledging that he has adopted a posture of aggression rather than
Netanyahu says the UN is "a great place for us to make our case, because
we have truth and justice on our side." While noting that this UN is not
about to be reformed" and is "still used to inject political poison," Netanyahu
said there is a sense among Israel, the U.S. and a few other Western countries
that "we're not going to sit back and take this abuse anymore."
In recent days Netanyahu has used his UN platform to call attention to
Israel's aid to Ethiopia, and point out that the majority of Arab conflicts in the
world involve Arabs vs. Arabs rather than Arabs vs. Israel.
This approach may not change the UN overnight but at the very least it
exposes the American media and public to Israel's case and marks a positive
development in Israeli diplomacy.
Russian Jewish refuseniks who are defying their persecutors and
organizing classes in Jewish studies are being subjected to added terror.
Latest reports on the spread of bias against this brave group of teachers, who
are conducting classes not only in secret but often without seeking to hide
their intensions with an aim to teaching youth about their heritage, are
subjected to house searches, arrests, brutalized treatment.
This is not new to the Jewish experience in the Soviet Union. It is an
additional compulsion for unceasing action to mobilize public opinion
protesting the terror. It is cause to encourage American leadership to pursue
the task of keeping the limelight on Russia, so that the horrifying conditions
will remain on the record as subjects for worldwide condemnation.
There is a certainty that U.S. Congressional outrage is undiminished in
the consideration of the Russian Jewish situation. Protests and formal
condemnation of the prejudice seems certain to emanate from Washington as
a continuation of concerns over the status of Russian Jewry.
Coupled with the protests is the major concern that the issuance of visas
to those insisting upon emigrating from the USSR should be renewed.
Contrary to. Soviet denials, those seeking exit visas number in the tens of
thousands, with many who are knowledgeable insisting it is in the hundreds
of thousands. Havens will be available for them, with Israel hopefully
occupying the position as major refuge for thousands of new settlers. It is in
this regard that demands for action must be continued and all possible
pressures exerted on the USSR leadership to adhere to the international
principle that people have a right to choose their homelands. The reaction to
increasing terrorization, as in the instance of prejudice against the rights of
teachers conducting Jewish study groups and seminars, must be in the form
of demanding right of exit for visa applicants. Perhaps the mounting public
pressure will bring the desired results.
Credibility: Anthony Lewis vs.
Sharon vs. Time magazine
BY BERL FALBAUM
Special to The Jewish News
If New York Times columnist An-
thony Lewis still maintains that he is
objective in analyzing Middle East
policies and events as they relate to
Israel he obviously is not reading his
His Monday column on former De-
fense Minister Ariel Sharon's libel suit
against Time magazine is so blatantly
biased and contrived — and frankly
totally unnecessary — that the only
purpose it serves may be to remove any
lingering doubt about Lewis' ability to
evaluate any issues on Israel without
Lewis observes in his column that
Sharon has based his case on "one
paragraph" in Time which stated that
Sharon, shortly before the Sabra and
Shatilla massacre, had met with
Phalangists and discussed with them
the need "to take revenge" for the as-
sassination of their leader, Bashir
" Why Lewis should question Sha-
ron's decision to file suit is not clear
and in his reference to "one para-
graph," Lewis seems to imply that the
charge is of little consequence. Indeed,
being accused of conspiring to commit
this tragic massacre — an event which
attracted almost unprecedented atten-
tion in the world — is hardly a small
matter and if Sharon wants to clear his
name he certainly deserves his day in
But Lewis also demonstrates per-
sonal umbrage that Sharon, in his tes-
timony, has gone beyond - that "one
paragraph." He feels compelled to play
- defense attorney in telling his readers
that Sharon has discussed other issues
relating to the massacre such as the
suspicion that "about 2,000 armed ter-
rorists" may have been left behind in
the two camps by the PLO.
He seems to suggest that Sharon
is fulfilling a speaking engagement
and receiving an honorarium rather
than answering questions on the wit-
ness stand in an important trial. Lewis
can be assured that Time's defense at-
torneys will challenge Sharon's
statements if he goes beyond the "one
paragraph" and, presumably, the
judge will rebuke him similarly if it is
To make his own case against
Sharon, Lewis has dug through mil-
lions of words written on the subject,
and quotes his "highly-respected" New
York Times colleague, Thomas L.
Friedman, as having written that ". . .
the weight of evidence suggests that
the number (of terrorists left behind)
was in the low hundreds."
While Friedman is recognized as a
responsible journalist, it is unlikely
It may remove any
lingering doubt about
Lewis' ability to evaluate
any issue on Israel without
that he would qualify as an expert in-
telligence witness in the court case.
The use of the quote is more tel-
ling and revealing as- it pertains to
Lewis. It implies that Lewis is pre-
pared to admit that some PLO ter-
rorists may indeed have been in the
camp, something that U.S. liberals, of
which he is a leader, have been reluc-
tant to acknowledge.
But the issue is not the Sharon
case as it relates to Lewis. That will be
decided in the courtroom — as it
At issue is the absurd intellectual
gymnastics that Lewis undertakes to
prove his point — which generally has
He has criticized Israeli censor-
ship policies — which he should — but
ignores the total lack of press freedom
in Arab countries. He has written
Continued on Page 28