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November 30, 1990 - Image 1

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-11-30

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

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THE JEWISH NEWS

SEVENTY-FIVE CENTS

SERVING DETROIT'S JEWISH COMMUNITY

NOVEMBER 30, 1990 / 13 KISLEV 5751

Feelings Toward Israel
Eroding Among Young

KIMBERLY LIFTON

Staff Writer

A

s a student at Hillel
Day School, Marc
Baker always wanted
to be an Israeli soldier and
have an Israeli passport.
"For the first 20 years of
my life, I dreamed about
moving there," said Mr.
Baker, now 30. "I was con-
vinced that all Jews should
live there. It was for purely
Zionistic nationalistic
reasons. I thought it was the
only place where Jews could
live a normal life free of anti-
Semitism."
After graduating from
Brandeis University, Marc
Baker, who already had
traveled to Israel many
times with his family, moved
to Jerusalem. There, he
secured a job in the govern-

ment press office and took
graduate courses in art his-
tory at Hebrew University.
He wanted to make aliyah.
Shortly after, his Zionistic
dreams were shattered, and
a disillusioned Mr. Baker
returned home to West
Bloomfield to learn the fami-
ly business, More Construc-
tion of Windsor.
"Once I lived there for a
few years, I saw there was no
anti-Semitism in Israel, but
life was extremely irra-
tional. Anti-Semitism was
not a prime mover in my
life," he said. "The govern-
ment was oppressive econ-
omically and toward in-
dividual rights. It was a hin-
drance."
A study commissioned by
Detroit's Jewish Welfare
Federation on the commun-
ity's Jewish population to be
released in the coming

weeks shows that Mr. Baker
is part of a growing group of
young people whose pro-
Israel feelings toward Israel
have eroded. Older in-
dividuals feel closer to Israel
than do younger adults, ac-
cording to demographers Dr.
Steven Cohen and Dr. Jack
Ukeles.
"People who were around
before Israel became a state
(1948) have greater ties,"
Dr. Ukeles said. "The com-
mitment to Israel is less
among those under age 40."
Unlike his parents, Bever-
ly and Morrie Baker of West
Bloomfield, who financially
support Israel, maintain a
home in Jerusalem and visit
at least once a year, Marc
Baker refuses to give any
charity to Israel. He does not
want to contribute to a wel-
fare state.

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Continued on Page 34

Turning To The Theater
For Middle East Peace

PHIL JACOBS

E

Assistant Editor

roily Shihadeh wishes
she and her colleagues
were the ones negotia-
ting a Palestinian-Israeli
peace plan instead of the dip-
lomats.
"When you can hold a dia-
logue with someone and
maybe even laugh with him,
then there's no way you can
see him anymore as a ter-
rorist," she said. "When you
see your enemy as a human
being, you share with him
your feelings, your human-
ity. And when that happens,
miracles can happen, and I
believe in miracles."
For Ms. Shihadeh, a San
Francisco resident and na-
tive of the West Bank town
of Ramallah, a step toward
that miracle occurred when
she and a writing staff of two
Jews, two Palestinians and
an Iraqi collaborated for the
controversial musical farce
Seeing Double, an Obie-
award winning theatrical
production of the San Fran-
cisco Mime Troupe that
played Detroit's Majestic
Theatre earlier this week.

Seeing Double takes a look
at the Middle East in a way
that some theater critics
have called "too even hand-
ed." The play argues for a
two-state solution, bringing
to light arguments for both
Palestinians and Israelis.
The play centers around a
case of mistaken identity.
Actor Michael Sullivan
plays both Salim Razalis, a
laid-back Palestinian whose
political fervor goes no fur-
ther than rock and roll, and
David Goldberg, a Ba'al
Teshuvah (returnee to re-
ligion) type searching for his
spiritual roots.
The Palestinian character
is returning to the West
Bank to preserve his
family's deed on a piece of
property. The Jewish
character is traveling there
because he has biblical proof
that the land was ceded to
his people thousands of
years ago.
The two are taking the
same flight on "Trump Fly-
by-Night" Airlines which
culminates in a crash lan-
ding. Brief-cases are switch-
ed and the two characters,
who look alike, are picked up

by the others' families and
transported to what
amounts to enemy quarters.
Neither distinguishes friend
from foe, and the two end up
taking a hard look at the
other side's situation.
Ms. Shihadeh said the play
could have been written
about the four months of
production for Seeing
Double. She said there were
times when the writers
would argue for hours over
one point. For instance: the
word Zionism. Ms. Shihadeh
said that Zionism has a diff-
erent meaning for a Pales-
tinian than for a Jew.
Palestinians, she said,
tend to look at Zionism as
the main reason for their
own plight. Jews, she added,
see Zionism as a reason for
Israel's existence. The two
views just don't jive, she
said.
There were also times
when the process wasn't so
friendly, resulting in
shouting battles across the
table. "Listen, when you tell
a Jewish person sitting
across from you that his peo-
ple are living in occupied

Continued on Page 36

It isn't war or grandiose ideals but
a series of small miracles that
define daily life in Israel. A look at
some of Israel's secret treasure&

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