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October 14, 1988 - Image 6

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-10-14

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

Chemical Weapons

There have been significant and well-publicized efforts of late
to halt the proliferation of nuclear weapons, but the civilized world
seems all too oblivious to the dangers of chemical weapons. A re-
cent series in the Wall Street Journal noted that not only are such
weapons horrible, they are spreading rapidly, particularly among
the less than stable countries of the Third World. And Israel faces
a particulary dangerous situation from her enemies.
Israel is particularly vulnerable; it is believed that a single
chemical warhead like those being developed by Syria could kill
thousands of civilians. Israeli officials are concerned over the relative-
ly mute international reaction to the use of chemical weapons in
the Iran-Iraq war. "The shooting of two Palestinians [by Israeli police]
gets more publicity than the gassing of 5,000 Kurds," says Col. Zeev
Eytan, a military analyst.
There are efforts being made to ban the possession of chemical
weapons as well as to defend against them. On the diplomatic front,
the State Department denounced Iraq for its gas attacks on Kur-
dish civilians. What is desperately needed, though, is to impose strict
penalties on countries that use chemical warfare, to isolate them
politically and punish them economically rather than just shaking
a wary finger.

While it's nice to applaud the use of government funds to erect
new housing units for the elderly and to construct highway decks,
and the use of private capital to expand Oak Park's retail base, the
Federation has yet to take the plunge and invest significant dollars
itself to take a clear, unambiguous stand that it is committed beyond
repayable, low-interest loans and videotapes about the future Jewish
vitality of the area.
The litmus test is the construction of a swimming facility at the
Jimmy Prentis Morris JCC that would benefit "Neighborhood"
residents as well as those in nearby Huntington Woods and other
parts of Southfield. Whether fairly or unfairly, the issue over whether
to invest $1 million or more to construct the pool facility has been
used as a gauge regarding the Federation's bricks-and-mortar com-
mitment to the area. The pool proposal is currently under review
by the Federation, and has been for some time.
At a time when nearly $2 million is being invested in a multi-
purpose field house at the JCC's West Bloomfield facility, over
$500,000 of it from funds beyond those pledged by the Rosenberg
family, a similar investment by the Federation — with or without
a major gift — is needed now. Let's built on recent successes in "The
Neighborhood" and plunge into a swimming facility at the Jimmy
Prentis Morris JCC. In light of what's at stake, it's a small price
to pay.

Take The Plunge

It was a beautiful day in "The Neighborhood." With ceremony
and speeches, the cornerstone was placed on the new $6.7 million
Jewish Federation Apartments building. A few hours later, more than
800 people — mostly residents of "The Neighborhood" — crammed
into the Jimmy Prentis Morris JCC for a family program.
"The Neighborhood" consists of portions of Oak Park and
Southfield targeted by the Jewish Welfare Federation for no-interest
mortgage assistance and low-interest renovation loans designed to
encourage Jews to purchase homes in the area and avoid flight to
West Bloomfield, Farmington Hills and other points west.
And there are other rays of sunshine on the horizon, including
the completion of decks spanning 1-696 for "passive parks" and the
proposed construction of a new shopping center at 10 Mile and
Coolidge that would double the size of the existing Dexter
Davison/Farmer Jack.

LETTERS

Democracy
Dead In Israel
Jews will no longer be able
to boast that Israel is the on-
ly democracy in the Middle
East. The claim is now reveal-
ed as an open sham since the
electoral ban on Rabbi Meir
Kahane's Kach party last
week.
The ruling Likud-Labor
coalition fears the electoral
inroads made by the Kach
Party. Hiding behind the
facade of the Knesset Elec-
tions Committee, they bann-
ed Kach from participation.
The Elections Committee is
composed of the political par-
ties in Knesset and thus, the
parties have banned their
chief political competition. So
much for democracy in Israel.
If the same were to happen in

6

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 14, 1988

America, it would constitute
a blatant violation of First
Amendment rights of
freedom of speech and
peaceable redress of
grievances.
While their excuse was the
patent lie that Kahane's par-
ty was racist, it is certainly
more than coincidence that
the Kach Party was projected
by polls to elect 10-12 seats in
the coming election and thus
become the third largest
political party after Likud
and Labor .. .
With no constitutional
guarantee of freedom of
speech, what we reap with
Likud and Labor is the tyran-
ny of the political majority. If
democracy is to be restored in
Israel, write the Israeli
Supreme Court supporting
the right of any Israeli citizen

to compete for political office
with the voters being free to
decide. Freedom is too impor-
tant to be left to the
politicians.

Michael Drissman
Committee for the Jewish Idea

Max Fisher Drawn
Into Quagmire
How sad that Max Fisher, a
nationally recognized philan-
thropist and Jewish com-
munity leader, has allowed
himself to be lured into the
Bush-Quayle quagmire of
distortions and half-truths
("Charge And Counter-
charge," Oct. 7).
A minimum of research on
his part would have revealed
Gov. Dukakis' solid record
over the years in support of
Israel and against anti-

Semitism. And surely, after
all these years, Mr. Fisher
understands the difference
between a campaign commit-
tee selected by the candidate
himself and a political-party
committee seeking broad-
based input into its decision-
making process.
As a Jewish elected official,
I can vouch for the fact that
the goals and values of the
Jewish people are those of the
Democratic party and its
leaders, Michael Dukakis and
Lloyd Bentsen.
Mr. Fisher states he
deliberated a long time before
making his pronouncements.
He should have deliberated
longer.

Lawrence R. Pernick
Oakland County Commissioner,
Southfield

Pushing The
Right Buttons
Some of our people appear
to have lost all semblence of
rationality when it comes to
what is perceived as the
"Rasputan influence" of Jesse
Jackson on Gov. Michael
Dukakis. Rev. Jackson has
every right to be an advocate

Continued on Page 11

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