100%

Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Share

Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

The University of Michigan Library provides access to these materials for educational and research purposes. These materials may be under copyright. If you decide to use any of these materials, you are responsible for making your own legal assessment and securing any necessary permission. If you have questions about the collection, please contact the Bentley Historical Library at bentley.ref@umich.edu

June 19, 1987 - Image 30

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-06-19

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

PURELY COMMENTARY

Anti-Semitism And Japan

Continued from Page 2

percent of the Japanese popula-
tion doesn't know what
Judaism or people of Jewish
origin are," says Walter J. Cit-
rin, a businessman who is
chairman of Tokyo's Jewish
Community Center. "They just
consider them foreigners."
Still, he is worried. "We feel
the contents of these books will
create a wrong impression
among Japanese young people,"
possibly leading to anti-
Semitism, says Citrin.
A few foreigners believe it is
already here and that the books
are a new sign that nationalist
extremism is on the rise in Ja-
pan. "Anti-Semitism has greater
intellectual currency and re-
spectability in Japan than in
perhaps any other indus-
trialized society," wrote David
G. Goodman, a University of Il-
linois specialist on Japan, in a
recent letter to the New York

Times.

Japanese commentators
tend to see the books as gener-
ally benign, a passing fad that
shows how ignorant the
Japanese remain of the world
beyond their shores. "The books
sell well because of the
Japanese' feelings of isolation,"
says Jewish-studies specialist
Shichihei Yamamoto. "Japanese
are being criticized from all
over the world and they want to
know who is doing it and why."
The resentment of what has arisen
in an area where there are so few Jews
caused more alarm in American Jewish
communities than in Japan itself. In
Chicago, for example, a group hopes to
initiate a boycott of Japan. The think-
ing is that there can be an end to
Japanese bias in the literary world if a
boycott is initiated, just as some 20
years ago an anti-Israel government
action was squelched in Mexico. But in
Mexico it was the government that was
biased and cancellation of thousands of
tourists' reservations brought desired
results.
There is hardly a comparison in
the two situations, the Japanese being
a prejudice initiated by authors.
Prejudice often pays off, as it does
in Japan, where anti-Jewish books re-
sulted in large circulations.
There probably will never be an
end to "scapegoatism" when the Jew is
available for prejudice that paid off. It
is the "familiarity" that is disgusting.
We learn that much from John
Burgess' report in the Washington Post.

International Red Cross:
Duped During Holocaust

Whenever evidence is provided of
the guilt of the Holocaust, it must be
emphasized, even if it is repetitive.
The American Red Cross leader-
ship has tried, it appears, to adhere to
a policy of justice in the treatment ac-
corded the Magen David Adorn, Israel's
counterpart of the Red Cross. The In-
ternational Red Cross nevertheless re-
fuses to pay attention to the appeals of
the American member and pursues a
prejudiced policy toward Israel. The
recognition given last year to the
Arabs' Red Crescent, while denying
such equality to Magen David Adorn,

gives proof of the bias.
Does the repeated prejudiced action
of 1986 echo the movement's failure to
provide mercy to the Nazis' victims in
the early 1940s? A letter by Gil Troy, a
Harvard University PhD candidate,
corrects a misapprehension and relates
the recorded Holocaust facts. Gil Troy
wrote:
Flora Lewis, in "The Guilt
of Doing Nothing" (column, May
15), dismisses as "nonsense" the
notion that the International
Red Cross could have inspected
World War II concentration
camps, delivered packages and
otherwise aided the suffering
Jews. This, she states, is only
common in our more
"humanitarian" era. If only it
were so.
Unfortunately, the Red
Cross not only did not help the
suffering Jews, but it played
into Nazi hands as well. The
Red Cross did inspect a camp,
the so-called model camp,
Theresienstadt. Satisfied with a
superficial look at the or-
chestra, the children's facilities
and spruced-up barracks, Red
Cross inspectors gave their
blessing to an artifice. This
helped perpetuate the German
charade by discrediting the
accurate reports trickling in
about concentration camp hor-
rors.
Worse, the Red Cross re-
fused to minister to Jews in-
carcerated in the camps. The
International Red Cross aided
prisoners of war. The national
Red Cross organizations aided
civilian internees. The Jews, be-
longing to neither category,
were deprived of Red Cross
packages. The Germans de-
lighted in this casuistry.
By 1944, the International
Red Cross began to help the
Jews. But these tardy efforts
only served to underline what
later Red Cross commissions
and scholars like Nora Levin in
"The Holocaust: The Destruc-
tion of European Jewry, 1933-
45" confirmed — that the Inter-
national Red Cross joined the
Allies in the conspiracy of si-
lence.

Recollections of the horrors that
are collectively titled "The Holocaust"
keep reminding the generations of the
crimes against the Jews that have be-
come atrocities against mankind.
There are reminiscences as well as
deeply-moving narratives, some of
which have developed into novels of
great merit.
In addition, a continuing flow of
books deals with Israel and the Middle
East.
There are many novels devoted to
Israel. Many are mystery stories. In the
latter category is Pattern Crimes, a
novel by William Bayer (Villard
Books). It's a mystery story about a
murder in Jerusalem, with Arabs and
Jews and Israeli detectives in the cast
of characters.
The status of the Middle East is
constantly studied and Israel is
endlessly under scrutiny. In Sands of
Sorrow: Israel's Journey From Inde-
pendence (Harper and Row), Milton
Viorst takes into account all of the
inner struggles as well as the confron-
tations of the Jewish state. The crises
are analyzed and criticisms abound.
Himself a confirmed Zionist, Viorst has
a practical approach to the issues.

This helps explain the an-
guished response to the recent
Red Cross name change to the
International Movement of the
Red Cross and the Red Cres-
cent, when it refused to recog-
nize the Magen David Adom,
the Red Shield of David Society
in Israel. This insensitivity rubs
salt in unhealed — and often
unacknowledged — wounds.
Nora Levin's Holocaust revelations
in The Holocaust contain voluminous
exposes of the manner in which the In-
ternational Red Cross was duped into
believing that the camp which has
served as preparatory transfer points
for Nazi victims destined for the death
camps were model homes for temporary
guests. In a detailed account of the
rounding up of Yugoslav Jews, most of
them women, for the death camps,
Nora Levin appended the following as a
post-war expose:
Soon after the war, the

Viorst takes into account the cur-
rent disputes over the arms sales to
Iran. He also deals with the U.S. and
USSR relationships and he makes
these comments on that score:
The Israeli leadership's ex-
planation for sending arms to
the Khomeini regime raises a
further fundamental question.
(Shimon) Peres, serving now as
foreign minister under Israel's
`rotation' agreement, has con-
tinued to be dependent. "We did
not sell arms," he told the Knes-
set. "We refused arms and we
delivered arms ... This is not an
Israeli operation. This is a mat-
ter for the United States, not for
Israel ... Israel was asked to
help and we did it." If his words
suggest that Israel submitted to
an American request against its
better judgment, it would not be
the first time. In 1985, Israel
consented to the installation on
its territory of a Voice of

Yugoslav State Commission re-
ported that these Jews had
been deported to the death
camps in Poland. In 1948, the
International Red Cross laconi-
cally reported that "three
camps were known to be
situated in Serbia. The de-
tainees who had been quartered
there temporarily were after-
wards taken to an unknown
destination and nothing further
was heard of them." No Serbian
Jews were deported to Poland,
however. The "unknown desti-
nation" was the gassing van.
Even at this point, the Interna-
tional Red Cross treated the horror "la-
conically." Such accusations cannot al-
ways be kept secret.
It is tragic that the facts keep
emerging, many shamefully. These are
the lessons of history — admonishing
unforgetfulness.

Enriching Bookshelves
By Jewish Authors

America transmitter to beam
propaganda broadcasts to the
Soviet Union. Some Israelis ex-
pressed concern that a decision
would provide Moscow with
further reason to deny the
emigration of Soviet Jews, long
an objective of Israeli foreign
policy, indeed of Zionism itself.
It is no doubt appropriate for
Israel to take an extra step to
accommodate the United States.
A client owes as much to a
generous patron. But to ac-
commodate the United States,
how often has Israel been asked
to violate its better judgment,
even its national interests; and
what is likely to be asked of it
in the future. The arms incident
following on the heels of the
transmitter decision, raises the
question whether Israel, in
tying itself so closely to Ameri-
can policy, has grown accus-
tomed to compromising its in-
dependence.
Therefore the Viorst book serves
an important purpose in arousing dis-
cussion over the pragmatism of Israeli
policies.
The variety of books in the grow-
ing library by Jews about Jews in-
cludes a variety of topics dealing with
social and family problems.
A volume noteworthy in the new
list is Talking With Your Aging Par-
ents by Mark A. Edinberg (Random
House). Counseling about the elderly
and family relations is authoritatively
discussed by the author whose experi-
ences qualify him highly for the task.
Love, Medicine and Miracles by Be-
rnie S. Siegel (Harper and Row) is a
book about healing and survival. Dr.
Siegel treats the vast subject, including
confrontations with serious illnesses,
out of long personal experiences.

Israeli Ambassador Benjamin
Netanyahu took possession of 500 files
from the UN War Crimes Archives on
June 8. The files had been sequestered
by the United Nations since 1948,
hampering a number of criminal
investigations.

Back to Top

© 2020 Regents of the University of Michigan