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April 08, 1988 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-04-08

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Is Fifth Column Weapon Harbored By Arabs?


Editor Emeritus


t is called a "total war" and is now
treated as such. Has realization
of it come too late?
It isn't enough to treat the threat
from the press, radio and television.
Now is the time to search for a solution.
The horror of ill results is too painful
to conceive and the facts confronting
Israel, and therefore world Jewry and
all who are pleading for some tranquili-
ty, is of the utmost seriousness.
The tragic conditions affecting
Israel are not mainly the result of
media whose illustrative reporting has
prejudiced public opinion. Now there
are books on the subject that have
begun to serve as passports to evil.
There is a poisoning of many minds,
and the Jewish communities have not
attained immunity from it. A volume
like The Yellow Wind by the Israeli jour-
nalist David Grossman is proof of such
unhappy negations.
The continuing threats to Israel's
sovereignty by rock-throwers and the
apparent endorsement by nearly all
Arab states of this threat to Israel's
very existence demand recognition of
the menacing situation confronting
Israel. It is therefore compelling to ask
whether even the Israeli Arabs, the
some 150,000 who benefit from Israeli
citizenship, limited as it may be by
security demands, may not be assum-
ing a Fifth Column role.
Are the economic benefits attained
by such citizenship insufficient to in-
duce a larger amount of loyalty to the
state with some intent of establishing
a vitally needed cooperation with

government and people? Is there a
secret determination to assist in the
destruction of the state which has given
them voting rights enabling them to
elect Arabs as members of the Knesset?
Is the Fifth Column becoming a domi-
nant factor in their ranks?
The Israelis, in treating the current
events, know that what has been refer-
red to as "the Arab Covenant" rejects
any negotiations or recognition of
Israel. It actually is a "death warrant"
by Arabs for Israel. In these columns
and elsewhere attention has been call-
ed to an analysis of the threat to Israel
which has been summarized by George
Will in one of his recently syndicated
columns as follows:

If the 1973 attempt to destroy
Israel by all-out assault had
begun on the 1967 borders
(which were armistice lines set
by the first attempt to destroy
Israel) and the attacks had ad-
vanced as far as they did in 1973,
they would have reached the
Why does a nation that has
won five wars feel insecure?
Because it can only lose one,
and there is always one being
waged against it. Behind the
boys throwing rocks there are
big battalions. CBX recently in-
terviewed a leader of the
Question: If you get a state
on the West Bank and Gaza, will
this be enough?
Answer: Palestine is indivisi-
ble. Haifa, Acre, Jaffa, Galilee,
Nazareth — all these are parts of

Question: So the Israelis' are
right — it's a fight to the death?
There's no compromise possible,
no coexistence possible? It's to
be Israel or a Palestinian state;
there cannot be both, right?
Answer: I'm not saying that
I will want to kill the Jews or
throw the Jews into the sea. I am
saying that everybody who
came here from outside the
country should go back where
he came from."
Question: What I'm hearing
is that a state of Israel . . . can-
not exist.
Answer: No, I say no, no.
Unacceptable. I want Palestine,
all of it, entirely.
That interview illuminates
the fact that nothing fundamen-
tal has changed, including this:
As Golda Meir said, "We Jews
have a secret weapon in our
struggle with the Arabs — we
have no place to go."
George Will had another important
comment, in an article in which he pur-
sued his discussion of the conditions
that are so agonizing for this country
as well as for Israel, in which he
Shamir's first duty is not to
mollify "world opinion" or tran-
quilize the American Jewish
community, but to secure
Israel's survival. That cannot be
done within the 1967 borders.
Within those borders — which
were denounced as illegitimate
by all Arab powers — the width
of Israel's waist was the length
of the drive from the Brooklyn

Bridge to Kennedy Airport. It
would take two days to move the
Egyptian army into the Sinai,
time enough for Israel to
mobilize, but it is a two-hour
tank drive from the Jordan
River to Jerusalem.
The U.S. government, suffer-
ing another attack of the
diplomatic fidgets, cannot leave
bad enough alone. It cannot
recognize that until Jordan's
King Hussein, the least kingly
king, causes Jordan to act like
a sovereign nation, rather than
an appendage of Arab con-
ferences, and deals directly with
Israel, the Arab-Israeli conflict
is not a problem, it is just a mess.
The word "problem" sug-
gests a solution. For now, there
is none, and allowing rock-
throwers to stampede the State
Department into thinking it has
one is a recipe for making a
mess messier.
But there is another interpretation,
which reads like a sentiment far from
one upholding the hands of Israel's self-
defenders. Anton Shammas, described
as an Israeli Palestinian writer and a
columnist for the Hebrew Kol Ha-Elr, a
Rockefeller associate at the Center for
Near Eastern Studies at the Universi-
ty of Michigan, wrote "A Stone's
Throw" in the New York Review of
Books. In what the magazine describes
as an essay describing "Being an Arab
in Israel," Shammas makes the peculiar
comment that "there are no Israelis in
Israel." Here is his viewpoint:
But the really bad news is
Continued on Page 46

Richard Ellmann's Fame Gains With Wilde Biography


he state of Michigan has many
personalities of eminence and
distinction to its credit — espe-
cially in industry as well as in science.
Many in this state have gained recogni-
tion in literature. The one name that
leads them all is that of Richard
For more than two decades, the
literary world has kept acclaiming
Ellmann, who held many professorial
positions in several parts of the globe,
as the most famous of all biographers
in all languages. It was in reference to

(US PS 275-520) is published every Friday
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Second class postage paid at Southfield,
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Vol. XCIII No. 6



April 8, 1988

his life story of James Joyce. He became
known as the great authority on Joyce.
Then came another classic, Prof.
Ellmann's biography of William Butler
Now the world's most important
literary journals and newspapers com-
bine their praise for his latest work, the
biography of Oscar Wilde which Knopf
has already put through a third
Ellmann's Oscar Wilde is the result
of nearly 20 years of research. It includ-
ed the last two years during which he
was in great suffering. Ellmann died
from Lou Gehrig's disease. In the final
months of his life he was unable to con-
verse with his family and resorted to
note-writing. But he never lost his sense
of humor. He wrote the classic introduc-
tion to the biography as well as the an-
notations, always aiming at accuracy
and literary perfection.
The Ellman Oscar Wilde biography
emerges not only as a definitive work
about the homosexual but also about
the misery that was attendant the
persecution of homosexuals as Wilde's
imprisonment resulting from his hav-
ing been hounded for what had been
termed lawbreaking in his sex life.
The biography is replete with
references to many of the literary

Richard Ellmann

geniuses of the 1890s. There is a
veritable encyclopedic assembly of
authors Wilde met and their works.
In reference fo George Eliot,
Ellmann indicates that to Wilde Daniel
Deronda was "that dullest of master-
pieces." Derona still is the most quoted

of early novels that emphasized the im-
portance of the Zionist cause.
Wilde praised the novels by Ben-
jamin Disraeli. Wilde's comment,
quoted by Ellmann, was "a man who
could write a novel and govern an em-
pire with either hand . . . Wilde would
have relished Coningsby in which the
oldest Jewish hero bears the name
Sidonia, like the sorceress, and is of
mysterious alien origin with unusual
power over others, bent upon shaking
the lives and minds of young men .. .
Disraeli has urged along the Young
England movement; Wilde was perhaps
beginning to glimpse a movement of his
own to lead, cultural rather than
political, of a vaguely neo-Hellenic sort.
Tore is mention of Emile Zola and
the Dreyfus Affair in Ellmann's Wilde
biography. The reference is to Comman-
dant Ferdinand Walsin-Esterhazy who
was the guilty spy for whose disloyalty
to France Captain Alfred Dreyfus was
wrongly convicted. Then Ellmann com-
ments on Zola's "J'Acuse" which was
published in L'Aurore. Zola himself was
hailed for his militant defense of
Dreyfus. Ellmann states: "Esterhazy
was one of those dubious criminal
figures who continues to fascinate

Continued on Page 46

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