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September 08, 1989 - Image 34

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-09-08

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

I INSIGHT I

23rd Annual
Woman's
National
Farm & Garden
Flower Show

Decline Of Israeli Elite
Feared In Allegations

ZE'EV CHAFETS

Israel Correspondent

A

Monday - Sunday
September 11-16, 1989

See innovative new concepts in floral arranging, herbs, organic
gardening, horticultural therapy as displayed by 14 branches of the
Woman's National Farm & Garden Association.

Located between Hudson's and Montgomery Ward, this
spectacular "Festival of Arts - Blooms - Crafts" will incorporate
abstract designs, still life, miniatures, house plants, vegetables and
fruits.

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Telegraph and Elizabeth Liz. Rd., Waterford Twp., MI
Open daily 10 a.m. - 9 p.m., Sunday Noon - 5 p.m.

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Painting/Drywall Repairs
Cement Work—Chimneys/Walls/Patios

Insured & Licensed
Member NRCA
FREE ESTIMATES

34

I. Unique Gifts For All Ages 1
ca
c
a)
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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 1989

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18161 W. 13 Mile Rd.
Southfield, MI 48076

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• invitations For All Occasions •

Breast
self-examination --
LEARN. Call us.

11,

ANIERICAN
CANCER
SOCIElY

llegations that retired
senior army officers
helped train gunmen
for a Colombian drug cartel
have blossomed into the ma-
jor scandal of the year in
Israel.
Police are currently inves-
tigating the activities of two
former Lt. Colonels, Yair
Klein and Amatzia Shuali. A
videotape filmed by Klein's
Spearhead Company clearly
showed the two men teaching
infantry tactics to civilians in
the Colombian jungle. The
pictures shocked the country
and raised an uncomfortable
question: What were nice
Jewish boys like Klein and
Shuali doing in a place like
that?
Much of the shock centers
around the fact that the
Spearhead mercenaries are
more than just retired
military men. Both Klein and
Shuali are Israeli WASPs
(White-Ashkenazi-Sabra-
Paratroopers), a group that
has long stood for self-
sacrifice and idealism. Klein,
a graying blond with broad
shoulders and blue eyes, was
the first male child born on
Kibbutz Nitzanim. Shuali,
who looks like Sid Caesar,
comes from Kibbutz Ramat
HaShofet. Both were com-
manders in elite units of the
paratroops, both have dis-
tinguished war records, and
both are well known to many
senior politicians, generals
and journalists.
The fact that they come
from the heart of the estab-
lishment (Klein's wife, for
example, was once the girl-
friend of Chief of Staff Dan
Shomron) has given a bitter,
personal edge to much of the
criticism of their Colombian
activities. Columnist Nahum
Barnes began an article on
Klein by recalling that the
mercenary was once his in-
structor in a paratroop course.
And, in a recent radio inter-
view, reporter Amikam
Rothman prefaced his grilling
of Shuali by recalling that
they had served together in
the same platoon 25 years
ago.
Many of their critics see
Klein and Shuali as symbols
of a new Me-Generation ethic
that has infected Israel's best
and brightest. "Klein belongs
to an Israeli generation born
in the 1940s whose motto has
been 'personal success, fast
and big,' " wrote Barnes.
Popular Israeli poet Haim

Yair Klein:
Me-Generation?

Heffer gave voice to the
widespread feeling of disillu-
sionment in a bitter poem
published last week in the
mass circulation newspaper
Yediot Aharonot. "What's
important here, and the legal
specifics don't matter, is that
people are stealing the glory
of the Israeli army and selling
it as a private business!' he
wrote.
Many Israeli WASPs take
exception to the idea that the
Spearhead mercenaries repre-
sent the general deterioration
of the elite. "It's true that
there are ex-kibbutzniks who
are money-mad," said Dita
Azene, who was raised on
Kibbutz Shfa'im. "The kib-
butz isn't perfect. But on
the whole, it can be proud of
the kind of people it has
produced?'

Avner Yaniv, a professor of
political science at Haifa
University and a contem-
porary of Klein and Shuali in
the paratroops, argues that
the Spearhead Affair should
not be seen as an indictment
of an entire generation.
"Twenty years ago there were
probably a few officers who
would have done this," he
said. "They were a minority
then, and they're a minority
now!'
For their part, Klein and
Shuali deny knowing that
they were employed by the
drug cartel. They say that
they were hired by a cattle-
men's organization to teach
ranchers to defend them-
selves from Communist-
inspired insurgents. "lb the
best of my knowledge, I
worked to help weak, op-
pressed people threatened by
terrorism!' Shuali said. lb

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