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September 13, 1985 - Image 37

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1985-09-13

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS Friday, September 13, 1985




Continued from Page 37

STILL IN ETHIOPIA. The Jews marked holy days with religious services, praying
for their deliverance ito the land of Israel.

r .

YOUNG GIRL greets visitors in Ethiopia with coffee in her simple hut.

they could be considered "full" Jews.
Still, the image that persists is of ill-
nourished men,women and children arriv-
ing in Israel with only the tattered rags on
their backs, embraced in a collective hug of
empathy by their brethren. The rescue op-
eration was an act of bravery, defiance and
pride that transcended the resettlement
problems that are certain to increaie.
Once again the world, was shown that
suffering can be met. with more than tears
of sympathy and that Zionism has every-
thing to do with religion and nothing, to do
with racism. Once again the world was
shown that for the State of Israel, Jewish
suffering is insufferable. Here were a people
calling themselves Jews and longing for
Zion. Reason enough to risk lives to save
thousands more.
That was the rationale as well for 25
Orthodox Jews who stood trial in Jerusalem
for violent attacks against Arabs in Israel.
The defendants maintained that they were
forced to take the law into their own hands
to defend their West Bank homes and
families. Misguided terrorists or heroic de-
fenders of the faith, the young men's ac-
tions were the object of much soul-searching
in Israel, and the long trial divided the na-
tion, including the government leaders. In
the end, the Jewish underground members
were found guilty and three were sentenced
to life in prison. Pleas for clemency were
heightened after Israel released 1,100 Arab
prisoners in exchange for three Israeli pris-
oners of war. Many Israelis felt it was im-
moral to release Arab murderers and ter-
rorists as free men while putting some of
Israel's "best and brightest" young men be-
hind bars. Other Israelis took a measure of
pride in the fact that justice, however pain-
ful, was being served.
The trial of the Jewish underground
members symbolized the deep conflict
within Israel over how to deal with the
Arabs, a debate evident on many fronts this
year. The shaky national unity government
of Shimon Peres-Yitzhak Shamir survived
its first year — longer than many skeptics
had predicted — and achieved two priorities
by taking some bold steps to save a ravaged
economy and completing the withdrawal of
Israeli troops from Lebanon after three
years. Another high point was the suc-
cessful completion of an historic free trade
agreement with -the U.S. this spring, pro-
viding Israel with free access to the Ameri-
can market. But there was -little progress
on negotiations with the Arabs, chiefly be-

Continued on Page 41


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