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February 02, 1990 - Image 20

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-02-02

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

LOCAL NEWS

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Jews and Christians were
that the Palestinians must
renounce their national
covenant calling for Israel's
destruction; they must rec-
ognize Israel; and they must
recognize Israel's contribu-
tions to the standard of liv-
ing in the West Bank and
Gaza Strip. Sister Thering
said Israel must pledge no
further changes in land and
water arrangements and ac-
cept spokesmen chosen by
the Palestinians.
"The intifada," she said,
"is not against a brutal so-
cial and economic injustice
brought on by a brutal oc-
cupation. Rather, the in-
tifada was brought on by
Palestinian unwillingness to
negotiate with Israel."
She asked the audience to
give Israel as much support
as possible "because I
believe that Israel stands
head and shoulders above
the nations of the world in
trying to be a righteous
nation . . . Zionism is the
creation of a new society,
however imperfect, trying to
uphold the highest ideals of
democracy."
The NCLCI, formed 10
years ago by Rev. Franklin
Littell in Philadelphia, has
an executive committee of
20, a national board of 40-50
and several hundred board
members, Rev. Lyons said.
The weekend meeting in
Southfield, he said, showed
the group that they need to
spend more time together
and become more sophisti-
cated in their efforts for
Israel.
He expects more emphasis
on tours of Israel for laymen
and study tours for clergy. In
the last few years, there
have been more Christian
visitors to Israel from the
United States than Jewish
visitors.
"I've never taken anyone
to Israel who has not come
back changed," said Rev.
Lyons, who has made more
than 30 visits to the Jewish
state. "The NCLCI includes
evangelical fundamentalists
and the most liberal Chris-
tians. We don't always agree
on theology, but Israel and
the Jewish people bring us
together."
Dr. William Harter de-
scribed persecution of Chris-
tians in the Middle East, and
suggested that Israel's crime
is her success. Zionism "is
the only successful national
liberation movement in the
Middle East that is not
Islamic," a success that
flaunts "the triumphalist
Islamic national world
view" of Syria, Iraq, Libya
and the Palestine Liberation
Organization.

"The Palestinian Arabs,"
he said, "say they have more
rights in Israel than in any
other country in the Middle
East. That does not mean
that life is perfect, or that it
couldn't be improved."
Dr. Harter, of
Chambersburg, Pa., stressed
that pluralism is the key to
solving problems in the
United States and in the
Middle East. He said NCLCI
members have worked
within their denominations
to promote this view and
support for Israel. He read
from Presbyterian
statements in 1974 on the

"The intifada is
not against a
brutal social and
economic injustice
brought on by a
brutal occupation.
It was brought on
by Palestinian
unwillingness to
negotiate."

Middle East and a 1987
statement that Christians
have not replaced Jews.
"These are still controver-
sial statements and not
widely accepted," he said,
"but the statements are
there." Rev. Lyons added
that these efforts have
helped resolve the problem
of moving the Carmelite
convent from Auschwitz.
"This would not have
happened if Catholics had
not brought pressure on the
church. And this couldn't
have happened 15 years
ago."
Said Dr. Harter, "We
haven't reached the
millenium yet. But we have
to keep working and
building bridges for
peace"including sending
ecumenical workers to Israel
as well as the West Bank. ❑

Relationship
Workshop Nears

A relationship enhance-
ment group begins a 12-week
workshop for Jewish Com-
munity Center singles of all
ages at 6:15 p.m. Feb. 14,
covering assertiveness train-
ing, letting go of resentments
and cognitive restructuring.
Shirley Berman, M.S.W.,
and Marcia Suziak, B.SW,
Wayne State University
Psychology Clinic, will
facilitate the program.
There is a charge. For loca-
tion, information and to ar-
range for an interview, call
the clinic, 577-2840.

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