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May 04, 1990 - Image 2

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

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PURELY COMMENTARY

PHILIP SLOMOVITZ

Editor Emeritus

Historiography On An Honorable Level

U

nless historical rec-
ords are properly
treated, there will
surely be a diminution of
chances for the advancement
of human relations and at-
taining amity between
nations.
The threat of negations is
not apparent in the manner
in which Gaza and its
residents are interpreted in
public discussions.
All the emphasis is accord-
ed to the terrorizing that has
developed here. The dramatic
occurrences, the fascinating
human factors that have kept
Gaza among the most il-
luminating eras of the an-
cient world, are instead gran-
ting priorities to the
generated hatreds.
There was an ignoring of
the most recent declarations
about Gaza when Egypt made
it clear that it had no desire
to assume responsibility for
Gaza or to deal with the
multiplicity of its problems.
For Israel, it became an im-
posed headache and the Gaza
issue emerged and grew as
hate propaganda among
Arabs and Israel's an-
tagonists everywhere.
Israel's desire to tackle the
problem of Gaza imposed
upon it with the dignity need-
ed in uplifting a depressed
Arab community has not
been given due respect. There
was a major occurrence when
David Ben-Gurion, prime

minister of Israel during the
1957 Sinai campaign, ex-
pressed an attitude of
helpfulness.
The Ben-Gurion role might
have been forgotten had it not
been for the sharing in it by
Abba Eban, who was one of
Israel's chief diplomats and
then represented his country
in the United States. Eban
was distressed by a
misconception of the Ben-
Gurion attitude in an article
in the Jerusalem Post. He
called attention to the actual
occurrences in a letter
published in the Jerusalem
Post in which he corrected
misconceptions:
In February 1957, in-
fluential U.S. officials,
while exerting strong
pressure for our with-
drawal from Sinai, revolv-
ed the idea of leaving Gaza
in Israel's control. Egypt
was unenthusiastic about
recovering it and Secretary
Dulles hoped that Israel
would break the back of
the refugee problem, or,
perhaps its own back.
On February 23, 1957, I
came back from the United
Nations struggle for 48
hours to consult the prime
minister. After all, a part of
Eretz Israel was at issue.
Ben Gurion reacted with
fury. He said that it would
be impossible for Israel
both to retain Gaza
"against the will of its own

David Ben-Gurion

inhabitants and of the
friendly and hostile world
and also to absorb 350,000
Jewish immigrants." He
implored me to seek other
solutions such as a UN
force which would prevent
the return of the Egyptian
army.

He repeated all the
remarks which I have
quoted above in more im-
portant context of a state-
ment in the Knesset. Here
are his words: "If the
government of Israel had
not had the courage to ac-
cept a fateful decision in
consideration of Israel's
supreme long-term in-

Abba Eban

terests, in full knowledge
that it was an unpopular
decision, it would not be
worthy of the heavy
responsibility which the
nation laid upon it. I am no
less proud of the Sinai
campaign, a pride which I
share with every Jew, than
I am proud of the civic
courage displayed by the
government in adopting a
decision that was un-
popular, but also wise, ad-
vantageous and well-
founded, and which will
stand in history as one of
the decisive stages in the
constant consolidation of
the state from its rebirth
until this day." (Knesset

Proceedings, April 2, 1957,
and Medinat Yisrael
Hamithadeshet, Am Oved,
1969, page 557.)
Egyptian administrators
returned to Gaza, but
Egyptian troops did not.
One of the best histories of
the period accurately
notes: "The prime minister
was not wrong. Fedayun
activity from Gaza virtual-
ly ended. Israelis in the
outlying border set-
tlements now could work
and sleep in peace for the
first time in seven years
." (Howard M. Sacher, A
History of Israel, Knopf
New York 1981, page 514.)
Ben-Gurion had different
views on Gaza in previous
times, but his writings and
speeches, especially after
the 1967 war, are a constant
reproach to the annexa-
tionist school.
It is fortunate there is an
Abba Eban to preserve the
truth about a major topic in
Israel's history. It lends
validity to the regret I ex-
pressed when Eban was
denied an active role in the
Israel government, after the
several decades of diplomatic
leadership, when the last
government was formed by
Labor and Likud. At least he
remained a member of the
Knesset. Now the just-quoted
letter becomes and remains

Continued on Page 44

Hadassah And Jerusalem: Inseparably Glorified

W

hile the misled
whose minds have
been poisoned
against the Jewish people are
fanning hatreds the Zionist-
created ideals rise above the
experienced venom. The
Hebrew University welcomes
Arab students from all lands,
as it continues to provide ac-
cess even to applicants from
Gaza. Agricultural colleges
operating near Jerusalem

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
(US PS 275-520) is published every
Friday with additional supplements
in February, March, May, August,
October and November at 27676
Franklin Road, Southfield,
Michigan.

Second class postage paid at
Southfield, Michigan and addi-
tional mailing offices.

Postmaster: Send changes to:
DETROIT JEWISH NEWS, 27676
Franklin Road, Southfield,
Michigan 48034

$29 per year
$37 per year out of state
75' single copy

Vol. XCVII No. 10

2

May 4, 1990

FRIDAY, MAY 4, 1990

train Arab farmers, providing
the necessary skills.
Hadassah is the health saver
in Israel not for Jews alone.
Time and again the news
media of the world have
reported about Arabs treated
in the Hadassah medical
centers on a par with Jews.
Prejudice will not be found in
the Hadassah dictionary.
Hadassah directors and
nurses are dedicated to
preserving the health of pa-
tients regardless of color of
skin or how they worship.
Arab children are born in the
hospitals and the Hebrew
University-trained doctors
heal their families.
Yet there is venom applied
to Jerusalem, the capital of
Israel. Mention of Jews from
Russia establishing residence
there and sharing in pro-
viding the humanism that is
engendered in the causes that
are Zionist in origin and
Jewish in administration are
treated with bitterness even
by those securing comfort and

healing from them. Therefore
the duty has arisen to remind
many who owe their very
lives to Hadassah that the
capital of Israel is head-
quarters for the movement
that advances compassion as
a defiance of the hate
engendered into poisoned
minds; that in human spirit
there should be no room for
the venom that fails to
recognize the justice of the
health providing movement
in the capital of Israel that
operates with compassion for
Arabs as often if not more,
than for Jews. Therefore
Hadassah found it necessary
to state its case anew in a
paid advertisement in the
New York Times. The
reminder about the Hadassah
role called attention to these
never-to-be-forgotten services
to mankind:

At a time when barriers
between people are
crumbling, when we are
celebrating the breakdown

of the Berlin Wall and the
disintegration of the Iron
Curtain, it is a terrible
mistake for our Ad-
ministration to encourage
the creation of new bar-
riers in united Jerusalem.

President Bush must
recognize that Jews
everywhere stand as one
on the principle that a
united Jerusalem, the
capital of Israel, shall
never again be divided.
For Hadassah, as for
every Jew, Jerusalem has a
special place. Here we
opened our first medical
station in 1913. Here stand
Hadassah's Medical
Center, the great healing
institution of the Middle
East, and Medical School,
where thousands of physi-
cians have been trained for
service in Israel, the Third
World and other lands. It is
from Jerusalem that
Hadassah reaches out to
the entire world.

Here Muslim, Christian
and Jewish patients alike
are cared for with exper-
tise and dignity by Muslim,
Christian and Jewish doc-
tors. In the bustling cor-
ridors of the Medical
Center may be seen a vi-
sion of the peace that one
day must come to the Mid-
dle East.
We remember the pain of
a divided city. We must
remember the loss and
senseless tragedy when 78
of our top physicians and
nurses, in an official UN
convoy, were ambushed
and murdered in 1948 on
their way to Hadassah
hospital atop Mt. Scopus,
isolated from the rest of
Jerusalem.
This must not happen
again. This will not happen
again in a united
Jerusalem under Israeli
sovereignty.
This is the message in time

Continued on Page 44

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