Friday, July 12, 1985
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
THE JEWISH NEWS
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CANDLELIGHTING AT 8:50 P.M.
VOL. LXXXVII, NO. 20
How can the President in all good conscience speak out against "terrorist
states" that have carried out "outright acts of war" against the U.S. and not
The President characterized Iran, Libya, North Korea, Cuba and
Nicaragua as "a new, international version of Murder, Inc." but he pointedly
omitted Syria, despite past statements deploring Syrian "terrorism and
intimidation." Instead of attacking Syria, the President offers his tacit
This only underscores the success of the recent TWA airplane hijacking
from the point of view of the terrorists who carried it out and states like Syria
and Iran that support them. Syria plays a major role in terrorist, murderous
acts against the U.S. — the bombings of Marine bases in Lebanon that left
241 soldiers dead, the most recent airplane hijacking in which an American
soldier was tortured and killed — and receives only gratitude for its role in
the release of the hostages.
Reagan talks of revenge and retaliation but no military action is taken.
The world's terrorists must delight in these events, further assured that they
can step up their violent attention-getting efforts without fear of reprisal. The
39 hostages were freed, but we are all hostage to future terrorism. And the
only certainty is that there will be a next time.
Thanks And An Apology
It strikes us that the Jewish community owes Ulrike Derickson a vote of
thanks and an apology. Mrs. Derickson, if you remember, was the purser on
TWA Flight 847. It was she who refused to comply with the Shiite hijackers'
demands to single out Jewish-sounding names from among the 145 passports
she had collected. It was she who told the terrorists that she didn't know
which passengers were Jewish, and that she only knew that they were all
Americans. It was she who intervened physically between the terrorists who,
after having killed one passenger, were about to murder another, but stopped
because Mrs. Derickson said, "enough." And for this Mrs. Derickson was
threatened with a demonstration by the Jewish Defense Organization,
misquoted by the Israeli press and generally treated with disregard by
everyone except her fellow hostages and her home town in New Jersey. That's
unfortunate. Mrs. Derickson is a genuine heroine — one of the few people in
the whole mess who dared to stand up to the murderous captors of Flight 847
— and we'd like to let her know that we, as Jews and Americans, appreciate
her humanitarianism and her courage.
So much appeasing was evidenced among Arabs, including their
compatriots in this country, for the TWA hijackers, that those who spoke out
against the barbaric outrage should be given proper credit for their
commendable actions. King Hussein of Jordan was among them.
The Jordanian King provided a solution sought by all: collective action.
Had there been "collective agreements" by Arab leaders to outlaw the
spreading terror and to condemn their coreligionists for participating in it,
the brutalities that are now being exposed could not have occurred.
Splitting The People Israel
Into Two Opposing Camps
BY IRVING GREENBERG
Special to the Jewish News
"Will there be one Jewish people
by the year 2000?" "We Are One" ap-
pears to most Jews to be as eternal and
solid a truth as the ageless hills.
But there has been a decisive chal-
lenge to this truth in the past 20 years.
The pattern of current demographic
change and negative social interaction
is leading to grim consequences. If
sociological forces are left to operate
unchecked, the result will be predicta-
ble: Within decades, the Jewish people
will split apart into two mutually di-
vided, hostile groups who are unable
or unwilling to marry each other.
It will take determined, continu-
ous action to reverse the combination
of demographic trends, particularly in
the areas of conversion, patrilineal de-
scent and mamzerim (halachically il-
legitimate children), that is creating
this disaster for Jewish survival.
Everybody complains about in-
termarriage, but the other side of the
open society is that a large number of
people choose to join the Jewish com-
munity. A recent Wall Street Journal
survey suggested that 10,000 convert
to Judaism annually in the United
States. If that rate of conversion re-
mains constant, there will be an addi-
tional 150,000 converts by the year
2000. Add them to the already-
existing converts in American Jewry
and there will be 300,000-400,000
converts living in our community. Of
them, 90 percent or more will be Re-
form, which is to say that they will not
have undergone a conversion ritual
which satisfies the requirements of
Orthodox Jews or of the Conservative
Movement for acceptance as Jews.
The recent decision of the Reform
rabbinate to recognize the children
Rabbi Irving Greenberg is president of the
National Jewish Resource Center.
born of a .Jewish father and a non-
Jewish mother as Jews — even with-
out conversion — is creating another
class of Jews who are not accepted as
such by the rest of the community.
There are an estimated 500,000 chil-
dren of marriages between a Jew and a
non-Jew in American Jewry. In one-
third of those marriages, the partner
converted. Unfortunately, many of
The Jewish people will
split into two mutually
divided, hostile groups
who are unable or
unwilling to marry each
those conversions are not acceptable to
the Orthodox and Conservative
movements, and those children also
will be deemed not Jewish.
More than 100 years ago, the Re-
form rabbinate decided to accept civil
divorce as a legal end to a Jewish mar-
riage. For almost a century, that deci-
sion had no serious consequences,
mainly because the Jewish divorce
rate was so low. Since the 1960s,
American values have changed, and
the old cultural insulation between
Jews and non-Jews has worn away. As
a result, there has been a tremendous
rise in Jewish divorce. The American
national divorce rate is now estimated
at 50 percent in recent marriages. The
Jewish rate could easily be at the
30-40 percent level.
The good news is that Jews have
strong family values and commit-
ments. Therefore, Jews have the high-
est re-marriage rate among American
religious groups. The bad news is that,