THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
Friday, June 14, 1985
THE JEWISH NEWS
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CANDLELIGHTING AT 8:50 P.M.
VOL. LXXXVII, NO. 16
protests and demonstrations are almost
commonplace. They are part of the pulse of the city, part of the civic dialogue
that comes with being the nation's capital.
But two sets of demonstrations at two different embassies in Washington
have raised some troubling questions. Since last January, more than 2,000
people have been arrested outside the South African Embassy. They have
been demanding an end to apartheid. But after being taken to a D.C. police
station, they are not prosecuted.
About a mile and a half from the South African Embassy is the embassy
of the Soviet Union. On May 1, 24 rabbis and a Lutheran minister were
arrested for protesting the Soviet Union's treatment of Jews. They will be
proSecuted for violating a 1937 statute banning demonstrations within 500
feet of an embassy. Last Monday, 21 rabbis were arrested for the same
offense. They, too, will be prosecuted.
The government has absolute discretion in deciding which cases it will
prosecute. It has no legal duty to prosecute every offense. The decision to level
charges only against those outside the Soviet Embassy clearly illustrates a
double standard on the part of Joseph diGenova, U.S. District Attorney for
the capital. But one can only assume that diGenova's selective prosecution
has its genesis in some sub rosy agreement with the respective embassies.
South Africans have publicly asked that those demonstrating outside their
doors not be tried. Nothing has been heard — publicly, at least — from the
Soviets about the rabbis who blew shofars and read the Torah and spoke
about freedom for their brethren. But it is highly probable that the Russians
have not been as amenable as their South African counterparts and have let
diGenova know he should treat the rabbis as would any good commissar in
the Soviet Union — try them and, preferably, throw the book at them.
But this is not the Soviet Union. And diGenova is not a commissar. He is
an adjunct of the United States government and, as such, he should not be
influenced by an efforts by the Soviet government to interject itself into the
internal affairs of the United States. American law must be leveled fairly and
equitably and without regard to such external questions as foreign relations.
To do so could conceivably turn our law into a tool of the State Department
and not the Justice Department and make a mockery of the essence of our
An analysis of problems in the Middle East, appearing in the New
York Times Magazine under the title "Israel's Defense — As Good as
Ever?" by Drew Middleton, the recognized expert on military problems,
" 'Defend' is the operative word. It is difficult to see the post-Lebanon
generation of Israelis invading an enemy country. It is equally difficult to
see them failing to smash an invader. But there can be no doubt that as
Arab military power expands, Israel will face a hazardous period.
"In the end, the Israelis know that their salvation and security are in
their hands and their hands alone. And they find little consolation in the
knowledge that those hands are not now as full as they would like with
what is necessary for their survival."
Chiefly, Israel depends upon herself for her safety and future
progress. To guarantee such continuity, the encouragement provided
Israel and the Israelis must never be reduced or polluted.
Splitting The Campaign:
Home Vs. Israel Priorities
BY BEN ZION LEUCHTER
Slowly and tragically, the fabric of timers" prefer not to see the connec-
the American Jewish community, tion between the local Jewish commu-
painstakingly woven over many de- nity's future and the financial sub-
cades, is now being torn apart by two sidies given by the federations today to
Jewish education and Jewish
The first, in their love and concern cultural/social activity. They bitterly c.;
for Israel, are supernationalists. Most resent being asked to "pick up the tab"
for the children of families whose life
were born before 1940. Their memory
cells are seared by the cumulative
Jewish experience of the past 1,900
years. They know what life was like
There is sufficient
when there was no Jewish state. Israel
has given them, justifiably, a new affluence for us to meet our
sense of pride, and they have re-
sponded to Israel's needs emotionally
locally and abroad if we
and financially. They want every
possible dollar of what they contribute could stop pulling apart ...
to the annual fund-raising campaign
to be sent to national United Jewish
A pp eal hob" dqu.n.rt 'pro iu New Yor-k-"--
City, for transmission to Israel. Al-
styles suggest that they have money
though they accept in principle the
for everything else but the respon-
idea of an organized, functioning
sibilities of Jewish peoplehood.
Jewish community, in general they
The younger parents, on the other
regard local Jewish education and so-
hand, say Diaspora communities, with
cial welfare needs as less compelling
creative and competent educational,
than Israel's needs.
cultural and recreational programs,
The second group tend to be
are vital if there is to be understanding
younger. They are the local equivalent
of and support for Israel a generation
of national-level isolationists in that hence.
their attention and concern are fo-
Each of the two groups, of course,
cused primarily on their home com-
is partially right and partially wrong.
munity. All Jews in every generation There is sufficient affluence for us to
are admonished to regard themselves
meet our responsibilities both, locally
as having been slaves in the land of and abroad if we could stop pulling
Egypt, but this group seems not to be
apart and begin reweaving our Jewish
able to take the next step and to con-
sider themselves equally as survivors
The first step is an end to
of the Holocaust, and there is not much negativism. "Who shot John?" isn't as
of a bond between them and Israel, the
important a question as "How can we
people and/or the land. They object to better understand one another?"
the large sums of money that are sent
The second step, unless somebody
overseas, and what they consider un-
can suggest something better, is an
balanced allocations is their excuse for
outreach program. Leaders of the fed-
minimal giving to the local Jewish eration "establishment" will have to
campaigns or for rejecting them make the effort to initiate private
meetings with those who have been
Because in most cases their sons conspicuously uninvolved in the- , _
and daughters are adults now, the "old Jewish community, in their financial