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May 22, 1987 - Image 6

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-05-22

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Calling For Peace

We would like to propose a unique Mideast peace conference —
one that would bring together for civil discussions parties that have
been obstinate and intractable in the past. We may be naive but we
think such talks are possible and could have beneficial results for all
No, we are not talking about bringing the Israelis, Arabs,
Americans and Soviets to Geneva. We are talking about bringing
together the feuding factions of the Israeli coalition, the so-called unity
government, to sit down and work out their differences together in
Jerusalem rather than acting them out on the world stage. With Prime
Minister Shamir and Foreign Minister Peres calling each other nasty
names, canceling each other's cable messages and each telling the U.S.
that the other one is a liar, who needs enemies?
A coalition or unity government requires a modicum of mutual
respect and decency. The events of the past week, the public bitterness
expressed between Peres and Shamir, have not only hurt their
particular causes but have been an embarrassment to the State of
Israel. Peres vowed to either convince the Cabinet to endorse his
proposed Mideast peace conference or step down. Having been
outmaneuvered by Shamir, he did neither. The current stalemate is
certain to have a paralyzing effect on the already constrained Israeli

Jim Lyons challenged his audience to remember individual respon-
sibility for the Holocaust, to abhor the insolence of a Klaus Barbie,
the Butcher of Lyon, who contemptuously rejects a French court's
right to try him for crimes against humanity. In effect, Lyons
challenged us to make peace with our neighbors, to foster greater
understanding between racial and ethnic groups in Detroit and to rid
ourselves of stereotypical thinking and bias.
For if we don't, we Jews — of all people — have learned nothing
from the martyrdom of our six million brethren. Their lesson must be
carried beyond the walls of the Auschwitz exhibit at WSU, beyond the
walls of individual visits to the Holocaust Memorial Center or Yad
Vashem, beyond annual memorial meetings.
If we do not use the Holocaust in a positive way, as a lesson to
move forward, to better our lives and those of our neighbors, then we
have allowed the Nazis the ultimate victory. Truly, we will have
become like them.



Auschwitz Responsibility

REPoiriNG Mom

"Auschwitz: A Crime Against Mankind" is an exhibition of
Holocaust artifacts that will overwhelm the Jewish visitor. But a non-
Jewish speaker at the opening ceremonies last Sunday at Wayne State
University's Community Arts Auditorium asked Jews to guard against
being overwhelmed by the feelings of anger, the feelings of loss and
the feelings of blame that will come from viewing the exhibition
which continues for one more week in Detroit.
Rev. James Lyons of the Ecumenical Institute for Jewish-Christian
Studies pulled the audience from its sense of remembrance. He called
for Jews and non-Jews to remember, but to walk away from the Polish
exhibition with a sense of the future, with a responsibility to not
repeat the murderous error of the Nazis: to indiscriminately cast



All Jews Have
Stake In Elections

The last several issues of

The Jewish News carried

some prominent ads by a
number of Zionist organiza-
tions affiliated with the
American Zionist Federation,
urging your readers to vote
for their slate in the forth-
coming elections for the
World Zionist Congress.
Although not all of your
readers are members of a
Zionist organization, all of
them have a stake in the re-
sults of the elections. Why?
These elections are a part of
a democratic process which
allows American Jews to par-
ticipate in what is effectively
a parliament of the Jewish -
people which will deliberate
and decide on some very im-
portant issues and policies
that will have a tremendous
effect on the future of Israel
and on the role (of) Diaspora
(Jewry).. .
As an active member of the
Zionist Organization of
America and the Metropoli-


Friday, May 22, 1987

tan Detroit District I call for
an open, honest and non-
recriminatory campaign; for
the support of organizations
which are based on liberal
principles, moderation and
democracy in Jewish life;
and, upon every Zionist who
will receive the ballot in the
very near future, to vote.

Louis Panush

National Honorary
Vice President, ZOA

Incisive Analysis

Congratulations on an out-
standing issue published May
8. I particularly want to
commend the dean of Jewish
journalists, Philip Slomovitz,
on his searching and incisive
analysis of the Pollard situa-
tion and its implication for
the relationship of American
Jews with the government of
the State of Israel.
I thoroughly appreciated
and agreed with the analysis
of the American rabbinate by
Gary Tobin (Op-Ed).
I concur, with great sad-
ness, with the statement of


Rabbi Jack Goldman (Let-
ters) highlighting the la-
mentable condition of our
local kashrut situation, espe-
cially the recent incident per-
taining to "Franklingate."
Many Reform Jews purchase
kosher meat.

Ernst J. Conrad

Founding Rabbi Emeritus
Temple Kol Ami

Reform Torah
Study Group

Your recent article, "For
Its Own Sake" (May 8), that
described Torah study groups
springing up locally gave me
the desire to inform your
readers of a local group that
represents Reform Jewish
teenagers in Michigan's Re-
form temples. The youth of
MSTY (Michigan State Tem-
ple Youth), along with sev-
eral other regions of North
American Federation of Tem-
ple' Youth have taken on a
program called "Torah
Corps. . ."
The group meets on Shab-
bat afternoons with local

rabbis in our congregations,
and studies Torah and
themes such as "Kevah vs.
Kevanah," "Encounters with
the Text" and "The Spiritual-
ity of Jewish Life." Though it
is a relatively small begin-
ning, with 15-20 teenagers in
our region participating, it is
a very good beginning for
such an intense Torah study
program.. .

Rob Nosanchuk

Vice President
Michigan State Temple Youth

Kurt Waldheim Is
Guilty Of Chutzpah

The controversy about Dr.
Kurt Waldheim has erupted
once again. There are those
who brand this Austrian
statesman a Nazi war criminal.
There is no evidence that Dr.
Waldheim was an active Nazi
or a war criminal. He merely
belonged to a Nazi student
organization, which in those
days was necessary, if you
wanted to be part of student
sports activities. Dr. Waldheim

did not initiate or carry out any
Nazi atrocities against
Yugoslav partisans, Jews or
American fliers shot down
behind enemy lines. His in-
volvement in these activities
was an assignment consistent
with the duties of a Wehrmacht
intelligence officer .. .
After the war, Germans in-
volved in the war were differen-
tiated into "members of Nazi
Party" and mitlaufer. The lat-
ter term is difficult to translate;
it literally means someone who
runs along. Dr. Waldheim was
neither a true Nazi nor a war
criminal; he was merely a


We, the victims of the
Holocaust, classified Nazi
zealots as "bad Germans" and
those who merely performed
their duties as "good Germans."
By these pragmatic criteria Dr.
Waldheim would have been con-
sidered "a good German" and
not subject to any prosecution

Dr. Waldheim, in my view, is
not guilty of war crimes but he
stands convicted of monumen-

Continued on Page 10

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