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July 04, 1986 - Image 39

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-07-04

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

aw Offices

NEWS

773

STEPHEN R. BERNSTEIN

30301 Northwestern Highway
Suite 300
Farmington Hills. Michigan 48018

U.S. Orthodox Express
anguish' Over Schism

New York (JTA) — Four major
Orthodox Jewish organizations
in North America issued a joint
statement last week expressing
their "profound sense of pain
and anguish" at recent out-
_ bursts of violence arising from
religious-secular tensions in
Israel, which came to a bitter
head recently when anti-relig-
ious extremists desecrated
several synagogues and their
- sacred contents.
The presidents of the organ-
-*mations decried violence from
any side, in accord with the proc-
lamations of the entire spectrum
of Orthodox groups in Israel,
while laying blame for the cur-
„rent crisis on anti-religious
elements who, they charged,
,,were waging a campaign to
erode the "status quo” — a term
commonly used to describe the
pattern of coexistence worked
out by religious and secular
Jews in Israel at the estab-
- lishment of the state.
Agudath Israel of America,
National Council of Young
Israel, Rabbinical Council of
America, and the Union of Or-
thodox Jewish Congregations of
America, declared in the unusual
). joint declaration:
"Unfettered violence is not
justifiable, even for noble causes.
And now, the ugly and violent
-strife has escalated from both
sides until it has led to the un-
thinkable — the desecration of
synagogues, books of Ibrah, and
sacred religious articles at the
hands of Jewish men and
women, a tragedy of unspeak-
able proportions."
"We cannot ignore the fact
that there are deep and serious
divisions regarding the char-
acter of society in Israel," the
statement continued. "But some
overriding observations must be
kept in clear perspective.
- "Religious and secular Jews in
Israel have managed to live
together in one society since the
founding of the State by estab-
lishing a pattern of coexistence
...commonly known as the status
quo,' that was designed to
guarantee and preserve the fun-
damentals of the religious
population and their deeply held
-. sensibilities."
"And now a distinct and un-
mistakable campaign is being
waged by anti-religious circles in
Israel today to upset this fragile
arrangement," the Orthodox
groups charged, pointing to

specific instances that generated
current tensions:
"The callous display of pro-
vocative public posters and the
opening of theaters on the Sab-
bath in Petach Tikva and
elsewhere are two cases — both
in clear violation of the law —
where a wilful attempt has been
perpetrated to break down the
existing modus vivendi and
flagrantly doing violence to the
most sensitive feeling of re-
ligious Jewry."
"The violence that has erupt-
ed as a result of the above — on
both sides — deserves universal
condemnation. There is no sanc-
tion given to acts of burning and
destruction. But at the bottom ,
line the onus of the crisis rests
squarely on those who have
revoked it," the declaration went
on.
"Moreover the horrible de-
secration of synagogues, yesh-
ivas and sacred objects, even
though perpetrated by a non-
representative radical fringe, can
in no way to equated with the
destruction of some bus shelters
acted out by several misguided
hotheads."
The Orthodox groups scored
what they identified as "an
ongoing attack in the public
media against religious Jews"
and added, "It is also regrettable
that an insidious media cam-
paign is being conduCted to in-
dict the entire Orthodox Jewish
community for the irresponsible
acts of the isolated few, par-
ticularly since such deeds have
been condemned by all Or-
thodox groups in Israel."

New York — HIAS, the Hebrew
Immigrant Aid Society, has voi-
ced strong opposition to proposed
amendments to the immigration
reform legislation (HR 3810) be-
fore the House Judiciary Commit-
tee.
In a message sent to members of
the Committee, the agency ex-
pressed dismay over proposals to
place a ceiling on legal immigra-
tion and narrow the concept of
immediate family reunion by
eliminating the current right of
U.S. citizens to petition for admis-
sion of unmarried brothers and
sisters.

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39

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