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November 23, 1990 - Image 99

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-11-23

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

ON CAMPUS

CHRISTIAN,

ZiONigw r

AND

ROUE)

A

Jewish student at the
University of Mich-
igan, a member of a
pro-Palestinian group on
campus, recently presented
a course on the Middle East
that left the class
disconcerted. They wanted
to hear the other side of the
issue, too.
So a search went out for an
articulate, educated speaker
who could give the pro-Israel
perspective on a number of
questions. On advice from
the school's Hillel Founda-
tion, the class found their
man in John Blow, a co-
chairman of the Zionist stu-
dent group, Tagar.
Mr. Blow can discuss the
history of and contemporary
issues facing Israel and the
Jewish people in a manner
that suggests years of Sun-
day school education. But
that isn't where he got his
knowledge.
Mr. Blow is a Protestant
Christian — a U-M senior
majoring in aerospace engi-

neering who will graduate
next month. He isn't a fun-
damentalist seeking to bring
the message of Jesus to the
Jews, nor is he interested in
converting to Judaism.
Mr. Blow is simply a
Zionist, and in familiar Jew-
ish tradition he answers the
inevitable question with a
question.
"Why," he is frequently
asked, "are you so pro-
Israel?"
His response: "How is it
that anyone is not?"
A native of Traverse City,
Mr. Blow became interested
in international affairs
while in the sixth grade. His
original focus was East-West
relations.
In high school, he par-
ticipated in a number of
Model United Nations pro-
grams, in which students
assume the role of represen-
tatives of foreign countries
and participate in sessions
similar to those held at the
U.N. The role requires ex-

A Christian,
John Blow
is
co-chairman
of the
student
group, Tagar,
and an
outspoken
supporter
of Israel.

ELIZABETH APPLEBAUM

Assistant Editor

tensive study as students
learn the history and polit-
ical positions of the nations
they represent.
Among the countries and
political bodies to which Mr.
Blow was assigned were the
Soviet Union, the Palestine
Liberation Organization and
Israel.
It took little time for Mr.
Blow to pick up the lingo of
each nation. As a spokesman
for the Soviet Union, he
complained about American
"conspiracies, capitalists
and imperialists." As a PLO
representative, "by lunch
time I had the French referr-
ing to Israel as the Zionist
entity.' "
Mr. Blow did much of his
research by studying
writings from foreign em-
bassies. Syria, in its docu-
ments, labeled Israel "an
expansionist state," he said.
Saudi Arabia still made ref-
erences to The Protocols of
the Elders of Zion, a 19th
century forgery accusing

Jews of conspiring to over-
take the world.
"When you represent all
the sides you get a good taste
for propaganda," Mr. Blow
said. "You also become
fluent at seeing through it."
After graduating high
school, Mr. Blow attended
Northwestern Michigan Col-
lege in Traverse City. He
spent his free time writing
letters to his representatives
and to newspapers in sup-
port of the Lavi, Israel's jet
fighter which was scrapped
in 1987.
Mr. Blow calls the decision
to abandon the Lavi, "one of
the dumbest mistakes Israel
could have made. It was
made in such a political way,
and because of pressure from
the United States, that I felt
it was inappropriate, to say
the least."
Not long after he trans-
ferred to the University of
Michigan, Mr. Blow learned
about Tagar. The group ap-
pealed to him because it's

.lFWIS_H NI_FVVR

49

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