The illustrations on Page 25 which precipitated our Close-Up
story this week should be frightening to any supporter of Israel, and
to any parent.
The television generation is finally catching up to the genera-
tion that spawned it. The image of Israel's 40th anniversary perceived
by some of our youth this spring shows Israeli soldiers joyously
The easy response requires ranting against the media for its un-
balanced coverage of the disturbances in Gaza and the West Bank.
It requires blaming our Jewish schools for not correcting false
But we must also blame ourselves. Do we spend time with our
children, our grandchildren, our neices and nephews, in open and
honest discussion of the Middle East issues? Many of us would be
uncomfortable with such a discussion, having as limited a
background as our youth.
Our reliance on easy, rote answers, and on others to teach our
values to our youth, has led to a difficult situation. Last week Jewish
leaders expressed concern about the decline in American Jewish
tourism to Israel. This week we worry about our children's negative
perceptions. The future will bring new, deeper crises of faith if the
American Jewish community refuses to renew its personal com-
mitments to its brethren in Israel.
The problem, and the solution, is us.
evocative leaders — swallowed by emotions rippling from a war that
was unwinnable, politicos who were seemingly unreachable and the
stymying of that indispensable notion of any decently functioning
nation — hope.
Much has been written about 1968 in the last two decades. Much
has been written about it — and will continue to be written about
it — this year. But perhaps one of the key lessons of that year is not
that much of America died that year, as we have heard repeatedly
from the wise and the nostalgic. Nor that people take to the streets
when they have nowhere else to go.
No, perhaps the ultimate lesson of 1968 is that we are essential-
ly a people of hope and vision. To function, to thrive, to flourish, we
need to keep our eyes on the horizon, "on the prize," in the words
of a 1960s civil rights song. In 1968, that horizon was articulated
and personified by King and Kennedy. With their brutal deaths, we
were left not with a vacuum, but with a surfeit of frustration and rage.
Now, two decades after the deaths of King and Kennedy, after
national bouts with the mendacity of Richard Nixon, the soporifics
of Jimmy Carter and the presidential thespianism of Ronald Reagan,
perhaps the wounds of 1968 have sufficiently healed so we are again
ready to raise our eyes to the horizon beyond. Perhaps we are once
again brave enough to risk our idealism in the name of a glorious
and sensible future.
We hope so.
Every year is the anniversary of something.
It is the sad luck of the draw that 1988 is the anniversary of
assassinations and riots and of democracy and hope gone confusingly
and achingly awry.
Twenty years ago last Monday, Robert Kennedy was killed in
a Los Angeles hotel kitchen. It was the 85th day of his campaign
for the Democratic nomination for president, that same nomination
his own bother, John, had won eight years before, a brother who had
been murdered a scant 60 months previously on a sunny afternoon
Just two months before the murder of Kennedy, Martin Luther
King had been killed in Memphis. The riots that erupted in black
ghettos in April, 1968 were not unlike those furies that broke out
during the Democratic convention in Chicago in August of that year.
The ghetto bonfires and the Chicago convulsions were the collective
voice of a people who had seen their best dreams — and their most
Three Jewish Senators Face Tough Opposition
Special to The Jewish News
ashington — The
three Jewish sena-
tors up for re-
election this year face stiff
competition in elections this
November, and one of the in-
cumbents is not being sup-
ported by pro-Israel PACs.
While Sens. Frank Lauten-
berg (D-N.J.) and Howard
Metzenbaum (D-Ohio), have
received much support from
17 of the largest pro-Israel
PACs, Sen. Chic Hecht (R-
Nev.) has been shunned by
FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 1988
the 17 in large measure
because of his support for
weapons sales to Jordan and
Morris Amitay, treasurer of
Washington PAC, the second
largest pro-Israel PAC, said
Hecht is in disfavor for a 1983
vote supporting sales of
sophisticated weapons to Jor-
dan and a crucial 1986 one
that helped gain approval for
an arms sale to Saudi Arabia.
Hecht also opposed a bill that
would have allowed observant
Jews in the military to wear
The 17 PACs make cam-
paign contributions based
solely on a candidate's com-
mitment to the pro-Israel
position. They awarded close
to $1.45 million through
March 31 to congressional
campaigns this election cycle,
Federal Election Commission .
(FEC) records show. About
$900,000 of that money has
gone to Senate campaigns
and $500,000 has been spent
on House races. The re-
mainder, $45,000, was
distributed to various
The PACs awarded
$280,288 in the first three
months of this year, following
$1,159,781 in 1987.
Included in the new alloca-
tions is $27,000 to Nevada
Gov. Richard Bryan, a
Democrat, which represents
the first pro-Israel PAC
money being spent to unseat
Among the three Jewish in-
received $76,500 from 14 pro-
Israel PACs, and Lautenberg
$61,250 from 12 of them. By
contrast, Hecht received
$5,300 from two of the PACs.
Amitay, whose PAC gave
Bryan the maximum $10,000
contribution, said Bryan has
a much better record of strong
statements in support of
Israel, although he said
Hecht has been "showing
greater concern for our issues
Metzenbaum, who will be
71 June 4, is being challeng-
ed by Cleveland Mayor
George Voinovich, a Repub-
lican. Chris Gersten, ex-
ecutive director of the
National Jewish Coalition, a
Republican group, said
Voinovich "has the best shot
Continued on Page 10