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March 17, 1989 - Image 42

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-03-17

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

PURELY COMMENTARY

Life Goes On

Continued from Page 2

edited by Naim Shahrabani, an
Iraqi-born Jew who formerly
was supervisor of the Asian-
African reading room at the
Jewish National and University
Library of the Hebrew Universi-
ty. The 820-page paperback
book contains references to
5,470 books, journals and other
publications.
The bibliography is actually
an expanded and updated edi-
tion of a similar book compiled
by Shahrabani that was publish-
ed by the Truman Institute 15
years ago. The earlier book con-
tained 2,000 entries. The new
bookis divided into 13 sections,
according to topics, and in-
cludes an index of titles of the
works as well as an index of
authors.
In his introduction to the
new edition, Shahrabani writes:
"I see the preparation of this
book for scholars of the Arab-
Israeli conflict as one brick in
the building of peace by people
of good will on both sides" .. .

It is noteworthy that Israel's leader-
ship leans toward amity, seeking the
friendship even of the extremest
diplomatic forces which have antagoniz-
ed the Jewish state. While China has
evidenced unfriendliness, Israel seeks
accord with that nation. It is encourag-
ing, therefore, that in one media, in
geography, Israel may be overcoming an
enmity, on an academic scale, as affirm-
ed in this additional news notice from
Jerusalem:
An article written by Prof.
Aharon Yair of the department
of physical geography at the
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
will appear in Chinese in the
Journal of Arid Land Resources
and Environment, a new
scholarly publication published
in China.
Prof. Yair was invited to sub-
mit his article by a professional
colleague, Prof. Ai Nanshan,
professor of geography and
vice-president of Lanzhou
University in China.
Prof. Nanshan explains that
he turned to Prof. Yair because
he was interested in having
Chinese experts learn more
about his geographical research
work. In his letter, Prof. Nan-
shan also mentions scientific
papers published by other
Israeli scientists which had
come to his attention and are of
interest to him.
Prof. Yair's paper, written in
English, consists of a review of
research work by Hebrew
University scientists concerning
climatic and environmental con-
ditions in the northern Negev
and the possibilities of afforesta-
tion there. A letter acknowledg-
ing receipt of the article was
received by Prof. Yair from Prof.
Zhang Linyuan of Lanzhou
University, who writes that he
has assigned a graduate student
to translate it into Chinese for
publication. He also expresses

42

FRIDAY, MARCH 17,1989

4

his hope of meeting Prof. Yair at
an international conference of
geographers scheduled for May
in China.
Such are the evidences of life pro-
ceeding on a productive and civilized
basis. There is an intifada in areas
seldom visited by tourists, as had
already been shown earlier in this ac-
count. The major aim by responsible
Israeli government officials is to strive
for an end to the violence. The obstacles
toward which indifference in Jewish
ranks has contributed destructively
must be obviated. What is needed is
continued encouragement to the "life
goes on" aim and obligation. Anything
else will obstruct creativity and will
delay the achievement of peace and the
noblest of neighborliness. ❑

Peace Prospects

Continued from Page 2

between Israel and the local
residents.
6. The strategic cooperation
between the U.S. and Israel is
fundamental to both
democracies and should be
broadened and deepended by
the new U.S. and Israel
administrations.
Only a strong and secure
Israel can achieve peace and
serve the interests of the
democracies. It is important for

Six points take a serious
look at the obstructions
to Middle East peace.

Israel and the U.S. to work in
concert on political steps which
will help make progress towards
our mutual objective of peace in
the area.
Here we have a measure of
seriousness that could encourage
hopefulness for solution to hatreds and
violence.
The invitation to commitments to
peace is vital as an accompaniment to
these proposals. There is need for a
lessening of hatreds and only a proper
treatment of urgent responseses to
pressing problems can help resolve the
obstructive bitterness. When
seriousness like the just quoted appears
on the diplomatic surface it must not be
ignored. ❑

za, two Jerusalemites whose enmity is
recalled as a cause for the Holy City's
destruction.
The concern recorded in the Talmud
over divisiveness that spells destruction
is not based on legend. It is the reality
of the fate that was Jerusalem's.
It is a story that has been recalled
here and its realism lends pressure to
the repetition of it. It is the story of
Kamtza and his adversary Bar Kamt-
za and the enmity that led to false
witnessing and the Roman destruction
of the Holy City. It is the obligation
never again to be sharing in destruction
that the Kamtza occurrence needs to be
retold, as it was related in the Univer-
sal Jewish Encyclopedia as follows:
A man once prepared a ban-
quet to which was invited, by
mistake, Bar Kamtza, an enemy
of his, instead of kamtza, a
friend. Bar Kamtza arrived at
the feast, but the host refused to
admit him. In spite of Bar
Kamtza's offer to defray all the
expenses of the feast rather than
suffer humiliation, his host
turned him out.
Thereupon Bar Kamtza,
bent on revenge, went to the
Roman emperor (whose name is
not given) and denounced the
Jews as rebellious. As proof he
asserted that they would refuse
to accept an offering which the
emperor would send to the
temple.
A young calf was sent, which
Bar Kamtza managed to
mutilate on the way in a manner
not offensive to Roman
sacrificial law, but violating that
of the Jews. Even then the Jews
were willing to offer it as a
sacrifice, for the sake of peace:
but Zechariah ben Abkilas, fear-
ing that such an action would
set a dangeorus precedent, in-
tervened to stop it.
The emperor was notified by
Bar Kamtza of the rejection, and

immediately proceeded to send
against the Jews first Nero, and
afterwards Vespasian (Git. 55b;
ef. Midrash Lam. 4:3; edit. Buber,
p. 142).
Therefore, with an appeal to all
responsible Jews again to absorb the
realism of this tale of woe, the call for
action against the menace of being guil-
ty of annotation to "Lamentations."
Commentary editor Norman
Podhoretz was compelled similarly to

The 'divide and conquer'
approach could lead to
renewed Lamentations.

1

warn of the menace of such repetition
of "Lamentation of the Future."
Too many Jewish negators of facts
about Israel's need for self-protection
have added to the dangers that lead to
collapse.
We are experiencing the tragedy of
one Jewish writer actually urging
Jewish youth to be in the ranks of the
defamers. This adds to the misery of
such encouragement to negativism at
a time when Jewush unity is so vital for
existence.
The distress in such occurrences is
that those who endorse lack of support
for Israel in the battle for defense and
for life itself are not known to have con-
tributed toward educating Jewish youth
to embrace the loyalties of their
legacies.
Some Jews posing as spokespeople
for their fellow Jews have on recent oc-
casions sunk so low as to advocate
boycotting Jewish causes that are
pro-Israel.
It is such ugliness that must be
fought to the bitter end. It is this type
of animosity that must not be permit-
ted in Jewry.
Therefore the need for the loyalties
that are vital to Jewish survival.
Therefore the renewed emphasis to
make the "will to live" an avoidance of
repetetive "Lamentations." ❑

Lamentations:
Conflict Of Loyalties

L

amentations are not limited to
the Prophesies of Jeremiah
(640-587 BCE). They are
milenial. They have been constantly on
the Jewish calendar.
Therefore, they could possibly be ad-
monishments in efforts to subvert them.
Therefore, the lesson to be learned that
there be an avoidence of weakness stem-
ming from divisiveness.
The Talmud has an admonition.
There is a legendary "beware" signal in
a story about Kamtza and Bar Kamt-

Two youngsters in Mea Shearim dress up for Purim.

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