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April 11, 1986 - Image 18

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-04-11

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

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:/----

.....—.„

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

18 Friday; Aprill1 , 1986

CLOSE-UP

•PAPER, PLASTIC RETAIL & HANDLE BAGS
ALL IN ASSORTED COLORS
• WRAPPING PAPER • RIBBONS
• YARN • BOWS • ZIP-LOCK BAGS
• • BUBBLE SHIPPING ENVELOPES &
ROLL STOCK • TRASH BAGS
• GIFT WRAP

CAPITAL TIRE STORE

FIRST
SIGNAL
LIGHT
X

• INDUSTRIAL PACKAGING
AVAILABLE
• NO MINIMUMS

MADISON
NATIO AL SANK

MANDOLINE

❑ 00051
BADER
RAG

Ask For Cathy
585-3200

Bader Bag Co.83

CASH & CARRY WAREHOUSE OUTLET

800 E. 'MANDOLINE • MADISON HGTS • M-F 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

HILLEL DAY SCHOOL

cordially invites you
for Dinner and Dancing
on Tuesday, the thirteenth of May
Nineteen hundred and eighty-six
Adat Shalom Synagogue

Music by
The Smiling Faces

Cocktails at six
Dinner at seven
Couvert $100 per person

Special Honorees
Mike and Mary Must

Amy Cutler
Dinner Chairman

Jack Liwazer
Honorary Chairman

Saul Waldman
Honorary Chairman

Ronald Riback.
Patron Chairman

Sara Greenberg
Ad Journal Chairman

For Reservations Call

Hillel Day School
851-2394

In July 1985, an estimated 30,000 Jews
(mostly Orthodox) protested at the Wes-
tern Wall against the Mormon Center, in-
sisting that the new buildings would be
used as "missionizing bases" aimed at
young, impressionable Israeli Jews.
Similar, smaller demonstrations have taken
place—involving secular as well as
religious Israelis—and hardly a day goes
by without a letter to the editor or some
other mention of the Mormon project in the
Israel press.
In the last few months, paid newspaper
advertisements have appeared supporting
both sides of the debate—including one,
signed by 96 Hebrew University profes-
sors, which declares: "The Mormon sect
. . . is known world-wide as a missionizing
sect . . . we are convinced that this group
wishes to `Mormonize' the people of Israel
... We call on the Government of the State
of Israel to stop the Mormon missionary
project now." Political columnists and poli-
ticians themselves have taken up sides on
the issue, most notably Jerusalem Mayor
Teddy Kollek, who views the present con-
flict as a challenge to his administration's
commitment to an ethnically-diverse and
tween being a Jewish State and a full-
religiously-tolerant Jerusalem.
•fledged Democracy.
For those who value Israel primarily as
A new organization, ironically named
a
living
memorial to the Holocaust and as
("Hand
to
the
Brothers"),
Yad L'Achim
a. guaranteed safe-haven for oppressed
has staged numerous demonstrations and
Jews everywhere, Israel's existence as a
is engaged in a major propoganda campaign
Jewish State—in which even the poorest
against the Mormon Church—which, they
and most infirm Jews can be governed by
claim, will missionize in Israel regardless of
their fellow religionists—is the overriding
any guarantees to the contrary. In the
consideration.
leader,
"When
L
'Achim
words of one Yad
For them, an Israel unencumbered by
you talk about the Mormons, 'educational
Christian missionaries and unthreatened
and religious purposes' can only mean one
by a growing native-Arab population would
thing: missionary activity."
be the ideal situation. The rights of non-
Part of the recent upsurge in anti-Mor-
Jews in Israel—while these may be of some
mon activity has been fueled by the dis-
concern—are clearly of secondary impor-
covery of several Church documents from
tance. (Meir Kahane and his "Kach" move-
the mid-1970s which suggest that once the
ment are an extreme example of this posi-
Jerusalem Center is completed, the Church
tion.)
will indeed engage in missionary efforts..
On the other hand, there are those for
While the Mormon Church officials ac-
whom Israel's democratic tradition (indeed,
knowledge these documents as authentic,
Israel is the only country in the Middle
they insist that the papers are out of date.
East with free, democratic elections) is the
To be fair, the documents which have
greatest source of pride and national self-
thus far been discovered—by Yad L'Achim
"spieS," according to one Church official—. respect.
According to this view, it is Israel's wes-
are "out of date" insofar as they were pro-
tern-style democratic government which
duced before any formal Israeli admoni-
enables the country to be, at once, econo-
tions against Mormon missionary activity
mically and militarily secure (due in large
were made. All public statements issued by
the Mormon Church and BYU since 1980 ' part to its reliance on another democratic
state, the U.S.) and also a "light unto the
have included a positive declaration that no
nations," guaranteeing freedom and sec-
Mormons would engage in missionary work
urity to all its inhabitants.
in Israel. Despite such assurances, forceful
With regard to the Mormon Center issue,
opposition to the Morthon project contin-
it would be fair to say that most anti-
ues.
The Mormon issue has divided Jerusalem
Mormon activists come . from the first -
—not to mention other Israelis and non-
group, with most Mormon supporters be-
Israelis as well—into two distinct camps.
longing to the second. (Note: There is also
In many ways, the debate over a Mormon
a small group of ultra-Orthodox Jews who,
Center in Jerusalem is part of a greater,
for their own religious reasons, do not sup-
fundamental issue confronting the Modern
port the existence of 'Israel as a legitimate
State of Israel; the inherent conflict be-
state at all. According to this marginal

he
Mormon
sect . . .is known
world-wide as a
missionizing
sect . . . we are
convinced that this
group wishes to
Mormonize' the
people of Israel."

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