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March 24, 1989 - Image 40

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-03-24

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

PURELY COMMENTARY

Multiple Threats

Continued from Page 2

This was by way of accusing the
Free Press writers of resorting to the
poisonous and then, as afterthoughts,
to express some niceties which lose
their value as a total product which we
must judge as prejudicial.
George P. Mann went full way in his
reply to Lawrence. Acting seriously in
his refutation of the Free Press
defender's claims, he culled from that
newspaper the biased in many recent
editorials. His statement to Lawrence
is much more than a bill of complaint
written by a lawyer and a student of
current events. It is an indictment of a
guilty newspaper.
The Mann message to Lawrence
also happens to prove a very valuable
interpretation of the events now affec-
ting the judgments regarding the Arab-
Israel-Jewish confrontations. He has
written an important analysis of events.
The lesson he teaches Lawrence is
something to be learned by all who
search for realism. Perhaps it will help
them abandon antagonisms. Mann of-
fers excellent advice to Jews who are
hesitant in their loyalties and to non-
Jews. He commenced his indictment of
the Free Press, factually, by ad-
monishing Lawrence as follows:
I welcome your challenge
and will try to pin down what is
objectionable about the
editorials in question. This task
is not easy, because there is
nothing wrong with being
critical of certain policies of a
government, or interpreting the
political significance of events
in differing ways. Democrats
and Republicans do this all the
time, and so do Laborites and
Likudniks in Israel.
Furthermore, given the ex-
traordinarily volatile and emo-
tionally charged environment of
the "Holy Land," which is now
and has been through much of
history a fulcrum of conflicts
and clashes among three of the
world's great religions, it is
understandable that your
readers are likely to show
greater than average sensitivity
about the alleged lack of
balance in editorial comments.
I am no less mindful that the
verdict of history is not yet in on
the peace process and the
jockeying for power and posi-
tion of the various political
groupings in the area. Immense
stakes are involved, and for
some of the parties, every step is
fraught with mortal danger.
Israel, while a major power
in the region, has no margin for
error in the intricate and dead-
ly political minuet known as the
"peace process:' The reasons
behind this are obvious to im-
partial observers and generally
recognized by experts on
strategic and demographic mat-
ters. This is not the case with the
Arab states surrounding it who,
with the exception of Egypt, re-
main its committed enemies.
They all have plenty of strategic
depth.
It is not surprising, therefore,
that in recent elections, the con-

40

FRIDAY, MARCH 24, 1989

sevative Likud alignment, which
after all has the credentials of
having been a peacemaker in
the past, has been gaining votes
vis-a-vis Labor, a development
obviously not welcomed at the
Free Press. This too is perfectly
legitimate.
The crux of the problem is
the Free Press' "biased inter-
pretation of current events" to
use Phil Slomovitz's words. The
Free Press has staked out a
clearly partisan position on the
Shamir government and the
Likud conservatives.
Thereupon followed the indictment
— the quotations filled with venom,
followed by sugar that turns to poison
in unquestioned bias.
These facts can not be hidden in an
attempt at constantly weakening
defense.
Therefore an indictment that is
directed at the Free Press, while
cherishing the hope that an otherwise
reputable newspaper is continuing a
policy shocking to readers pleading for
a sense of justice.
The experiences are evident. There
are the abandonments that -must be
defied. The only way of refuting them
is by abandoning injustice. That's the
message to the biased, even when they
are also misled Jews.

An Addendum On
Journalistic Fairness

T

he newspaper is so valuable as
an instrument for justice and
human fairness that no matter
how numerous its errors it retains the
great values for which it has been
created.
Newspaper and media mistakes
can, as they must, be corrected. When
injustice is admitted the glory of the
press retains its chief values.
In human relations, there is no
glory greater than admission of mis-
judgment. Free Press editor Joe H.
Stroud did it on March 19 with his ar-
ticle, "When Commentary Crossed Line
of Fairness." It corrected the malice that
crept into the columns of his newspaper
on subjects of great concern to the
Jewish people.
The Stroud article is evidence of a
desire by a responsible editor to act fair-
ly and to avoid errors. For an embrac-
ing of fairness he merits commenda-
tion. As a lesson to others, especially in
the selection of material for the public
letter box and responsible expressions
on major public issues, much more is re-
quired. There must be both a commit-
ment and a demand that he who
publishes editorial opinions must be on
guard to eliminate the most virulent
hate-mongering and truth deceptions.
Observance of such rules does not mean
censorship. It is mainly a demand for
justice and decency.

Treasures

Continued from Page 2

superiority among the interpreters of
U.S. history for perhaps six decades.
Wayne State University Press

Dr. Moshe Davis

Years, 1923 to 1945 and Later Years,
1945 to 1965.
Prof. Friedman had many years'
association with Buber and he has re-
tained the designation as the most
authoritative scholar on the philosophy
and volumnious writings of Martin
Buber.
Prof. Buber won international
recognition as a great philosopher and
poet. His scholarship embraced world-
ly folklore. His literary creativity in-
cluded commentaries on world affairs,
religion, Chasidism and Zionism,
emanating from discussions with the
most distinguished personalities.
Specializing among his numerous
other scholarly works on Marti Buber,
Prof. Friedman's 33-year studies and
compilations of Buber's works lend him
leadership as an evaluator of the
philosophy and teachings of the great
scholar.

already has to its credit the publication
in 1970 of Marcus' The Colonial Memorable Dates
American Jews, 1493 to 1796.
ecognition should be given here
Numerous other works attest to the
to
an annual compilation of the
volumnious, the encyclopedically
year's major events by Dr. Jacob
creative literary and historical ac-
complishments by this man of R. Marcus. For 1989 Dr. Marcus has
eminence. Hopefully, publication of this assembled numerous occurrences which
four-volume classic by the 94-year-old include the following: .
scholar will not be delayed.
1789
Two Hundred Years Ago
Several very important projects
The Bill of Rights was
have just been made known on behalf
adopted in 1789. One cannot
of the WSU Press by its director, Dr.
overemphasize its importance
Mandel. They are:
for the American Jew.
Jewish Folklore and Anthropology,
Congregation Beth Shalome
with Raphael Patai as general editor;
was already established in Rich-
Hebrew Literature in Translation
mond, Virgina.
and Critical Studies on Hebrew
Philip Minis of Savannah,
Literature, under the auspices of the Ox-
Georgia, died March 6, 1789. He
ford Center for Post-Graduate Hebrew
was born July 11, 1743. He was
Studies, under the editorship of Dr.
probably the first white child
David Patterson;
conceived and born in the new
American Jewish Civilization,
colony of Georgia.
Moses Rischin and Jonathan Sarna,
editors;
1839
American-Holy Land Studies,
One Hundred Fifty Years Ago
Moshe Davis and Jonathan Sarna,
general editors;
A congregation was
The Culture of Jewish Modernity,
established in Cleveland. It was
Alan Udoff, editor.
known as the Israelitic Society.
Special attention should be given to
Society of Concord Con-
the series on American-Holy Land
gregation was established in
Studies under the editorship of Dr.
Syracuse.
Moshe Davis who has devoted some 25
Lewis Polok was probably
years to the arena, bearing on social,
the first American Jew to settle
political, economic and cultural-
in California. He lived in Yerba
religious relationships between all
Buena, later San Francisco.
creeds and Eretz Israel — the Holy
1889
Land. In all major attempts to reach
One
Hundred
Years Ago
understanding in ecumenical devotions,
Death of Samuel Hirsch,
Dr. Davis' creative tasks have reached
rabbi of Congregation Keneseth
important heights. Interfaith relation-
Israel in Philadelphia, May 14.
ships gain great significance in such
He was one of the founders of
movements and the activities of Dr.
American Classical Reform.
Davis, with the encouragement of
The Central Conference of
Wayne State University Press, will
American Rabbis was establish-
evidence important historical at-
ed by Isaac Mayer Wise.
tainments by way of literary
commitments.
1939
Major in the current enrichment of
Fifty Years Ago
Jewish classical literature in the Wayne
The National Federation of
State University catalogue is the three-
Temple Youth was established.
volume Martin Buber's Life and Work.
The United Jewish Appeal
Authored by Maurice Friedman,
was founded as a permanent
professor of religious studies,
philosophy and comparative literature
organization.
Thousands of European
at San Diego State University, these
volumes are subdivided as follows: The
refugees fled from Germany and
Early Years, 1878 to 1923; the Middle
Eastern Europe.

R



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