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February 14, 1986 - Image 18

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-02-14

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

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18 Friday, February 14, 1986

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

• PURELY COMMENTARY

Anti-Semitism And The `Joke' From The USSR

Continued from Page 2

East German history of the war,
in its one-half page on Auschwitz,
describes the victims as "Soviet
prisoners of war, Poles, Hunga-
rians, Belgians, Jews, gypsies
..." ignoring the fact that a large
majority of Auschwitz's victims
were Jewish. The camp of
Buchenwald devotes a special
shrine to the memory of one of its
victims, German communist
leader Ernst Thaelmann, and a
small memory stone to the
thousands of Jews who died
there.
The East German leaders,
who suffered horribly under Hit-
ler, believe themselves to be the
only legitimate heirs of the anti-
Nazi resistance. Thus they be-
lieve they have the right to treat
the war however they like. As a
result, East German children
learn that the Jews, like
everyone else, suffered greatly
during the war, but never heard
the word "genocide."
The Russian angle in the anti-
Semitic continuities are established
facts. The Kremlin inheritance from
Czarism, the echoes of the Black Hun-
dreds are not state secrets. The agonized
conditions that were imposed on Anatoly
Shcharansky, et. al., are well known.
They create sadness in an era when
there would be peace and an accord be-
tween the USSR and Jewry and Israel.
Now we are treated with a rather
ludicrous bit of journalism via the USSR
Novosti Press Agency. Resulting from a
courteous contact this commentator has
with the press information department of
the Embassy of the Union of Soviet
Socialist Republics in Washington, under
date of Dec. 5, the USSR press represen-
tative submitted an article released by
Novosti. This is where the curiosity that
can be described as humorous is re-
vealed.
The Novosti article submitted for
publication in these columns is entitled:
"Open Letter from Soviet Parliamenta-
rians to U.S. Congressmen." The piece
commences with the explanation: "We
Soviet parliamentarians of Jewish na-
tionality, want to address U.S. Con-
gressmen about a highly disturbing
question." For a complete comprehension
of the intent of this Soviet memo it is
necessary at the outset to identify these
"Jewish nationality Sovietists."
The signatures appended to the
Novosti "news release" are:
M.V. Khaikin, deputy, Sup-
reme Soviet of the Ukraine; R.L.
Barg, deputy, Supreme Soviet of
the Ukraine; S.I. Palei, deputy,
Supreme Soviet of Byelorussia;
R.G. Geller, deputy, USSR Sup-
reme Soviet; E.G. Gurvich, de-
puty, Supreme Soviet of Azer-
baijan; M.D. Davitashvili, deputy,
Supreme Soviet of Georgia; M.A.
Levitsky, deputy, Supreme Soviet
of Tajikistan; M.I. Katz, deputy,
USSR Supreme Soviet; Y.I.
Kopylov deputy, Supreme Soviet
of the Russian Federation; and
Y.I. Plitman, deputy, USSR Sup-
reme Soviet.
The self-styfed "Jewish Nationalists"
are reminiscent of the Yevsektsia —
Yevreyskaya Sektzia — the Jewish sec-
tion of the Communist party. All the ills
for Russian Jewry under the Soviets
commenced and continued with the Yev-
180,1itzia.
norePThe "parliamentarians" compiled a
list of American sins which they call
anti-Semitism. They are introducing

themselves as pleaders for justice for op-
pressed Jews in the United States and
say, "We share the Soviet people's con-
cern about a wave of anti-Semitism
sweeping the United States, with its
six-million-strong Jewish community,
and call upon the Congress, the Ad-
ministration and the President to take
effective steps to stop the spread of
anti-Semitism, a phenomenon "beneath
the dignity of civilized society."
To fully comprehend the indictment
there may as well be a recognition of the
listed sins. The "Jewish nationality par-
liamentarians" stated in their purported
Novosti release:
We, Soviet parliamentarians
of Jewish nationality, want to
• address U.S. Congressmen about
a highly disturbing question.
On November 9 of this year,
14 Jewish-owned shops were
vandalized in New York. The
damage done was not only mate-
rial. The criminal action resulted
from anti-Semitism, which is be-
coming increasingly evident in
the United States. Similar acts of
vandalism on November 9, or
"Kristallnacht" (also called
"Night of Broken Glass"), 47
years ago, marked the beginning
of Jewish pogroms and the
death-camp extermination of
Jews in Nazi Germany.
According to the American
press, the number of last year's
officially registered anti-Semitic
outrages exceeded 700 in the
United States, including attacks
on Jewish organizations and in-
dividuals of Jewish extraction,
threats of violence, insults and
acts of vandalism.
Jews are also covertly dis-
criminated against in the United
States: They are not admitted to
certain neighborhoods, prestigi-
ous clubs, educational establish-
ments and professions. One-third
of the 175 companies building re-
ntal housing in New York do not
lease apartments to Jews. Over
800,000 U.S. Jews live below the
official poverty level. About 700
business and professional clubs
in 46 states deny membership to
Jews. A poll of the Jewish popu-
lation in the District of Columbia
and the city of St. Louis, Mis-
souri, alone revealed that most
had been victims of some form of
anti-Semitism ...
Now comes the most ludicrous part
of the accusatory statement: It was kept
since Dec. 5 to search for a reaction. As
the USSR Embassy in Washington was
informed by this writer, not a single
member of Congress has been discovered
who had received a copy of the appeal
against anti-Semitism. The always-
concerned Michigan Member of Con-
gress, Rep. William Broomfield, made
this comment when shown the Novosti
news release:
I don't think there is anyone
in Congress who would say we
have no anti-Semitism in this
country. However, unlike in the
Soviet Union, it is not a part of
government policy, and it is not
tolerated by the vast majority of .
the people of this _ country. This
letter deserves to be circular filed
by all of us. It is beyond deserv-
ing any response.
It is a brief comment and in many
respects summarized the laughable posi-
tion of "Jewish" accusers of the United

States who apparently seek a role as
apologists for the USSR. Congressman
Broomfield is right in asserting that the
laughable position assumed by the Rus-
sian apologists is not worthy of reply.
The reply would be too lengthy — about
Jews seeking exit visas from Rasia be-
cause of the oppressive conditions under
which they live, the arrest and persecu-
tion of Jewish teachers of Hebrew and
the multiplied terror which, as indicated
earlier is a legacy from the Black Hun-
dreds. These, as Broomfield implies, are
part of government policies under Com-
munism. In the United States they are
abominable.
But why the mystery of such a re-
lease, claiming to contain a message to
the U.S. Congress, which was never re-
ceived by a single member of Congress?
Is it the intention to use the Jewish
press as a medium for the Novosti diat-
ribe?
Only one brief comment needs to be
made: as Congressman Broomfield con-
ceded there is anti-Semitism, and it is
everywhere. That does not serve as proof
of all the accusatories coming from
Novosti. The whole intent of the Soviet
trickery becomes apparent.
So — there is conceded anti-
Semitism prevalent everywhere, rejected
by the honestly humane American
people as among the worst of banalities.
But in the Soviet Union those labeling
themselves "Jewish Nationalists" do not
see it under their very noses. It serves
the bigoted anti-Americanism of
"stooges" of Kremlinism.
The Soviet trick serves a purpose
propagated by a prejudice which was
branded by Stephen S. Wise as "Jewish
anti-Semites."
The Novosti trick didn't hurt any-
one. It only revealed falsehood in tric-
kery that emerges as a "joke." If it is an
additional admonition that anti-
Semitism must be fought, all to the good.
And insofar as the Jewish sufferers from
the venom ill the USSR — all the
Shcharanskys and Refuseniks are con-
cerned -- their battle for justice is
shared by humanists throughout the
world.

Is Ariel Sharon
The Self-Destructive
Israeli Caesar?

Ariel Sharon

More may have been written about
Ariel Sharon than about the men he
hopes to succeed as Prime Minister of Is-
rael. A new biographical study, appear-
ing simultaneously in English with the
Hebrew text in Israel, Sharon - An Is-
rael Caesar by Uzi Benziman (Adama
Publisehrs, New York) adds significantly
to the studies of one of the most controv-
ersial world characters. (Louis Rousso is
the English translator.)
Haaretz editorial staff member Uzi
Benziman could not get Sharon's cooper-

ation in writing his biographical sketch.
The author instead depended on
documentaries, oral and written views
from Sharon's associates, documents pro-
vided by 112 Israeli's.
Is Sharon a modern Caesar? In the
new study he emerges in the views of
admirers as well as critics, his role in
the military as well as the political and
diplomatic is thoroughly analyzed.
The new biography is a remarkable
account of military accumen, of a hero
who led in success and ended in an as-
tounding failure (in Lebanon), who has
enemies and friends, caters to the
former, shuns the latter, retains the am-
bition for prime ministership.
The thoroughness with which the
author tackles his subject, having ig-
nored what may have been a conscious
rejection of him by the biographer be-
cause he may have anticipated a prej-
udice from a journalist who can delve
into the very intimacies of a diagnosed,
is important in this volume.
It is in a concluding summation that
Benziman admirable portrays Sharon,
while probing the conditions evident in
Sharon's life, stating:
Ariel Sharon reached the
summit of national leadership in
Israel yet he was finally thwarted
by the complex twists of his per-
sonality. His immense energy, his
indefatigability and his stubborn
zeal in seeking high office were
always offset by his parallel
drive towards destruction, even
self-destruction. A planner of
battles all his life, he was finally
given the chance to design a full-
fledged war. Thirty years after he
blueprinted the raids of the 101st
commando unit, he was able to
blueprint Israel's large-scale in-
vation of Lebanon. And he failed.
He failed precisely in his al-
leged area of competence: war.
Over the years, this military ar-
chitect lost his ability to lead his
men in war, to urge them on in
battle, to have them keep faith
with him. Intoxicated by the
enormous power given into his
hands, he was unable to curb his
passions or restrain his appetite
for immediate and impressive re-
sults. In the Yom Kippur War, the
first cracks showed: some of his
officers failed to support his mili-
tary initiatives. By the time of the
Lebanon war, these cracks had
broadened: the gap between
commander and men had become
more manifest. Soldiers in the
field refused to follow their sup-
reme commander, the Minister of
Defense. Arik Sharon had ruined
his own best talent.
Even so, his heart is still set
on Israel's top political prize.

For The Record:
King Condemnation
of Anti-Semitism

Martin Luther King Day, like the
hero it honors, is not inerasable from
American history. "I Have a Dream,"
and the related declarations by the
famous leader will remain mottoes in
this nation's commitment to freedom.
Dr. King's legacies will remain inde-
structible. They were acclaimed during
the introductory King Day celebrations.
One other aspect in Dr. King's
ideologies needs renewed and continued
emphasis. It perpetuates Dr. King's con-

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