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April 15, 1988 - Image 40

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-04-15

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Fifth Column

Continued from Page 2

Samiha, am I your dog?' She
wouldn't even look at me. She
was in a kind of ecstasy?'
Tayar shook his head sadly.
"Believe me I'm not afraid of the
Arab countries. I'm not afraid of
the West Bankers. I'm afraid of
the Israeli Arabs. They hate our
guts. . ."
In the past 40 years, the Arab
community of Israel has
quadrupled in size. Israeli
Arabs live longer, have more
education and earn more money
than their grandparents would
have dreamed possible. The vast
majority speak Hebrew, read
Israeli newspapers, vote in
Knesset elections. They have a
better standard of living and
more political freedom than
Arabs anywhere else in the Mid-
dle East.
And yet, after four decades,
Israel's Arabs are still ousiders.
Despite their common citizen-
ship, Jews and Arabs remain
"them" to each other. This feel-
ing of "otherness" boiled over in
December. As the subsequent
three months have confirmed,
Peace Day marked the begin-
ning of a new chapter in Jewish-
Arab relations in Israel, a
chapter summarized by a state-
ment supporting the uprising in
the territories that was signed
by the five Arab members of
Israel's 120-member Knesset:
"We proclaim our full identifica-
tion with the struggle of this
people — our people — against
the Israeli occupation and for its
independence from it?'

There could not have been a more
realistic approach to the issue. The facts
are stated and the shortcomings admit-
ted and evaluated. How is the "inside
Israel Arab" to be judged? Is he the fifth
What confronts Israel under such
conditions? How is the situation to be
judged on this basis? Ze'ev Chafets
asserts in a concluding judgment:

For me, encountering the
Arabs of Israel was a deeply
unsettling experience, a visit to
a foreign country. Like other
Jewish Israelis, I had averted
my eyes from a problem too
disconcerting to confront.
Now, it is impossible to ig-
nore the fact that the Israeli
Arabs are still fundamentally
extranged from Israel. They ac-
cept their country grudgingly
and wish its enemies well. This
feeling is couched in purposeful
contradiction — yes to Israel, no
to Zionism; yes to equality, no to
the defense of the country.
For 40 years, both sides have
found it convenient to span this
gap with a bridge of paper
slogans — coexistence and loyal-
ty, progress and pluralism. But
today, in the midst of a
Palestinian-Israeli civil war,
such evasions no longer work.
Events have overtaken the
status quo, and the Arabs of
Israel will have to decide: to
finally come to terms with, and



ADD,' lg 10Pfl_

demand inclusion in, the world's
only Jewish state; or to remain,
in Tawfik Zayad's ugly,
evocative phrase, caught like
glass in our throats.

What's to be done under developing
conditions? Perhaps whatever is done
will be a risk. Assuredly, wise
statesmanship is needed.
Must Israel and Jewry wait, as has
always been the test, for miracles?
This is a terrifying condition. The
situation as grave as it is, what is to be
done about the mounting dangers?
What is Israel to do about it? How is
world Jewry expected to react to threats
to its very survival?
It might be easier to respond to such
questions if they were addressed to the
diplomatic communities and to
Christendom as well as Islam. The ex-
pected response should be that the
civilized world will not encourage the
annihilation of a state and nation call-
ed Israel. Tragically, this response is not
forthcoming as rapidly as would be
The Jewish role has been emphasiz-
ed in these columns again and again.
It is a simple one: that no one can dic-
tate to us to submit and to commit
One of the most eminent scholars of
our time, the courageous anallyst of ex-
isting situations, Dr. Emanuel
Rackman, the chancellor and former
president of Bar-Ilan University, tack-
led the dilemma of so-called liberals
who have been and are free to advise
Jews to "be nice," to hesitate in
demands for just rights, to abandon pro-
tests and demands for justice. Then he
made his positive statement in the most
recent column he syndicated via the

New York Jewish Week:
I have said it before, and I
shall not cease to proclaim it —
the fury that other nations
release upon Israel when they
can find an excuse is not at all
related to the measure of guilt of
the people of Israel, but instead
covers up the guilt of those who
express the fury because of their
own share in causing the unfor-
tunate events. This was true in
connection with the war in
Lebanon, a country whose
desperate plight before, during
and after that war was due to
the longtime indifference of the
Christian world. And in connec-
tion with recent disturbances in
Gaza, Judea and Samaria, it
was also the Christian world
that permitted the Palestinians
to be used by the enemies of
Isreal in order — ultimately to
destroy Israel .. .
Hundreds of Diaspora Jews
signed a plea for peace on the
occasion of the 40th anniversary
of Israel's statehood, and it ir-
ritated me. Among the goals
they mentioned was self-
determination for Palestinians.
Why were they afraid to be
specific and just and say "self-
determination in totally
demilitarized areas?"
If their intention was to
grant the new Palestinian state
the right to militarize its area,

then how moral is it for them to
deny Israel its right to defense,
a move that would mean
nothing less than the end of
The issue is a very serious
one. What is at stake is the last
best hope of the Jewish people
to survive as a people in a world
that has always wanted their
Israeli Jews are doing their
best — with their lives and for-
tunes — to prevent this from
coming to pass. They are as am-
bivalent as anyone as to what is

the best course to take. But the
least they ought to receive from
their brethren is the fullest sup-
port against their enemies and
not have to cope with their
brethren's support of the enemy

The advice thus provided is basic.
As the pragmatic scholarship and
courage of Dr. Rackman asserts, we are
not here to subscribe to suicide. The Am
Israel Chai slogan predominates. For
that purpose we must have Jewish uni-
ty. The people Israel lives. That's the
slogan. With it there can be no aban-
donment of hope. "Israel lives!" is the

Irving Berlin

Continued from Page 2

the life of an already-famous composer.
It also introduced one of the great per-
sonalities in this century's record of
most distinguished journalists.
Herbert Bayard Swope's journalistic
fame merits his being remembered. The
following is a brief biographical note
from the Encyclopedia Judaica:

Swope, Herbert Bayard
(1882-1958), U.S. journalist and
public official; brother of
Gerard Swope. One of the
leading newspapermen of his
time, he continued to exert wide
influence for 30 years after his
retiremenmt from journalism. A
man of colorful personality and
with a variety of interests, he
was equally at home in jour-
nalism, business, politics,
sports, the theater, and society.

• •

When the Pulitzer prizes
were established in 1917, he won
the first award for reporting
with his war dispatches from
Germany .. .
In 1920 he became executive
editor of the World, and directed
a number of exposures, among
them the Ku Klux Klan, working
conditions in Florida, and crime
in New York. Retiring in 1929, he
became a _policy consultant to
corporations, individuals, and
government agencies.
He was also a member of the
first State Racing Commission
of New York, served as a consul-
tant to the U.S. secretary of war
from 1942 to 1946, and as an
alternate United States
representative to the United Na-
tions Atomic Energy

While deviating a bit from the
tribute to centenarian Irving Berlin,
there is good reason also to mention
another Swope. The brother of Herbert
Bayard Swope, Gerard (1872-1957) rose
to fame in the General Electric Co. His
scientific interests led him to become an
admirer of the Technion — Israel In-
stitute of 'Technology. In appreciation of
the notable Technion services as the
leading technological university in the
Middle East, always referred to as the
MIT of that part of the world, he willed
it $10 million.
Henry Montor's essasy will un-
doubtedly prove the most factural ear-
ly account of Berlin's acquisition of

Irving Berlin

recognition. Montor also indicated how
Berlin gained economic independence
and evaluated Berlin's musical skill
when he wrote his tribute to him 63
years ago.

Success comes to the suc-
cessful. Irving Berlin was par-
ticulary fortunate. Before he was
23 he made an international
name for himself. And instead of
being as poor as the proverbial
artist, he was living in com-
parative affluence. Berlin's
songs are not limited to any one
particular style, but his most
successful songs, on the whole,
have been those which had the
dirge quality in them, the songs
which sounded like transplanta-
tions from the synagogue. His
words are the product of the
Bowery: simple, slangy,
American speech.
Although Irving Berlin has
come to be known as "The King
of Jazz," even though he is
known to have written over 300
songs, he is quite far from being
an expert musician. He still does
no better than play the piano
with one finger. In fact, some
people have even accused
Berlin of not composing his own
music. It was with reference to
this rumor that one of the Marx
Brothers, upon hearing that

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