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March 04, 1988 - Image 42

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-03-04

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

PURELY COMMENTARY

Public Relations Weakness

Continued from Page 2

selves. We certainly see no out-
ward evidence of change in the
Soviet Middle East policy. Its
dynamic was set in motion years
ago with Soviet sponsorship of
Arab socialism, which has as
one of its most important
manifestations the Palestine
Liberation Organization.
The PLO and Syria, a Soviet
client state, effectively have in-
timidated anyone who might be
interested in a peaceful solution
to the Palestinian problem, a
tactic that has included the
murder of moderate West Bank
mayors. Does the Soviet Union
really want a solution to the
Palestinian problem or does it
want that problem to remain a
thorn in the side of the
Americans and Israelis? All
past evidence would suggest the
latter .. .
These are most serious problems to
be considered when there are proper
face-to-face negotiations of Arabs
meeting with Jews. The problem exists
and must not inspire hatred and loss of
friendship. The American Federation of
Labor leadership always knew and
recognized such problems. It always
called for proper realism and discussion.
Why the interruption, even if it was
very minor?
It is for a restoration and retention
of the vital friendships that strong
public relations programs must be in-
stituted. There is no affording of loss of
friendship. There must be continuity of
such cooperative efforts with the United
States and all the movements and fac-
tions in it. It is the great need for Arabs
and Israelis, for the entire Middle East
and for the approach to amity among
peoples.

Kirkpatrick Proposals,
Rostow Clarification

There is no end to confusions about
the need for peace, and the conflicting
occurrences keep inspiring interest in
the current Middle East developments.
In one of her factual columns on the
situation, Jean Kirkpatrick, former
U.S. ambassador to the United Nations,
arrived at a formula for possible accord.
She discussed the difficulties confron-
ting Secretary of State George Shultz
in his peace attempt on his Middle East
tour and the opposition to his proposals
by Arab leaders even before they were
formally proposed. Kirkpatrick, in her
column that appeared under the
heading "Israel Caught in a Double
Bind," then made these suggestions:

What can Israel do? In this
double bind, the government of
Israel is left with those policies
that can be adopted unilateral-
ly, Israel can and should:
End beatings because they
are brutal, brutalizing and
unbearable to less violent
political cultures. Arrest, im-
prisonment, deportation are
surely preferable to breaking
bones and shooting stone-
throwers — even very violent
stone-throwers.

Eliminate discriminatory
economic regulations and open
up market outlets for the
agricultural and industrial pro-
ducts of Palestinian Arabs.
Maximize the autonomy of
Palestinian areas on the model
that Mayor Teddy Kollek has
pioneered in Jerusalem.
Cultivate maximum respect
for the economic, social and
human rights of Palestinians in
the territories.
None of this comprises in the
"complete solution" demanded
by Israel's adversaries, but it's
better than the alternatives.
Assent to these ideas would prove to
be a miracle. They would require Arab
participation. The perpetual question is
whence can this come, and how can it
be encouraged?
Let there be an advocacy of the
Kirkpatrick plan. There is always the
hope, never to be abandoned, that what
appears impossible now will be reality
in the near future.

Meanwhile, there are occasional im-
portant clarifications that set the record
straight. In a letter published by the
New York Times, Feb. 23, Eugene V.
Rostow, who is referred to by the Times"
as "Undersecretary of State for Political
Affairs and chairman of the in-
terdepartmental control committee on
American policy in the Middle East,
1967-1968:

The media treatment of the
rioting in Israel is shockingly
superficial. Except for a few ex-
perts, citizens would inevitably
conclude from what they read,
hear and see that the Palesti-
nian drama involves nothing
more than the heroic protests of
a people suffering under foreign
occupation and hurling rocks
against armed soldiers in a
desperate attempt to recover
their homeland. It is nothing of
the kind.
The Gaza Strip and the West
Bank are parts of the Palesti-
nian Mandate — Turkish ter-
ritory transferred to an interna-
tional trust for the Jewish peo-
ple after World War I, on condi-
tion that the development of the
Jewish homeland in Palestine
respect the civic and religious
rights of the existing population.
Since that beginning, most of
Palestine has been divided bet-
ween Jordan and Israel. The
Gaza Strip and the West Bank
are parts of the mandated ter-
ritory that have not yet been
allocated to either country.
Neither the press nor the
oher media explain why Israel is
still administering the West
Bank and the Gaza Strip more
than 20 years after the 1967 war,
15 years after the October 1973
war. I have yet to read or hear a
journalist or pundit tell his
readers or listeners that under
legally binding Security Council
resolutions, Israel is fully entitl-
ed to govern those territories
until Jordan follows Egypt's ex-

ample and makes peace with
Israel.
The rioters should be
demonstrating in Amman, not
in Israel, the Gaza Strip and the
West Bank. What they are
demanding — Israeli with-
drawal without peace — is the
policy tried in 1957 after the
Suez crisis of the previous year.
The failure of that policy led the
Security Council to adopt its
present position in 1967.
These are facts not to be ignored.
Registering them hasn't helped, but the
record must retain historic data.

Dr. Voss

Continued from Page 2

damentalist evangelicals believed that
the Jewish people were being exter-
minated by the millions, while more
liberal Christians and periodicals, such
as the Christian Century, were labeling
the reports "atrocity propaganda."
However fundamentalists - evangelicals
found that they too could be manipu-
lated by fraudulent pretensions and by
the suggestion of conspiracy. They were
also subject to blandishments and
misleading philosophical arguments.
In this fashion, the reactionary and
prejudiced view is exposed in this
volume.
Of specific importance in this
volume is the Protestant rejection of
anti-Semitic ideologies. This portion is
an expose of Luther's anti-Semitism.
There is gentle treatment of Luther
in this theological thesis. Nevertheless,

Dr. Carl Voss

it does show how Luther commenced his
approach to his treatment of Jews in a
positive fashion, turning anti-Semite
when he could not convert them to his
views. This approach does show how
Luther's views became guidelines for
anti-Semitism. In Protestantism the two
authors state in reference to Luther:

In a culture and church
where hatred of Jewish people
was widespread, Martin Luther
seemed to be a breath of fresh
air. In his treatise That Jesus

Was Born a Jew (1523), he took
a firm stand against mistreat-
ment of Jews throughout the
history of the church and ad-
vocated a new relationship with
them. He reminded his readers
that Jesus Christ was a Jew and
sadly recounted the horrors that
the medieval church had
heaped on Christ's kin. "If I had
been a Jew and had seen such
dolts and blockheads govern
and teach the Christian faith, I
would sooner have become a
hog than a Christian;' Luther
wrote. The Jewish people view-
ed the Lutheran Reformation as
an opportunity for religious
freedom, an opportunity to be
treated as human beings.

Alas, Luther expected
Jewish people to convert to
Christianity once they heard a
Christian gospel free from
"papal paganism!' Soon he
became irritated with them,
complaining about their stub-
bornness and beginning to use
the caricatures of his day. In
1543, at the end of his life, he
wrote three derogatory treatises
against Jews which anti-Semites
would quote for the next 400
years. So revolting were his
statements that Julius Streicher,
Adolf Hitler's hate-sheet editor
and propagandist in Der
Sturmer, cited Luther at his
Nuremberg trials to justify his
actions.
Luther's failure to rise above
the anti-Semitic statements and
actions of the early church
fathers and the medieval church
has left the task to other in-
dividual Protestants.
The three volumes under review
cover a vast theological field. The third
volume is presented in a highly schol-
arly fashion.
Rabbi Howard R. Greenstein's
Judaism — Eternal Covenant fulfills the
aim of scholars to assure knowledge-
ability in Jewish ranks. It is a combina-
tion of many Jewish experiences. It is
history as well as theology, and will
serve well as a guideline for the Jewish
reader and student to understand the
legacies attained from Judaism.
In many respects, this volume can
be treated as a textbook, as means of
self-study of Judaism and its basic prin-
ciples in the home. It will serve as well
as a textbook in schools.
At the same time, the Greenstein
book is valuable for non-Jews. The ex-
planation of the Torah and the prin-
ciples enunciated therein is like a
definition of theology in Jewish terms.
The Torah in practice is an explanation
of mitzvot.
Then there is a complete listing of
the festivals and explanations of their
observance.
There are many valuable defini-
tions in the author's approach to the
Jewish idealism. Everything definitive
is treated in strict adherence to the
Jewish traditions.
The author treats the subject
"Israel" as a definition of peoplehood as
well as the land and statehood.

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