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October 14, 1988 - Image 86

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

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

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The Free Press Changes
Its 'Israel-Occupied' Policy

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KAREN A. KATZ

559-0620

arly in March, I — like
many others — reacted
quite strongly to a
Benson cartoon in the Detroit
Free Press. I called and wrote
to Publisher David Lawrence
to express my outrage at the
publication of that cartoon,
featuring a poster of a
kafiyeh-clad boy beneath the
headline: Wanted: Dead or
Buried Alive. (The cartoon,
and reaction to it, prompted
Lawrence to write a column
questioning whether cartoons
should be fair.)
At the same time I told
Lawrence that as a journalist
and as a Jew I took issue with
what I considered slanted or
unfair headlines on stories
regarding Israel, and the use
of the datelines "Israeli-
occupied West Bank" and
"Israeli-occupied Gaza!"
I wrote that the Free Press
didn't use datelines such
as "Soviet-occupied Afghanis-
tan" or "Syrian-occupied
Beirut!' Lawrence replied
that my point about "oc-
cupied" territory struck him
as important and said he
would share that observation
with several key Free Press

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86

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 14, 1988

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up the question of "occupied!'
I was told that "Israeli oc-
cupied" remained Free Press
policy, and that instances I
had seen where only "oc-
cupied" was used were incon-
sistencies that would be
corrected.
After Yom Kippur came the
news from executive editor
Heath Meriwether that "after
considerable thought and
discussion we're changing our
style on West Bank and Gaza
Strip datelines to drop the
word 'occupied' and the
phrase 'Israeli-occupied'. The
key reason for the change is
the conclusion that we can
neither make a strong case
for dateline use of 'occupied'
only from territories ad-
ministered by the Israeli
military nor be 100 percent
accurate in extending the use
of 'occupied' to datelines from
certain other locations. When
appropriate and relevant,
such references will appear in
articles, as they do now, but
they should not be in the
datelines.This change in
datelines is by no means an
attempt to change history,
geography or present reality
but to keep descriptions
where they have the most
meaning — in the body of the
story!'

Actress Sigourney Weaver:
Alien On Israeli Kibbutz?

ARTHUR J. MAGIDA

Special to The Jewish News

SPECIAL PURCHASE

editors. He wrote, as he has in
many Free Press columns, .
about the paper's desire to be
fair and accurate. He asked
me to observe the paper's
coverage of the Mideast close-
ly for a period of 30 days and
to pretend that I was the
editor — and at the end of
that time contact him again
to tell him how I would have
done things differently.
In June, I visited the Free
Press and discussed with
Lawrence and reader
representative Joe Grimm
how I would have written cer-
tain headlines to make them
less sensational and more
descriptive of the accompany-
ing stories. Again I question-
ed the use of the term
"Israeli-occupied" and asked
what the paper's policy was,
and why the term "occupied"
was used only in reference to
Israel. I said it was ironic that
in other instances, where a
country was "occupied" by an
aggressor, the term was not
used, but in Israel's case,
where she is in the position of
"occupier" as a result of
defending outside aggression,
it was.
In August, I again wrote to
comment on recent headlines
which I felt were more ac-
curate and fair. I also brought

A

ctress Sigourney
Weaver — she of the
high cheekbones and
large brown eyes — has
played some terrific roles,
among them an attention-
getting part in the movie,
Alien but few people know
that in the early 1970s she
was thinking of taking on a
new real-life role: becoming a
Jew.
In an interview in Parade
magazine, Weaver discloses
that she went to the "Hill of
Isaac" kibbutz in Israel dur-
ing a period when she was
considering converting to
Judaism.
"My father thought, "My
God, what have I done?' I was
dating a lot of Jewish guys.
All my good friends were
Jewish. And they were all so
funny."
"I couldn't understand how
anybody could be anti-



Semitic. It seemed to me that
everyone should be absolutely
pro-Jewish. You just couldn't
find brighter, more entertain-
ing people anywhere!'
But Weaver was disillu-
sioned when she got to her
kibbutz, which she had ex-
pected would be "so roman-
tic" and where she would be
"working in the fields like a
pioneer?'
"Not at all. We were stuck
in the kitchen. I operated a
potato-peeling machine. It
blew up. It was boring. Not
what I dreamed of. And the
Israelis aren't at all funny!"
Weaver now muses that, by
going to Israel, she was hop-
ing to find a sense of com-
munity, something she has
been seeking most of her life.
"I was sort of an isolated kid,"
she said. "As you grow older,
you finally develop a com-
munity of your own."
Community is "one of the
major reasons," said Weaver
— she now resides in New
York — and "one of the great

pleasures of acting. You don't
work alone. It's a group effort,
each play or film is a com-
munity all of itself!'

Do Jews
Selectively
Charge
Anti-Semitism?

In an editorial last week,
The Nation magazine came
up with a new political ax-
iom: American Jews' propen-
sity to charge someone with
anti-Semitism is directly pro-
portional to that person's
degree of support toward
Israel.
Triggering The Nation's
comments was the reaction of
the Anti-Defamation
League's Abe Foxman to
reports that Fred Malek had
obeyed Richard Nixon's
orders in the early 1970s to
count Jews working in the
Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Earlier this year, George
Bush appointed Malek
deputy chairman of the

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