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May 12, 1989 - Image 6

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

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Mideast Hypocrisy

Lebanon seems to be a testing ground for international hypocrisy.
How else to explain the world's silence as Syria maintains its deadly
shelling of its neighbor state? When Israel's army fought the Palestine
Liberation Organization in Lebanon in 1982 there was global condem-
For more than 40 days, Syrian troops in Lebanon have been lobb-
ing shells at Lebanese hospitals, homes and schools. Not only have
the casualties been frightful, but so, too, has the distribution of these
deaths: 98 percent of recent casualties have been women, children and
the elderly. The forces of Lebanese Christian Gen. Michel Aoun, against
whom the Syrians are ostensibly fighting, have sustained only 15
casualties to date.
All this suggests two things: that the world has consigned Lebanon
to a purgatory where human tragedy never ceases, as if it has no right
to interfere in senseless slaughters in a place where the "peace" is
"kept" by Syria, a neighbor that has been occupying 76 percent of
Lebanon for 13 years. And that it is all right to scold and badger Israel,
but somehow forbidden to do so when Arabs kill Arabs and turn the
world of Lebanese children into one of shattered limbs and battered
It is as if Israel continually crosses a moral or political threshold
that Syria, for some unfathomable reason, never can; as if Israelis are
held to a standard that, for some inexplicable reason, applies to no
one else in its region, not even in the name of decency or common sense.
Not even in the name of the children of Beirut.

War Of Words

move by the PNC is highly unlikely. And that is the point. Israel
must drive home the message that Arafat's words are empty, not
by dismissing them but by showing the world that the PLO chief
cannot support them.

Pass Trespass

In another area of Israel's clumsiness regarding public relations
and the intifada, there are numerous reports that Israeli police have
been making systematic forays into the occupied territories in the
guise of journalists. And that bona fide journalists have been forced
to obtain credentials from the Palestinians as well as the Israelis
just to keep themselves out of hot water.
The implications of the heavy-handedness of the subterfuge
employed by the Israeli police, as consistent as they are with the
problems resulting from Israel's ineptness in coping with the intifada,
are deeply damaging, perhaps even self-destructive. To begin with,
the ploy is a grave breach of faith, not only with the press, but with
the public. If people are beaten or jailed by men wearing press badges,
the next journalist on the scene will be stoned, or worse. Correspon-
dent Robert Ruby was pelted with rocks after leaving a West Bank
village recently.
The result, of course, will be effectively to exclude the media from
the West Bank and Gaza. The public will be cut off from the infor-
mation that it badly needs to make decisions; the Israelis will look
even more like oppressors, and the cause of freedom and democracy
will have been poorly served. And in the end, progress toward a solu-
tion of Israel's agony will have been further delayed. It's too bad.
Israel can ill afford worse relations with the press.

Israel's response to Yassir Arafat's latest Peace Blitz, namely his
seeming disavowal of the Palestine Liberation Organization Cove-
nant, was understandable and predictable. Jerusalem scoffed at
Arafat's declaration that the covenant, which stresses the importance
of "armed struggle" as the only means to liberate Palestine, was null
and void. The Israeli government was quick to point out that Arafat's
statement of May 2 was already being hedged with a disclaimer that
no action could be taken without the approval of the Palestine Na-
tional Council. Israel also pointed out that on May 3, Arafat sug-
gested to Radio Monte Carlo, in an interview, that his choice of words
the previous day indicated that the covenant was not nullified.
Despite Israel's protestations and attempts to show that Arafat
indeed speaks out of both sides of his mouth, the tide has turned
toward the PLO, and the organization is viewed as having become
more moderate.
We suggest that Israel try a new tack, and rather than refute
Arafat's words, treat them seriously. Perhaps Israel should welcome
Arafat's refutation of the PLO Covenant and ask when the Palestine
National Council will be convened to disavow it officially. Such a


Shalom Ralph
Story Appreciated

What a delight it was to
read the wonderful and well-
deserved tribute to our Mr.
Shalom Ralph in your May
5th edition.
Congregation B'nai Moshe
is indeed fortunate to have a
sexton of Mr. Ralph's caliber,
who is truly a gentle
gentleman and whose
devoted services and sincere
friendship we and the entire
congregation share and are
the beneficiaries of.

• 6

FRIDAY, MAY 12, 1989

We pray that he may be
blessed with many more
healthy and productive years
serving his synagogue and
the entire Jewish community-

Magdalene and Marcel Thirman
West Bloomfield

Tay-Sachs Help
Was Appreciated

I am writing to thank The
Jewish News for its help in

making the recent Tay-Sachs
screenings a huge success.
The screenings not only in-

creased awareness about this
important disease, but iden-
tified several unsuspecting
carriers (in the community-
wide screening) and gave
several newly engaged
couples peace of mind (in
the Dor Yeshorim/anonymous
In the future, community-
wide screenings will be held
at different synagogues and
will be coordinated by Sinai
Hospital. The Dor Yeshorim
screenings will be held yearly
or every other year. Those in-
terested in organizing a

screening for their synagogue
or group or in being tested by
the Dor Yeshorim method
before its next screening day
should contact Robin Gold at
Sinai Hospital.

Nat Pernick

Criticism For
Demographic Study

I find it very interesting the
Jewish Welfare Federation is
spending $195,000 for a
demographic study utilizing
1,200 samples. This trans-

lates to $162.50 per "30-35
minute interview."
Even more interesting is
the fact that they (the inter-
viewers) will use the names
from the Federation's list of
contributors and a random
telephone sampling to find:
(1) the lost and unaffiliated
Jews, (2) Jewish demography,
(3) the views of the Jewish
community, (4) the needs of
Jewish organizations, (5) all
other necessary information
to. feed the Federation's corn-

Continued on Page 10

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