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September 11, 1987 - Image 6

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-09-11

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

EDITORIAL

Shcharansky's Challenge

Natan Shcharansky has come to North America for two weeks
to deliver a two-fold message: that Soviet leader Gorbachev's policy
of Glasnost, or openness, is more glitter than substance; and that
the Jews of the West have an historic opportunity to help ensure that
the Soviet gates of emigration are opened wide. (See story, Page 1.)
The former Prisoner of Zion is deeply concerned that Glasnost
has been a public relations success, even in the Jewish community,
and that there is widespread complacency here regarding the Soviet
Jewry movement. He said the release of long-time refuseniks like
Yosef Begun and Viktor Brailovsky are "cosmetic gestures" to divert
our attention away from the main problem, and that we should not
be satisfied with the release of a few well-known dissidents while
hundreds of thousands of Jews are refused permission to leave the
USSR.
Shcharansky is here to "re-charge" the Soviet Jewry movement
and mobilize support for a planned mass demonstration in
Washington on the eve of Gorbachev's U.S. visit, probably in late
November. The fate of the two million Jews of the USSR is not in
the hands of Gorbachev or the KGB, he said this week, but in our
hands.
His is a challenge we must respond to. Detroit is blessed with
a large, responsive and well-organized Jewish community, and now
is the time for the leadership to begin plans to mobilize massive
numbers for what should be an historic deomonstration. And time
for each of us to commit ourselves to participate in this opportunity
to act on behalf of our brethren in the Soviet Union.

as any other American. We can slander our president in front of our
neighbors, express doubtful opinions about our congressmen, write
our newspapers, and never once do we fear the proverbial midnight
knock at our door.
That isn't to say that America's is a perfect society. Far from it.
Jews and other minorities in this great country still worry about
the separation of church and state, equal protection under the law,
civil rights issues, and join all Americans in debates over a host of
social problems. But in doing so, we take for granted that _central
fabric that has held us together and at the same time protected us
for 200 years: the United States Constitution.
It is a fragile document, a collection of ideas that has allowed
this great nation to grow, to change, to correct its ills and to face
the future. At the same time, it has joined, separated, and protected
disparate individuals and groups of peoples into a great nation, pull-
ing us forward in our separate ways.

LOOK! AT VAST

TERM A LIGHT
AT THE BEeifiNiNa

L CF

1HE TUNNEL f!

Freedom's Birthday

One strong measure of the success of the United States Constitu-
tion is how much we take it for granted. The vast majority of
Americans have taken a ho-hum approach to this coming week's
bicentennial birthday for the most-famous guarantor of individual
freedoms in the world. We may be ho-hum, but it is comfortable to
know that this old document is still working for us.
Jews make up a small minority of America's 230,000,000 citizens.
Yet we have just as strong a say about issues affecting this nation

m DE iNcit LEADERS

LETTERS

Fear God,
Not Men

Could anything have been
done in order to prevent the
Holocaust?
The Christian clergy was
the only segment of the Euro-
pean society who possessed
greater influence over the
people than Hitler and the
Nazis. Their intervention
forced Hitler to discontinue
the mercy killing of the men-
tally ill. They were in a posi-
tion to stop the annihilation
of the Jewish people by an all
out campaign against the
Nazi madness.
It is true that some Chris-
tian clergymen who
demonstrated opposition to
Hitler's policies were in-
carcerated in concentration
camps, therefore, it was too
risky to speak up and criticize
Nazi policies. However, this
fear should not have

6

FRIDAY, SEPT, 11, 1987

presented the clergy from ac-
ting on behalf of the destitute
Jews. A true believer should
never fear men — only God

To many Christian
clergymen who collaborated
with the Nazis, or to many
who . . . kept silent, the an-
nihilation of the Jewish peo-
ple was an act against those
they considered heretic, in-
fidel, Christ killers, (and) who
deserve their fate.

Martin Shlanger

Oak Park

fostering better relations bet-
ween Christians and Jews, he
seems to under estimate the
tremendous damage
Waldheim's visit with the
Pope created .. .
Rabbi Tanenbaum sees the
90 minutes the Pope granted
the Jewish representatives as
a significant indication of an
improved dialogue.
How much more pain and
knee-bending do we have to
endure before we are treated
as equals? .. .

Alfreda Natowicz

Farmington Hills

Too Much
Knee-Bending

I don't have strong enough
adjectives to convey my reac-
tion, when I finished reading
"Preparing for the Pope"
(Aug. 28).
With all due respect for
Rabbi Tanenbaum, for his
wisdom, and achievements in

Teaching
The Professor

I wish to applaud the
superb letter of Debbie
Schlussel on the Norris
diatribe against Bork (Let-
ters, Sept. 4). This intelligent
woman can teach the learned
professor not only logic and

constitutional law but also
simple fair play to listen to
both sides first .. .

to give support to the survival
of beleaguered Israel.

Milton J. Steinhardt

President,
Detroit Zionist Federation

Southfield

Papal Actions
Disappoint

The Detroit Zionist Federa-
tion . . . acknowledges the
mutual understanding that
has existed for many years
with the local Catholic com-
munity. However, we find
ourselves disappointed and
pained at the Pope's recent
meeting with Kurt
Waldheim, at the Vatican's
refusal to recognize the state
of Israel, and at the apparent
lack of sensitivity to the
Holocaust that killed a third
of our people.
We hope that the Pope will
assert his moral leadership to
isolate those associated with
crimes against humanity and

Norman Naimark

Though Jewish-American
organizations have decided to
meet with Pope John Paul II
during his current visit to the
United States, the National
Jewish Law Students Net-
work wishes to reaffirm its
pain — and that of the whole
Jewish people — over His
Holiness' meeting with
Austrian President Kurt
Waldheim earlier this year.
Nevertheless,. the network
believes that dialogue bet-
ween our two faiths must con-
tinue. It is the network's hope
that dialogue will lead to an
understanding why such a
meeting should take place
"Never Again" .. .

Michael Well

Regional Director,
National Jewish
Law Students Network

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