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August 12, 1988 - Image 36

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-08-12

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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RABBI MARC H. TANENBAUM

A

s most informed Jews
know, there is a sim-
mering discussion
taking place about the "role
model" for intermarriage
that Kitty Dukakis would
represent should she become
the first lady in the White
House.
Several rabbis — mainly Or-
thodox and Conservative —
have publicly expressed con-
cern over whether this possi-
ble first Jewish first lady
would be encouraging young
American Jews to regard in-
termarriage with a non-Jew
as acceptable.
It is a legitimate concern
but it must be articulated, I
believe, with wisdom and
prudence.
There can be no question
that intermarriage — which
now numbers some 40 per-
cent nationally of all Jewish
marriages — could be one of
the most serious threats to
Jewish continuity and
survival.
Rabbis and other Jewish
leaders have every right and
duty to express their opposi-

Rabbi Marc H. Tanenbaum
is director of international
relations for the American
Jewish Committee.

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tion to intermarriage as an
acceptable Jewish way of life.
But there is a limit in this
instance which I do not think
should be transgressed. Argu-
ing legitimately against the
policy of intermarriage
should not carry over into per-
sonal attacks on Kitty
Dukakis.
Such intemperate and im-
prudent assaults could
paralyze her functioning as a
first lady, including her ser-
vice to such basic Jewish in-
terests as Israel, Soviet
Jewry, Ethiopian Jews and
combatting anti-Semitism, to
which she is already publicly
committed.
I make this point on a
bipartisan level, and would
advocate the identical views
were Vice President George
Bush married to a Jewish
wife.
The place to combat the cor-
rosive forces of intermarriage
are in the family, the Jewish
schools, in the synagogue and
temples.
With all that is at stake for
American democracy and the
Jewish community in good
relations with a President
and the White House, those
are not the arenas for trying
to resolve this fundamental
internal Jewish problem.

Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Palestinian Document
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Jerusalem (JTA) — United
briefly in condemnation of an
uncovered Palestinian plan
for declaring an independent
state, Labor and Likud went
their separate ways Monday
over whether discovery of the
plan should have been made
public in the first place.
While Likud stood openly
behind the leak of the
documents, uncovered during
a search last month of detain-
ed activist Faisal al-
Husseini's Arab Studies In-
stitute in east Jerusalem,
Labor ministers called the
leak "a stupid act" that un-
necessarily inflamed the
public.
The debate was fueled by
continuing uncertainty over
the fallout from Jordan's ap-
parent intention to withdraw
its financial and ad-
ministrative support from the
territories.
Sunday's Hebrew newspa-
pers trumpeted the discovery
of the Palestinian statehood

plan, which included among
its proposals calls for a
declaration of independence,
a government in exile headed
by Palestine Liberation
Organization chief Yasir
Arafat and a state with
borders based on the U.N.
partition resolution of 1947.
The PLO has made no of-
ficial announcement endors-
ing the plan.
The parties' reactions to
these revelations smelled
strongly of election-season
politics. Prime Minister Yit-
zhak Shamir of Likud gave
his blessing to the leak, say-
ing it was good to expose the
intentions of those who pro-
posed to establish a Palesti-
nian state "along the borders
of the partition plan?'
But Foreign Minister
Shimon Peres, the Labor Par-
ty leader, said the document
was "just another paper" that
"got everyone nervous for no
reason, and made out as if the
sky had fallen down:"

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