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November 28, 1986 - Image 20

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-11-28

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

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WARNING

NEWS

Rulings Ruffle

Continued from Page 1

AND HAPPY

Other communities includ-
ing Livonia, Clawson, Madi-
son Heights and Berkley are
following a 1984 U.S. Sup-
reme Court decision which
allowed the display of a
nativity scene in Pawtucket,
R.I. because it was sur-
rounded by "non-religious"
symbols.
Berkley's creche is pri-
vately owned, purchased by
funds raised through a paper
drive, according to City Man-
ager John Kiracofe.
A private display on public
property is legally acceptable,
explained American Civil
Liberties Union Director
Howard Simon, as long as
there is a sign indicating pri-
vate sponsorship and naming
that private group.
"If it is available to group
`X,' then it would have to be
available to all other groups
for similar events," he added.
Berkley has such an open
policy, Kiracofe said. Detroit
had a similar policy until a
neo-Nazi group sought to
exploit the city's liberality by
requesting to demonstrate on
public property. At that
point, Simon said, Detroit de-
cided to donate its creche to a
church.
Kiracofe responded that
Berkley would consider re-
quests from any group, unless
there was a potential for vio-
lence.
Madison Heights will dis-
play a Chanukah menorah
along with its Christmas
trees, wreaths, candles, Santa
Claus, creche and U.S. flag.
"Something for everyone,"
said City Manager Dorothy
Lentz.

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Simon calls Madison
Heights' ecumenism "a pro-
found misunderstanding of
the Constitution.
"It makes the presumption
that there are only two reli-
gious groups. The Constitu-
tion is not satisfied by taking
into account all religions. The
way to satisfy the Constitu-
tion is to get government out
of the business of religious
displays."
"What we're trying to do is
to represent the holiday sea-
son," said Aubrey Green, the
city's assistant manager.
Does placing a Chanukah
symbol among a sea of
Christmas symbols detract
from the uniqueness of each
holiday and the religions
which inspired them? Does it
confuse the nature of the
holidays and lead to the con-
clusion that Chanukah is a
minor version of Christmas?
"That was certainly not the
intent," Green said. "They
are two traditions. Neither of
them predominates."
Other cities are trying to
avoid controversy altogether.
Oak Park will display snow-
men. Southfield will display a
tree and a lighted dreidel.
Huntington Woods will dis-
play roping with decorations.
Plesant Ridge will have an
outdoor Christmas tree. Far-
mington Hills will have no
outdoor displays, but will set
up a Christmas tree in the
lobby of city hall. In the past,
West Bloomfield Township
has displayed a Christmas
tree and Chanukah greetings
in its municipal building.
Plans for this year are in-
complete.

.

Peres Pressured For
Iran Information

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0.55




Jerusalem (JTA) — Foreign
Minister Shimon Peres last
week agreed to brief the
Knesset's Foreign Affairs and
Security Committee on
Israel's policy toward the
Iran-Iraq waar.
The government has come
under mounting pressure on
that subject as criticism grew
at home and abroad over the
Reagan Administration's
clandestine arms shipments
to Iran in which Israel
allegedly played the role of
middleman. Peres' briefing,
demanded by committee
chairman Abba Eban, is ex-
pected to focus on the period
when he was Prime Minister
and, in that capacity, respon-
sible for any Israeli arms
transfers to Iran.
Defense Minister Yitzhak
Rabin, who shares respon-
sibility for arms shipments,
insists Israel sent nothing to
Iran without clear cut
American approval. Prime
Minister Yitzhak Shamir has
up to now refused to confirm
or deny arms shipments by

Israel.
The leftist opposition .par-
ty Mapam introduced a no-
confidence motion in the
Knesset on the issue. It will
be debated shortly.
In another development,
two former chiefs of Israel's
military intelligence see ad-
vantages for Israel in the
supply of arms to Iran but
differ over whether Israel
would benefit if Iran won its
six year-old war with Iraq.
Res. Gen. Aharon Yariv,
director of the Yafee Institute
for Strategic Studies at
Aviv University, believes
Israel's interests would be
served if the war continues, or
at least ends in a stalemate
because there can be no
Eastern front against Israel
as long as the war continues.
But Res. Maj. Gen. Yeho-
shua Saguy, a member of
Yafee Institute staff, said
President Reagan was right
to supply arms to Iran, even
though he failed in trying to
explain it to the American
people.

,

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