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March 13, 1987 - Image 6

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-03-13

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


Purim Respite

We interrupt your thoughts of costumes and carnivals, Queen Esther
and Mordecai, graggers and hamantaschen to remind you that, indeed,
Haman was a wicked, wicked man. More importantly, he hasn't
completely disappeared.
Amid the fun and frolic of Purim, the happy celebrations marking an
ancient victory over a would-be oppressor, we had the sobering thought
that the Jewish victory has never been complete. New oppressors rise up in
every generation, ultimately to meet the same fate as Haman. The Jewish
community locally, nationally and internationally—Am Yisrael—has
been forced through the centuries to maintain a strong vigilance against
new Hamans in the world in order to be able each year to celebrate its
freedom, its very existence, at happy Purim events.
So shake that gragger. Paint that face. Pull together an Esther
costume, a Mordecai, a Haman or some modern mask. We urge you not to
take too literally the proverbial injunction to imbibe to the point of not
being able to distinguish between Haman and Mordecai. But live it up,
have a good time and within the bounds of the Purim holiday, celebrate the
survival of the Jewish people and briefly forget the more serious problems
that face the community. You've earned it.

These promotions are not only galling to Americans. They suggest that
Israel neither regrets the affair nor is willing to make amends.
Surely, this year's political agenda for Israel and for American Jews is
to assure that relations between the U.S. and Israel are returned to the
high footing they have enjoyed, particularly under the Reagan
Administration. This will take more than mere rhetoric. It will take more
than reciting the litany that America and Israel are blood brothers whose
destiny is intermingled and whose founding fathers were democrats
It will take much persuasion, much hard work—and even harder
concrete and definitive action. Apologies are not enough. Cover-ups and
attempts to downplay the problem will not do. Painful as it may be, the
government in Jerusalem should take a lesson from its counterpart in
Washington and appoint an independent commission to determine who
knew and approved of the Pollard operation. Wrongdoing and
mismanagement in government—whether in Jerusalem or in
Washington—should never be sanctioned.

The Pollard Storm

Despite protests by both Washington and Jerusalem that the Pollard
spy case will not affect U.S.-Israeli relations, it is difficult to conclude
otherwise. The fact that Jonathan Pollard was given a life sentence this
past week underscores how serious the U.S. considered the crime.
Washington did not treat the affair as a family squabble but rather with a
strong sense of violation.
This episode, coming so close on the heels of the Tower Commission's
findings that Israel and the U.S. had divergent political interests in selling
arms to Iran, should serve as a sober reminder to all who believe that the
Jerusalem-Washington relationship is indivisible.
Israel has made many blunders in the Pollard affair. Not the least of
these were promotions of the two top Israelis linked to Pollard. Espionage
veteran Rafi Eitan who headed the secret Defense Ministry unit that hired
Pollard is now the prestigious director of the Israeli chemical industry; Air
Force Colonel Aviem Sella, who has been indicted by the U.S. for
espionage, is now commander of Israel's second-largest air force base.


Facts Misstated
In Letter

On Feb. 27, a letter appeared
in The Jewish News under the
heading: "Poor Hospitality for
Arab Visitor." The Arab visitor
was an "Arab Israeli" who was
sharing the platform with an
"American Israeli" in a series
of discussions at the Jewish
Center under the general
heading: "Israel-Idealism-
Realism-Challenging the
Mind." The particular subject
assigned to these two speakers
was: "Dialogue Towards Co-
Existence: Struggle for Peace
in the Middle-East".
Anyone who participates in
such a controversial subject
should expect some debate and
dissent, should indeed wel-
come it in the search for an-
swers, and not take it as a lack
of hospitality for which any
apology is necessary.
The problem at this meeting,
in my opinion, was that the
speakers wished to discuss dis-
crimination against Arabs and
a violation of their civil rights


Friday, March 13, 1987

in Israel and not relate it to the
problems of peace in the Mid-
dle East. No one interrupted
them in their presentations.
Everyone listened courteously.
During the question and an-
swer period, emphatic and
emotional statements were
made. I heard no expression
that Walid Mula the Arab Is-
raeli, had no right to be in this
forum. Although there was
some disorder, both speakers
had a chance to answer ques-
tions and statements. I heard
no name calling or personal at-
tacks at the meeting.
Only the letter in The
Jewish News reduced the
meeting to that level.

Henry Faigin

The New Look

I want to compliment you on
the new issue of The Jewish
News. I enjoy reading the book
form with no loose pages fal-
ling out. Also, the news and the
advertising are in very good


All my family are subscrib-
ers and all are very impressed
by the new issue.

Mrs. Grace Finkel
Oak Park

Singles Welcome
At Synagogue

I want to express my thanks
to Heidi Press for her coverage
of our Havdalah Service at
Cong. B'nai Israel (Single Life
Feb 27).We had a traditional
service to wish the Sabbath
fairwell. The questions elicited
by Rabbi Kirshner were
thoughful and well taken by
those of us planning future
events. The Israel dancing
provided a wonderful means of
meeting other singles in an
active, non-threatening man-
This event was an outgrowth
of concern by the members of
Cong. B'nai Israel. They are
truly caring people. As a
single, I had trepidations about
my welcome to their services
and functions. I needn't have
worried. The members took me

in and consistently treat me as
an equal. This positive attitude
is reflected in their treatment
of other single members, the
young, the old, and all the
members and guests.

Sheila Miller
C.B.I. Singles chairman

Israelis Must Join
Jewish Community

I want to praise and applaud
David Holzel's article, "Down
To Goshen" (Feb. 6)xAs one of
the interviewees, myself an Is-
raeli living in America, I would
like to address the issue of
identity and belonging to the
American-Jewish society.
I believe that as long as we
are living in America, we can-
not and should not separate
ourselves from the Jewish
community. We cannot claim
to be Israelis as long as we are
here and we do not fulfil our
duties as Israeli citizens. We
have to become part of the
Jewish community and not re-
gard ourselves as Israelis who

have no obligations to the
(American) community which
has received us so warmlyx
How can we apply the Israeli
term "schnor" to the UJA,
when our children go to He-
brew schools and camps funded
by the Federation?
I disagree with the idea that
Israeli children living in
America cannot develop a
strong Jewish identity unless
they are Orthodox. Jews have
successfully maintained
Jewish identity in the Dias-
pora for many generations, and
they continue to do so all over
the world. By participating in
the life of the community and
accepting the fact that we, too,
are part of the Diaspora, we
will enable our children to be-
come active, productive mem-
bers of this community and
strengthen their Jewish iden-
Thinking about Israel, plan-
ning to go back "someday" and
speaking lovingly about it are
not enough.

Nira Lev

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