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October 02, 1987 - Image 30

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-10-02

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PURELY COMMENTARY

Candidates' Speech

Continued from Page 2

changes in tactics or priorities,
but I assure you that there are
some firm premises I will bring
to the 'White House that will re-
main firm:
I will not shrink from using
American strength, especially
when direct American in-
terests are threatened, or
when long-term allies, in-
cluding Israel, are in danger —
and a strong, credible defense
will always be in place — but
we will always prefer non-
military responses to events,
not only because they are
preferable on humane
grounds or because any war
could trigger a nuclear
disaster, but because they can
be more effective and more
lasting.
There is no more convinc-
ing proof that American
foreign policy is directed not
only against evil forces in the
world but for noble goals of
mankind than our firm,
unyielding support of human
rights. Even though our own
history is not free from ugly
stains — slavery, Jim Crow
laws, anti-Semitism, McCar-
thyism — we have committed
this nation to equality and
freedom at home, and we have
committed our resources and
our influence to human rights
around the world. Our perfor-
mance, unfortunately, has not
always lived up to our profess-
ed principles.
Precious words from
Leviticus adorn our Liberty
Bell: "Proclaim liberty
throughout all the land unto
all the inhabitants thereof."
These words we proclaim not
only for our own land but for
all the world. We cannot
realistically be directly involv-
ed in every struggle on every
occasion to win human rights
for all the inhabitants of the
earth, but wherever the strug-
gle does erupt sharply,
whenever our strength and
our influence can make a dif-
ference — whether in leftist or
rightist regimes — I want our
nation to be responsive in an
appropriate manner. That's
why we will never abandon
the struggle for Soviet Jewry.
That's why we must
strengthen our efforts to end
apartheid. That's why we must
seek more than a contra vic-
tory in Nicaragua.
This remarkable policy statement
also introduces attitudes generally
advocated by the vast majority of
American Jews in all fields of social
justice, for human civil rights, for
fairness in dealing with the oppress-
ed and the less fortunate.

30

FRIDAY, OCT. 2, 1987

Hyman Bookbinder has prepared
a very convincing and appealing
statement that must be taken into ac-
count in the approaching presidential
campaign. Some candidates may
resort to it. On the record it is a state-
ment which, as its author introduces
it, will have general approval. What
Bookbinder has assembled are facts
of life. There is no separating from
them.

Are There Defectors?
Surely, not all candidates will
adopt this text as part of their plat-
forms. Some may even take issue with
it. Some may inject negatives into it.
Note the latest Jesse Jackson
blunder. He has many Jewish ad-
mirers. Once again an uncontrolled
temper led to bad judgement.
Nevertheless, in the main, even
the Rev. Jesse Jackson has a positive
approach to the just rights of Jews to
strive for the security of the redeem-
ed homeland.
The positive note on the
Bookbinder theme will always
challenge the defectors.

The Jewish-Arab Debate
This is not the first time Hyman
Bookbinder is in the limelight. Nor is
the advocacy of Israel-U.S. cooperation
a new theme. Bookbinder, as the
representative of the American
Jewish Committee and as an ac-
complished debater who dominates
the platform, is known for his views
in the nation's capital, among

legislators and eminent American
leaders. The team he has helped form,
including himself and former U.S.
Senator James Abourezk for a tour of
several cities where they will clash on
the Israel-Arab issues, is exceedingly
interesting.
Bookbinder's impending debates
with Abourezk are intended to clarify
the conflicting views. Hopefully they
will.
The character of the two men
should provide an assurance that the
venom previously experienced in such
exchanges of conflicting ideas will not
be repeated.
We had sad examples of
discourtesies. They have been con-
tinuous and endless. In the mid-1930s
an exchange of the differing views
was arranged and included the late
Dr. A. M. Hershman and an Arab
spokesman. There was a packed au-
dience for that event at the Detroit In-
stitute of Arts. It ended abruptly
when Rabbi Hershman's opponent
resorted to abuse.
In the mid-1940s a similar event
was arranged in the Saginaw Conser-
vative synagogue by Rabbi Joseph
Katz. Judge Frank Picard, then chair-
man of the Michigan Chapter of the
American Christian Palestine Com-
mittee, presided. This commentator
was the Jewish representative. There
were three other participants, in-
cluding a Michigan State University
professor whose leanings were pro-
Arab. While I was speakin&the Arab
spokesman, a University of Michigan

graduate student, kept interrupting
with shouts: "Jewish propaganda."
When I referred to an article in the
New York Times he shouted "Jew
paper." The audience, some of whose
guests were described as leaning
toward anti-Semitism, cheered him.
The event ended so distressingly that
the MSU pro-Arab professor treated
my opponent with disgust in his
summary.
The participants in the ill-fated
Saginaw meeting included the Rev.
John Grauel. The revered Christian
Zionist, who has through the years
advocated the Zionist cause and
Israel's just rights in the family of na-
tions in churches as well as Jewish
assemblies, was a shipmate aiding
the refugees from Nazism on the SS
Exodus which was denied admission
to Palestine by the British mandatory
power. As we waited for an interurban
bus to take us back to Detroit at the
Saginaw bus station that midnight,
John Grauel and the MSU professor
shared their horror that some guests
at the synagogue function should
have shouted anti-Semitic slogans
and the Arab's presentation should
have been filled with much venom.
Surely, the Bookbinder Abourezk
debates could not possibly permit
abuses. Hopefully they will lead
toward better understanding with
leanings toward peace, amity and
cooperation in both ranks. There is no
reason, in a civilized society, for any
other approaches to matters that have
hitherto been unhappily bitter.

Henry II: A Ford Who Rose Above Hatred

An inerasable chapter that could be
placed under the title "Expiation" or
"Redemption" or half a dozen other
synonyms for "Atonement" is present-
ly being recalled as an obituary for
Henry Ford II. There could be no
greater tribute to a man who, carrying
the agonized memory of a grandfather
who fanned flames of hatred against
the Jewish people, rose to great heights
in erasing legacies of venom and
establishing a name of glory for his own
generation.
Henry Ford II, who died Tuesday at
Ford Hosptial after a grave illness, was
well aware of the seeds of hatred that
were planted by a sinning grandfather.
He must have experienced the mistreat-
ment accorded his father, Edsel Ford, by
grandfather Henry Ford I. He learned
compassion and charity and human-
itarianism from his mother, Mrs. Edsel
Ford.
Therefore, there was a noble shar-
ing of kindnesses and devotions by
Henry Ford II with his mother.
Everything that was rejected in the
hatred of the elder Ford was elevated to
a high rank in humanitarianism and
philanthropy by the atoning genera-
tion. While the elder Ford also was
known to be kind to Jews: worked
in his plants, this was the exception to
his way of life that was dedicated to
publishing hate articles and the vicious

Max Fisher and Henry Ford II at 1979
Technion dinner.

fakes known as the Protocols of the
Elders of Zion. One of the first acts in
the life of Henry Ford II was to have his
grandfather's chief guide and adviser,
Harry Bennett, drive him around the
Ford residential area a nd the Dearborn
Ford plant. Upon the end of the drive
he motioned to the m an who was con-
sidered among the evil family spirits
and ordered him out that very day from
everything associated with the Fords.

Then began the four decades of
nobility under the Ford name that com-
menced with a high grade of decency.
The bigotries began to disappear,
republication of anything resembling
bias against Jews was never to be con-
doned. The Henry Ford II associations
were to be with the noblest in the
community.
It is no wonder that Max M. Fisher
and his Marjorie became Ford's closest
friends. It is no wonder that Henry Ford
II and Max Fisher became "buddies" in
the noblest sense of the term. It is no
wonder that Mrs. Edsel Ford, whose
gifts to the arts and literature were
blessings for the Insittute of Arts, the
Library, the Symphony, should have
had Max as a guiding spirit.
Thus, when Henry Ford II began
contributing $100,000 a year to the
United Jewish Appe through the
Detroit Allied Jewish Campaign, his
mother supplement:: with an annual
personal gift. They were among other
notable gifts to major causes.
There was a deeply-moving ex-
perience when Mrs. Edsel Ford died.
The annual UJA gifts were not to be
ended abruptly. The executors of her
will decided to continue the UJA con-
tribution for another year as a mark of
respect for the deep interest the
remarkable lady had shown in Israel
and the need to aid Israel's builders and _

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