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May 12, 1989 - Image 38

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-05-12

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PURELY COMMENTARY

International Hypocrisy

Continued from Page 2

nored violations, and piled up indict-
ments, stating:
Of the 159 Member-state
delegations,. 22 didn't show up at
all for the event. Liberia abstain-
ed. The United States and Israel
voted no. Among the rest, many
countries usually respectful of
human rights duly voted for a
resolution cynically submitted
and pushed by countries that
habitually abuse these rights.
Of course, it's not merely the
standards of these abusers to
which we hold Israel. But then,
Israel has far higher standards,
in practice and in theory, for
itself. Still, it may be instructive
to recall only a few of the occa-
sions, reported on the back
pages of newspapers you may
not yet have thrown out, in
which members of the anti-
Israel chorus have behaved far
more brutally than Yitzhak
Shamir's army.
What comes to mind first are
Israel's northern neighbors,
Syria and Lebanon, whose
governments are engaged in a
vast ongoing fratricide in
Beirut. Then there's Israel's
eastern neighbor, Jordan. One
day in one town last week it kill-
ed no fewer than eight pro-
testers demonstrating against a
mandated price increase for
gasoline, cigarettes, and other
items. In Pakistan, soldiers shot
up a mob in one of the fracases
over Salman Rushdie's heresy:
many casualties, precise
numbers uncertain.
We don't mean to focus only
on Muslim countries. Venezuela,
a democracy of sorts, officially
admitted to killing some 300
people challenging not the
legitimacy of the government
but higher prices. This
massacre was met with a big
yawn from the world — which
was roughly the world's
response to killings by Soviet
troops in its rebellious
republics.
The Western media have not
exactly been zealous in covering
the encounters of armed Soviets
with unarmed protesters in the
Baltics, in Armenia, in Georgia,
certainly not nearly as zealous
as they have been on the West
Bank. It now turns out that
Soviet troops shot dead scores
of demonstrators (anywhere
from 120 to 200, depending on
who's counting) on April 9 in
Tbilisi, the Georgian capital. We
owe to Izvestia, of all places, the
news that those troops also used
poison gas against ethnic
demonstrators.
Presumably, there is no in-
ternational agreement restrain-
ing governments from poisoning
their own people. But such
governments are scarcely in a
position to criticize Israel, on
anything.
The facts related here are repetitive
on a global scale. As the Lebanese

38

FRIDAY, MAY 12, 1989

massacres keep indicating, the horrors
not only continue but are usually ig-
nored diplomatically and by the media.
Only Israel is the consistently
condemned.
That is why a New Republic expose
of the indecencies is such welcome relief
from U.N. hypocrisy. ❑

Hopeful Signs
In Black Relations

A

Jews. Previously, Jews were
seen as the patrons, strategists
and funding sources of the
movement, and blacks as the
recipients. Today, the situation
is reversed.
Blacks are a major force in
a dozen large cities, among them
Los Angeles, Philadelphia,
Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta,
Washington, New Orleans and
Baltimore. Jewish businessmen,
developers, professionals and
teachers — who have an enor-
mous stake in these areas — de-
pend on black patronage.
In Congress, blacks number
21 and their support for Jewish
concerns, including Israel, has
been solid.
Jesse Jackson, despite the
hostility of Mayor Edward Koch
of New York City, is here to stay,
while Mr. Koch's days seem
numbered. Despite Mr. Koch's

conference on black-Jewish
relations held in early April in
N6w Orleans gave attention to
both the critical as well as the positive
and optimistic aspects of a serious con-
frontation. The mere fact that a New
York Times Op-Ed Page article by Pro-
fessor Melvin Drimmer of Cleveland
State University found it necessary to
title it "On the Contrary, Blacks and
Jews Remain Friends," indicates that a
problem exists. He commenced by
stating. that "participants in the con-
ference . . . reportedly came away with
a better understanding of each other as
well as tools for improving the dialogue
between the two groups!' He added the
emphasis: "I hope so, because we live in
a new day of those relations, which
Jewish organizations have been slow to
understand?'
The views expressed at the New
Orleans sessions involving two peoples
in search of cooperation were given
thorough scrutiny. They had additional GIORA SHAMIS and
analyses in the scholarly approach by LOUIS RAPOPORT
Professor Drimmer and the conclusions Special to The Jewish News
he arrived at added to a strengthened
he mob beneath our office
sense of "living together." In the
window in the heart of Jewish
pragmatic approach by Professor Drim-
Jerusalem let out a roar that
mer to the urgency of assuring unity
and understanding between the two chilled the blood — there has never
groups there is the human aspect.
been a lynching of an Arab by an
The Drimmer essay drew upon the Israeli crowd, but this time it came
wisdom of eminent personalities and very close. As the Palestinian upris-
commitments of major movements who ing spills into Israel, Israeli self-
contribute toward the desired good will,
restraint is breaking down.
and he assembled them as follows:

efforts to scare Jewish voters
during the 1988 Presidential
campaign, Mr. Jackson at-
tracted Jews to his cause.
Since, economically and
socially, Jews are much more in
the mainstream, the affinity bet-
ween them and blacks defies
logic. The survival of their rela-
_tionship under stress suggests
that the center will continue to
hold firmly, to their mutual
benefit.
There is need for confidence and
there is equal obligation to the over-
whelming. Jewish support for coopera-
tion and the elimination of prejudiced
thinking. Certainly there are the excep-
tions. They do not represent our
peoplehood.
If there are disruptive elements,
they must meet with repudiation. In
the main, the justice of two grbups
working together in the American way
is undeniable. It invites commitment.



I COMMENT

4

Arab Violence Mounts,
Sparking Israeli Anger

T

Jews and blacks have not
become enemies. Bayard Rustin
held. Roy Wilkins and the
N.A.A.C.P. held. Coretta King,
Andrew Young, John Lewis and
Julian Bond held. Whitney
Young, Vernon Jordan and
John Jacob of the Urban
League held. Black churches
held. The black media, in-
cluding the Ebony empire, held.
So did the black working and
middle classes.
By and large, so did Jews.
Jewish labor unionists held. For
the most part, Reform Judaism
and segments of organizational
Jewry held. Throughout the
country, Jews have been the
major white voters who have
supported black mayoral can-
didates. Continued Jewish sup-
port of liberal and black
cnadidates has mystified
Republicans and Jewish neo-
conservatives, who argue that
Jews vote against their own
economic self-interest.

What changed in the late '70s
and '80s is the nature of the rela-
tionship between blacks and

On May 3, two elderly Jewish
lawyers, 91-year-old- Nissim Levy and
his 76-year-old friend, Kalman Vardi,
were chatting at a bus stop when a
Moslem fanatic pulled out a knife,
stabbed them to death, and injured
three other defenseless Jewish
civilians before he was overpowered
by a passerby.
If an Israeli policeman had not
saved the attacker, the enraged crowd
might have lynched the man, who
had just come from all-night
Ramadan prayers in the mosque on
the Temple Mount. When he was ar-
raigned hours later, he said that his
orders came directly from Allah, and
that he had not committed any crime.
This was not an isolated incident,
but part of a dramatic rise in the level
of violence in Israel and the ter-
ritories in the worst week since the
Palestinian uprising began in
December 1987. The knife is the new
symbol of Palestinian terror. The last
Palestine Liberation Organization
directive to the intifada leaders in the
territories called on Palestinians to
unsheath their , daggers.
Now, an Israeli backlash is

building up. The commander in
charge of the army on the southern
front, General Yitzhak Mordechai,
said it in a few words on Sunday
following large-scale "prayer riots" in
Gaza: "The army's patience is runn-
ing out."
In the first ten days of May, the
sexual assault and torture-murder of
a 13-year-old Jewish boy, Oren Bra-
hami, in Jaffa, and the arrest of an
Arab suspect from Gaza, sickened and
angered the Israeli public. Last Fri-
day, a 17-year-old Israeli Arab
strangled to death a 68-year-old Tel
Aviv woman in her apartment. At
mid-week, a 19-year-old Israeli soldier
on leave, Ilan Sa'adon, disappeared
and was believed kidnapped by
Palestinian terrorists. In addition, an
East Jerusalem Arab veterinarian
lost his life last week after attempting
to rig a car bomb in downtown
Jerusalem. Finally, the body of
Sergeant Avi Sasportas, who has been
missing since February, was
discovered in a shallow grave, a bullet
wound in his head.
The Palestinian leaders have
given their followers a clear license to
kill any Jew they can lay hands on,
as well as any Palestinian associating
with Israelis.
Arabs have been safe on the
streets of Israel until now. But some
Jews now feel that they are behaving
with the arrogance of the victor. The
mounting violence and seething
anger make Israelis less inclined to
talk to the enemy, and more inclined
to fight back. The diminishing sup-
port of many American Jews only
feeds the drift toward extremism.

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