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November 10, 1989 - Image 7

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-11-10

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

OPINION

I CONTENTS

Campaign Continues
- For Ethiopian Jews

ABRAHAM J. BAYER

W

hen Carl Alpert,
writing in the De-
troit Jewish News
Oct. 27, said that, "once
again, the Jewish establish-
ment is not providing leader-
ship," he is wrong. Simply
repeating the canard of
"Jewish - etablishment
silence" in the face of the suf-
fering of the remaining 10 to
12,000 remaining Beta
Yisrael in Ethiopia doesn't
mean it's so.
It's not "only smaller
groups in the Jewish com-
munity which are pressing"

Did they stop
coming after the
airlift of 1984-85?



on behalf of Ethiopian Jews.
Vigorous advocacy for
reunification of the Beta
Yisrael with their kin in
Israel is a major priority of
the National Jewish Com-
munity Relations Advisory
Council and its 117 communi-
ty relations councils.
NJCRAC has been at it since
1975.
What is significant is the
close collaboration between
the "establishment" and all
of the so-called "non-
establishment" groups on
behalf of Ethiopian Jews who
have been working together
for several years within the
NJCRAC Committee on
Ethiopian Jewry Advocacy.
I know from my own over
two decades experience of
Soviet Jewish advocacy, that
we can't and, in fact, we do
not rely on any one strategy.
It isn't all silence or noise. No
one tactic was successful in
opening the doors for Soviet
Jews.

This committee includes
the American Association for
Ethiopian Jews, the North
American Conference on
Ethiopian Jewry and the
Ganadian Association for
Ethiopian Jews, who work
hand in hand with all the
establishment groups, i.e.,
Council of Jewish Federa-
tions, B'nai B'rith, the

•4



Abe Bayer is director for
intenational concerns,
National Jewish Community
Relations Advisory Council.
This article was written
before Sunday's
announcement that Israel and
Ethiopia had resumed
diplomatic ties.

American Jewish Committee,
etc. Its strategy is to work
without public profile and
without publicity and this
has been effective in reaching
political and public leader-
ship in this country and
elsewhere, as well as
grassroots.
I recall meeting with the
highest State Department of-
ficials in joint delegations of
AAEJ, NACOEJ, ADL and
others. It could serve the in-
stitutional needs of NJCRAC
to do it otherwise, but it
wouldn't serve the American
Jewish community well, and
it wouldn't serve the needs of
Ethiopian Jews. It is for that
reason Carl Alpert and others
may not know of the range of
comprehensive approaches
being engaged in for family
reunification.
Alpert contends that
"pressing for the arousing of
public opinion at a time when
Addis Ababa is in serious
need of Western support" is
the way to go. Were this true,
we would not hesitate to raise
this issue loudly and public-
ly, but alas, it is not the case.
Ethiopia wants arms first
and trade second. It is
desperate for arms to win
wars against the two major
secessionist groups, also
Marxist. However, neither the
United States nor any other
Western country will, at this
time, provide Ethiopia with
armaments because of its
highly questionable human
rights record, having nothing
to do with Jews. We would
have little justification to pro-
vide arms.
Mengistu is not Gorbachev
and Glastnost has not yet
come to Addis Ababa. And
the United States govern-
ment is already fully commit-
ted to family reunification,
from President Bush, who in-
tervened with the Sudanese
in 1984 as vice president,
down to every Congressman
in the House of
Representatives.
As to trade, the U.S. buys
and needs next to nothing
from Ethiopia. Would that be
different, it would give us
leverage. A host of conser-
vative congressmen are simp-
ly itching to put a crimp on
any goods to Soviet ally
Mengistu that will slip
through the already tough
U.S. statutes that prohibit
anything but emergency
humanitarian food or aid to
that tragic country.
Unfortunately, American
leverage remains at an all-
Continued on Page 10

26

CLOSE-UP

Final Chapter?

LOUIS RAPOPORT
Renewed Israel-Ethiopian ties
are a miracle for Beta Yisrael.

39

BOOKS

Legacy Of
A Dear Friend

ELIZABETH APPLEBAUM
A prominent author realizes
Robert Kornwise's dream.

54

FITNESS

54 Pedal Power

JUDY MARX
For these Detroiters, exercise
bikes belong out on the street.

61

ENTERTAINMENT

Rappin' Rick

F-0

WENDY ROLLIN
WXYT has a radio personality
who can make 'Money Talk.'

z

0

FINE ARTS

Unfinished Venue

72

VICTORIA BELYEU DIAZ
Paint and sculpture will briefly
enhance a new Bloomfield office.

85

FOR WOMEN

85

Sarah To Golda

KIMBERLY LIPTON
Empowerment is the watchword
for Jewish women of the '90s.

89

FAMILY LIFE

Later, Mom

RONELLE R. GRIER
Friendship and information
drive an older mothers' group.

DEPARTMENTS

30
46
82
91

Inside Washington
Business
Ann Arbor
Engagements

96
98
102
130

Births
Single Life
Classified Ads
Obituaries

CANDLELIGHTING

89

Friday, November 10, 1989 4:58 p.m.
Sabbath ends Nov. 11
6:00 p.m.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

7

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