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February 13, 1987 - Image 6

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-02-13

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

EDITORIAL

Passing The Deadline

United States and Israeli officials have denied reports from Lebanon
this week that Israel is considering a prisoner swap with the Muslim
terrorists of West Beirut. The proposed exchange would return an Israeli
pilot shot down over Sidon last October and the four recently kidnapped
American University professors. All Israel has to do is release 400
Palestinian prisoners held in her jails and by the South Lebanon Army.
Even the thought of such a deal makes us cringe!
Detroit's own Nabih Berri, head of Lebanon's Amal militia, reportedly
proposed the exchange. He is the same "civic leader" who clarified for
reporters last week that missing hostage negotiator Terry Waite was not a
hostage himself, but had simply been arrested. The "charges" against
Waite apparently have not yet been dreamed up, nor have the differences
in Lebanon between "arrest" and "kidnapping."
Lebanon's terror-masters canceled deadline after deadline last week
for the execution of the four professors. Now the deadline has been
extended until further notice. Hopefully, the West has noticed these
deadline extensions and the terrorists' reluctance to execute their only
bargaining chips. We have to remember, in spite of our valid concerns for
individual hostages, what capitulation to terrorist demands will lead to.
Giving in to terrorists will fuel more terrorism. This is a plain and
simple fact substantiated by history. Western governments may appear
callous and insensitive to the hostages and their families, but acceding to
terrorism will only lead to additional terrorist acts. That fact will not
change, even if the terrorists carry out their threats to kill their hostages.
Israel may have created this week's situation in the aftermath of the
Lebanon War. She made a deal with Syria and the terrorists of Lebanon,
exchanging hundreds of Arab prisoners for several Israeli POWs. That
exchange was obviously not lost on her Arab adversaries. And Israel
should learn from her mistake.
We do not have easy answers for hostage situations. But Israel's stated
policy, copied publicly by the United States, appears to be the only
workable, if difficult, solution. The West cannot negotiate with terrorism,

for it will only lead to more terrorism. The policy remains true whether
hostages are released or life-threatening deadlines are postponed.
Israel has fought many wars to protect her citizens, and thousands of
Israelis have died along her borders. As harsh as it sounds, it would be
wrong to place all Israelis and all Westerners in jeopardy in an effort to
save one or two hostages.

Satan's Work

Nothing attacks civilization as deeply as attacks on hc ■ uses of worship,
sanctuaries on this earth where humanity gathers to contemplate — if
only for an hour or two — man's purpose in life and ways to make our world
better.
The arson fires on Christmas eve that destroyed two churches in
Fraser and Shelby Township, and the fire and "satanic" vandalism at St.
Luke's Episcopal Church in Shelby Township over the weekend, have the
same effect as anti-Semitic attacks on Jewish synagogues and institutions.
Police are investigating the Sunday morning fire at St. Luke's because
of evidence of arson and devil-worship vandalism found in the santuary.
There have been rumors since last summer in the Macomb County
community about a devil-worshipping cult, and a meeting place was found
in a rural area. Now the battle between good and evil has descended on St.
Luke's, which was also vandalized in November and January.
Individuals who believe they have all the answers for the rest of the
world, whether on a single topic or for all the world's ills, invariably can be
painted with the brush of fanaticism. A fanatic of any stripe is a person
whose method or ideology, group or persuasion, is the only way for him and
— in his mind — for the rest of the world.
Unfortunately for the fanatics, and for the rest of us, the world has
very few issues which can be so clearly decided in a single manner. The
ultimate measure of man's humanity throughout history has been the
extent of his willingness to listen to a counter-argument.
It is a lesson that has been missed by the terrorists of the Middle East
and the terrorists haunting Shelby Township.

LETTERS

Kahane's Issues
Are Our Issues

The issues that Rabbi Meir
Kahane spoke of (in Detroit,
Jan. 28) were . . . not his issues,
they are our issues .. .
Let us first consider the
Jewish day schools. Why
should we have our own day
schools when there are public
schools? The reason that we
have Jewish day schools is that
they provide a Jewish educa-
tion and Jewish values and in-
still in our children Jewish
pride. How can we expect the
schools to do their job if we will
not support them? Why should
we expect teachers to make it
their life's work, to educate our
children, if we don't provide
them with a livable wage? .. .
Just what are our priorities as
parents?
What about the Jewish
presence on our college cam-
puses? Are we doing enough to
support Hillel on our cam-
puses? Hillel is a place on cam-
pus where Jewish students can
meet and have a kosher meal.
Only when we fully support
our Jewish day schools and
Hillel, will we stop intermar-
riage and the cult movements
from stealing our youth. If your
children are knowledgeable
and proud, they will not be
easy targets .. .
Should Israel be the Jewish

state? Do Jews still need a
Jewish homeland? Is there a
special relationship between
Jews and the Land of Israel?
What should be done to insure
that Israel stay a Jewish state?
What should the influence of
non-Jews be in Israel? Is the
Law of Return and Jewish Na-
tional Fund's policy of only re-
nting land to Jews racist?
Let us come together in a
spirit of Ahavat Yisrael (the
sense of responsibility Jews
are taught to feel for one an-
other) and discuss these issues.
The Talmud teaches that all
Jews are responsible one for
the other. Let us come and rea-
son together.

Mel Eisenberg
Southfield

Kahane Editorial
Short On Facts

Your editorial on Rabbi
Kahane (Feb. 6) upset me.
While I share with you my op-
position to Kahane's program
and his methods, your histori-
cal assessments are totally
false and betray ignorance of
facts.
You write about the Second
Temple Period that it was a
"theocracy unparalleled in
Jewish history for its corrup-
tion and brutality." If there
was theocracy during that

time, I can think only of the
rule of the Hasmonean Queen
Salome Alexandra, who relied
on the Sanhedrin to govern the
country according to the laws
of the Torah. This was a glori-
ous period of tranquility and
well being, unparalleled in the
entire era of the Second Tem-
ple.
After her death the remain-
ing kings of the Hasmonean
Dynasty fought among them-
selves. Their constant bitter
feuds delivered the Jewish
State into the hands of the Ro-
mans .. .
You write, furthermore:
"One need look no further than
the Talmud for a plurality of
opinions and respect for both
majority and minority views."
. . . Difference of opinion, ac-
cording to the Talmud, is in-
deed respected — but only if
there is agreement on the basic
principles of faith as stated by
the Rambam .. .
A religious Jew cannot agree
with anyone, Jew or Gentile,
who denies the truth of the
Torah in its entirety. This does
not mean we cannot get along.
It is from a feeling of love and
concern for one another that
we will try our utmost to pur-
suade and convince every
Jewish man and woman to live
according to the Torah .. .

Rabbi Chaim Schloss
Oak Park

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INTER ATONAL Pi iSiNER EXc AG to

Forgetting
And Forgiving?

Many segments of the Euro-
pean society, even segments of
the American society, would
like the world to forget the
Holocaust and forgive the
criminals.
The German people who
backed Hitler and his ideology
and committed the most horri-
ble crimes in the history of
civilization, would like their
evil acts erased from history.
The Hungarians, the
Slovaks, the Croatians, and
Rumanians, who handed their
Jews over to the German
executioners, also would like

their evil acts erased from his-
tory .. .
But we the survivors of the
Holocaust whose brothers, sis-
ters, parents, children, and
friends were murdered by the
Nazis, and who experienced
oppression, humiliation, and
terror, and who were eye wit-
nesses to mass annihilations,
and because of starvation,
beatings, tortures, and tor-
ment, we suffer from physical
and psychological ailments.
How can anyone expect us to
forget the Holocaust and for-
give the criminals?

Martin Shlanger
Oak Park

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