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October 04, 1985 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1985-10-04

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4 Friday, October 4, 1985



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

Editorial and Sales offices at 20300 Civic Center Dr.,
Suite 240, Southfield, Michigan 48076-4138
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
NEWS EDITOR: Alan Hitsky

Marlene Miller
Dharlene Norris
Phyllis Tyner
Pauline Weiss
Ellen Wolfe

Donald Cheshure
Cathy Ciccone
Curtis Deloye
Ralph Orme

Lauri Biafore
Allan Craig
Rick Nessel
Danny Raskin

© 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



No One Is Immune

For years now, it has become increasingly obvious that a good share
of the Middle East has been heading toward virtual anarchy: Lebanon
has been parceled into cantons and provinces headed by robbers, thieves
and cut-throats; Libya is led by a certifiable lunatic; the PLO has split
into myriad factions, each of which claims to be the "true" spokesman for
the Palestinian people; neither Iran nor Iraq have yet said "uncle" in
their never-ending war; and Syria, it seems, is always off on a new
adventure into one of its neighboring countries. As if this wasn't enough,
there are constant rumors of someone, somewhere in the Middle East
having access to nuclear weapons.
To Western eyes, the Soviet Union has been the spoiler in the Middle
East, for too long. It backs troublemakers and insurrectionists. Stability
for the region seems to be the last goal on the Soviets' minds. But now, at
long last, the shoe is on the other foot. Four SoViet diplomats have been
kidnapped at gunpoint in Beirut. For Americans, kidnapping has become
almost a norm in Lebanon. For Russians, this is not only the exception,
but possibly a case of the proverbial chickens coming home to roost.
Having encouraged violence and instability in the Middle East for so
long, the Soviets are now its target.
We don't mean to gloat that four Russians have been kidnapped.
Such an act is reprehensible regardless of who is the victim. But perhaps
the incident will convince the Soviets that the Middle East is a major
disaster waiting to happen — and that any of us can be its victims.

How 'Direct the Talks?

Media reportets didn't delve closely enough into the Hussein speech
at the United Nations General Assembly when they called his remarks a
concession to "direct talks" with Israel. Such an approach is what Israel,
with the concurrence of the United States, has been demanding for many
years. They have not developed and certainly are not the offering in Hus-
sein's latest speech.
The mis-interpreted Hussein speech was a repetition of diplomatic
maneuvering to induce Soviet participation in "peace talks," and this has
' continually been ruled out by Israel and the U.S. Hussein specifically
stated he wanted "international" influence on peace considerations. Rus-
sia then would predominate, and the Soviet influence in anti-Israel quar-
ters certainly rules it out
"Direct Talks" are simple terms and plain language. They mean that
Hussein and his associates must confront Peres and Shamir and Israeli
associates for face-to-face recognition and discussion of the common needs.
That's the way to understand and adjust differing views and COnflicts.
That's how it was when Menachem Begin met with Anwar Sadat:
they came to terms, reached an accord and the military conflict between
Israel and Egypt ended with the signing of the Camp David agreement
' with the collaboration,of President Jimmy Carter on behalf of the United
That's the way to understand and adhere to direct talks, There is no
other way.



`Survivalism' Has Replaced
Israel's 'Exemplary Society'

Special to The Jewish News

Recent polls and surveys indi-
cating the growing support for Rabbi
Meir Kahane and his fanatic racial
views are but an external revelation
of a deeper problem: Israel is in the
midst of a grave moral and political
crisis, the gravest since its founda-
This crisis arose from an
ideological vacuum which was filled
by a combination of political and
religious messianism characterized
by de-legitimization of equity among
a variety of world views with a feel-
ing of "end of days" which
encouraged fanaticism. Kahane is at
one end of a continuum of fanatic
bigotry. This bigotry — religious,
political, messianic — believed in by
a vociferous minority, is like a can-
cerous tumor in what has become
the dominant ethos of Israel in the
1980s — survival. This ethos of sur-
vival is the concrete expression of
the ideological vacuum. Indeed, Is-
rael's collective consciousness has, in
recent years, been dominated by
survival (in Hebrew — hisardut —
bare physical existence). The ethos
of survival epitimizes the imposed
need to deal with the physical di-
mension of existence.
The trauma of annihilation and
murder during the Holocaust, so
fresh in the nation's memory,
coupled with the anxiety accumu-
lated because of the continuing
threat to Israel's existence, fostered
the ethos of survival. Hence, survi
val characterizes today's collective
consciousness. It has become a key
word in Israel's political vocabulary
and the code reflecting the only con-
tent in the relationship between Is-
rael and Diaspora Jewry.
Survival replaced another ethos
which had occupied a central place

Dr. Carmon is professor at Tel Aviv
University and director of the Israel
Diaspora Relations Institute.

in the writings of almost all Zionist
thinkers and which was reinforced
through their deeds: the ethos of an
exemplary society. This ethos arose,
in part, from one of the central ideas
of the Jewish heritage: the idea of
chosenness based on the, universal
foundations of ethics. It was given a
clear secular meaning by the found-
ing fathers of Zionism. When they

Survivalism opens the
door to fanaticism, to
messianism and to
simplistic solutions to
complex problems.

spoke of "exemplary society" they
meant' a new kind of nationalism
based on values such as tolerance
and equality of men.
Two basic problems were left
open and unresolved and, retrospec-
tively, can be seen to have been neg
lected. The first was the link
tween Zionism and the Jewish hen
tage or, in other words, the questio
-of what the traits of Israeli Judah;
should be. The second problem w
the unfinished formulation of th
universalistic duty of the Zionis
Jewish State.
The establishment of a Jewi
state following generations of th
experience of statelessness in th
Diaspora has engendered two promi
vent challenges to Israeli Jews
Firstly, the challenge of coping wi
the responsibility of might an
ethics in an autonomous soverei
state. Secondly, the challenge of d
veloping democratic culture amo
Jews 90 percent of whom come ,fro
countries without a democratic hen
tage. These challenges were me
and they were met in almost im

Coniinued on Page 18

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