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February 09, 1990 - Image 35

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-02-09

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

a Camp Weekend
for 9111•12th graders

And more than 1.5 million
Palestinians in the West
Bank and Gaza Strip staged
a one-day general strike to
protest the Soviet immigra-
tion.
As the rest of the world re-
orders its priorities, the pro-
tagonists in the Middle East
— on both sides of the divide
—appear determined to con-
tinue playing their same old

discordant tune. But there
are indications that despite
the hard-line rhetoric, both
Israel and the Palestinians
are reaching the conclusion
that, sooner or later, willing-
ly or unwillingly, they will
both be obliged to bend just
enough to move the conflict
off dead-center and attempt
to reach an accommoda-
tion. ❑

Demographic Time Bomb

"Greater Israel" — pre-
1967 Israel plus the occupied
territories — contains some
3.7 million Jews and 2.2
million Arabs, giving the
Jewish population a
majority of just over 60 per-
cent. The Arab birth rate,
however, is substantially
higher than the Jewish birth
rate (31 per thousand versus
13 per thousand).
By the end of the decade,
statisticians estimate that
while the Jewish population
will have grown to about 4.2
million, the Arab population
will amount to more than 3.1
million, trimming the Jew-
ish majority to less than 57
percent. A projection of this
trend shows the Arabs
achieving a majority in
"Greater Israel" by the year
2020.
This is the reason given by
many Israelis, concerned
about the future Jewish and
democratic character of
Israel, for withdrawing from
the territories and dras-
tically reducing the number
of Arabs under Israeli con-
trol.

However, Israelis who
seek to maintain control of
the territories place a diff-
erent spin on the numbers:
Thanks to the steady flow of
immigration and the high
birth rate among the re-
ligious section of the popula-
tion, they say, the Jewish
majority has remained vir-
tually unchanged since the
territories were conquered
in 1967.
Moreover, they argue, the
Russian immigrants now
streaming into Israel will
ensure that this balance is
maintained for at least two
more decades.
So, will a massive influx of
Soviet immigrants really
make a substantial
difference to the
demographic balance?
Not really, says Haifa
University demographer
Professor Amon. Sofer. He
calculates that it will take
170,000 new immigrants to
shift the present population
balance of "Greater Israel"
by a single percentage point
in favor of the Jews. ❑
— Helen Davis

Why Soviet Jews Leave

Natan Sharansky has no
illusions about why Soviet
Jews are opting to leave the
Soviet Union in such huge
numbers and in such a
hurry. The reason, he says,
is to be found in the rising
tide of anti-Semitism, coupl-
ed with a profound uncer-
tainty about the political
future of Mikhail Gor-
bachev.
"As a Communist, [Gor-
bachev] thought that if he
gave the people a little bit of
freedom they would be so
grateful they would work
better," says Sharansky.
"He did not realize, thank
God, that there is no such
thing as a little bit of
freedom."
The Soviet Union, now

neither totalitarian nor free,
is in a state of confusion and
Soviet citizens, from in-
tellectuals to peasants, are
blaming the Jews for all
their misfortunes — from
epidemic alcoholism and the
parlous state of the economy
to Stalin and the Armenian
earthquake.
Addressing a fund-raising
dinner in London, Sharan-
sky told his audience of 450
that the current climate in
the Soviet Union was
reminiscent of that in Nazi
Germany during the Thir-
ties: "If you do not act quick-
ly enough," he warned,
"who knows what will
happen."
— Helen Davis



Co-sponsored by
Agency for Jewish Education
B'nai B'rith Youth Organization
Michigan State Temple Youth
Chapters of Greater Detroit
United Synagogue Youth
National Council of Synagogue Youth
Hillel Day School
Young Judea

• a structured weekend of social,
recreational, educational and religious programming at
Camp Maas in Ortonville • Bus service provided.

Cost per student $36 • The weekend will be subsidized by the
Robert Ian Kornwise Fund of Adat Shalom Synagogue, which was
established last year by Maureen and Sanford Kornwise in
memory of their son, Robert.

A Committee of teens representing the entire Jewish community
has been involved in the planning of this creative weekend.

For information and applications:
Call Rabbi Bruce Aft at the Agency for Jewish Education
352-7117

WE'RE FIGHTING FOR
YOUR LIFE

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You should avoid foods high in
cholesterol. It's a fact, a high
blood cholesterol level sub-
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chances of developing heart
disease. By cutting down on
fatty, rich foods, you can do
yourself a big favor. You could
lower your blood cholesterol
level and reduce your risk of
heart disease.

For more information about a
planned and balanced diet,
contact youi. American Heart
Association. We'll give you
some free advice on how to
plan a diet good for life.

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

35

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