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May 02, 1986 - Image 2

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-05-02

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

,THE,DETRQUI,AEWISH ,NEWS_

.2 :Friday, May 2, 1986..

- ,

i

.

RECOMMENTARY

1,

;

PHILIP SLOMOVITZ

Troubling. Times, Mounting Challenges To Retain Measure Of Faith

interest in the appalling matter is evi-
not political accommodafion, but
denced in an Associated Press report,
hatred and a stiffening of resolve.
"Anti-Semitism Buds in Strained Farm
Certainly, that has been the case
Belt." The introduction to the "budding"
with Israel and Lebanon and
prejudices in this syndicated article
Northern Ireland. In short order,
states:
vendettas replace political goals.
It usually begins with talk of
It takes time to learn the lessons
conspiracy: outsiders plotting to
taught by prejudice and to detect the evils
bankrupt America's farmers and
that create scapegoatism.
. take their land. International
Meanwhile, the evils that have been
bankers are involved. So is the
absorbed by too many continue to mount.
Federal Reserve System.
The emergency of new forms of anti-
And in the economically de-
Semitism is undeniable.
vastated Midwest and Great
In an address at a seminar at North
Plains, shadowy rumors link all
Dakota State University, Rabbi A. James
the woes to the Jews. With land
Rudin, director of .the American Jewish
values and crop pricbs down, dis-
Committee Inter-Religious Affairs De-
traught farmers are falling prey to
partment warned of a stepped-up cam-
anti-Semitic rumors.
paign by the right wing extremist groups
"Hitler did the same thing in
to increase the campaign to organize the
Germany. This went on back dur-
farmers of the West in the newly-
ing the Depression in the '20s and
emerging anti-Semitic campaign.
'30s," said retired Nebraska Judge
Rabbi Rudin appealed to major farm
Samuel Van Pelt. "Any time you
organizations to mobilize against and
have someone in financial trouble,
condemn such vitriolic groups. He made
they're more vulnerable to a racist
this revelation:
pitch."
The radical right is making
Jews, furthermore, tend to be
significant inroads in the Middle
convenient scapegoats because so
West. Prairiefire, an Iowa-based
few live in rural areas.
coalition of concerned farmers,
"People can blame Jews be-
has reported a sharp increase in
cause they're not there," said Joe
the number of people who have .
Cluastil of the Family Farm Or-
recently attended radical-right
ganizing Resource Center, a
.
meetings.
farmer assistance group in Min-
. nesota. "It's easy because they
When the shocking news was spread
It's hard to see how the death
don't have to confront people."
about the intrusion of the righwingers
of an American' GI in a. Berlin
A recent Louis Harris poll
into the controversy over the farmers'
disco improves the plight of Pales-
commissioned by the Anti-
plight, there was a natural condemnation
tinians anywhere in their dias-
Defamation League of B'nai B'rith
of it in the press and over the media. But
pora. It's even harder to justify the
the concern over such a new form of anti- , found that, • while most rural
murder of TWA passengers over
Iowans and Nebraskans blamed
Semitism has not subsided. A• continuing •
Greece. The fruits of terrorism are
farm problems on Congress, ban-
kers, the Reagan Administration
and local loan agencies, 13 percent
of the 606 people questioned be-
lieved fault Could be attributed to
"certain religious groups, such as
Jews,,for example."
Twenty-seven percent said
Rabbi Morris Adler will be
JeWs have "too much power" in
memorialized as our community's
this country.
The Harris organization said
great teacher. He was the genuine
"Any phenomenon which affects
rabbi and the 20th anniversary of
over one in four residents must be .
his death is occasion for tributes,by
Viewed as a mass phenomenon,
many scores of .ppmMunities, into
even if it is not massive."
' iNhich his influence had extended
That 13 percent of farmers should be
during the years., of his ,preaching „ ,
• — influenced by the spreading hatred is a
and leadership
matter not to be treated lightly. Educe-
Indeed, .there,:was .leadership,
tional campaigns nay be weak but they
Sparked by abilities that were
can not be reduced. The duty to act is all:
parent.
guided' by scholarship, by learning

Jews are never left out of attention,
even when the world's troubles have no
relationship at all with the comparatively
small world cicmmunity.
Who would have imagined that the
unfortunate Libyan situation would be
transformed into another Jewish in:-
volvement. Yet what was interpreted as
the prejudiced mind of the media became
apparent in some of the commentaries
which sought the scapegoat.
Remember the name Havelock Ellis
(1859-1939), the physician and author? In
1936, writing in "Questions, of Our Day,"
he wrote:
"So long as Gentiles are ill at ease
with themselves they want Jews to be
there, to bear the blame for all conceivable
ill."
Any better explanation for the injec-
tion of the Jewish and so-called Palesti-
nian matters into the unfortunate Libyan
situation? The terrorist threats are seri-
ous enough without turning them into
religious or racial issues. •
Richard Cohen, the popular widely-
circulated columnist, discussing the de-
velopments that caused the American at-
tack on Libya, and paying honor to El Al
under the title "Want to Travel in Safety,
Fly El Al," took into account the question
of irrelevancies when human values have
to be considered and the world problem of
terrorism. On this score he made this im-
portant point

r's Legacy:
Morris
Honoring Our Noble Teacher

! that made possible ability to teach.
Therefore, the legacy, that ac-
Companies the name ;Morris ;Adler.
Jewish anthological *orks'coMpiled
in the last three decades have the
evidenee of such a legacy His \via:
dom, 'which wak,cogigNd in tiro' of
his own books, one published post-
humously, have ;become guides for
Jewish scholarship, especially for
those entering tharahhinate.
How glorious thee name Morris
Adler when those who itow,:labor for
religious ecumenism and the adhe-
rents of the Zionist ideal seek defini-
tions for activism in the leading
causes for humanism.
Such was his legacy.
Those who recall the events of
20 years ago, when Jewry lost- this
noble scholar, will think anew of the
great lady who.kept providing cour-
. age to those who.were affected by the

,

tragedy. Goldie, was; the strong one,
never• giving up'hope, leading corn-
fort to the sufferers, retaining confi-
dence to the very end that good will
comes, out of evil. This is a time to
recall the true , designation of Esset
Hayyil, Woman of Valor. Such was
Goldie Adler then,' continuing in
that role to this ,day, as the true de-
signee of the noble term: Esset
Hayyil.

Of the many problems that keep
dominating the news and editorial col- •
umns;the Kurt Waldheim issue is a major
one.'
The question - recurring every time
Wildheim's guilt is discussed is why there
WSSn't a mininium of recollection about
his past when ,he', first Was proposed'' for
United - Nations administrative leader-
ship.
Tragically,r the tiredictions are that I'
Waldheim may "capitalize" on the dispute '
over his record by being elected to the
1 : presidency of Austria. Sadly, the reports
are.that Austrian anti-Semitism may rise
in the process. • ,
Here is an AP item from Vienna that
can not avoid concern:

The Jewish Center in Vienna
recently received an anonymous ,
postcard addressed to the "Jewish
Swine Department," advising Au-
strian Jews to clear out for Israel,
and adding, "Hitler should have
-gassed you all."
, .Jewish community leaders

say prominent Jews. are being
harassed by a flood of anonymous
telephone threat?, and some par-
ents have begun escorting their
children to religious instruction,
fearing that a JeWish school bus
might become a , target of violence.
The Jews of Austria are used
to crank mail and calls. Many of
them say, however, that overt
anti-Semitism has mushroomed
because of the argument about
Kurt Waldheim's wartime past.
Meanwhile, it is becoming apparent
that there is widespread realization of
Waldheim's guilt. His fragmentary ad-
missions of forgetfulness, half-truth-
telling and partial admissions of having
participated in the Nazi planning will
never be erased from, his record. To the
New York Times goes the credit of having
notably summarized the Waldheim guilt
in the April 19 editorial :"Kurt Waldheim
Remembers":
Kurt Waldheim now remem-
bers that yes, he did prepare
battlefield reports while serving
as German Arniy lieutenant in
the Balkans. And yes, he was
aware of atrocities and heard
about measures against Jews; he
knew Jews were • taken to an un-
known fate, but "I didn't know it
was such a mass affair."
World

War II was a "fiasty,, dirty" con-
flict — German soldiers, too, were
seized as hostages and executed.
If Mr. Waldheim's memory is
improving, his repatafion is not.
By all acconfitg, he retains a
good chance to . be elected
president of Austria on May 4,
notwithstanding his admission
that he has long ptisrepresented
his•wartime role, But the people of
Austria should Understand the
widespread concern, If Mr. Wal-
dheim is not guilty of war crimes
and no one his proved that he is
wh did he coyer"up the simplest
hiographical facts for all these
years? Probabbi because he
thOught the world would never
hive him as SecretarY, General of
the United NalOng. But now men- ,
dacity, too, is indelibly part of his
record. , „
Mr. Waldheim 'insists his con-
science is clear, that he actually ,
opposed the Nazi*: and never
committed war criMei. More may
be learned .abont o - that from the
long-forgotten doCaments turning,
Arc-
up in YugoslaViii;, the , U.S.
hives and the United Nations. But ;
no dossier is _needed to under-
stand Mr. Waidheines einbar
rassment about his three years of
Military service in the Balkans.
' The Balkan; cninPaign was
'notable for its hintalitk. Hitler
t , bled to turn ,Y4Oslavia into a
' plant ally and was enraged when ,.
,thwarted by a coup in Belgrade in
'Mareh 1941. 'Startling even his
r'generals, he Ordered the destruc-
tion of YugeilaVia"aa'a nation," at
the cost of delaying for four ,
months his invasion of , the Soviet
Union. This fateful `delay, writes
William Shirer; preyed ,.the: most
catastrophic single:decision in
Hitler's career."
His bombers,razed.Belgrade
and his Balkan ar*y grew by 1943
to 14 German and' 5, non-German
divisions. Playing on ethnic hat-
reds, his 'commanders incited' a
massacre of Serbahy Croatian

Continued on Page 22

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