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October 02, 1987 - Image 6

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

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

'EDITORIAL

On Yom Kippur

At sundown tonight, we conclude the solemn week of introspec-
tion and inner questioning that began with Rosh Hashanah. With
Yom Kippur, we come before God, as it were, one-to-one and face-to-
face. Collectively and individually, as a people and as persons, we
ask for forgiveness of our sins. Vows and oaths are annulled, not
because they were errors or misjudgments, but to free us from the
oppression of guilt. We can start afresh and act out of goodness, not
out of obligation.
On Yom Kippur, on this Day of Atonement, the Jewish people
experience, perhaps, their strongest sense of partnership and cove-
nant with God. On this day, we sense that if we strive with all our
energies to redress the wrongs we have done, we will be restored with
a sense of harmony and wholeness.
And, perhaps, we also realize our strongest sense that our fates
as persons and as a people are inextricably intertwined. As we fast,
as we concentrate on the prayers and the task of the day, as we hear
the long blast of the shofar that ends Yom Kippur, let us remember
that, for the Jew, collective and individual redemption are often
synonymous; let us remember that the call, "Next year in
Jerusalem! " refers to the fate of the soul of the Jewish nation, and
to the fate of the soul of each Jewish person.

the memories of the Jewish community and recoup some Jewish
business. Fortunately, that argument does not stand up to the balance
sheet. Ford lost more business in the Arab world because of the Arab
boycott of Israel than the company ever gained in the U.S. or Israel.
And while his annual donations to the UJA may have been small
in relation to the size of his personal fortune, they were significant
in relation to the annual campaigns and for what his donations stood
for.
Hank the Deuce will also be remembered for his vast contribu-
tions to this city and all its people. He was in the forefront of revitaliz-
ing Detroit physically and spiritually after the 1967 riots, and his
successful restructuring of the Ford Motor Co. is of inestimable im-
portance to this city's future.
Henry Ford II will not make the Jewish people forget the hateful
deeds of his grandfather. But he added an equally-important chapter
on the positive side of the ledger.

Polishing A Name

There are still a few Jews who refuse to buy a Ford automobile.
The memories of the crimes against the Jewish people perpetrated
by the misguided founder of the Ford Motor Co. still linger for the
older generation. It is not easy to forget Henry Ford's Dearborn In-
dependent, the abuse heaped on the Jewish community through ,
tirades against,the "international Jew;' and Ford's support for Royal
Oak's resident anti-Semite of the 1930s, Fr. Charles Coughlin.
Henry Ford II could not eliminate the hateful history of his grand-
father. And arguably, he did not try.
Some skeptics will say that Henry II made contributions to the
United Jewish Appeal and built an auto plant in Israel to silence

LETTERS

AJC Statement
Unfortunate'
It is unfortunate that an

important. American-Jewish
organization has taken a
public stand concerning an
issue which is clearly to be
decided in the Israeli,political
process (American Jewish
Congress supporting an inter-
national peace conference).
It is well known that the
Israeli Cabinet is debating
this issue and as of this
writing has reached no
definitive stand.
American Jews and their
responsible organizations,
have the right and even the
obligation to contribute their
views on issues and events
concerning Israeli society,
ethos and culture, as well as
their hopes and aspirations.
However, our comments and
interventions transgress the
obligation of responsibility
when they trespass into
issues of Israel's security and
political future.

6

FRIDAY, OCT, 2, 1987

In these areas to indulge in
public pronouncements may
not only be counterproductive
but also harmful to Israel.
Such matters are much bet-
ter served by being confined
to private deliberations in the
appropriate American-Jewish
roof organizations or in-
dividuals and organizations
can communicate their views
to members of the Israel
government .. .

Bernice S. Tannenbaum

Chairman,
World Zionist Organization
American Section, New York

Unwitting
Aid To Soviets

Last month the American
Bar Association (ABA) held
its annual meeting in San
Francisco. The only major
controversy was over the
ABA's cooperative relation-
ship with a group calling
itself the "Association of
Soviet Lawyers" (ASL). The
ASL, a KGB-dominated pro-

paganda arm of the Soviet
government, used to
persecute and imprison
dissidents within the Soviet
borders and to spread pro-
paganda throughout the
world.
Inexplicably, the ABA-ASL
Declaration of Cooperation,
signed by the ABA and the
_ ASL in 1986, describes the
ASL as pledged to "the rule
of law" and other goals of
freedom. These statements
would be laughable if the con-
sequences weren't so dire to
those who languish in the
Gulag. The Declaration of
Cooperation with the
prestigious ABA is intended
by the Soviets to mask the
tyranny which is the Soviet
"justice" system. Tragically, a
resolution to abrogate the for-
mal ties was defeated by the
ABA governing body this
year.
A key contributing factor to
this tragic mistake was the
role of some major Jewish
organizations, which for
reasons unknown to me saw

fit to assist Soviet propagan-
da by supporting the con-
tinuation of ABA-Soviet for-
mal ties.
Most disturbing was the
position of the Anti-
Defamation League of B'nai
B'rith, which last year joined
many others in condemning
the ties. This year, something
happened within the ADL
which surely should be of con-
cern to all Jews. The ADL
reversed its position following
a "debate" of the issue within
the ADL national governing
body.
The Independent Task
Force on ABA-Soviet Rela-
tions members, the human
rights activists closely
monitoring the anti-Semitic
activities of the ASL, re-
quested permission to appear
at the ADL "debate" to pre-
sent the argument for abroga-
tion of the Declaration of
Cooperation. The ADL
leadership refused to allow us
to appear (at our own ex-
pense), or to submit materials
to all the decision makers set-

ting forth the ASL's anti-
Semitic, anti-Zionist ac-
tivities perpetrated since the
signing of the Declaration.
Following an ostensible
"debate" by internal ADL
personnel, in which the pro-
abrogation position was
presented by persons actual-
ly favoring the other side, the
ADL adopted its new position
supporting ABA-Soviet for-
mal ties.
Former Soviet dissidents,
including Natan Scharansky,
Dr. Anatoly Koryagin, Dr.
Yuri Orlov, and Zachar Zun-
shein, have pleaded with the
ABA to abrogate its Declara-
tion of Cooperation with the
Soviets. It appears that,
despite its honored history,
the ADL has lost its moral
compass. The ADL's aid to
Soviet anti-Semitissm and
propaganda, witting or unwit- .
ting, is inexcusable, as is the
manner in which it conducted
its "debate."

William J. Wolfe

Independent Task Force on
ABA-Soviet Relations, Phoenix-

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