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August 26, 1988 - Image 6

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-08-26

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Challenge Of Peace

Israel has long been prepared for the challenge of war from her
Arab neighbors. Indeed, she has had to defended herself throughout
her four decades of statehood and continues to make military pre-
paredness her highest priority.
But how prepared is the Jewish state for the challenge of peace?
As our correspondents Helen Davis in Jerusalem and Wolf Blitzer
in Washington report this week, the Palestine Liberation
Organization, or at least elements of the group, are discussing
the possibility of pursuing diplomacy rather than terror as a means
towards Palestinian statehood. And that has Washington excited,
and Jerusalem worried.
While both the Democrats and Republicans here would be
prepared to negotiate with the PLO if indeed it recognized Israel
and accepted two key United Nations resolutions — admittedly a
big "if' — neither Likud nor Labor is prepared to even consider talk-
ing to the PLO. They would be risking political suicide to do so.
But it is time to start thinking the unthinkable. What if the PLO
does indeed declare its readiness to negotiate, and to recognize Israel
in exchange for a Palestinian homeland limited to the West Bank
and Gaza? Our immediate reaction, and no doubt one shared by most
Jews here and in Israel, is to reject such a declaration as either false
or the first step in a plan to conquer Israel in stages — by establishing
a Palestinian state as a base from which to destroy the Jewish state.
That sense of doubt is necessary but should not be our only reac-
tion. Israel has been conditioned to dealing with lies and bloodsh-
ed; now she must prepare herself to deal with the possibility, however
remote, of a real peace.

Further, the Quayle brouhaha shows that the roiling emotions
generated by the Vietnam era are still with us. There is still a deep
division between those who served in the war, those who protested
it, and those who evaded it, either by fleeing to Canada — or by
enlisting in the National Guard. Snapping at Quayle by the press
and Vietnam vets proves that the tensions between classes —
between those who went to Vietnam because they were poor and
those who had college deferments or went into the Guard — have
not died.
Clearly, Bush chose Quayle for his youth, good looks, conservative
record and vigor as a campaigner. But Bush's vision of his running-
mate seems to have extended no further than election day. Even die-
hard Republicans question Quayle's qualifications to be vice
president. As Robert Dole said, there are "better qualified people"
than Quayle.
Finally, there is the image of the press as a pack of frenzied sharks
moving in for the kill. Perhaps the news media has blown Quayle's
enlistment in the National Guard somewhat out of proportion. But
that may be the price of choosing a running-mate solely because he
is a "generational candidate." To the "Sixties Generation," the war
in Vietnam is the ultimate touchstone — and any candidate touted
as appealing to that particular generation must account for what
he did during those years — and why.
The Quayle fracas offers profound lessons for politicians and the
press. For now, though, both sides are too busy dealing with the im-
mediate dispute to reflect on its implications.

Shooting Quayle

The controversy surrounding the nomination of Dan Quayle as
George Bush's running-mate raises serious questions about the
American political process —and about Bush himself.
Bush's first major decision as the GOP standard-bearer —
choosing Quayle — is questionable. Selecting someone from the
wealthiest family in Indiana seems to accentuate the silver-spooned
background of Bush's own family. Choosing a good looker because
he might appeal to women may be an insult to that gender. Choos-
ing a baby-boomer simply because of his age makes Bush look
But eclipsing most of these issues is Quayle's tenure in the Na-
tional Guard. Either Bush and his staff look incompetent for insuf-
ficiently checking out Quayle's background. Or if they did, indeed,
properly question Quayle and he misled them, then the Indiana
senator appears duplicitous.

rr _


Mike Dukakis Failed
To Challenge Jackson
I wish to applaud R. Hugh
Uhlmann's article on the
anti-Semitic manifestations
in Chicago (Aug 19). The
response of Michael Kotzin of
the ADL that "this is a black
problem," is as shocking as
the attack by the black city
Uhlmann suggests that
Carl Levin apply pressure on
Dukakis and the Democratic
Party. Unfortunately, the
Democratic nominee is not
likely to influence the
Chicago power clique, under
the tutelage of Jesse Jackson.



It was the man who preaches
"common . ground" who was
conspicuously silent about
this outrageous and libelous
It may be relevant to recall
that it was Dukakis who con-
tributed to the emergence of
Jesse Jackson as one of a
"governing triumvirate." It
was this same Jesse Jackson
who boasted that with two
thirds of the convention
delegates who are black, he
could put over the Arab lob-
by resolution that for the first
time favoring self-
determination (as a code)
would reduce U.S. moral sup-
port for the integrity of Israel.

Dukakis not only failed to
challenge Jackson's position
on domestic and foreign
policy issues, but even stated
openly that their views are
similar. Unlike Sen. Gore's
forthright position, the stance
of Dukakis brands him either
as an opportunist or fellow
traveler — despite his claim
that this election is not about
As for competence, it is hard
to discern any in the speeches
that begin, "That's the kind
of guy I am," and end with
"That is what it is all about."

Dr. Milton J. Steinhardt

Recalling The Lore
Of Mezeritch
I truly enjoyed reading the
article "Friends of Mezeritch"
(Aug. 5), especially in view of
the fact that my father and
both sets of grandparents
were born there.
One of the most noteworthy
facts concerning Mezeritch
was that it was the home of
the renowned Chasidic Rebbe,
Rabbi Dov-Ber, student of and
successor to the Ba'al Shem
Thy, founder of Chasidism.
Thus, the town of Mezeritch
and its neighboring towns
became a literal cradle of

Another important fact
which was omitted, was that
numerous inhabitants of
Mezeritch and its surroun-
ding environs settled in Win-
nipeg, Manitoba, during the
early 1900s. Winnipeg had a
prominent Mezeritcher
synagogue and a Mezeritcher
lantsleit society, which con-
tinues until this very day,
with many of my uncles,
aunts and cousins still viably
active in its society.
Mezeritch and surrounding
area produced an extremely
orthodox society.

Rabbi Sherman P. Kirshner
Congregation B'nai Israel
West Bloomfield

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