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May 11, 1990 - Image 60

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-05-11

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

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• MAYDAY • MAYDAY • MAYDAY • MAYDAY • MAYDAY • MAYDAY • MAYDAY • MAYDAY


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Chancellor Kohl Pledges
Support For Israel

New York (JTA) — West
German Chancellor Helmut
Kohl has pledged continued
support for Israel by a
unified Germany in an effort
to soothe American Jewish
concerns over the imminent
merging of the two Ger-
manies.
"Close and trustful polit-
ical dialogue with Israel
must —and will — be an
essential element of the
Middle East policy pursued
by a united Germany," the
chancellor said in an April
26 letter to Seymour Reich,
president of B'nai B'rith
International and chairman
of the Conference of Presi-
dents of Major American
Jewish Organizations.
The West German leader
also pledged German com-
mitment to Israel within the
European Community, and
said that while the E.C. is
participating in efforts to br-
ing about a negotiated set-
tlement of the Arab-Israel
problem, "we also know that
the right of self-
determination of the Pales-
tinians meets its limit where
Israel's right to exist is con-
cerned."
Kohl was responding to a
March 16 letter from Reich,
which raised the issues of a
unified Germany's support
for Israel, material aid to
Jewish victims of the Third
Reich and educational pro-
gramming for East German
youths on the horrors of the
Holocaust.
The cordial four-page
letter spoke at length of the
democratic values reinforced
by the April 18 elections in
the GDR, and said the

Even Without Pogroms,
Soviet Jews Are Fearful

SUSAN BIRNBAUM

Special to The Jewish News

T

CLASSIFIEDS
GET RESULTS!

he long-dreaded
pogroms against
Soviet Jews that had
been threatened for May 5
did not materialize last Sat-
urday in the Soviet Union.
But fear among Jews there
is still very much alive.
May 5 is widely known in
the Soviet Union as the bir-
thday of Karl Marx and as a
religious day in the Russian
Orthodox calendar. For

354.6060

JTA correspondent Hugh
Orgel in Tel Aviv contributed
to this report.

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former Communist regime
in East Germany should be
held accountable for East
German shortcomings, not
the current government or
people.
Jewish concerns over
reunification should be
"impressively allayed" by
the recent general election.
He noted the People's
Chamber in the GDR
declared in its opening ses-
sion that the GDR asks
"Jews all over the world for
forgiveness."
It was the communist
regime, he said, that
challenged Israel's right to
exist, supported the Arab
nations and disclaimed any
responsibility for the Holo-
caust.
The East Germans have
"overcome a dictatorship by
peaceful means, and that in
itself is a manifestation of
their democratic maturity,"
Kohl said.
The chancellor's letter to
Reich is his second com-
munication in recent months
to an American Jewish
leader. It follows a
somewhat irritated letter to
Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean of
the Simon Wiesenthal
Center, who had pressed for
overt reassurances of Ger-
man policy toward Holo-
caust education and pro-
gramming. The question
remains, therefore, to what
extent the German leader
will accommodate American
Jewish concerns. "I think
this letter is very gracious
and reflects the existence of
a relationship we estab-
lished in Bonn a year-and-a-
half ago," said Reich.

months now, it had taken on
another, more sinister iden-
tity as the date that anti-
Semitic groups had targeted
Jews for violence.
Soviet authorities had
issued assurances that
violence against Jews would
not be permitted, and few
Soviet Jewry groups in the
United States believed that
a large-scale slaughter of
Jews like the turn-of-the-
century pogroms would be
possible today.
But because the threats
had triggered near-hysteria
among some Soviet Jews,
especially in the Russian re-
public, representatives of
Jewish groups and some in-

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