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January 25, 1991 - Image 6

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-01-25

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

EDITORIAL

Glamorous, Glorious, Blunt

Sometimes the reasons for a cause don't
have to be glamorous or glorious.
Sometimes the reasons can be downright
blunt.
The Detroit Jewish Welfare Federation's
11th-hour decision to hold a rally on Sun-
day has its glorious and glamorous
motives, but it also has a blunt one.
Yes, it is important for Jews to rally in
support of Israel and the U.S. government
and allied forces in the Middle East. And it
is important as a community that we are
not afraid to show our togetherness during
these difficult times. That's the glamour
and the glory.
Now for the blunt.
The United Jewish Appeal needs the
cash from unpaid pledges now. Because
even as missiles land in Tel Aviv,
thousands of Soviet Jews are getting off
planes to fulfill their dreams of freedom.

And even the threat of a Scud missile is
better than what they left behind. UJA
needs $400 million to continue funding the
resettlement effort. It also needs the money
to help an Israeli economy that is at a
standstill. Detroit's piece of the $400 mill-
ion is about $14 million.
Many Jewish publications across the
nation are owned by their local federations,
so appeals aren't unusual.
The Detroit Jewish News, an independent
publication, is urging this community to
come together on Sunday and rally to show
support for Israel and the United States.
That's the glamour and the glory.
This publication has supported Federa-
tion efforts in the past, so it is not entirely
out of character for The Jewish News to
urge those who have not paid their 1991
pledges to do what they can.
Israel needs the cash. That's the blunt.

Who Owes Whom?

Much has been made of the debt that
Washington is said to now owe its Arab
allies in return for their support in the pre-
sent confrontation with Iraq. Payment of
this debt of gratitude, it is generally
assumed, bodes ill for Israel and
U.S.-Israeli relations.
But who really owes whom in the Middle
East?
In truth, it is the Arab world that is in
debt. It owes the United States and it owes
big. Arab leaders have done us no favor by
allowing another generation of Americans
to know firsthand the pain and utter horror
of war.
In comparison to the more than 400,000
American military personnel in the Gulf,
the contributions of the Arab states are
token. Of course it is true that the United
States has a far greater military pool to
draw on. But it is equally true that the
number of American military casualties
undoubtedly will exceed those of Saudi
Arabia, Egypt, Syria and Kuwait combin-
ed.
The Arab world also owes a debt of grati-
tude to Israel for its remarkable show of re-
straint after being attacked by Iraqi mis-
siles. Jerusalem can make a strong case for
entering the fray. Her natural instinct is to
defend herself, which she has done often
and well, and to not feel beholden to Wash-
ington for military assistance. Israel is
loathe to be blamed for the shedding of

Dry Bones

American blood on her account. The fact
that Jerusalem has acquiesced to the re-
quests of the coalition that she maintain
her low profile so as not to complicate the
war deserves credit from the Arab states.
Already the war has strengthened
Israel's argument that the burden of mak-
ing peace falls on those Palestinians who
call on Saddam Hussein to gas Tel Aviv
and yet demand gas masks from the Israeli
government.
And it is important to note that if those
so quick for Israel to relinquish territory
had had their way, the missiles now com-
ing from Iraq in five minutes could be com-
ing from far closer, in time measured in
seconds.
When President Bush speaks of "a new
world order" in the wake of the current
war, he should recognize that peace will
not come to the Mideast by pressuring
Israel, the region's only democracy.
Rather, in the interest of regional — and
global — peace, Washington should de-
mand as payment nothing less than full
Arab recognition of Israel and its right to
exist unharassed.
Washington has the clout. All she needs
is the will.
As for Israel, with her security assured,
her hardline government may be far more
inclined to seriously negotiate a resolution
of the Palestinian question.

LETTERS I

JCCouncil And
Arab Americans

I was disturbed to read a
statement by Paul D. Bor-
man, president of the Jewish
Community Council of
Detroit, admonishing the FBI
to "investigate the Arab-
American community" in
such a way as to protect the
rights of the Arab-American
community. Why should the
president of the Jewish Com-
munity Council presume that
the FBI will exceed its con-
stitutional restraints and
violate the rights of Arab
American citizens?
Everyone is entitled to a
personal opinion but to state
such opinion in an official
capacity is to imply that it
represents communal view-
point. It is arrogant to make
such assumptions when con-
troversial and sensitive ques-
tions have not had full
discussion.
The Jewish community
does have direct concern on
this matter. All our institu-
tions and buildings are open
places for public congregation
and are possible targets of ter-
rorism. We, therefore, should
desire the thorough investiga-
tion and uprooting of any ter-
rorist activity, if there be any.
Under such circumstances
the rush to press appears to
be posturing rather than
serious and thoughtful
comment.

William Schumer

z1 sT
ceury
sWIROG
-re) urfk



Bloomfield Hills

r

Convincing
Or Repelling?

I'm certainly glad that Ms.
Applebaum believes it is
always one's duty to voice
criticism of wrongdoing,
regardless of circumstance or
etiquette or others' feelings
(Jan. 18).

-

6

FRIDAY, JANUARY 25, 1991

Now I'll feel perfectly
justified, the next time I see
her eating a piece of chicken
or wearing leather shoes, to
describe to her the horrors of
the slaughterhouse and urge
upon her my own vegetarian
lifestyle, no matter how
public or inappropriate the
situation.
I will argue passionately
against the immorality of
murdering animals for food
and clothes, and after I've
roundly berated my fellow
guests for their faults, after I
have thoroughly alienated
and repelled them, they will
go home and continue to live
exactly as they always have —
with one exception: they will
no longer be willing to listen
to calm, cogent explanations
of my beliefs in private
conversations.
Oh, but wait a minute — at-
tempting to convince people
to live more compassionately,
to be sensitive to animal suf-
fering or racism or anti-
Semitism, wasn't the point,
was it? The important thing
is that I got to air my views
as loudly and fiercely as
possible, so that everyone
knows how passionate I am.

Stacey Arden Koltonow

Huntington Woods

Conversion:
Hidden Agenda

Irving Wengrow's opinion
piece in the Jan. 11 Jewish
News ("Conversion is Wrong

as Hidden Agenda") is shock-
ing given the author is a
former congregation presi-
dent and a person who holds
a national leadership position
within the Reform movement.
Mr. Wengrow makes the
undeniably true statement
that the presence of two born

Continued on Page 10

Cy

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