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January 15, 1988 - Image 38

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-01-15

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

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Herzog: "Is it wise to
jeopardize?"

prime minister's advisor on
Arab Affairs, held out an ar-
ray of carrots: "An enormous
effort will be dedicated to sup-
porting the moderate majori-
ty," he said. "This means
devoting resources and funds
to promote their integration
into Israeli society and en-
hancing their identification
as Israelis!'
The belief that better
schools, roads and communi-
ty centers for Arab towns and
villages will defuse Arab
anger and lead to inter-
communal harmony is not,
however, shared by all Israeli
experts in the field.
Professor Moshe Sharon, a
specialist in Islamic History
at the Hebrew University of
Jerusalem and a former ad-
visor on Arab affairs to Prime
Minister Menachem Begin
and President Yitzhak
Navon, is not nearly so
sanguine.
He regards the notion that
improved quality of life
equals improved coexistence
as "a dream" based on a
misconception of the real
roots of the Arab-Israeli
conflict.

"I'm not saying that Israeli
Arabs should not have better
schools and facilities," he
says. "Indeed, I recommended
these things to Begin when I
was his advisor on Arab
affairs.
"But I did so not because I
believed that such im-
provements would defuse
Arab frustration but because
that is the nature of Israel.
We want to see all our citizens
living decent, free, equal
lives.
"But it is not going to solve
any problems. Indeed, it will
simply strengthen Arab feel-
ings of dissatisfaction and
create the desire to translate
these social and semipolitical
achievements into real Pales-
tinian national achievements.
"Israeli Arabs have certain-
ly not given up the dream of
helping to create a Palestin-
ian state — not only in the
West Bank and Gaza, but also
in Israel."

Indeed, says Sharon, the
fundamental point is that
"there are two people — two
histories — fighting over the
same small piece of land.
That is no small thing."
The single, central stum-
bling block to coexistence, he
believes, is the inability of
Israel's Arabs — any Arabs —
to submit to Jewish rule: "For
a Muslim to be ruled by a Jew
is unthinkable, and 40 years
of Israeli citizenship have not
changed that.
"If anything, that feeling is
more intense today than it
was in the past because of the
rise of Islamic fundamen-
talism, which, first and fore-
most, recalls glorious na-
tional memories of Islamic
empire.
"Ultimately, whatever ac-
tion Israel does or does not
take will make no difference.
The truth is, I don't see a solu-
tion — this is a problem
without a solution."

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38

FRIDAY, JANUARY 15, 1988

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Rome (JTA) — The chief rab-
bi of Rome, Elio lbaff, last
Sunday criticized Pope John
Paul II for failing to speak out
against anti-Semitism at a
time when anti-Semitic
threats, graffiti and, in a few
cases, violence are spreading
here and in other major
Italian cities.
lbaff, whose remarks ap-
peared in the newspaper La
Repubblica, also lashed out
against the Italian news
media for their coverage of
Israeli soldiers battling

Palestinian rioters in the
West Bank and Gaza Strip.
He claimed it was biased
against Israel and largely
responsible for inflaming
anti-Semitic passions in Italy
in recent weeks.
Tbaff said he himself has
received hate mail. "We
hoped that the pope would
have said a word to restore
peace and justice, but it didn't
happen," the chief rabbi said.
A resurgence of anti-Jewish
sentiment has alarmed the
Jewish community. Graffiti

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