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June 01, 1990 - Image 46

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-06-01

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

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FRIDAY, JUNE 1, 1990

J'Accuse

Continued from Page 2

American were killed when
a fundamentalist Palesti-
nian caused an Israeli bus
to crash in a ravine, many
Palestinians openly
justified the killings; some
even rejoiced.
Not only have Palesti-
nians routinely celebrated
the killings of Israelis. They
have consistently subscrib-
ed to conspiracies, in-
cluding their charge that
the violent deaths of
Palestinians are part of a
deliberate Israeli plot to kill
all Palestinians. This con-
spiratorial accusation, not
insignificantly, is similar to
the way the intifada may
have started. After a traffic
accident in Gaza in
December 1987, in which
four Palestinians were kill-
ed, Palestinians immediate-
ly charged that the traffic
accident was a deliberate
act of premeditated murder
by the Israeli government.
In fact, it was just a traffic
accident.
While Palestinian exag-
gerations, conspiracies and
distortions may be
understandable given the
difficult circumstances
under which the Palesti-
nians live, the U.S. media
and human-rights
organizations have a
responsibility not to report
them blindly.
Palestinian
When
schoolchildren several
years ago claimed they
were being poisoned by
Israel, the accusation was
uncritically broadcast all
over the world. Later a
team of international scien-
tists determined that there
was no poisoning what-
soever. The children at best
were suffering from some
form of mass hysteria, and
at worst were being
manipulated by their
parents.
The response of the
media and human-rights
organizations in the U.S. to
the killings of innocent
Israelis by Arabs has been
just as skewed. When ter-
rorists opened fire on an
Israeli tour bus outside
Cairo and killed nine
Israelis, why didn't human-
rights activists and com-
mentators charge that the
event was fostered by the
climate of hate against
Jews in Egypt? Palestinian
leaders openly justified the
killings.
Instead, the U.S. media
focused on the apologies
issued by Egyptian Presi-
dent Hosni Mubarak to
foster the notion that the at-
tack was an "abberation" in
Egypt's attitude toward
Israelis.

Whether the attack was
an abberation is, in fact,
debatable. An examination
of broadcasts and publica-
tions in Egypt in the weeks
after the killings indicates,
however, that some Egyp-
tians approved of the kill-
ings. Yet, at the same time,
the Egyptian government
forcefully condemned the
attack.
Perhaps even worse is
how human-rights
organizations and the U.S.
media treat the killings of
Arabs by Arabs: There is
virtually no coverage or
criticism. Two weeks ago, -
Egyptian police opened fire
on "fundamentalists"
southwest of Cairo, killing
14 Egyptians. The massacre
was ignored by nearly all
American newspapers and
television networks. The
Associated Press ran a
small three-paragraph
story — but quoted only the
version offered by the
Egyptian police, who alleg-
ed they were provoked.
Ultimately, the true test of
a nation's soul is how it
reacts in the face of such
violence. Israel has moved
swiftly and appropriately.
If only the Arab world and
the Palestinians would
react similarly.
Hopefully the media and
State Department represen-
tatives will recognize the
validity of these accumulated
indictments.
We now adhere to the tradi-
tional appeal to fellow Jews
not to panic and never to
despair. Israel is not panicking
to a degree that could mean
yielding to suicide. Together
we keep encouraging the cur-
rent great commitment in the
New Exodus, the settlement
in Israel of our fellow Jews
from Russia. Nothing is to
stop it. That's the foremost
way of replying to the incite-
ment to riot.
There were momentary
fears and they will surely end
with increased labors for the
redeemed Zion. Nothing can
interfere with it when there
is Jewish unity. ❑

Sammy Davis

Continued from Page 2

Sammy Davis Jr. paid a
visit to Israel as guest of
the Israel War of In-
dependence and Zahal
Disabled Veterans
Organization. Mr. Davis
gave a concert; all pro-
ceeds from which, in-
cluding his own fees, went
to Beit Halochem — sports,
rehabilitation and social

center for disabled war
veterans.
The great moment of this
memorable evening was
when the actor was
presented with flowers by

the veteran paraplegic Zvi
Ben-Zvi (wounded in the
1948 war).
The Sammy Davis Jr. name
deservedly belongs in the
Who's Who in World Jewry. ❑

The Lie About Jerusalem:
Never Let It Gain Ground

M

any distortions that
are sheer lies have
been circulated
about Jerusalem. When
government officials, especial-
ly from Arab quarters, are the
circulators of the outrageous-
ly manipulated untruths aim-
ed at abusing the continuing
Israeli policies of treating all
religions with unquestioned
justice, they should be con-
demned mercilessly.
A most shocking set of lies
published in the New York
Times bore the signature of
Salameh Abdul-Hadi, press
secretary to Jordan's Crown
Prince Hassan. It called for
severest condemnation and
received it from Dr. Henry
Siegman, executive director
of the American Jewish Con-
gress, and Manfred R.
Lahmann of New York. The
latter calls for wide circula-
tion exposing the Jordanian
lie. Lehmann's assembled
facts are:
The May 5 letter on
Jerusalem by the press
secretary of the Crown
Prince of Jordan indicates
that either the Crown
Prince has a short
memory, or else that he
assumes his readers are ig-
norant of recent history.
The Old City of
Jerusalem was occupied
by Jordan for 19 years.
During this time, not one
Jew was allowed to reach
the Western Wall, the
holiest place of worship in
the Jewish religion. At the
same time, Jordan
destroyed systematically
each and every synagogue
in the city. The Jordanians
also desecrated the ancient
Jewish cemetery on the
Mount of Olives, by remov-
ing tombstones and using
them to pave the military
latrines nearby. I myself
witnessed these sad sights
after Jerusalem was
liberated in 1967.
Yet the Crown Prince
makes himself out to be the
champion of the right to
"unhindered access to holy
places in Jerusalem:' In
the process, he. accuses
Israel of inflicting "damage
and destruction" on
Muslim and Christian
sanctuaries.

The facts, however, are
that Israel has an impec-
cable record of respecting
all places of worship, and
has meticulously protected
churches and mosques
alike. Never has the
freedom of worship been
so firmly practiced as
under Israel.
It is also interesting to
note that the modern
Arabic name for
Jerusalem, El-Kuds, refers
to the Jewish Temple of
King Solomon. Similarly,
Christian affinity to
Jerusalem is based on the
Jewish Temple in the days
of Jesus.
All considered, it is not
surprising that only Jews
have been saying for cen-
turies: "Next year in
Jerusalem:'
The facts contained in the
Lehmann response to the Jor-
danian official will surely
need frequent emphasis
because of the notoriety ac-
corded to the accusations
against Israel.
These facts may well serve
also as an additional expres-
sion of resentment to the
most unfortunate blunders
that were contained in un-
qualified statements about
Israel's role in Jerusalem by
Cardinal John O'Connor.
The adherence to the fac-
tual, remains a serious
obligation for all of us.
Misrepresentations about
Israel are continuing. They
need constant correcting. The
truth about Israel's status
must never be hidden. ❑

NEWS 11 ••••••••

Greece, Israel
Establish Ties

Athens (JTA) — Greece,
fulfilling a promise by its
new prime minister, has es-
tablished full diplomatic re-
lations with Israel.
The announcement was
made May 21 by Prime Min-
ister Constantine Mitsotakis
at a Cabinet meeting, and
was formalized later in the
day with the signing of a
joint statement by Greece
and Israel at European
Community headquarters in
Brussels.

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