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April 26, 1985 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1985-04-26

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

4

Friday, April 26, 1985

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THE 41E- TROIT - JEWISH -NEWS

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ME JEWISH NEWS

Serving Detroit's Metropolitan Jewish Community
with distinction for four decades.

Editorial and Sales offices at 20300 Civic Center Dr.,
Suite 240, Southfield, Michigan 48076
Telephone (313) 354-6060

-
,
PUBLISHER Charles A. Buerger
EDITOR EMERITUS: Philip Slomovitz
EDITOR: Gary Rosenblatt
BUSINESS MANAGER: Carmi M. Slomovitz
ART DIRECTOR: Kim Muller-Thym
Si Vf`
NEWS EDITOR: Alan Hitsky
LOCAL NEWS EDITOR: Heidi Press
EDITORIAL ASSISTANT: Tedd Schneider
LOCAL COLUMNIST: Danny Raskin

Israel Independence Day
Means Celebration, Work

BY ALEX GRASS

Special to The Jewish News

OFFICE STAFF: •
Marlene Miller
Dharlene Norris
Phyllis Tyner
Pauline Weiss
Ellen Wolfe

•‘ •

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES:
Lauri Biafore
Joseph Mason
Rick Nessel
Danny Raskin

OP-ED

PRODUCTION:
Donald Cheshure
Cathy Ciccone
Curtis Deloye
Ralph Orme

,c) 1985 by The Detroit Jewish News (US PS 275-520)
Second Class postage paid at Southfield, Michigan and additional mailing offices.
Subscriptions: 1 year - $21 — 2 years - $39 — Out of State - $23 — Foreign - $35

CANDLELIGHTING AT 7:05 P.M.

VOL. LXXXVII, NO. 9

The Need For Israel

Thirty-seven years is not much- in the greater scheme of things. It is
certainly not much when one is talking about the age of a nation. But today,
Israel marks the 37th anniversary of its independence.
Thirty-seven -years ago, speaking before a small crowd in the Tel Aviv
Museum, David Ben-Gurion told the world that after incalculable and
unimaginable persecutions and horrors, the Jewish people, at long last, had a
homeland of their own.
Despite its relative youth, Israel has played a role far disproportionate to
its size and power. Especially potent has been the pride and the strength it
has given those Jews who reside elsewhere, the Jews of the Diaspora.
Along with their pride in the accomplishments of Israel has come a
willingness, an eagerness, almost a compulsion to speak out. A people who
were circumspect, who were almost politically shy, who were wary of exerting
whatever political weight they may have had before the creation of the State
of Israel, is shy no more. Much of this can_be attributed to the courage they
absorbed from the Jewish state.
The continuing series of blunders and gaffes emanating from President
Reagan's plans to visit a German military cemetery in Bitburg graphically
illustrates this point. The uproar in the Jewish community in the United
States would never have occurred four decades ago. Such a public protest, for
example, was shunned by U.S. Jewish leaders while the Nazis murdered six
million Jews and the American government stood silent on the sidelines.
Israel has given courage to American Jewry. It has stiffened its backbone and
helped it _shed its reticence.
The Bitburg incident is also a powerful reminder of why Israel was
formed. In 1948, the world was still reeling from the Holocaust. The image of
living skeletons in Dachau and the tales of smoke blackening the skies at
Auschwitz were still fresh. And they seemed unforgettable.
Much has happened in those 40 years. For some, the Holocaust has
become expendable, a grisly, uncomfortable flaw in human history that
should best be forgotten. But Israel was founded partly as a homeland for
those who survived the Holocaust, partly as a reminder that never again can
humanity stoop to such profane barbarity.
The survivors of the Holocaust are now few and old. In a few years, most
will be dead. But hopefully, as long as there is an Israel, the memories and the
lessons of the Holocaust will never die.
Am Yisrael Chai!

It was a warm Friday afternoon,
that 5th of Adar 5708 (May 14, 1948)
when they crowded into the Tel Aviv
Museum to hear David Ben-Gurion —
his white hair puffed above his ears as
he stood beneath a picture of Theodore
Herzl and a Star of David — read the
Declaration of Independence for the
newly established State of Israel.
"Eretz Israel was the birthplace of
the Jewish people," he began, as the
crowd listened in hushed silence. He
recalled the Jewish heritage and his-
tory from ancient forced dispersion to
the recent United Nations partition
and read clearly, "We .. hereby de-
clare the establishiiient of a Jewish
state in Eretz Israel, to be known as
the State of Israel."
He appealed for peace as bombs
were being loaded onto Arab planes,
but he also, still reading, spoke to us:
"We appeal to the Jewish people
throughout the Diaspora to rally
round the Jews of Eretz Israel in the
tasks of immigration and upbuilding
and to stand by them in the great
struggle for the realization of the age-
old dream — the redemption of Israel."
We American Jews have tried to
rally "in the tasks of immigration and
upbuilding." Through our fund-
raising efforts, for instance, we have
helped Israel absorb 1.8 million im-
migrants; aided pioneers who have
made the desert bloom; pro\-rided for
promising university students, trou-
bled teenagers, needy senior citizens
and small children; and have helped
people in disadvantaged neighbor-
hoods. Sincp 1948, the United Jewish
Appeal/Federation campaigns (includ-
ing Detroit's Allied Jewish Campaign)
have raised over $10 billion, and have
allocated over half of that to meet
humanitarian needs in Israel.
April 26 marks the 37th anniver-
sary of Israel's birth and is an occasion

Alex Grass is national chairman of the
United Jewish Appeal.

for Jews to rejoice around the world. It
corresponds to the 5th of Adar and will
be celebrated in Detroit on Sunday.
Israel has survived. That has been
no easy feat and her continued survi-
val must never be taken for granted.
We have access to the Western Wall
for the first time in many years. We
have been gratified by a daring peace
treaty with Egypt, thrilled by

David Ben-Gurion:
The independence task continues.

Entebbe, inspired by the "coming
home" to Israel of so many Ethiopian
Jews. But we have also seen our Israeli
brothers and sisters suffer five terrible <,
wars, a. cold peace and dashed hopes. 7 )
Still, Israel at 37 is remarkable n
among nations: a democracy in a
region of monarchs, sheiks and dic-
tators. She remains America's cf
1
staunchest ally, a place of personal {__J
freedom, committed to persevering L )
/ -
against all odds.
We American Jews salute the
people of Israel, who have fought the
wars, taken the risks for peace,
fashioned the freedoms and instilled
pride in every Jew.

The Maronites

For three decades, especially during the period of Israeli functioning as a
neighbor without a declared peace, Lebanon was a kind of oasis in the war
zone. While there were threats to the normalities of life in the entire Arab
world, the Lebanese-Israeli border was calm. It may have been due in the
main to the influence of the Maronites, church officials and adherents.
No one hears any more about the Maronite Christians. Now the
emphasis is on the Shiite Moslems and the threat they pose to Israel. It is also
a feared threat to the security of Lebanon herself.
Maronites for many years also represented a force advocating peace
through sources in the United States as well as in the Christian community of
Lebanon.
The changes are drastic, yet one would think Maronite voices could still
be heard, with a possible peaceful effect on Lebanon and her border with
Israel. The drastic change is appalling.

41

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