TOPIN ► ON
Jesse Jackson Plants Distrust
Between Blacks And Jews
ven the required political oppor-
tunism of a presidential campaign
has not succeeded in hiding the Rev.
Jesse Jackson's hostility and total insen-
sitivity toward Jewish concerns and issues.
For those who might have believed that
Mr. Jackson has tempered his views on
political and social issues of major impor-
tance to Jews have a rude awakening if
they read the extensive interview con-
ducted by Michael Lerner, editor of Tikkun,
in the magazine's November-December
The lengthy discussion leaves little
question that Mr. Jackson has had a dif-
ficult time in coming to grips with his an-
tagonism toward Jews. If it isn't anti-
Semitism, it comes close.
What gives the interview unusual im-
portance is that it was conducted by Tik-
kun, a liberal publication which it would
be expected, would deal more kindly with
Mr. Jackson. Discussing a wide range of
Jesse Jackson: Hostile and insensitive
topics, Jackson was incapable or unwilling
to express sympathy or agreement with
some highly volatile issues which go right
to the heart of the Jewish body politic.
On the Middle East, calling for a
greater dialogue between Arabs and Israel
and expansion of the Camp David accords,
Jackson states that such Arab countries as
Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran and even
Libya "already accept the state of Israel as
That fact, of course, is news to Israel
and Jews but it probably is news to these
Arabs countries as well. As proof of this ac-
ceptance, Jackson states that they have
displayed "no collective might in a contrary
way!' Also, he adds that these Arabs have
accepted the right of Israel to defend itself
in "some measure!'
Later in the interview, he brushes off
Bed Falbaum writes periodically for The Jewish
the threats of Syria to push Israel into the
sea, and the refrain of the PLO that Jews
should "go back to where they came from!'
He suggests that there is a "difference bet-
ween what is remotely possible and what
is actual and real!'
The implication is that neither Syria
and the PLO have the military capability
to carry out their threats, so the concern of
Israel is somehow misplaced. But he states
that the South African government is
pushing blacks into the sea — which isn't
true — nor is the analogy he frequently
makes between South African treatment of
blacks and the Jewish experience in Nazi
Germany comparable. South African
blacks, although they face discrimination
and a deplorable subordinate role, do not
have to fear systematic extermination.
On America's relationship with Arab
countries, particularly Saudi Arabia,
Jackson said the United States has in-
terests in Israel but also other interests
with Saudi Arabia. While that indicates he
favors more military economic aid to the
Saudis at the expense of Israel, he refused
to acknowledge the implication and seem-
ed to be irritated that it also suggested
placating a country which could and has
used oil as a bargaining chip.
He also avoided any mention of viola-
tion of human rights by Saudi Arabia,
stating it was important to keep the coun-
try from moving toward a Soviet relation-
ship, adding that "in many instances they
have proven to be dependable to us!' At
least Jackson qualified this dependency,
because in recent international crises,
Saudi Arabia on several occasions has
refused to assist this country.
On Bakke and quotas the Democratic
candidate for president stated that Jewish
activists argued that "opening doors for
blacks and Hispanics represents a source
of denial and pain for Jewish people!'
This is not only false but it is the kind
of inflammatory distortion which has
heightened the tension between blacks and
Jews. Jews generally oppose the use of
quotas in public policy because of the ex-
clusive reliance on race in making deci-
sions. As Jackson understands, there is a
major distinction between affirmative ac-
tion — which Jews support — and quotas
which require that a certain number of
blacks or whites be admitted to a univer-
sity or hired by an employer.
And the day will come when blacks op-
pose quotas because it will be used to
discriminate against them when the magic
number has been achieved. That is the
point of Jewish opposition not the fact that
it is source of "denial and pain" for Jews.
Jackson also makes a special case for
the use of quotas as "a last resort" while
he said "our former Jewish allies seized the
quota issue . . . as if it were a first resort."
Bad public policy should be rejected
whether it is used first or last.
On the Pope-Waldheim meeting, ignor-
Continued on Page 12
Endless Balancing Act
Advocacy and objectivity are
concerns of a gathering of
Come rain or shine,
Sonny Eliot has
kept a generation
Hillel Day School
students and their
families get the
as Sinai Hospital
kicks off the
kids' art show
in time for
New challenges await
the Akiva Day School
Singles take time out from personal
pursuits to help others.
2 Philip Slomovitz
Life In Israel
December 25, 1987 4:48 p.m.