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December 03, 1984 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1984-12-03

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

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

LETTERS

Sandinistas on Israel
is the major criteria

I wish to take issue with many
...,_ of the claims and conclusions
made by Wayne State University
Assistant Professor Francis Shor
(The Jewish News, Nov. 16) after
his recent visit to Nicaragua. My
own very different impressions
were also based on personal ob-
servations made during a ten-day
1 - trip to Nicaragua last December.
We toured the country exten-
sively and met with individuals
from all walks of life including
Sandinista officials, newspaper
editors and an opposition figure.
Prof. Shor and some other
groups who have recently visited
' Nicaragua have returned with
the finding that the Sandinista
government is not anti-semitic.
They talk about the past and pre-
sent situation of the handful of
Jews who lived or still live in
Nicaragua. But they say nothing
about the truly significant indi-
cator — the Sandinista policies
toward Israel.
I was particularly interested in
ascertaining Sandinista attitudes
vis-a-vis Israel and the Jews. The
question of anti-Semitism against
Nicaraguan Jews has become a
moot one in recent years. There
are only three elderly Jews still
living in Nicaragua. One of them,
Rolando Najlis, a retired busi-
nessman, met and talked with us
at length. Mr. Najlis claims that
the Sandinistas are not anti-
Semitic. Nevertheless, he did not
deny that they are anti-Israel. In
fact, we found that the Sandinista
government's extensive anti-
Israel voting record in interna-
tional forums is matched by its
internal policies. They have close
_ relations and give full support to
the PLO, whose fighters they hail
as heroes. They recently named a
new electricity generating station
after a fallen PLO fighter.
We found and brought back
with us propaganda literature
written in Spanish but printed in
the Soviet Union, containing arti-
cles that are virulently anti-
Semitic as well as anti-Israel. The
particular article we brought
back with us refers to Israel as
"part of the international zionist
system, of the ideology, politics
and practices of the Jewish
monopolistic bourgeoisie, which
has undertaken to dominate the
world of capital, debilitate and de-
stroy the forces of socialism, and
destroy the national liberation
movements."
Books and magazines printed in
the Soviet Union are widely dis-
tributed throughout the country
while Western magazines and
books are not. This state of affairs
is doubly significant when we
consider that the majority of
Nicaraguans learned to read and
write only recently, and they do
not have the informational back-
ground to objectively evaluate
this material. There is no real
freedom of the press, the opposi-
tion lacks substantial access to
the mass media and there is no
independent judiciary acting as a
check on Sandinista rule by proc-
lamations and directives.
Clearly, the Sandinistas are no
friends of Israel or defenders of
& democracy, and anyone failing to
see this is ignoring the facts.

Continued on next page

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