Michigan leaders and survivors
memorialize the Six Million.
ISRAEL AT 40
A special look
at Israel today
through the eyes
Jewish refugees arrive in Haifa in May 1948. Forty years later, Israel is still a nation besieged by problems.
Israel At 40 And Beyond
Peace At Long Last
s the electronic media continues
to flash images of violent confron-
tations — real or improvised — be-
tween young Israeli soldiers and equally
young Arab rioters in the territories, some
members of the Jewish community — a
marginal minority, to be sure — have ques-
tioned whether the Zionist vision has been
"corrupted" or whether the Jewish state
has somehow lost its moral bearings.
A humorist once observed that Israel is
a wonderful country, but is located in a
The eminent scholar, Sir Isaiah Berlin,
understood the pitfalls and vicissitudes of
independent Jewish existence when he
Wrote: "Of course, one wishes the citizens
of Israel to be as free, as virtuous, as just
and upright, as generous as it is possible
to be. But even if Israel is not that, and
shares in the common frailities of
mankind, it is nevertheless an enormous
step forward in the history — the mar-
tyrology — of the Jewish people?'
It is only the incurably biased who
would trivialize the momentous revolution
in Jewish life, known as Zionism, which
gave birth to the State of Israel, in view of
what Jeane Kirkpatrick aptly described as
an Arab "provocation," a new form of war-
fare in the relentless Arab campaign to
eliminate the "infidel" Jewish state. The
noted Israeli novelist, Amos Oz, had it
right when he said that "Zionism is the
healthiest, most healing, rightest single
idea that has dawned on the tormented
Jewish mind in the last 2,000 years."
The year 1948 marked a watershed in
Jewish history. The exile, that melancho-
ly concept expressive of the millennial
homelessness and defenselessness of the
Jewish people — living on the crumbs of
n Israel's 40th birthday we are
all entitled to celebrate a little.
After all, our national self-
determination has been the great revolu-
tion of Jewish history. Creating, in the
shadoW of the Holocaust, a strong and
vibrant Jewish state has given us strength
and self-confidence, a sense of pride and
But in the midst of the months-long
Palestinian uprising, we also owe Israel a
good hard look at reality. What will the
next 40 years bring if the conditions caus-
ing this uprising are not changed?
It may be hard to face this question
squarely because so much about the crea-
tion and continued survival of Israel has
seemed to defy reality. Accordingly, many
of us have settled into the bad habit of
believing that unpleasant realities can be
held off forever.
We also have developed the bad habit
of refusing to hear or utter a critical word
about Israeli policy. We have been living in
Erasing the green line (the interna-
tionally recognized borders) from our maps
of Israel is an act of denial. Above all, we
live in denial by pretending that the oc-
cupation of the West Bank and Gaza is not
depriving another people of a basic human
right, self-determination in their own
homeland, and by pretending that they will
somehow accept what we ourselves could
The uprising is the Palestinians'
answer. Even fact-to-face with this, some
Jews continue their denial, pretending that
the media are exaggerating (they should
see how the Jerusalem Post covers it!) or
that it's the work of "outside agitators" or
that it's "against Israel" rather than
Continued on Page 10
Continued on Page 10
Ronald Aronson is professor of humanities at
Wayne State University and Middle East co-chair of
Detroit New Jewish Agenda.
Ezekiel Leikin is executive vice president of metro
Detroit Zionist Organization of America.
Our family section
salutes Israel's 40th
with games, puzzles,
stories and prcijects
celebrating Yom Haatzmaut.
L'Chayim cover photo by Richard Nowitz
CARLA JEAN SCHWARTZ
A profile look at communal activist
Lauren Kogan Liss.
Learn To Fall
VICTORIA BELYEU DIAZ
A new performance at the Attic
focuses attention on Detroit
playwright Jim Burnstein.
Nancy Margolis is pushing the
Washtenaw Jewish Center, and the
Ann Arbor community.
Page 1 art by Sharon Roy Finch
April 22, 1988
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