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June 29, 1990 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-06-29

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JUNE 29, 1990 / 6 TAMMUZ 5750


Mandela's Remarks Raise
r Doubts In Many Jews



orothy Medalie has
noticed a certain
quietness among U.S.
Jewish leaders regarding
Nelson Mandela's applause
for Cuban, Libyan and Pa-
lestinian Liberation Organ-
ization leaders. She thinks
she knows why.
The South African Jewish
native moved to Detroit 12
years ago from Johan-
nesburg, where she was a
Jewish community activist
and supported African Na-
tional Congress leader
Mandela and the struggle
against apartheid.
Medalie said Jewish
leaders are quiet about
Mandela, who visited
Detroit this week as part of a
six-week international fund-
raising tour, because they
are worried about backlash
and accusations of racism.
"We don't want anybody to

think we are not in sym-
pathy with the blacks," she
said. "I am. We left South
Africa where we had a com-
fortable life because it was
intolerable to see how diff-
erent life was there for
blacks and how little we
could do to change it.
"I was excited when Mr.
Mandela was released,"
Medalie said. "Unfortunate-
ly, he has said some things
that have created apprehen-
sion. He is not a Martin
Luther King, and he is not a
man of peace."
Mandela, jailed 27 years
because he dared to confront
racism, has been an
outspoken supporter of the
Palestinians since his
release from prison. His
statements linking the
struggle of the ANC with
that of Libyan leader
Moammar Qaddafi and Pa-
lestinian Liberation Organ-
ization Chairman Yassir
Arafat, whom he called his
"comrade in arms," have

been applauded by some
black audiences.
But Jewish leaders and
some of Israel's staunchest
political allies, many of
whom have been active for
years in the anti-apartheid
movement, reacted mostly
with words of disappoint-
Rabbi Abraham Weiss of
the Hebrew Institute in
Riverdale, N.Y., a long-
time civil rights activist, was
one of a few Jews to openly
protest Mandela. Holding
signs reading, "When you
compare Israel to South
Africa you bring shame to
the anti-apartheid move-
ment," Rabbi Weiss and 150
supporters waited in the
rain for the ANC leader's
visit at City Hall with New
York Mayor David Dinkins
"Many Jewish leaders
called me and said, Vivi,
you're right (to protest), but
we're afraid, " Rabbi Weiss
said."There's great fear in
Continued on Page 10

Nelson and Winnie Mandela greet crowds in New York.

Rebels Threaten
Ethiopian Jewry


Associate Editor


risis is the operative
word today for the
Michigan Association
for Ethiopian Jewry. MAEJ
members see a crisis de-
veloping in the Ethiopian
civil war which is placing
the black Jews there in


Page 22

imminent danger.
Rebel troops are accusing
Israel of supplying the Ethi-
opian government with
heavy weapons. There have
been open threats in recent
weeks that the Ethiopian
Jews of Gondar province,
caught in the middle of the
civil war, will be targeted by
Continued on Page 11

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