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January 29, 1988 - Image 6

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-01-29

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


A Sense Of Shame

The news from Israel has been disturbing for some time now, with
violent Arab demonstrations in Gaza and the West Bank and subse-
quent reprisals by the Israeli army an almost daily occurrence. But
this week's declaration from Jerusalem of a public policy of beating
Palestinians to stop the protests, and reports of security forces car-
rying out that policy with two-by-fours on men, women and children,
is inhumane and indefensible. It is a policy of frustration.
That frustration is understandable. Israel is being blamed for
a Palestinian problem it did not create, but was rather the result
of callous and calculated disregard by the Arab states for their
brethren who have been used as human pawns.
"We are not allowed to kill, we are not allowed to expel, we are
not allowed to beat;' Prime Minister Shamir said on Israeli televi-
sion the other night. "You ask yourself what we are allowed to do.
Only to be killed, only to be wounded, only to be defeated.
"The U.N. Security Council has never been convened because
of the murder of Jews," he added.
All of that is true, and his — and his government's — bitter
frustration over world hypocrisy is understandable. This is not a
polite debate over utopian society, this is the Mideast, this is war.
"Israel is not a summer camp for American Jews," asserted Prof.
Daniel Elazar in Jerusalem. "We have to live here!' He and other
Israelis voiced their resentment to Israeli Correspondent Helen Davis
(See story, Page 1) over being lectured to by outsiders, including
American Jewish leaders.
It is also true that media coverage and criticism of Israel has
been exaggerated. But we must not use criticism of the media as
a convenient crutch. The most disturbing stories of Palestinians be-
ing pulled out of their homes in the night and beaten by Israeli securi-
ty forces are being reported extensively by daily newspapers in Israel.
No one is denying that they are true.
If the partnership between Diaspora Jews and Israel is genuine,
if Jerusalem cares about our hearts as well as our pockets, then we
must be able to tell her when we are ashamed. She need not heed
our advice, but she should listen and know that it comes from
anguish, not anger.

We seek to speak with logic and a sense of Jewish tradition. The
logic suggests that the only reason for an "iron fist" policy is to sup-
press the Arab uprisings and create an atmosphere for negotiations.
But we need look no further than our own history to understand
that beating people into submission often strengthens their resolve
to resist. Logic suggests that an Israel dependent on American finan-
cial aid has been supported for her democratic and moral ideals, and
when those ideals are weakened, so is the basis for support. And
logic suggests that one cannot impose one's will on a hostile popula-
tion forever without paying a terrible price to one's national soul.
There is no symmetry in the Mideast. Arabs use terror, and
murder women and children. But Jews cannot. Our tradition teaches
us how to treat others, to put ourselves in their place. House beatings
and broken bones are not the way. They reflect a level of anger and
frustration that is understandable but unforgivable.

Fo r
v itel

I SRA_E_L:1 :i. .





iWo Sides
To The Story

Recent news coverage of the
situation in Israel continues
to be filled with half-truths
and dangerous distortions.
The American public does not
remember that Israelis
became occupiers because
they were defending them-
selves from attacks by Jor-
dan, Egypt and Syria. Noth-
ing is said about how much
the Israelis have improved
living conditions in the ter-
ritories and therefore con-
tributed to the high Arab
The news media report that
Israel will not allow food
trucks into the occupied areas
and forget to mention that
the Arab stores are well
stocked, but will not open
because the riot organizers
want world sympathy.
No one wants to see any in-
nocent person suffer, but the
media's broadcasts of lies will
not help to bring an end to



the complex situation.
Every decent person has a
responsibility to write to
newspapers, magazines and
television networks to protest
the disservice being done to
Israel because it allows
freedom to newspeople. The
Syrians did not let the West-
ern press take pictures when
they slaughtered 10,000 of
their own people in one of
their major cities!

Marlene Gitelman

Sound Advice
For Israel

Gary Rosenblatt's Analysis
("Bolster Israel's Case" Jan.
15) offers some sound advice
to the government of Israel.
Point 6 recommends that its
consuls general should re-
spond, through letters to the
editor and op-ed articles, to
the press coverage in the ma-
jor dailies.
These, by and large, ignore
the facts that the Arab na-

tions kill off more Arabs, gave
the individual Arabs far less
of an opportunity for self-
determination, education,
health services and economic
opportunity than they obtain
under Israel domination.

Morton Hack
West Bloomfield

No Need For
New Judaism

As I read through "Without
God" (Jan. 15), I was so look-
ing forward to your "new ap-
proach" on loving your
neighbor, developing one's
character, community con-
tributions and the like.
Where do these aspects fit
into your Sholem Aleichem
Institute, Workmen's Circle
and the Birmingham Temple?
It seems like most of the
emphasis of these organiza-
tions is on the importance of
speaking Yiddish, rationaliz-
ing intermarriage and confor-
ming Judaism to one's

It would be very nice if the
Jewish people and the media,
including The Jewish News,
would spend more time and
energy living the positives of
prayer and mitzvot instead of
creating negatives.
There is really no need to
keep creating, conforming,
and promoting these new
ideas of Judaism. All you
really have to do is in-
dulge in lbrah, a successful
3,000-year-old concept.
Like the old saying goes, if
it isn't broke, don't fix it.

Aviva Bards
Farmington Hills


In "Without God," you men-
tioned that I am a member of
Workmen's Circle Branch
1088 and the New Jewish
Agenda. However, you did not
include that my wife, Alice,
and I are members of Temple
Emanu-El, information I did
provide during my interview.

And as our temple involve-
ment indicates, we are not
secular Jews.
As your article states, a
number of Branch 1088
members belong to syna-
gogues. For Alice and I, both
Workmen's Circle and Ibmple
Emanu-El are important
components of our lives as
Jews. We value the political
foundation of Workmen's Cir-
cle as well as the spiritual/
religious aspect of Judaism
provided by Temple Emanu-
El, and see significant con-
nections between the two.

David Hecker
Huntington Woods

Let Us Know

Letters must be concise,
typewritten and double-
spaced. Correspondence
must include the signa-
ture, home address and
daytime phone number of
the writer.

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