Casting A Vote
"If there be among you a needy man, or of thy brethren in any
of thy gates . . . Thou shalt not harden thy heart, nor shut thy hand
from thy needy brother . ."
— Deuteronomy 15:8
There are many heavy hearts in our midst. As the possibility
of amending Israel's Law of Return lingers, rising or falling on
whether Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir's Likud bloc can make the
necessary political concessions to form a governing coalition with
a cluster of religious parties, concern mounts over whether the issue
will drive a wedge between Israel and Diaspora Jews and diminish
needed funds flowing from U.S. Jewry to Israel.
While hearts may be heavy, they must not harden.
This Sunday, volunteers for the Allied Jewish Campaign will be
contacting thousands of prospective contributors, seeking support
for vitally important programs that assist Jews in need, be they new
immigrants to Israel from Iran or Ethiopia or elderly shut-ins in
Detroit lacking proper medical attention or merely looking forward
to a hot kosher meal.
While unable to vote in Israel's elections, we can still cast a ballot
for Jewish unity by increasing contributions to the Allied Jewish
Campaign, sending a clear message that despite the political jockey-
ing in Israel today, our commitment to helping Jews in need is
"Thou shalt surely open thy hand unto thy poor and needy brother"
— a lesson that Jews learned only too well during the Holocaust —
is that among the nations of the world, there is no correlation bet-
ween majority and morality. Just because virtually every nation in
the world votes against you doesn't mean you are wrong.
The United Nations lost its moral authority long ago when it
became increasingly dominated by Third World regimes, who spend
an inordinate amount of time there expressing hostility toward one
of the few democracies in the world: Israel..
Now, to ensure a platform for Arafat, the United Nations will
move its session to Geneva. The question for Washington to consider
is do we ever want the United Nations back?
George Will, the syndicated columnist, suggested that President-
elect Bush tell the United Nations to go to Geneva and not come
back until it rescinds the 1975 Zionism-is-racism resolution. After
all, Will notes, the Republican platform calls for rescinding the
resolution and asserts that "failure to repeal that resolution will
justify attenuation of our support for the U.N."
Will, like a good many others, worries that Bush and his nominee
for Secretary of State, Jim Baker, lack the kind of instinctual em-
pathy for Israel that Ronald Reagan and George Shultz share.
What could be a better signal that the next administration is
firmly in Israel's court than to seize the initiative and underscore
the United Nation's utter lack of fairness?
Stay In Geneva
Abba Eban, Israel's former ambassador to the United Nations,
once said of the U.N.that if the Arab bloc proposed legislation pro-
claiming the earth flat, it would pass 151-2, with perhaps three
His musings come to mind- in light of the recent furor over
Secretary of State George Shultz's decision not to grant a visa to
Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Yassir Arafat to address
the U.N., and the subsequent uproar by the members of the world
The General Assembly voted to "deplore" the American decision
by a vote of 151-2 (Israel and the United States), with Great Britain
One important lesson for Americans to learn from this episode
The "knee-jerk" reaction to
the PNC declaration of
statehood was to reject it as
too ambiguous, and too full of
Further thought, however
discloses possibilities which I
feel should be explored.
Why doesn't the govern-
ment of Israel offer to
recognize the Arab state, on
condition that it recognize
Israel without qualifications
and agree to an immediate
armistice in the "war" that
has been raging for 40 years?
The fact that we don't like
the PNC, or the PLO for that
mater, is immaterial. They
appear to speak for the ma-
jority of the people in Gaza,
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9, 1988
Judea and Samaria, and as
such come closer to a
than anything else in the
Arab world. If they are to
assume the position of the
government of these people, it
carries with it the respon-
sibility for their conduct.
That by itself would be an ac-
complishment .. .
If there is mutual recogni-
tion and an immediate ar-
mistice, they should be follow-
ed by face-to-face peace
negotiations, which is
something Israel has always
wanted .. .
Such an offer, coupled with
an immediate armistice and
peace negotiations, would be
a showing of good faith and
would go a long way toward
negating the present world-
wide claim that - Israel is
refusing to negotiate and
really doesn't want peace.
The offer should be coupled
with a requirement that the
accept responsibility for any
future acts of terrorism by its
people, failing which the
"peace talks" would be
It seemed like a fresh
breeze reading the forthright
commentary of Philip
Slomovitz on Arafat's recent
cynical public relations ploy.
It was a suitable antidote to
the wishy-washy response of
the recent Jewish News
editorial on the same event.
Cursory analysis of the
PLO declaration makes it
clear that even Israeli doves
will never accept Arafat's at-
tempt to impose a U.N. for-
mula based on a 1947 plan
that will result not in peace
but in one piece at a time. The
Algier's resolution did not ex-
plicitly recognize Israel's
right to exist, did not
repudiate the infamous PLO
Covenant, did not give up ter-
rorism in the whole of Israel,
and did not even offer free
mutual negotiations. Only
our misguided "friends" call
this a step in the right direc-
tion . . .
The mainstream of Israel
and American Jewry is eager
for peace and willing to make
reasonable concessions, but
will never accept the suicidal
program of Arafat and the
New Jewish Agenda.
Dr. Milton J. Steinhardt
Vs. Boat People
Micah Naftalin's article
("Let Soviet Jewish Refugees
Into U.S. Now," Dec. 2) is
obscene in its comparison of
the current U.S. freeze on en-
try visas to the closed doors
which faced Jews trying to
escape the Holocaust.
The State of Israel is
waiting with open arms to ac-
cept every Soviet Jew who can
get out. Those Soviet Jews
who are waiting now for U.S.
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