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September 29, 1989 - Image 43

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-09-29

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

COMMUNITY

Professor Says Israel
Must Face Nuclear Issue

ELIZABETH APPLEBAUM

Features Editor

F

A luncheon sponsored by the Metro Detroit Israel Bond Women's
Division saw over $1,422,000 in Israel Bond subscriptions in tribute to
honoree Florine Mark-Ross. Shown at the event are, from left, Doreen
Hermelin, Linda Goldman, Ms. Mark, Barbara Stollman and Meryl C.
Podolsky.

Sherman and Mary Shapiro received the 1989 Jewish National Fund
Jerusalem Award at the 17th annual auction Sept. 17. Shown are,
from left, Sue Ellen Eisenberg, Max Sosin and the Shapiros.

HMC Will Honor
'An Unsung Hero'

George Mantello, of Italy,
one of history's "forgotten"
heroes who saved thousands
of lives, will be honored by the
Holocaust Memorial Center
at its dinner November 12, at
the Westin Hotel.
Mantello, saved thousands
of Jews yet remained virtual-
ly unnoticed until now, when
he will receive the Center's
Righteousness Award at the
dinner which will be a
"Tribute to he Rescuers."
Rabbi Charles H. Rosenz-
veig, founder and executive
vice-president of the
Holocaust Memorial Center,
said the 87-year-old Mantello
was the first person to "break
the official silence on the
Holocaust."
As El Salvador's secretary
general in Switzerland from
1942 to 1945, he circulated a
30-page description of

Auschwitz, after which the
deportation of Hungarian
Jews to concentration camps
was immediately halted.
Additionally, he is credited
with producing and
distributing
15,000
Salvadoran
citizenship
documents free-of-charge for
Jews and non-Jews through-
out Switzerland.
"The actions of George
Mantello were truly
remarkable," said Rabbi
Rosenzveig. "And history has
not given this man the credit
he deserves."
U.S. Representative Charles
E. Schumer recently propos-
ed that Mantello be given the
Congressional Gold Medal,
Congress' highest award.
The Fifth Anniversary din-
ner will be chaired by Jane
Sherman, General Chairman,
and David Mondry.

rom government
leaders to men on the
street, Israelis appear
to be united in silence about
one critical topic, according
to Professor Avner Cohen of
the Tel Aviv University
philosophy department.
"We talk about the in-
tifada, we talk about all
kinds of things that stand on
the agenda of the Middle
East," he said. "But we do
not talk about Israel's
nuclear capability."
Cohen, visiting professor
at Kalamazoo College and
co-editor of Nuclear Weapons
and the Future of Humanity,
spoke last week on "Facing
The Unavoidable — Israel's
Nuclear Monopoly Re-
visited" at the Workmen's
Circle. His visit here was
sponsored by Wayne State
University's Center for
Peace and Conflict Studies.
Cohen said he, like many
other Israelis, became con-
cerned about Israel's nuclear
capability in the early
1980s. The impetus for the
change was Israel's invasion
of Lebanon.
"The time had come to face
the issue," he said. "Israel,
like the rest of the world,
had tended to ignore it for
many years."
This posture of ignoring
Israel's nuclear capability
began with President
Richard Nixon, who "put the
issue off of the American-
Israel political agenda,"
Cohen said. Throughout the
following years, it continued
to remain on the back
burner.
The situation changed in
October 1986 when
Mordechai Vanunu was
charged with selling secrets
of Israel's nuclear capability
to The Sunday Timesof Lon-
don.
Vanunu, an Israeli citizen
and former technician at a
nuclear facility in Dimona,
Israel, had moved to
Australia and converted to
Christianity. "Then he look-
ed for someone to tell his
story," Cohen said.
Israelis were curious about
what kind of man Vanunu
was and why he had spoken
to The Times. Yet the infor-
mation he gave to the paper
— such as the revelation that
Israel owns more than 100
nuclear warheads — proved
of little interest to anyone,

.

including the Israel and the
U.S. governments, Cohen
said.
Cohen said the Israelis'
reaction to the Vanunu af-
fair illustrates the "sense of
bonding shared by policy
makers, elected officials and
the general population" not
to discuss the country's
nuclear capability.
"It's as though everybody
in Israel possessed some
kind of a secret."
Israel's position since 1965
has been that it will "not be
the first nation to introduce
nuclear weapons to the Mid-
dle East," Cohen said. "But
what does 'introduce' mean?
Does it mean test? Develop?
Threaten? Assemble?"
Israel may soon be forced
to clarify this stance, Cohen
said. Any upcoming war in
the Middle East is bound to
mean the use of nuclear
weapons; "One has to be a
fool not to face that reality."
Imagine a situation in
which Israel had sustained
hundreds of casualties in the
Golan Heights from Syrian

forces. Now suppose that
Syria began to call on its
allies for support. A strong
possibility exists that
Israel's war cabinet would
consider the use of nuclear
weapons, he said.
Israel feels confident now
because it has a monopoly on
nuclear capability in the
Middle East, Cohen said.
"But that kind of arrogance
cannot exist forever."
. Cohen said Israel's nuclear
situation should be discuss-
ed in a political context with
U.S. mediation. He said
American representatives
would be able to solicit Arab
and Israeli views about
nuclear weapons.
In the past, he said, a kind
of "nuclear taboo" existed
after the massive destruc-
tion at Hiroshima- and
Nagasaki. Now, however, as
more nations gain power and
nuclear capability, that
taboo is vanishing.
Israel's weapons are "part
of the nuclear age and can no
longer be put under the
table," Cohen said.



Schnipper Leads Off
Rabbis' Lunch-Learn

The B'nai B'rith Council,
Jewish Community Council,
Michigan Board of Rabbis
and the Midrasha-College of
Jewish Studies are sponsor-
ing a series of four lectures in
a lunch and learn series.
The first lecture will be
held Oct. 12 and will feature
Rabbi A. Irving Schnipper of
Congregation. Beth Abraham
Hillel Moses. He will speak
on "Judaism in the Nuclear
Age: Last Chance for Sur-
vival."
Subsequent lectures will be
held on Thursdays. Nov. 9
Rabbi Lane Steinger of Tem-
ple Emanu El will speak on
"lb Be or Not to Be: Freedom
of Choice in American Jewish
Life;" Dec. 14 with Rabbi
David Nelson of Congrega-
tion Beth Shalom speaking
on "The December Dilemma
— Living as a Jew in a Chris-
tian World;" and Jan. 11 with
Rabbi Bruce Aft, director of
the Midrasha — College of
Jewish Studies and principal
of the Community Jewish
High School, speaking on
"The Vision of Mordecai
Kaplan — Reconstructing
American Judaism."
All lectures will be held
from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the

Sarah and Morris Friedman
Conference Room at the
United Hebrew Schools. The

Rabbi Schnipper

cost of the lectures includes a
kosher lunch.
For information, call Bobbie
Levine, B'nai B'rith Council,
552-8177; or Marion Bron-
stein, Midrasha — College of
Jewish Studies, 352-7117.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

43

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