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May 04, 1990 - Image 18

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-05-04

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

For Rockin' & Relaxin'

Mantas

The Lubavitcher Rebbe
And Israeli Affairs

STEPHEN SAWILOWSKY

Special to The Jewish News

nti-Israel stalwarts
such as Evans and
Novak and Time
magazine talk about "in-
terference," "intervention,"
and "tampering" in Israeli af-
fairs by the Lubavitcher
Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem
Schneerson. But now, along
comes Philip Slomovitz's
(Jewish News, April 27) oblo-
quy "Brooklyn dictating to
Jerusalem!'
Mr. Slomovitz apparently
overlooked the results of the
nationwide poll taken in
Israel, reported on Page 45 of
the same issue. It indicates 34
percent are opposed to any
territorial concessions, and
another 43 percent would on-
ly agree to minor concessions.
It is a mandate from the
general populace when 77
percent favor the centrist
Likud position on ceding
land.
How has Labor managed to
hold on to an unfavorable
position for so long? The
answer is well known, even to
Mr. Slomovitz: it is U.S.
pressure, spearheaded by
American Jewish community
leaders, who have mastered
the art of skewing the Israeli
political process.
The real "dictating to
Jerusalem" has gone on,
unimpeded for two decades,
not from Brooklyn, but
rather, from Manhattan,
Toronto, Chicago, and most
certainly from Detroit.
In contradistinction, the
Lubavitcher Rebbe maintains
an apolitical position. He does
not favor one of Israel's
political parties over the
other, nor does he actively in-
tervene in Israel's political
system. He simply reiterated
his consistent stand against
territorial concessions.
A Knesset member called
the Rebbe's office to ask if the
Rebbe had changed his stance
on this matter, and was in-
formed that the Rebbe re-
mained firm in his resolve on
the issue. The Knesset
member then resigned,
rather than contributing the
final vote necessary to em-
power the Labor party.
It is obvious the truth here
is not a relevant commodity;
it is simply a case of whose ox
is being gored. Had the advice
of the Rebbe happened to

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Stephen R. Sawilowsky is
assistant professor of
education at Wayne State
University.

have benefited the agenda of
Mr. Peres' party, these same
community leaders would
have extolled and applauded
the Rebbe's opinion, hailing
him as a leader with vision
and impact.
Many community leaders
and media reporters gleeful-
ly note that the Rebbe has
"never set foot in Israel!" This
is the nadir of their
arguments. It is true that the
Rebbe has never visited
Israel. If he were to spend as
many days vacationing in
Florida, California, the
Bahamas and Aspen as his
critics do, they might have a
point. But, it is public
knowledge that Rabbi
Schneerson has not taken one
single day's vacation in his 40

There is no peace
treaty of any kind
available in return
for territorial
concessions.

years of leadership! The
Rebbe has not even left the
confines of Brooklyn since
1956, when he made a five-
hour visit to a children's sum-
mer camp he founded in up-
per state New York.
It is intellectually dishonest
to deliberately generate the
impression that Rabbi
Schneerson has selectively
omitted Israel from his travel
plans. The Rebbe's devotion to
his work has kept him at his
desk unceasingly for four
decades, without a break.
This is an unparalleled
display of devotion to duty
and a selflessness that no
leader in this century, Jewish
or otherwise, could match!
The author of last week's
diatribe quotes extensively
from an article written by a
Rabbi Nadler of Montreal. In
rebuttal to Nadler, Julius
Liebb writes in New York's
Jewish Press:
"Among other criticisms, he
denies the Rebbe the right to
voice an opinion on Israel's
future because 'he never set
foot in the Holy Land.'
Neither did Moses, albeit un-
willingly, yet we proclaim,
`Moshe is truth and his Torah
is truth' . . . Circumstances
prevented his reaching the
land of his dreams but he
worked with heart and soul to
bring his people there. And
who can deny that the
Lubavitcher Rebbe has left
his indelible imprint on the

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