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December 01, 1989 - Image 6

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-12-01

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

EDITORIAL I

Getting Political

w

est

Bloomfield Township has been the focal point of local
Jewish migration for nearly 20 years. It now has a
Jewish population that by some estimates has reached
40 percent.
Given the size of their minority, Jewish residents of West Bloom-
field may have been surprised by last week's trustee decisions on
two development issues: Lubavitch plans for a rabbinical college,
housing complex and center on 40 acres west of the Jewish Com-
munity Campus, and B'nai Moshe plans for a new synagogue on
Drake Road.
Township trustees gave a left-handed go-ahead to Lubavitch by
not creating restrictions that would have prohibited the proposed
college. Lubavitch must still pass the site-plan hurdle that has
eluded B'nai Moshe.
The trustees gave credible reasons for blocking B'nai Moshe —
credible if past history and the facts are ignored. But their action is
on shaky ground if it favors one private landowner against two
others, or forces B'nai Moshe to purchase additional land it does
not need at a substantially higher price.
West Bloomfield's development policies have been under in-
creasing scrutiny in recent years as residents and officials debate
orderly growth. Some elected officials have lost their positions as
residents take sides on the rapid growth question.
Last week's action by the township board, however, threatens to
galvanize West Bloomfield's Jewish community into a cohesive
voting bloc. If predominantly Democratic Jewish voters see the ac-
tions of predominantly Republican officials as anti-Jewish, the
Nov. 20 vote on B'nai Moshe could be the catalyst for a major polit-
ical clash in West Bloomfield.
Politics aside, we believe the West Bloomfield trustees should
reconsider the B'nai Moshe site plan on its merits.

250,000 Soviet Jews, Federation executives and lay leaders in this
country are not fully convinced that such a campaign can succeed.
They are well aware of the historic opportunity of large-scale
aliyah, and what it means to Israel, but they have legitimate ques-
tions about whether such a massive fund-raising effort is possible,
and even if it is, what the implications would be for ongoing local
needs.
Jews have long been faced with such impossible situations,
choosing between two priorities of paramount importance. Jewish
tradition tells us that the highest mitzvah is Pidyan Sh'vuim, res-
cuing a fellow Jew in peril, and surely that is what the resettle-
ment effort is about.
Perhaps there are alternatives, though, to making the ultimate
choice. Some leaders are talking about bonds or bank loans to pay
for the resettlement; others are confident that the Jewish com-
munity is capable of meeting the full financial responsibilities if
only they are made aware of the urgency and uniqueness of the
situation.
Clearly, it is our duty to do all that we can to raise funds, and en-
thusiasm, for this historical challenge — an opportunity to rescue
Jews from the USSR while the gates of emigration are still open; to
provide Israel with what she wants most: more Jews; and all the
while maintaining the level of services and programs for our
Jewish community at home.
Impossible? Perhaps. But since when in history have Jews shirk-
ed from such tasks?

r--

1;0E3 AMY=
VIEMBER WIRT
WE WERE 11Witili
TO BAD iN THE

FIRST

Impossible Choices

'Lc=

PLAN

A

merican Jewish leaders are facing a dilemma that would
test all of King Solomon's wisdom: how to balance the
priority of providing a full range of services — from .Jewish
education to care for the elderly — to the local community, versus
the priority of providing funds for the resettlement of tens of
thousands of emigrating Soviet Jews, primarily to Israel.
While United Jewish Appeal officials are talking of launching a
$350 million campaign over the next five years to help meet the
costs of absorption and housing in Israel for between 100,000 and

LETTERS

Arthur Hertzberg
Has Lost His Way

This writer finds himself in
the position of the child in the
folk story who shouted during
a parade: "But the Emperor
is naked," when no one else
dared to tell the truth.
As one who recently compil-
ed evidence on Holocaust
revisionism (to be published),
I am dismayed at some of the
inaccuracies, irrelevencies
and misinterpretation of a
book by Rabbi Arthur Hert-
zberg who, according to The
Detroit News, "is troubled
about the rebirth in publici-
ty and discussion about the
Holocaust, which he said is

6

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 1, 1989

politically motivated in
Israel." Also, from The Jewish
News, "that Jews have made
the Holocaust into a
paranoia."
Perhaps Rabbi Hertzberg is
unconscious of his own
political
motives
and
unaware
that
Hitler
apologists are flooding the
literature with ingenious at-
tempts to deny, minimize and
attenuate the enormity of the
genocide, and even finding
reasons for justification.
We ask: How can anyone
overemphasize the extent of
the murder of 6 million peo-
ple? How can any rational
person fail to see the relation
between the Holocaust and a

secure Israel? If a state ex-
isted during the war, the
Holocaust never would have
occurred.
If one calls the Jews
paranoid about the
Holocaust, what would we
call the West's panic- over
communism?
Rabbi Hertzberg, age 68,
lost his way somewhere. His
book is full of superficial
generalizations and does not
represent Jewish leadership.

Dr. Milton Steinhardt

Oak Park

What Is Happening
At Wayne State?

Does anyone know or care
what is happening on the

Wayne State University cam-
pus regarding the Arab
students and their openly
anti-Semitic and anti-Israel
behavior?
On Nov. 15, a university
sanctioned Arab organization
sponsored a rally on campus.
Jewish students were verbal-
ly abused with such terms as
f
kikes and dirty f
Jews. One young Jewish man
was physically abused. There
were no campus guards
around to maintain order.
There are Jewish students
who are fearful of using cer-
tain facilities such as the
science library computer
center, the student center and
Manoogian Hall because of

the constant harassment and
threats by the Arab students.
Is this the atmosphere that
should prevail on a public
supported campus?

Ethel Silberg, David Silberg,
Bernard Schiff, Sally Schiff,
Tove and Seymour Salinger,
Leon Lucas and Sharon
Goldstein

Pro-Israel Doesn't
Mean Pro-Shamir

In connection with your ar-
ticle of Nov. 10, "Political
Conference Teaches Ac-
tivism," referring to the lob-
bying conference co-sponsored
by the American-Israel Public
Continued on Page 10

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