4 Friday, March 21, 1986
'THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS.
THE JEWISH NEWS
Terrorism Strikes Abroad,
Jewish Paranoia At Home
Serving Detroit's Metropolitan Jewish Community
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BY CAROL COTT GROSS
Special to The Jewish News
©1986 by The Detroit Jewish News (US PS 275-520)
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CANDLELIGHTING AT 6:27 P.M.
VOL. LXXXIX, NO. 4
The Post-Begin Brawl
Even by rough-tough Israeli standards, last week's Herut convention in •
Israel was a complete fiasco. The political struggle to succeed Menachem
Begin within the party was split not only between personalities, with Yitzhak
Shamir and Moshe Arens on one side and Ariel Sharon and David Levy On the
other, but also between ethnic groups. Shamir-Arens represent the
Ashkenazim, and Sharon-Levy the Sephardim.
The result was a shouting match that skirted on the edge of violence,
forcing a visibly shaken Shamir off of the stage and abruptly ending the
convention before a leader could be selected.
The immediate victim is Shamir. Selected by Begin to succeed him, and
less than eight months from the scheduled rotation whereby he and Prime
Minister Shimon Peres will switch jobs, Shamir appears to be a man who
cannot control his own party, much less a divided nation. How can he deal
with Arab enemies if he can't deal with his fellow Herutniks?
A cynic might respond that it's easier to deal with the Arabs, but the fact
remains that David Levy and Ariel Sharon set out to take over Herut and
embarrass Shamir by exploiting ethnic tensions, and to a large degree they
have succeeded. Now, in an effort to salvage Herut, we have the image of
Ariel Sharon the peacemaker, shuttling between Shamir and Levy, who
Spent the past week calling each other terrible names in public.
This may be the fruits of a true democracy in action, but it . sends
dangerous signals to those who fear that Israel may fall victim to its own
inner tensions and frustrations.
If Shamir has any hope of regaining his stature to the level that he could
serve again as Prime Minister, he must take the reigns of Herut firmly and
quickly. Let us hope that the exploitive Levy-Sharon ploy will not be lost on
the Israeli voter. The society has enough problems without having so-called
leaders stoking the fires of ethnic divisiveneis.
As a result of recent terrorist ac-
tivities in Europe, Americans are be-
coming uneasy about foreign travel.
American Jews like myself who enjoy
traveling abroad are suffering much
more than uneasiness though. We
have begun to pose paranoid-like
questions which sound frighteningly
familiar, and are not easily answered.
I have visited Israel several times
in recent years. Is it wise, or safe to
travel with an Israeli stamped
passport these days? A friend voiced a
similar concern about her daughter's
passport. "Linda went on a Teen Tour
to the Middle East this past summer so
her passport has Israeli and Egyptian
stamps," my friend explained. "Now
she has been chosen for a high school
exchange program in France, and I'm
nervous about her passport stamps. I'd
have her apply for a new passport if the
process wasn't so complicated, or I
wasn't concerned that my fears would
ruin Linda's trip."
Passport stamps are only the be-
ginning of my anxiety about traveling
abroad. What about my last name?
Does "Gross" sound Jewish? Maybe it
could be taken as German. I have fair
skin, blue eys and (dyed) blond hair.
Do I look German? Could I "pass"? I
don't know, and to actually ask anyone
about my appearance seems incredibly
demeaning. Maybe I could solve the
problem by traveling under an as-
sumed name, something nondescript
like Jones or Smith? An acquaintance
who has a decidedly Jewish-sounding
last name and travels to Europe sev-
eral times a year is talking about hav-
ing his name changed on his travel
documents. Maybe I should check into
But whatever name I use for
travel, I will not wear my Jewish star
Carol Cott Gross is a freelance writer who
lives in East Northport, N.Y.
abroad. "Why look for trouble? Why
advertise?" advised a friend who no
longer carries anything on his person
when he travels to Europe which could
identify him as a Jew. I could wear my
"Hand of God," the Middle Eastern
symbol for good luck that has no
Jewish connotation. Will a change of
Do I admit that I am a Jew
. . . and die like Leon
Klinghoffer and so many
millions of Jewish
names, or a change of charms worn
round my neck ease my newly-
developed anxiety about travel, and
my age-old sense of Jewish vulnerabil-
ity? I doubt it!
The haunting question is, when
push comes to shove, or more to the
point, with a terrorist's gun to my
head, will I deny my Jewishness,
which is an intregal part of my being?
My father asked himself a similar
question when he heard about the
Holocaust. Do I admit that I am a Jew,
aboard a plane or cruise ship, and die
like Leon Klinghoffer, like so many
millions of Jewish martyrs? Or do I
deny my faith in hope 'of surviving?
And if I do survive because I have be-
come a modern day Marrano (the Mar-
, ranos were secret Jews of Spain who
denied their Judaism to escape the In-
quisition) how do I live with my deceit?
Perhaps I can avoid soul search-
ing and anxiety by avoiding flights
which stop in Greece, even to refuel.
Or I can avoid the Mediterranean al-
together. Or when I travel in Europe,
I'll avoid synagogues, and kosher res-
Continued on page 6 •
The Allied Jewish Campaign has reached a critical stage in the
framework of the 1986 drive and in its funding history.
With only three weeks left in the 1986 Campaign, Detroit's Jewish
community is close to achieving a record goal of $24 million for local Jewish
communal agencies, national needs, and our fellow Jews in Israel and in more
than 30 other countries. The hundreds of Campaign volunteers have a right
to be proud as they feverishly complete their assignments and close in on
another record achievement.
But as we near such lofty goals, the volunteers are being sobered by the
increasing needs. The Gramm-Rudman budget-cutting legislation in
Congress leaves a yet-to-be answered shadow across the budgets of Jewish
welfare organizations in the United States. Israel is still trying to recover
from an economy decimated by the war in Lebanon. There is also the
economic reality of,settling and educating the thousands of Ethiopian Jews
who, escaping famine and bias, came to the Promised Land a year ago during
Detroiters can be justifiably proud of their efforts and achievements in
the Allied Jewish Campaign. But these final three weeks, and the -critical
dollars they raise, could lift this community above a mere milestone. They
could provide the additional means necessary to truly make a difference, to
lift from the status quo Jewish educational and welfare programs both in
Detroit and elsewhere.