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March 02, 1990 - Image 6

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-03-02

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

EDITORIAL

Making Choices

U

ndercurrents concerning Jewish movement into West Bloomfield have
been swirling since the Jewish Community Center relocated in the mid-
1970s. Concerns expressed then by long-time residents about the new
facility's tax-exempt status continue to be heard as other Jewish institutions
follow their constituents to the township. (See Close-Up, Page 24)
_ West Bloomfield is concerned about development. Rapid growth has over-
taxed roads, schools and township services. Community leaders have tried to
slow development and retain the bedroom community atmosphere by nearly
halting construction projects that are not single-family residential.
But even bedroom communities need support services nearby — shops and
stores, parks and schools, synagogues and churches. West Bloomfield residents
must decide if their leaders' approach is correct and if their township has reach-
ed the saturation level for support institutions.
If West Bloomfield Township residents agree, they will give their elected of-
ficials a vote of confidence in this year's elections. If they don't agree, they must
speak out, become involved in the political process, work to change minds or
work to change the leadership.

The Double Standard

N

ewspaper coverage this week of the annual State Department human
rights report focused on criticism of Israel's activities in the West Bank
and Gaza, accusing Israeli soldiers of causing unnecessary Palestinian
deaths and the government of violating international law.
It should be noted at the outset that Israel is no doubt guilty of some human
rights violations — as is every other nation in the world.
But in terms of balance, the State Department report, and the manner in
which it is reported in the American press, is a case study in the double stan-
dard that applies to Israel.
The Israeli government criticized the State Department report, saying that
it failed to make clear that the army's actions were in response to Palestinian
violence. "Everything we are doing arises from Arab violence," said Moshe
Raviv of the Foreign Ministry.
He and others noted that there is no mention in the report that nearly one-
third of the Palestinians killed last year in the West Bank and Gaza were
murdered by fellow Palestinians. In the name of hunting down collaborators,
these Palestine Liberation Organization-approved gangs tortured and killed
"political rivals, moderates, criminals and women they consider prom-
iscuous," noted Steven Emerson in a Wall Street Journal article entitled, "The
Intifada You Don't See On TV."
The State Department report devotes 13 pages to Israeli human rights
abuses, and four paragraphs to Palestinian human rights abuses.
Why this imbalance? Because, as is often heard, Israel should be, and wants
to be, judged by Western standards. That is why American newspapers make
only the briefest mention of the human rights report criticisms of Mideast
neighbors like Syria, Iran and Iraq.
But the missing factor here is that Israel should be judged by the standards
of a Western nation at war, as she has been since the day she declared
statehood. And as Charles Krauthammer wrote in a Time essay this week, "By
the standard of democracies facing similar disorders, Israel's behavior has been
measured and restrained."
One need only think of National Guard response to black riots in Watts and
Detroit or student protests at Kent State — situations when there was no threat
to the government, where protestors were not calling for the dismantling of the
state.
"The conscious deployment of a double standard directed at the Jewish state
and at no other state in the world," continued Krauthammer, "the willingness
systematically to condemn the Jewish state for things others are not condemned
for — this is not a higher standard. It is a discriminatory standard. And discrim-
ination against Jews has a name, too. The word for it is anti-Semitism."
The Jewish community too often cries wolf over media coverage of Israel.
But when it is warranted, and in this case complicated by the State Depart-
ment's over-emphasis on Israeli human rights violations, it is imperative that
we call attention to and condemn the double standard in action.

6

FRIDAY, MARCH 2, 1990

LETTERS

Why No Anger
About AIDS 'Joke'?

Not having seen the
documentary Roger and Me
and never having been a Bob
Eubanks fan, it's understan-
dable that I don't know the
joke to which Michael Elkin
refers ("Bob Eubanks
Apologizes To Jewish Corn-
munity," Feb. 16). Apparent-
ly Eubanks' remark regar-
ding "Jewish men, Jewish
women and AIDS" has right-
ly angered quite a few people
with the resulting charges of
anti-Semitism.
But, Mr. Elkin, are none of
those same people concerned
also about the reference to
AIDS? You made no mention.
Why do we not jump with
the same fervor to the defense
of the memory of the
thousands of women, men
and children (many of them
Jewish) who have died with
AIDS, and the perhaps
millions, including families
and friends, of those now liv-
ing with AIDS/HIV?
It is frustrating that so
many in the Jewish corn-
munity still will not respond
but to ask how AIDS is a
Jewish issue. Eubanks some-
how made a , connection.
Either he knows something
we don't, or maybe the joke
really is on us.

Peter Cooper
Detroit

Ziomecki
Not Pessimistic

The talk given by Mariusz
Ziomecki on Polish-Jewish
relations ("Jewish-Polish
Links Strained," Feb. 3) was
the most inspiring commen-
tary on the subject since the
dramatic article of Blonski. I
am astonished that reporter
Susan Grant perceived it as
pessimistic.

I left the lecture pleased by
the positive changes which
have taken place in the Polish
attitude toward Jews.
Ziomecki conveyed the feeling
that the post-war generation
of Poles is eager to learn
about Jews and is ashamed of
Poland's anti-Semitic past.
Ziomecki did say relations
between Jewish and Polish
communities "are dreadfully
bad." However, this was said
with regret, and it was evi-
dent that he had the expecta-
tion of friendship. Ms. Grant
writes, "In polite Polish com-
pany, people do not make
anti-Semitic remarks, he
said. Otherwise, they may not
be invited to future parties."
This comment may be literal-
ly true, but it fails to convey
the message made em-
phatically by Ziomecki that
anti-Semitic comments are no
longer tolerated by the ma-
jority of his generation.
Ziomecki spoke with a true
empathy for Jewish feelings.
The recognition that the past
was gloomy and the distress
about the absence of mean-
ingful dialogue in the present
were very encouraging. Did
Ms. Grant and I attend the
same lecture?

DE Emanuel Tanay
Detroit

What Do Secular
Jews Observe?

In the Feb. 26 issue you ran
a letter "Are Only Orthodox
Jews Observant?" by Irvine
Kaplan taking issue with the
fact that you referred to new
Jewish Welfare Federation
President Mark Schlussel as
"observant," then labeled him
"Orthodox," inferring that
only Orthodox Jews can be
observant.
A little background. I was

Continued on Page 14

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