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January 11, 1991 - Image 11

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-01-11

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

I UP FRONT

Liberal Jews Split Over Linking
Gulf Crisis With Palestinians

ARTHUR J. MAGIDA

Special to The Jewish News

T

he quandary that Per-
sian Gulf tensions
have produced for lib-
eral Jews surfaced earlier
this week at a conference in
New York of Jewish pro-
gressives.
Some counseled for linking
the Gulf and the Israeli-
Palestinian conflicts, others
for assuring that the two are
separated and that Israel
take the initiative in offer-
ing Palestinians a peace set-
tlement.
The Iraqi invasion has
stirred tremendous conflict
among many American lib-
erals, who are conflicted
between their traditional
aversion of military force
and punishing an unsavory
and brutal dictator's aggres--
sion. But Jewish liberals,
perhaps, are most torn bet-
_ weep principles and instinc-
ts, values and ideologies.
Into their Gulf equation goes
their_devotion to Israel and
their hopes for a Jewish
state that is non-expansionist

Arthur J. Magida is a senior
writer for the Baltimore Jew-
ish Times.

and that humanely treats
Palestinians. All this has
given liberal Jews a bit of an
identity crisis, and a lot of in-
dividual soul searching.

The split among liberals
regarding the Gulf was
perhaps nowhere as evident
than during an exchange
Sunday between Rabbi Ar-
thur Hertzberg and attorney
Rita Hauser at the
"Renewing Shalom" con-
ference at Columbia Univer-
sity.
The two-day conference,
sponsored by the
Philadelphia-based Shalom
Center, was originally
devoted to redefining lib-
eralism to adapt to the post-
Cold War era. But that was
overshadowed by the Gulf
crisis and Tuesday's
deadline for Iraq to pull out
of Kuwait.
Rabbi Hertzberg is vice-
president of the World Jew-
ish Congress. Ms. Hauser is
a member of the board of di-
rectors of the American Jew-
ish Committee.
For several years, both
have urged Israel to reach
an accommodation with the
Palestinians. In 1988, Ms.
Hauser joined several
American Jews that met

with PLO chairman Yassir
Arafat in Stockholm.
Last Sunday, Rabbi Hert-
zberg and Ms. Hauser
agreed that the Palestinian
cause was Saddam Hussein's
one ace-in-the-hole to
implode the anti-Iraq inter-
national coalition — and to
emerge from the present
crisis as a hero to the Arab
world.
But "like it or not," Ms.
Hauser told the audience,
"linkage is part of the pic-
ture."
"For me, the first and most
fundamental priority is to
avoid war," she said. "No
matter how long (the conflict
continues), there will be
thousands and thousands of
dead . . . We have to accept
that Saddam will get some-
thing out of this because he
will not pull out otherwise."
"War at this time in this
region will not clear the
air," she continued. "It will
make peace impossible dur-
ing the lifetime of everyone
in this room, including the
young ones."
Rabbi Hertzberg portrayed
linkage as a reward for Iraqi
aggression. This, he sug-
gested, would solve nothing.
Israel would come "kicking
and screaming" to an inter-

Rita Hauser:
"War will not clear air."

Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg:
Israeli settlement needed.

national peace conference,
"and three years later,
Saddam will have nuclear
weapons, there will be an-
other international con-
ference and Israel will be
internationalized."
Partly to defuse the Pales-
tinian issue for Saddam and
partly because it "is morally
and politically correct,"
Rabbi Hertzberg said the in-
itiative for a Palestinian set-
tlement "must come from
Israel."
"I would prefer that
American forces sit . . . (in
Saudi Arabia) for a long
time," he said, " . . . until an
Israeli government comes
along that wants peace."
Ms. Hauser was especially
concerned that "the dy-
namics of the entire (Middle
East) region have changed
without one shot being
fired" since Iraq's Aug. 2 in-

vasion of Kuwait. "Jordan,
and a king who could
`always be relied upon,' has
moved into another camp.
Palestinians identify with
Saddam. Syria has become
the new darling of Washing-
ton. And the Saudis talk of
Washington as their new
savior."

ly enacted federal law that
soon will require all
hospitals receiving U.S.
government funds to present
patients with the option of
filing a "living will." The
will will indicate in advance
an individual's wishes as to
whether life support should
be initiated or maintained in
case of severe incapacita-
tion.
Along with the living will
document, Agudath Israel is
providing wallet-sized
emergency instructions for
individuals to carry in case
of an accident.
For information, contact
Agudath Israel of America,
Halachic Living Will, 84
William St., New York, N.Y.
10038.

to the soldiers of the Israel
Defense Forces by par-
ticipating in Operation
Shalach Manot.
The youth are being asked
to contribute $18 so that an
Israeli soldier may receive
both a mishloach manot
package on Purim and a pair
of warm army socks. The
program is being coor-
dinated by the education and
youth activities departments
of United Synagogue of
America.
Students also are being
encouraged to write letters
to the soldiers. By becoming
thus involved, the students
will help "strengthen the
unbreakable bond between
Israel and the Jewish peo-
ple," said Rabbi Paul, direc-
tor of USA youth activities.
Each mishloach manot
package, will contain
students' letters, wine, soft
drinks, hamantashen,
chocolates and candies, in
addition to the socks.

Since Iraq invaded
Kuwait, she asserted, Israel
"has acted destructively. It
has not come forth with any
constructive ideas."
And the American Jewish
community, she added, "has
acted with a lot of mumbo-
jumbo. AIPAC (the Ameri-
can Israeli Political Action
Committee) and others say
the United States should go
in there and attack Iraq for
Israel, and then the Pales-
tinian issue will again be on
the back burner. ❑

ROUND UP

New York Times
Clams Up
New York — Readers of
the Oct. 19 New York Times
might have been surprised
to read about one of the best
restaurant dishes in New
York City.
The article recommended
linguine with clam sauce at
Trastever 84 (now Tevere
84). The only problem:
Tevere 84 is a kosher restau-
rant.
Late last month, The New
York Times ran a correction
on the story.

Writing Contest
Set For Seniors
New York — The Jewish
Association for Services for
the Aged is sponsoring
"Legacies," a writing con-
test for persons older than 60
who live in the United
States.
Stories should tell about a
turning point, triumph,
tragedy, hope, dream or ac-
complishment in life. The

contest will take submis-
sions through April 1991.
The 37 contest winners will
be announced in September
1991. First prize is $1,000.
Stories must not exceed
two typed or handwritten
pages and should be sent to
Legacies, do JASA, 40 W.
68th St., New York, N.Y.,
10023. Name, address, age
and phone number should be
included with submission.

UAHC Appeals
To Unaffiliated
New York — To encourage
unaffiliated young Jewish
adults to sample synagogue
life, the Union of American
Hebrew Congregations
(UAHC) this week announc-
ed a new program offering
free or low-cost membership
in Reform temples across the
United States and Canada.
The "Privilege Cards" are
available to men and women
aged 22-30, and the "Access
Card" is being offered to
students. More than 200
temples are taking part in
the program.

Union of American HebrewCongregations
Serving Refimn Judaism in North America

UAW PRIVILEGE CARD

The UAHC's Privilege Card

For information about the
Access and Privilege cards,
contact the UAHC, 838 Fifth
Ave., New York, N.Y. 10021,
212-249-0100. The type of
card desired should be in-
dicated on the envelope.

Agudath Creates
Halachic Will
New York — Agudath
Israel of America has in-
itiated a major drive to equip
Jews with the legal in-
struments necessary to en-
sure that medical and
postmortum decisions made
on their behalf by others
conform to Jewish law,
Halachah.
The creation of the
Halachic Living Will/Health
Care Proxy follows a recent-

USA Project
Aids IDF Soldiers
New York — Students in
Conservative congregational
and day schools, as well as
members of United Syn-
agogue of America and
Kadima, will have the op-
portunity to say thank you

Compiled by
Elizabeth Applebaum

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS 11

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