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October 30, 1987 - Image 7

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-10-30

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

CONTENTS

OPINION

Exchanging Ideas Is Helpful,
Some Debates Are Pointless

DAVID HOLZEL

T

he year is 1992. Yitzhak Shamir,
four years after stepping down as
Israel's prime minister, is
becoming a forgotten man. Also in 1992,
once super-terrorist Abu Nidal — his
Syrian patrons having withdrawn their
support and his organization having been
crushed by the Israelis and the Palestine
Liberation Organization — is welcomed
back to the PLO by Yassir Arafat. Sadly,
his activities in the Palestinian struggle
are restricted to kissing babies in Algiers.
By coincidence, both men have the
same New York publicity agent. The young
publicist, seeking a leg up in his organiza-
tion, comes up with a breakthrough promo-
tional idea.
The result is a debate between Shamir
and Abu Nidal which is quickly published

Community Center in Detroit sponsors a
book fair and invites the pair to appear .. .

in a book titled Agreeing To Disagree. Its
200 pages run something like this:
SHAMIR: The Jewish people has a
historical, immutable right to the whole
land of Israel. Our land shall never be
divided . . . The Camp David agreement
was a mistake. I never supported it .. .
Arabs and Jews will learn to coexist under
Israeli rule .. .
ABU NIDAL'S REBUTTAL: Armed
struggle is the only way to liberate
Palestine . . . The Palestinian Arab people
affirms its absolute resolution to pursue
the armed struggle and to work for an arm-
ed popular revolution .. .
"Finally Arabs and Israelis are talk-
ing!" the dust jacket blurb announces
breathlessly. 'Agreeing To Disagree is a
milestone on the road to Mideast recon-
ciliation."
In November of that year, the Jewish

The Arab-Israeli conflict is certainly a
growth industry, and not just for arms
manufacturers and suppliers. In 1987, the
American Jewish Committee's Hyman
Bookbinder and former Sen. James
Abourezk, a founder of the American-Arab
Anti-Discrimination Committee,
discovered a previously untapped angle in
the Arab-Israeli dispute and, coincidental-
ly, are reaping a little publicity and money
for themselves. Later this month, this
unlikely duo will promote their book,
Through Different Eyes, at our Book Fair.
While a Shamir-Abu Nidal tour sounds
like a nightmare, at least they are players
in the conflict. By contrast, Bookbinder and
Abourezk are mere voyeurs, which makes
their 1987 "road show" — as their publicist
describes it — all the more grotesque.
Their book purports to be a debate on
U.S. policy in the Middle East but, not sur-
prisingly, degenerates into a literary
shouting match about Israel and the
Palestinians. It is not a great stretch to im-
agine that the outcome of the planned
debate at the Book Fair will not be an
elucidation of American Mideast policy or
a step towards Jewish-Arab understanding.
A debate is not the place to search for com-
mon ground.
About the only profit that might come
from the pair's Book Fair appearance is
from the sale of books. In 1977 Abourezk
told the Washington Post "I hope I get rich
off the Arabs, because it sure as hell isn't
going to be with the Jews." He may have
been premature.
Bookbinder and Abourezk did not in-
vent this kind of medicine show for intellec-
tuals. But unlike the G. Gordon Liddy-
Timothy Leary tour of a while back (I, per-
sonally, would like to see a debate between
011ie North and Little Richard: "I love
America. It's the process that's slow. I still
believe I was doing my duty." "Duty? Don't
tell me about duty. I know my duty. And
it's beauty, and it's rooty, and you're frui-
ty. Wh000!") Abourezk and Bookbinder are
not dealing with trivialities.
Their debates will not help solve the
Arab-Israeli dispute because their success
as an act depends on their not reaching an
understanding. Book Fair organizers are
banking on Bookbinder prevailing in the
confrontation. Think of the nightmare
which would ensue if, while Abourezk was
holding forth on, say, the Israel-South
Africa connection, Bookbinder interrupted
to say: "I've been swayed by your analysis
of Israel's expansionist policies and usur-
pation of the Palestinian patrimony. I think
the U.S. should cut off all aid to Israel forth-
with?'
Of course this wouldn't happen,
because Bookbinder would be out of a job,
and so would Abourezk. So where does that
leave Israel under siege, the Palestinian

David Holzel is staff writer for The Jewish News.

Continued on Page 10

HYMAN BOOKBINDER AND JAMES G.ABOUREZK

TWO LEADING AMERICANS,
A JEW AND AN ARAB,
DEBATE U.S, POLICY
IN THE MIDDLE EAST

Moderated by David K., Shipie r

24

CLOSE-UP

Building The JARC

RONNA HALL
The Jewish Association for Retarded
Citizens has evolved from one house
for six residents to a multi-million
dollar social service agency.

59

PEOPLE

Chaff Flying

KAREN A. KATZ
A Jewish pilots' club
in Oakland County
has fun in the air,
and on the ground.

Flying Start

VICTOR PERRY
Israel's Air Force
had humble beginnings
in 1948.

71

ENTERTAINMENT

Metal Man

JUDY MARX
Sculptor Henry Friedman
creates beauty from junk.

86

AROUND TOWN

Bidding For JNF

The annual auction by Young Women
of Jewish National Fund involved
hundreds, and raised thousands.

106

SINGLE LIFE

Close Encounters
Of The Wrong Kind

LILA ORBACH
Date rape! It is a major problem,
hurting more women — and men —
than was commonly thought.

COLUMNISTS

2 Philip Slomovitz
74 Danny Raskin

DEPARTMENTS

28
40
42
68
83
85

88
92
97
104
106
138

Inside Washington
Life In Israel
Synagogues
For Women
Seniors
On Campus

Cooking
Youth
Engagements
Births
Single Life
Obituaries

CANDLELIGHTING

October 30, 1987

5:11 p.m.

71 IP rIMIDC1IT Erinao_u kirlurt

-

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