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November 08, 1985 - Image 109

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1985-11-08

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

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS Friday, November 8, 1985

11.0 Mile IR NMI IN UMW IN MI MIR= =OM=

Towns which once had small
but flourishing communities, are
now left with only a handful of
Jews, if any at all. In these in-
stances communal properties
such as synagogues and halls
have been sold, although a few
communities still maintain a vi-
able Jewish existence.
Rabbi Lipskar, however, spoke
hopefully about the Jewish
community in South Africa. "I
believe there is a future for us. I
believe the Jew is very much
part and parcel of that commu-
nity which can enable this coun-
try to develop a harmonious
state of economic and political

l

Religio us News Serv ice

As demonstrations like this one in Johannesburg become more
common, Jewish leaders debate repercussions of the battle to end
South Africa's apartheid policies on the country's recently revived
Jewish community.

welfare for the entire country."
Concerning the current state
of emergency, Rabbi Lipskar
noted, "Honestly ... This isn't
affecting anyone (whites) in
Johannesburg, except psycholog-
ically." He added that the sus-
pension of normal police proce-
dures is "quite frightening," but
the practical affect is "minimal."
As of late last month, police
reported that 2,000 persons had
been arrested under the emer-
gency regulation, with some
1,000 of those having been re-
leased. Still, regular incidents of
violence are occurring, primarily
in the black townships sur-
rounding Johannesburg and in
the eastern section of Cape
Province around Port Elizabeth.
Although authorities have de-
clined to release figures on total
numbers of people- killed since
the state of emergency was de-
clared. Scores have been killed
and wounded.
Both Goldberg and Rabbi
Lipskar, however, were reluc-
tant to address the situation di-
rectly. "It is important to pro-
mote the Jewish element here
rather than political concerns,"
Rabbi Lipskar said, adding,
"Lubavitch does not take a
stand on politics ... In this
overheated international atmos-
phere whatever one says is open
to misinterpretation."
Goldberg explained that the
duty of the Board of Deputies is
"to act as a guardian of the civic
and political rights of the
Jewish comunity against anti-
Semitism and discrimination."
He reflected that it is up to in-
dividuals to promote disapproval
of .government actions.
However, during June, the
Board of Deputies rejected apar-
theid and condemned racial dis-
crimination. In a resolution
adopted after a three-day debate
at its biennual national assem-
bly in Johannesburg, the Board
endorsed the "removal of all
provisions in the laws of South
Africa which discriminate on
grounds of color and race." The
resolution also "rejects apar-
theid" and "calls upon all con-
cerned to do everything possible

to ensure the establishment of a
climate of peace and calm in
which dialogue, negotiation •and
process of reform can be contin-
ued."
The Board is an affiliate of
the WJC, which requested ear-
lier this year that its affiliates
in 70 countries join the world-
wide campaign against apar-
theid and racism.
"We felt the situation here
was becoming such that we
needed a stronger statement on
apartheid," Goldberg said. Pre-
sently, it is believed that the
Jewish community is the only
ethnic segment of the white
minority in South Africa to pub-
licly call for an end to apartheid
within the country.
Rabbi Lipskar and Goldberg
agreed that any racial compari-
son made by Nobel Prize winner
Bishop Desmond Tutu between
apartheid and Nazism is unten-
able. "I do not agree that
Nazism is the same as apartheid
... The government is trying to
move away: from apartheid,"
stated Goldberg.
Goldberg indicated that the
Board of Deputies has tried to
establish a dialogue with the
black community and has pro-
vided some educational grants.
"We don't know who the au-
thentic black leaders are," he
said, adding that more radical
elements within the Black
community _do not accept ad-
vances made by the Board.

Voters Polled

Tel Aviv (ZINS) — A poll by
the Public Opinion Research In-
stitute shows that 66.4 percent
of all Israelis are satisfied with
the performance of Prime Minis-
ter Shimon Peres, 71.5 percent
are satisfied with Defense
Minister Yitzhak Rabin, and
66.6 percent are satisfied with
Education Minister Yitzhak Na-
von. -
Only 27.5 percent expressed
satisfaction with Ariel Sharon,
minister of commerce and indus-
try.

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BY DALE NORMAN

Boston (JTA) — As emergency
regulations imposing severe
curbs on black political expres-
sion continue in South Africa,
the Jewish community is shar-
ing the physical fears and harsh
economic woes facing the white
community.
Travel agents in Johannes-
burg indicated that there has
been a sharp increase in the
purchase of one-way tickets out
of the country, since the state of
emergency was declared July
20. In fact, trips to Australia in
the travel business are known
euphemistically as "LSD Trips"
... "Look See and Decide" or
"Look Schlep and Deposit."
"The Jew has an important
role to play here. We are defi-
nitely committed to South Af-
rica and encourage people not to
panic and simply leave," Rabbi
Mendel Lipskar, 37, director of
the Lubavitch Foundation of
South Africa said. Lipskar, who
was born in Germany and grew
up in Canada, has lived in,
South Africa for the past 13
years. "There has been a revival
here in religion and Yiddishkeit
over the past ten years," he
said.
Executive director of the
South African Jewish Board of
Deputies, Aleck Goldberg, re-
lated that emigration of the
Jewish community has had
enormous repercussions upon
family life. "Many families have
split, and demographic studies
show this is an aging Jewish
community," explained the 62-
year-old Goldberg.
According to the World
Jewish Congress (WJC), some-
where between 20,000 and
30,000 Jews have left South Af-
rica in the past two decades.
Presently, 120,000 Jews live in
South Africa comprisirig 2.6 per-
cent of the white population and
.04 percent of the overall popu-
lation.
Dr. Israel Abramowitz, former
chairman of the South African
Jewish Board of Deputies, told a
Washington B'nai B'rith public
affairs forum recently that the
Jewish' population in his country
has remained steady since 1970
because of an influx of Jews
from Israel and Zimbabwe.
It is estimated that there are
15,000 Israelis in South Africa
but Abramowitz indicated that
the Jewish population is ex-
pected to shrink to 64,000 by
the end of this century.

20300 Civic Center Dr.
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Southfield, Mi. 48076-4138

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South African Jews Feel They're
Walking A Political Tightrope

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