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October 10, 1986 - Image 2

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-10-10

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PURELY COMMENTARY

PHILIP SLOMOVITZ

Do We Atone for Mankind? .

Yom Kippur spells atonement. It
keeps emphasizing forgiveness.
As in our application of universality,
Yom Kippur, in the Jewish sense of the
festival's idealism, also is rooted in uni-
versalism.
When we atone for ourselves, we
also do it in the spirit of dedication of
humanism, to the highest goals of justice
for mankind.
Therefore there is also the forgiving
factor. We forgive harm done to us in the
same sense that we atone our own sins
and misgivings.
Do we enlist the mankind we speak
of when we rise high toward atonement?
Do we forgive mankind for the ac-
cumulating ills they keep leveling at us?
In view of what has been happening
most recently, we can well pose the
question:
How can we forgive, when. mankind
does not atone?
The question is posed in the fullest
admission that generalizing is inexcusa-
ble, that there are too many hasidim
among the gentiles who are justice-
loving, that the criminally-minded bigots
really are too few to condone treating
the world at large as sinning. Into con-
sideration are taken many realities, such
as:
In spite of the terrible years sum-
marized as Holocaust, there are the fre-
quent demonstrations by hate propagan-
dists whoa say this was concocted as
Jewish trickery;
The atrocious lies called "Protocols

:

. Is Forgiving Unlimited?

of the Learned Elders of Zion" retain a
measure of popularity, in Russia and the
Moslem countries, and often in our own
midst;
The shockingly . stupid Blood Libel
keeps being repeated, in Damascus and
many other centers of the world, primar-
ily among the Arabs and in Russia
again;
When a pogrom is conducted in an
Istanbul synagogue, there is not too
much remorse, and now there is exposed
a similar plot that • was aimed at • the
synagogue in Morocco.
Such experiences were overcome in
Jewish experience. But when, as in the
instance of the Holocaust the Jewish suf-
fering is denied and Jews are accused of
having manufactured them as means of
conducting their propaganda, how can
there be total forgiveness? If this sum-
mation is mere panic phobia, read this
news release that was issued by the re-
sponsible American Jewish Committee:

state-
Arabia's
Saudi
controlled news media have
obscenely distorted the brutal
Arab terrorist attack on Istan-
bul's Neve Shalom synagogue,
charging that Israel carried out
the attack in which 21 Jews were
killed to serve the "higher policy
objectives" of Zionism, Theodore
Ellenoff, president of the Ameri-
can Jewish Committee, reported
on Sept. 24.
The Riyadh-based Saudi
daily al-Jazira stated on Sep-

tember 9, he added: "Those who
are familiar with The Protocols
of the Elders of Zion,' that were
authored during the First Zionist
Congress, know that Israel is the
country that created all the ter-
rorist conspiracies."
"The Protocols of the Elders
of Zion," long proven to have
been a forged document,. con-
tinues to be used by Arab and
Western anti-Semitic propagan-
dists in their campaigns to fo-
ment hatred and mistrust of
Jews. Its exploitation in connec-
tion with the massacre of Turkish
Jews, implying that they were
killed by Israeli agents, is par-
ticularly abhorrent, Mr. Ellenoff
stated.
Saudi Arabia's state-run
domestic radio news service
broadcast the following summary
of an article that appeared in the
newspaper al-Riyadh on Sep-
tember 9, Mr. Ellenoff went on,
and made this charge explicit:
"We will not be distorting the
facts if we say that Israel has a
clear hand in this affair, because
the Zionist groups that directly
contributed to the attacks on the
Jews during the Nazi regime for
the sake of higher policy objec-
tives would not hesitate to strike
at a Jewish synagogue ... These
crimes ... are an ideal choice to
serve Israel's tactical and
strategic goals."

Spokesmen for Arab coun-
tries hostile to Israel have re-
peatedly claimed that they dis-
tinguish their opposition to
Zionism as a political ideology
from anti-Semitism, which they
ostensibly condemn. In fact,
however, said Mr. Ellenoff, it is
clear from numerous examples,
of which these are only the latest,
that the Saudis make no distinc-
tion between Zionism and Jews;
both are depicted as foreign in-
trusions in the Arab world.
Saudi Arabia is often de-
picted as a "moderate Arab
state" supporting peace in the
Middle East, concluded Mr. El-
lenoff, adding: "By depicting Is-
raelis as totally devoid of basic
human decency, they continue to
foment hatred, which is the an-
tithesis of any hope for peace
and reconcilation."

If world public opinion will permit
every act of horror, Holocaust, the pog-
rom in the Istanbul synagogue, other in-
justices, to be labeled Jewish concoctions,
it may well be asked: Why the over-
whelming silence, except for the limited
outcries in ecumenical circles? (These
very circles are struggling for existence.)
It may well be asked, what happened to
the media in this country that the Istan-
bul horror merited mere brief news
items and limited condemnations? What
has happened to the great masters in the

Continued on Page 30

.

`Hush-Hush' And `Sha-Sha' Era And A Louis Marshall Classic

Vigilance and self-defense are vital
duties in • the destiny of our people.
Whether it is church or prejudiced gov-
ernment, individuals or organized
movements, the dangers they present
place us in need of refuting lies, of plead-
ing for truth. It does not matter whether
it is Henry Ford or Charles Coughlin,
Gerald L. K. Smith or Torquemada, the
records of all the ages are filled.
In all the accumulated experiences,
we always had two classes of Jews, the
activists rejecting silence and the
Hush-Hushnicks, the Sha-Shanicks.
The former applied the admonition
in Isaiah, l'maan Tzion lo ekhshe, —
"For the sake of Zion I will not be silent"
— "For the sake of my people I will not
be hushed."
It is interesting to learn anew that
even in the instance of the Henry Ford-
fanned anti-Semitism there were the ad-
vocates of "caution," of "conciliation,"
which is tantamount to "silence." The
activists' pride and determination not to
permit the ugly head of the bigots to re- .
main visible for too long - registers the

courage that is self-respect.
One such instance of confrontation is
in the Henry Ford I venom. case. It in-
volves Detroiter Rabbi Leo M. Franklin
and American • Jewish Committee
President Louis Maishall. •
.It 'is difficult to believe that
Franklin should have 'been misled . into
believing that private negotiations by
Jews friendly with him until he inaugu-
rated the vicious campaign of hatred
might have dissuaded Ford. Franklin
was not alone in this view. He had a
group of supporters in it. Marshall called
them to task, and therein lies the pur-
pose of this column. He wrote a classic
reply to the deluded, dated July 31,
1927. It is a document inerasable from
chronicled Jewish history. To my knowl-

2

Friday, October 10, 1986

Louis Marshall

Leo M. Franklin

edge it is .being published for the first
time.
An explanation is in order. A copy of
it was given me a few , days after it was
mailed by Jacob Billikopf, son-in-law of
Louis Marshall, who was always "Billie"
to. me, as he signed his letters. The Ford
case had just closed, Ford signing the
Marshall-dictated apology. , Franklin be-
lieved Ford could have been , induced to
end his anti-Semitic campaign if
negotiated properly. Marshall thereupon
wrote the masterful repudiation and re-
buke.
Because Franklin was not alone in
that "class" of Jews, publication of what
is truly a great document should not be
viewed as mistreating the memory of a
man no longer here. It should be re-
membered that a decade after the dating

of the letter being reproduced here,
Franklin again fell into a trap of being
abused publicly by Ford and a stooge.
Ford and his chief guide and adviser,
'Harry Bennett, inveigled Franklin into
issuing a statement quoting Ford as op-
posing Nazism and offering succur for
Hitler's victims. Franklin failed to get
Ford's signature to that pledge and Ben-
nett denied it was ever issued.
I secured the Marshall letter to
Franklin in confidence. The confidence
commitment has long passed, that letter
having been written more than half a
century ago. Such a rule was understood
by "Billie" Billikopf.
For some 30 years or more, "Billie"
and I enjoyed a deep friendship and
shared confidentialities. "Billie" was un-
questionably one of the ablest and most

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

distinguished socialworkers of the cen-
tury. He was the organizer and director
of the first "large scale" fundraising
campaign of the American Jewish Joint
Distribution Committee during World
War I — it had the immense goal of
$5,000,000! Some real historic morsels
were in the "Billie" Billikopf corre-
spondence to me.
The Marshall letter proved that its
author was not a "Hush-Hush" Jew. He
spoke firmly in Jewish defense. He re-
jected panic when courage and action are
needed. He was a proud Jew, and, as his
letter indicates, he had faith and knew
how to define it.
The remarkable letter is a document
of faith. It is historiography of the high-
est order. Even the splendid Robert
Lacey Ford book does not fully account
for some of the details in the Marshall-
to-Franklin letter. It is an addendum
that fully accounts for President Hard-
ing's 'attempt to stop Ford's anti-Semitic
campaign.
Our readers will surely share the
judgment that the letter is a great his-
toric document. Here it is in its entirety:

July 31, 1927
Dear Doctor Franklin:
With some surprise I have.
read the following pitssage in
your. article relating to Henry
Ford entitled "The Suppliant
Versus the Sinner"; • .
"At this late date I reiterate
- the conviction, expressed seven
years ago that a little more pa-
tience and a little more tact exer-
cised at the beginning' of his
crusade of vituperation might
have brought about almost im-
mediately the recantation that is
many years belated."
I remember that at the time

Continued on Page 30

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