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January 16, 1987 - Image 2

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-01-16

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

PURELY COMMENTARY


INNINNE
s
PHILIP SLOMOVITZ

Year Of Hope

There is only one way of waving away
a tension-filled year with a "Good Rid-
dance" judgment: it is by holding fast to
hope that much that was experienced will
not be repeated. Therefore the fortnight's
postponement of the judgment, so that the
evils may be assigned to the desired elimi-
nations.
No one is immune, universally, from
the concerns that caused James Reston, a
leader in the ranks of the New York Times
columnists and news analysts, to be harsh
on 1986 when, a few days before the end of
the evil year, he wrote:
One of the reasons for dividing
time into years is that it gives us a
week or so for reflection on the
past and the future. The American
people and their leaders here have
much to consider at the end of 1986.
It has not been a good year
from top to bottom: too much
cheating and chiseling; too many
lies, too many cardboard heroes
ducking behind the Fifth Amend-
ment.
On the whole, we are very rich
and as we say, some of us are "hav-
ing a good time," but the bills are
coming due, and there's a general
anxiety in the land that something
is wrong.
Reston's Jeremiad included comments
'on the international strifes, the political
and economic headaches and heartaches,
the foreign policy that annoys Americans.
Much can be added to the list.
There are concerns that are specifi-
cally Jewish. The manner in which guilt
for the Iranian situation is blamed on Is-
rael is far from pleasing. Most unfortunate
is another angle related to it. The ideologi-
cal turn is appalling. The rebirth of the
State of Israel was especially idealized in
moral terms, in ethical values, in Torah

To Obviate Accumulated Evils

learning and teaching. That Israel should
have become a military state — with the
unavoidable compulsion for self-defense —
with munitions-making displacing the cit-
rus and clothing manufacturing products
as the major economic factors is something
to be deplored.
Nevertheless, the loyalty to Israel's
legacies will not diminish. There must be a
new emphasis to such duties. The Torah
and ethical treasures must not be aban-
doned. They will not, if the partners in
Israel's striving for sustenance will adhere
to them and demand they be honored.
There is reason to believe that the highest
ideals will not be abandoned.

The Red Cross 'Evil'

In his column which he entitled "A
Time for Reflection," James Reston could
have rendered an additional important ap-
peal for justice if he had commented upon
another "evil" imposed on human decency
— the manner in which the International
Red Cross rejected the appeal for recogni-
tion of the Israel Magen David Adom, its
counterpart in the Jewish State, as an
equal partner. While rejecting the Magen
David Adorn, it granted status equal to it-
self to the Islamic Red Crescent. It was a
shocking decision and it is no wonder that
it is meeting with resentment in official
American cities.
That American Red Cross leaders are
responsive to the urgent request for recog-
nition of their Israeli counterpart was indi-
cated in a message to Rabbi Ruben R. Do-
bin, international chairman of Operation
Recognition. Richard S. Schubert,
president of American Red Cross, stated:
As you know, we in the Ameri-
can Red Cross have been working
for nearly four decades in support
of Israel's quest for recognition of

Istanbul Massacre Guilt
Raises Itsue Of Indifference

A thoroughly researched account of
the horror that marked the massacre in the
Neve Shalom Synagogue in Istanbul, Tur-
key, led Judith Miller, deputy Washington
editor of the New York Times, to the con-
clusion that three Arab nations shared
guilt in this inhuman occurrence in which
22 Jewish worshippers were murdered.
Judith Miller charges, in the Jan. 4
NYTimes Magazine section, in a lengthy
review of the plotting that resulted in the
mass murders on Sept. 6, 1986, under the
title "Istanbul Synagogue Massacre: An
Investigation," that:
The Instanbul synagogue mas-
sacre, these sources now believe,
reflects the perfection of a new
brand of cooperative international
terrorism that attempts to leave no
fingerprints and whose sponsors
are intended to have no address.
The evidence to back up this con-
clusion, while circumstantial, is
persuasive. It includes clearly
marked Communist-bloc weapons
found at the synagogue and at the
sites of other terrorist attacks in
Turkey, plus information from a
terrorist under arrest in Pakistan.
This, along with the evidence pro-
vided by ballistics, terrorist inter-
rogators, surveillance of clandes-
tine shipments in diplomatic
pouches, all point to three states as
possible sponsors of the Istanbul
carnage: Syria, Libya and Iran.
Terrorism experts have con-
flicting scenarios, and are deeply

divided over which country played
the leading role in staging the
synagogue attack. Israeli experts
tend to blame Syria; the Turkish
intelligence agency believes that
Iran played the dominant role;
Turkish police suspect Libya.
Some American analysts believe
that all three were deeply involved.
An Israeli terrorism expert
notes that cooperation in the logis-
tics of terrorism has been seen be-
fore. "Libya buys, stores and dis-
tributes weapons through its
pouch; Syria provides the logisti-
cal intelligence and training
needed for such an attack; Iran
provides the suicide commandos
and some funding," he said.
American intelligence
analysts believe that both Syria
and Iran played a role in the mur-
derous 1983 attack on the United
States Marine barracks in Leba-
non, and that Syria, as well as
Libya, was involved in the bomb-
ing of a West Berlin discotheque
last year.
Publicly accusing Syria, Libya
and Iran of involvement in the
synagogue attack could have pain-
ful consequences for the Turkish
government. Turkey has long bor-
ders with Syria and Iran and has $3
billion in construction projects in
Libya, money that Ankara desper-
ately needs.

Continued on Page 24

the Red Star of David as a protec-
tive symbol under the Geneva
Conventions (which only govern-
ments can effect) and of Israel's
Magen David Adom as a full
member of the international family
of society's carrying on the work
begun by Henry Dunant at Sol-
ferino. We are going to continue in
this effort in every way that we
can, and we have not the slightest
doubt that success will be
achieved.
I would like to note to your
consideration the perspective that
the inclusion of the crescent in the
movement name, as enunciated
last month at Geneva, is but the
end product of a historical process
that has been going on since the
1870s.
Accompanying data, with records re-
lating to negotiations between the con-
tending leaderships, emphasize an unend-
ing dispute between the MDA pleaders and
world Red Cross leaders. They also show
that the American leaders of the world
movement always supported the Israeli
appeals.
It is on this score that there emerges
the renewed urgency for action in behalf of
the Magen David Adom on a legislative
and executive scale.
Joseph Handleman, president of the
American Red Magen David for Israel,
continues his conferences with American
Red Cross leaders to ascertain action for
due recognition of and acceptance of the
Israeli counterpart of Red Cross into the
international organization. In the mean-
time, it is urgent that the American de-
mands for it should be pursued on an offi-
cial status. Hopefully, Congress will ex-
press the demand and the White House
will collaborate in it. The battle must not
be abandoned.

Obviating 'Racism'

As the new year is on its march many
issues involving human needs retain their
repetitiveness. Racism is major on this
score.
In a NYTimes Op-Ed article, James
Michener referred to the multiple de-
velopments experienced in recent times as
"The Ugly Decade." While he did not delve

on the "racism," it is a major cause for
self-humiliation. There is need for em-
phasis that since "racism" and prejudice
among peoples can not be immediately and
thoroughly obviated, they must constantly
be reduced. This must be a major obliga-
tion, if there is to be a semblance of a
Happy and Good 1987.

From DAC To JWF
In Progressive Fashion

Women have been admitted to mem-
bership in the DAC (Detroit Athletic
Club).
Hallelujah!
That's to have been expected in the
democratic evolutions in this country.
The prejudicial factor in the DAC did
not start as a gender. It began as a theolog-
ical issue when Jews were barred from
membership. Then came the inevitable
black element in the case.
Surely, the eminent Detroit black
Mayor Coleman Young will be — if he has
not already been — offered honorary mem-
bership in DAC.
Will it ever be a massive move to in-
vite Jews into DAC membership?
Jewish architects brought the sen-
sationalized club into being. Then they re-
fused to step into it because Jews as Jews
were barred from membership. Then it was
no longer a secret. Then, like this writer
who often refused to accept invitations to
functions held there, there was a class — is
this term permissible? — that let their feel-
ings be known.
In his ably assembled facts about early
Detroit Jewry, in The Jews of Detroit, pub-
lication of which by Wayne State Univer-
sity Press was made possible by a Jewish
Welfare Federation grant, Prof. Robert
Rockaway presents the facts about Jews
and the DAC. Dr. Rockaway, now on a
year's leave from his history professorship
at Tel Aviv University in Israel, on a visit-
ing professorship at San Diego State Uni-
versity, is a native Detroiter who shows
great devotion to the task he had under-
taken to trace the earliest years of Detroit
Jewry's developments. Therefore there is
accuracy in the facts about DAC culled
from Rockaway's The Jews of Detroit.
Dr. Rockaway referred to the DAC

Continued on Page 24

Amnesia About Holocaust:
Regrettable Forgetfulness

Failure to remember and therefore to
know and understand the meaning of
Holocaust was outlined in an article in a
recent issue of the New York Times by
Judith Miller. She wrote under the title
"Erasing the Past," describing Europe's
amnesia about the Nazi atrocities. Her ar-
ticle inspired a concerned citizen to express
sorrow over the developments. Barbara S.
Phillips of San Francisco commented on
the Miller article and stated:
I recently returned from visit-
ing West Germany and Austria, as
did your correspondent. I also vis-
ited East Germany, Poland and
Czechoslovakia. While in those
countries, I visited concentration
camps: Treblinka, Maidanek,
Chelmno, Auschwitz, Birkenau,
Mauthausen, Ravensbrook, Sac-
hsenhausen, Buchenwald, Terezin
and Dachau.
I can say, therefore, from
first-hand experience, that much
of the evidence of the Holocaust
has already been obliterated. The
sites of many camps have been

leveled. Where there are remains,
attempts at documentation are in-
effective because of lack of trans-
lation into English or French — or
there is no documentation at all.
With regard to the specificity of the
Holocaust, except for one or two of
the camps I visited, the word Jew
or Jewish is nowhere to be seen. The
victims, throughout, were identified
either as anti-fascist or by homeland.

Had one been without prior
knowledge or, perhaps, of a younger
generation, one would be hard-pressed
to know of the existence — or more
accurately, the extermination — of
millions of Jews. I came away
heartbroken by what I saw. I became
outraged by what I did not see.

The San Francisco correspondent is
not alone in her regrets over the failure to
remember. There is a tendency to forget.
Such a trend leads to ignorance of a tragic
matter, repetition of which must be pre-
vented. Therefore the constant admoni-
tion: Remember! Zachor! Never forget!

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