4 Friday, February 21, 1986
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
THE JEWISH NEWS
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CANDLELIGHTING AT 5:54 P.M.
VOL. LXXXVIII, NO. 26
Same Old Soviet Song
When Anatoly Shcharansky was asked by reporters last week whether
he wished to thank Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev for approving his
release from a Russian labor camp, he replied, in his characteristically
up-front manner, "Frankly, no."
Shcharansky's release was carefully calculated by the Soviets. The
USSR rid itself of what was becoming an international embarrassment.
Shcharansky's release has created a certain reservoir of good will, maybe
even of debt, toward the Russians. It has mitigated some Westerners'
suspicions toward the Soviets and fostered an atmosphere, tentative at best,
But even amid the more relaxed amosphere of the last week or two, it is
clear that Shcharansky's release does not signal a profound change in Soviet
About 400,000 Jews in the Soviet Union still await their exit visas.
Several thousand Soviet human rights activists — Jews and gentiles — are in
prison or labor camps. Among these are a kosher slaughterer arrested for
"hooliganism" and a Hebrew teacher serving three years in a labor camp on a
trumped up drugs charge. Other Jews have been arrested for "defaming the
state," for "draft evasion," and for "anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda."
And of the 100 original members of a committee that Shcharansky
helped form to monitor Soviet compliance with the Helsinki human rights
accords, about 50 are in prison, labor camp, psychiatric hospitals or internal
exile. About 20, including Shcharansky, have emigrated.
Clearly, Soviet authorities have not changed their attitude toward
dissidents. And also, they have apparently not changed their attitude toward
defusing the Mideast powderkeg. Senior U.S. officials said earlier this week
that the Soviet Union had persuaded PLO leader Yasir Arafat to frustrate
American efforts to organize Middle East peace talks between Israel and a
joint Palestinian-Jordanian delegation.
The sum of all these Soviet machinations is perplexing and confounding.
The Soviet Union still seems set on being the world's spoiler. It appears wary
of accommodation and compromise. It seems almost fearful of bestowing
dignity upon its people and a certain calming predictability upon the world.
As joyful as we may be that Shcharansky is with us in the West, we should not
be deluded that his release marks a new path for the Soviet Union. For now, at
least, it is the same old path — terror and intrigue and repression.
Today's Jewish News Close Up story on teenage behavior paints a black
eye. We urge our readers to take the story for what it is — an alert to the
community that an unhealthy situation exists involving a minority of our
teenagers, and that we all share the blame for the situation.
Teens "hanging out" is an age-old situation, part of the ritual of
coming-of-age. The situation that has developed for the last few generations,
however, moves into a new realm of adult responsibility for anti-social teen
Our Close Up story does not pretend to have the answers. Interviews with
teens, school officials, shop owners, police and social workers help illuminate
the problems but offer no easy, blanket solutions. If the article generates
discussion of teenage behavior and individual soul-searching, then we hope
we will have contributed to the solution.
An Activist Argues Against
Star Wars, Nuclear Arms
BY DR. STEVE DANIELS
Special to The Jewish News
As a consequence of being a
former member of the Detroit Jewish
community, I happened to see The
Jewish News of Dec. 27, 1985. Dr.
Richard Rosenbluth's editorial critical
of the Nobel Prize-winning Interna-
tional Physicians for the Prevention of
Nuclear War (IPPNW) seemed to me
so misguided and counter-productive
that I cannot resist a response.
Dr. Rosenbluth's editorial is re-
plete with ad hominem arguments
(slanders might be a more accurate
word; e.g., "Helen Caldicott and her
friends in the media running amok
."). He accuses IPPNW of being
self-congratulatory, myopic, and "out-
rageous," and of "pretending" a posi-
tion. Such slurs only besmirch Dr.
Rosenbluth's own credibility and
weaken his own arguments, which, al-
though I reject them, deserve to be
Underneath all the invective, Dr.
Rosenbluth makes three important
assertions. First, he claims that
American members of IPPNW are
naive or venal in collaborating with
Soviet counterparts who must be pup-
pets, partners, or apologists for the
Soviet government. Having been a
member of the U.S. affiliate of IPPNW
for six years, and having visited the
USSR in 1984 as part of a peace dele-
gation, I must disagree with Dr.
are sincere in wanting peace with the
United States and in fearing nuclear
weapons whether controlled by their
country on ours. Their position is cer-
tainly also their country's "official
line" — and I happen to believe that
the Soviet government is also sincere
Former Detroiter Dr. Steve Daniels is
.-hoirman of the Santa Barbara, Calif.
chapter of physicians for Social
Responsibility, the U.S. affiliate of
International Physicians for the
Prevention of Nuclear War.
in wishing peace and fearing nuclear
weapons. (To anticipate the objection
"How can we believe them?": It is the
USSR, not the United States, whict
has declared a "no first use" policy or
nuclear weapons, which has proposec
and since autumn 1985 has institutec
a comprehensive nuclear test ban anc
In a very real sense nuclear
arms themselves are the
enemy, whether they
belong to the U.S. or the
has invited the United States to join it
it, and which according to the U.S
State Department and the Arms Con
trol and Disarmament Agency ha:
been very good in complying wits
bilateral U.S.-USSR arms control
Contrary to the claim that Soviet
IPPNW members simply parrot a gov.
enment "line" is the fact of the matter
Soviet IPPNW members have been in.
fluential in convincing their govern•
ment of the insairity of nuclear war
IPPNW cooperation with Soviet mem•
bers in no way condones the deplora•
ble, repressive human rights policies
of the USSR. However, if there is nc
human life there will be no human
rights, there, here, or anywhere; tc
many of us, the prevention of nuclear
war is of paramount importance.
(Paramount, not exclusive. Many
American IPPNW members are
Jewish, and many are active in press•
ing for civil liberties and religious
freedom in the USSR.)
Dr. Rosenbluth's second major as-
sertion is that the United States must
depend on "tough resolve" and "an ef-
fective strategic defense" (presumably
Continued on Page 6