Out Of Touch
This summer, Chicago has been hit by a kind of black-Jewish
hostility that city has never seen.
It was sparked by Steve Cokely, an aide to the mayor, who ac-
cused Jews of infecting black babies with AIDS and conspiring to
rule the world.
Black leaders reacted with silence. Jewish leaders reacted with
fury. The incident prompted concerns that the relationship between
blacks and Jews throughout the United States is in serious trouble.
If ties between blacks and Jews are not what they once were, part
of this can be explained by the fact that our goals have changed.
We have accomplished the task of securing equal rights for blacks
that we shared in the 1960s.
And certainly our relationship suffers when black leaders do not
speak out when someone like Cokely spews his anti-Semitic venom.
Yet Jews also must accept some of the blame if the black-Jewish
bond is faltering. Very few of us are really in touch with the black
community of Detroit. We may write a check that will help benefit
a few blacks in the inner city, but the majority of us do everything
we can to avoid even driving near the area.
All too often, our most frequent contact with blacks is relegated
to a pleasant discussion over lunch with a colleague, or chatting with
the woman behind the store counter. We prefer to leave the "serious
discussions" to rabbis and community leaders.
This does not constitute the grounds for a solid relationship.
Muddying The Waters
The king has spoken. And what we heard leaves us, at once, con-
cerned, confused, unsettled — and hopeful.
Sunday evening, Jordan's King Hussein renounced any claim to
the Israeli-occupied West Bank that his Hashemite family had rul-
ed between 1948 and 1967. He ceded to the Palestine Liberation
Organization the right to be the Arab heir to the West Bank.
Although the statement was dramatic, it raises more questions
than it answers about the future of the Mideast. But what seems
clear, at least in the short run, is that it will bolster Israeli Prime
Minister Yitzhak Shamir's hard-line stand regarding Mideast peace
negotiations and damage his chief opponent, Labor's Shimon Peres,
in the November elections. Shamir has resisted attempts to negotiate
with the Arabs, while Peres has long advocated the "Jordanian op-
tion" — a confederation between Jordan and the Palestinians. Now
that Hussein has removed that option, Peres and Labor are left with
egg on their political face. As our Jerusalem correspondent Helen
Davis writes this week, one of Labor's few choices may be to call
for "a PLO option" — but that surely, won't fly with the Israeli public.
On the other hand, Hussein's statement may be the latest in his
efforts to upstage and out-manuever his nemesis, Yasir Arafat. If
Hussein is truly withdrawing from the West Bank sweepstakes —
and many pundits doubt this — he may be forcing the PLO to water
down its anti-Israel vitriol so it can eventually sit down at the
negotiating table with Israel.
Or Hussein may be forcing both the PLO and the residents of
the West Bank into a harsh realization that the guerrilla organiza-
tion is inept in administering the West Bank. If that is driven home
and Hussein is, indeed, called back to oversee the territories, his hand
will be stronger than ever and the "Jordanian option" will no longer
be an option: It will be a fact. His resurgence will bolster both his
monarchy, the opportunity for territorial compromise, and the U.S.
State Department, which surely favors the king over Arafat. That
scenario may be wishful thinking, but all is not what it seems in
the Mideast, and observers should not conclude that Hussein has
simply withdrawn from the political game.
COMING SOON FROM
A THEATER OF WAR
After reading the article
Style" (July 15) not once but
several times, I have ques-
tions. From what I read there
is no hope for women in Or-
thodoxy in case of serious
I wonder what the rabbis do
about physical abuse cases.
The woman is still supposed
to stay in the situation, the
children still continue to see
their mother physically abus-
ed and since research now
shows that abusive men have
learned and/or observed this
behavior in their own homes
the boys may continue this
behavior in their adult years.
Where in the Torah is this
written (that the woman
FRIDAY, AUGUST 5, 1988
must stay) or is this just the
interpretation of men for
their own personal concerns
of lord and master .. .
As Jews we are told we are
a highly moral religion. I see
no morality in the way
women are treated. Please,
rabbis, some answers!
From U.S. Jewry
From here I read very con-
fusing things about American
Jewish leaders. On June 12,
Abraham Foxman of the ADL
described the frequent visits
of Israeli politicians. He par-
ticularly criticized efforts to
raise funds for the forthcom-
ing Knesset elections. Mr.
Foxman is concerned about
the level of involvement of
American Jews in the deci-
sion making process in Israel.
In his opinion the practice of
giving for political purposes
undermines the democratic
process in Israel.
Two days later, on June 14,
Reform and Conservative
leaders in America openly ex-
pressed opposition to legisla-
tion regarding "Who is a
Jew," electoral reform, and
other issues up for vote in the
Knesset that day. They say
the donations will cease if
their views are not respected.
What goes on here? Where
is the concern for Israeli
democracy? It would seem
American Jewish leadership
is so accustomed to view itself
as the vanguard of the Jewish
world, the State of Israel has
become another foreign coun-
try to which they can pon-
tificate .. .
Upper Nazareth, Israel
Israel Is Safe,
Ready For Visitors
I have just returned from
traveling around Israel and
attending the Zionist
Organization of America con-
vention in Jerusalem.
I feel that I can say une-
quivocally that it is perfectly
safe to visit Israel. The
American media have done a
real hatchet job with exag-
gerations, un-truths, half-
truths and generally unin-
formed reporting on condi-
tions in the Land of Israel.
Unfortunately, the largest
number of cancellations are
coming from American Jews.
However many others, both
Jewish and non-Jewish, have
not been deterred from going
on their Israeli holidays.
Israel is as safe as
anywhere in the world and
safer than many other tourist
destinations. They need our
support both moral and finan-
cial; please don't let them
This year in Jerusalem!!
James A. Hack
I was pleased to see Philip
Slomovitz's column (July 1)
on "The Jokes of Oppression."
Thank you for the thoughtful
and kind words. Permit me,
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