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November 02, 1990 - Image 6

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-11-02

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

EDITORIAL

Local Denials

There are two types of denial being prac-
ticed among Detroit's Christian clergy.
One type is spotlighted in our Close-Up
this week on Page 28. A group of well-
meaning clergy, concerned about human
rights throughout the world, have stepped
to center stage several times this year to
complain about Israel, its treatment of Pa-
lestinians, and their belief that Israel is
the stumbling block to a solution to the
"Palestinian problem."
Unfortunately, their criticism is one-
sided and out of focus. As stated by Richard
Lobenthal of the Anti-Defamation League,
"These people don't think they are anti-
Israel and they would be scandalized if you
called them anti-Jewish." But what other
labels apply when only the Israeli side of
the dispute is open to inspection and
criticism?
A second type of denial re-surfaced this
week with Ze'ev Chafets' book, Devil's
Night: And Other True Tales of Detroit.
Rev. Wendell Anthony, head of Detroit's
Interfaith Council of Religious and Civic
Leaders, packed the "Kelly & Company"
television show with his supporters and

lambasted Mr. Chafets, his book, his Jew-
ishness and his homeland in Israel. It mat-
tered little to Rev. Anthony or his sup-
porters that only one among them had read
Devil's Night.
The only thing that matters to Mr.
Chafets' critics is that he had the audacity
to write a book critical of Detroit that has
received national publicity. They have re-
sponded, not to the criticism but against
the critic. Rev. Anthony's attack leaves no
doubt whom he believes the real devils are
in Detroit.
The Jewish Community Council and the
American Jewish Committee have been
working to explain Israel's positions in the
Middle East to local clergy. They have for,
years maintained ties with the Christian
religious establishment and some leaders
of the black community. More individual
Jews, however, need to be involved in the
process to reach a wider spectrum in the
ever-changing power bases within the
Christian and black communities.
For the Jewish community not to raise its
level of concern will mean another form of
denial.

Addressing The Problems

One senses that Israel's problems with
the United States, the United Nations and
the world community are not going to go
away in the near future. The current ad-
ministration in Washington views Israel as
a hindrance, more than a help, and has
done little to create an atmosphere of em-
pathy and understanding for the Jewish
state regarding the Persian Gulf crisis and
the UN resolutions condemning Israel's ac-
tions.
President Bush and Secretary of State
Baker have expressed exasperation with
Israel of late, but in fear of offending Wash-
ington's new Arab coalition, have been
mute about Israel's importance as a
trusted, stable, democratic, strategic ally
in the region.
Further, the United States has failed to
place Israel's distrust of the United
Nations in historical context. How many
Americans realize that for all of the resolu-
tions passed by the U.N. over the years

condemning Israeli actions, the Security
Council has never convened to condemn
the killing of a single Jew by Arab ter-
rorists? How many Americans are aware
that Israel has been permanently barred
from membership of the Security Council,
though the Arab states are members?
For her part, Israel must be able to de-
fend and explain her positions without ap-
pearing arrogant and uncaring. And she
has to find a way to quell Palestinian rock-
throwing incidents without using live am-
munition. In that sense, it matters not
whose fault is the subsequent killing or
whose case is more correct. If your side
kills, you are to blame, in the eyes of the
world, and provocation is not a factor.
Israel has every reason to feel unfairly
blamed. But that does not absolve her from
the need to address her serious problems,
in terms of safety and security as well as
diplomacy. She owes it to no one more than
her own citizens.

LETTERS

How Much Aid
For Israel?

Every time there is an inci-
dent in the administered ter-
ritories in the State of Israel
we are being reminded that
Israel annually received $3
billion worth of U.S. aid. Does
it? $1.2 billion of civilian aid
is actually returned to the
United States to pay back $10
billion worth of loans taken
out after the Camp David Ac-

6

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 1990

cords were signed. The
Americans were willing to
turn this into a grant, but
former Prime Minister
Menachim Begin insisted
that Israel pay its own way.
Of the remaining $1.8
billion of military aid, 75 per-
cent must be spent in the
United States to purchase
American-made military
hardware. The most vocal op-
ponents of any move by Con-
gress to slash this aid would

be the American defense and
aerospace industries, and this
would eliminate jobs for many
Americans.
The West Bank, which is
referred to as occupied ter-
ritories, was once part of the
Turkish Empire passed on to
the British, the Jordanians
and the Israelis. Its final
status is yet to be determin-
ed, which is why the official
Israeli term for these areas is
"administered territories." It

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is now under Israeli rule
because it was conquered in
the war of 1967.
"Occupied territories" im-
plies that control will soon be
transferred to a previous
owner. There exists no inter-
nationally recognized docu-
ment or treaty that renders
explicit sole ownership of all
of the West Bank to Palesti-
nians whether they live in
Nablus, Amman, London or
Detroit. What guarantee do
we have if there is ever a
peaceful settlement that the
Palestinian entity would be a
democratic state that would
be able to absorb refugees and
would help these refugees to
become productive and pro-
sper? Does any advocate of a
Palestinian state really ex-
pect this?

Abraham Pasternak
Southfield

Judge, Jury
And Executioner

Well, you can carve another
notch in the news media's
gun. Since the Oct. 8 Arab
riot on the Temple Mount,
they've once again put down
the pen to pick up the sword,
or more accurately, the noose.
They've forsaken profes-
sionalism to run with the
lynch mob, to amplify the
screaming for Israel's blood.
They've given up all
pretense of the press's respon-
sibility for telling the truth to
grab the cheap thrills of drag-
ging Israel out in the street,
sliding a rope around her
neck and looking. for the
tallest tree.
In the classic tradition of
blaming the victim, the
media has used the recent
Arab riot on the Temple
Mount in Jerusalem in order
to crucify Israel. As judge,
jury and hangman, they've
declared Israel guilty of the
unspeakable crime of defen-

ding unarmed worshippers
from a rampaging mob.
The punishment that the
media has selected for Israel
is eternal harassment and/or
persecution to the grave,
whichever comes first. This is
a fitting climax to the media's
infatuation with those forces
and countries desiring the
destruction of Israel .. .

Douglas J. Miller
Miami Beach

Israel's Purpose
Is Not U.S. Pride

Rabbi Norman Roman, in
"Judging Israel when times
are tough" (Oct. 19), is con-
cerned with how the recent
events in Jerusalem affect the
American Jewish community.
Does Rabbi Roman really
think he speaks for the
Jewish community when he
says that "American Jews are
not getting the same kind of
pride from the Jewish state
that they once had?"
Certainly the State of Israel
was not established for the
purpose of providing nachas
of pride to America's Jews. It
was created as a refuge for
hundreds of thousands of
Jews escaping persecution.
Ironically, Operation Exodus,
which is currently seeing the
absorption by Israel of tens of
thousands of Jews over the
past year, is fulfilling that
very commitment of purpose,
which indeed is an ongoing
source of pride to all Jews
worldwide.
Rabbi Roman feels it is a
mistake that Israel did not
allow a U.N.-sanctioned corn-
mission of inquiry to in-
vestigate the recent tragedy
in Jerusalem. Where was the
U.N. condemnation when a
Palestinian last year grab-
bed the steering wheel
of an Egged bus (en route
from Jerusalem to Tel
Continued on Page 10

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