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February 08, 1991 - Image 18

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-02-08

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

PERSIAN GULF CRISIS

GAS MASKS, NORMALCY

Life continues
in Israel, with
a gas mask at
your side and
and an ear
tuned to the
air raid sirens.

PHIL JACOBS

Managing Editor

A

rline Gould remem-
bers being struck by
the sight of young
Israeli soldiers with rifles
slung over their shoulders
during her early trips to
Israel.
But no amount of TV
footage or written words
prepared her for the sight of
a small child carrying
around his gas mask box, a
container that he decorated
with lively crayon colors.
And nothing prepared the
president of the Greater
Detroit Chapter of Hadassah
for the lecture she and 39
other Hadassah represent-
atives from the United
States received on the con-
tents and use of their anti-
chemical weapons kit. The
kit included a gas mask, an
atropine shot, gauze pads,
chemical treatment powder
and the air filter for the gas
mask.
Mrs. Gould was part of a
delegation from Hadassah's
national board who made a
whirlwind four-day trip to
Israel last week even with
the threats of Scud missile
attacks and the thoughts
from their relatives that
they might be "crazy" to
take such a trip.
The group toured the
Hadassah hospitals and saw
that the facilities had made
certain areas ready to treat
victims of chemical or
biological warfare. The
group also met with Prime
Minister Yitzhak Shamir
and Deputy Foreign Min-
ister Benjamin Netanyahu.
"The message that we got
from all of the leaders was
that they were happy to see
American Jews on the front
lines with them," Mrs. Gould

18

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 1991

said. "Because in this war,
the frontlines are the streets
and homes within the cities.
With everything going on,
the country has a strong
sense of normalcy in a
totally abnormal at-
mosphere. When you see a
mother walking with an in-
fant and you see her carry-
ing the little tent that's used
to protect the baby from gas,
it reminds you that life
might be going on, but all is
not normal."
Mrs. Gould experienced
two Scud attacks, and she
said she never heard a tour
bus of Hadassah members so
quiet as when their tour
guide explained how to get a
perfect seal when placing on
a gas mask.
"Every time you took the
gas mask out of the box, you
felt like you were picking up
a horrible monster," she
said. "The threat of attack
made you restructure your
thinking. Women had to
take their earrings off to

Arline Gould:

make sure the mask fit
better. If you took a shower,
could you hear the air raid
siren?" But Mrs. Gould and
her colleagues were also
made breathless when they
actually saw the out-of-
place, though very welcome
sight of the Patriot missile
launchers.

"They were sitting across
from the apartments I had
visited my mishpachah in,"
she said. "I talked to the
American soldiers there, and
I told them how proud I was
of them. It made me proud to
be an American Jew."
Mrs. Gould said the most
difficult part of her trip was
leaving after only four days.
The contingent was actually
at the airport when another
air raid sounded.
"I felt guilty," she said.
"Here is this air raid, and
I'm going and the Israelis
are staying. It made me feel
a responsibility to go back to
Israel again, to go home. A
lot of people need to see what
I saw."

Soviet Emigre
Serving In Navy

When Efim and Luda
Khankin came to Southfield
in search of religious
freedom 12 years ago from
Leningrad, their son, Boris
was 9 years old.

Now, the Khankin family
is in the position of repre-
senting the interests of their
new country. Boris, now 21,
is a medic in the U.S. Navy,
and is stationed in Saudi
Arabia.
"He's calm, and he's miss-
ing his parents," said Mrs.
Khankin about her son. The
Khankins last spoke to their
son last Friday. They last
saw him in September at his
base in California.

Boris Khankin, a
Southfield-Lathrup High
School graduate, joined the
Navy, according to his
mother, for adventure and
"because he felt the military
should be part of his life ex-
perience."

"We miss him terribly,"
she said. "We feel like we're
watching the television 24
hours a day for some sort of
news. Because we don't hear
from him much, the televi-
sion seems to be our best
source." ❑

EMIGRE SUPPORT

SUSAN GRANT

Staff Writer

I

lya Zavelsky hasn't
heard from his wife's
uncle since Jan. 16, the
day he boarded a plane for
Israel, the day the Persian
Gulf war started.
"We don't have his address
or phone number," said Mr.
Zavelsky, who arrived in the
United States two months
ago from Baku with his
pregnant wife and is now
enrolled in an English as a
second language class at the
Jimmy Prentis Morris Jew-
ish Community Center.
While he's worried about
his wife's relatives in Israel,
including an aunt who
emigrated 15 years ago, Mr.
Zavelsky said, "If they mov-
ed to Israel, they must have
thought Israel is better (than
the Soviet Union). I don't
think they are afraid to be in
Israel."
As new Americans watch
the Persian Gulf War unfold
on Cable News Network,
they can't help but worry
about their families and
friends sitting in sealed
rooms with their gas masks
on while Iraqi Scud missiles
attack Israel.

"My sister is very ner-
vous," said Stella Neyman,
who has a sister and other
relatives in Israel. "She
doesn't sleep at night."
"I said, 'Wouldn't it be
better if you moved nearer to
your daughter, who lives in
the north,' " said Mrs.
Neyman, who came to Oak
Park five weeks ago. "But in
the north, near the Lebanese
border, it is bad too."
Despite the fear, many
Soviet Jews have no plans to
cancel their plane tickets to
Israel.
Vadim Feldbaum, who left
the Soviet Union three
weeks ago with his parents,
said three days before bombs
struck Baghdad he talked to
a man planning to emigrate
to Israel. "He said no matter
what happened he would
move to Israel," Mr.
Feldbaum said. "He would
feel more safe in Israel than
in the Soviet Union."
Dimitri, who doesn't want
his last name used, left
Kharkov in the Ukraine the
same December day his
parents left for Israel. "I
don't think they were wor-
ried. They hope everything
will be good. I talked to them
a few days ago; they aren't
scared."

While she prays for the
safety of friends and
relatives in Israel, new
American Anna Feldbaum,
who came to Detroit more
than a year ago with her
husband and two children,
feels she must do more. In
support of Israel and the
U.S.-led coalition fighting
against Iraqi President
Saddam Hussein, Mrs.

"He said no matter
what happened he
would move to
Israel," Mr.
Feldbaum said.
"He would feel
more safe in
Israel."

Feldbaum attended the re-
cent rally at Congregation
Shaarey Zedek.
"We sent a check to Israel.
Not that it was a lot of
money, but . . . ," said Mrs.
Feldbaum, who has two
cousins in Israel.
"I cannot give money,"
said Dimitri, who like many
new Americans in Joanna
Berger's English as a second
language class, has no job.
"But we all know about the
((Allied Jewish) Campaign

and would give money if we
could."
Although most cannot
give financial aide, many
new Americans support the
war effort.
"I think it a good idea that
America has taken part in
the war. America is helping
Israel," Mrs. Feldbaum said.
"Saddam's regime should
have been overthrown much
earlier," said Igor Neyman.
"I don't think any peace
efforts can stop Saddam
Hussein."
But Mr. Zavelsky said the
question of whether the
United States should go to
war isn't an easy one to an-
swer.
"It is a dilemma," Mr.
Zavelsky said. "Saddam
must be stopped because he
is a dictator. No one knows
what will happen if he isn't
stopped."
Yet, he wishes for a
peaceful settlement. "There
are American, Israeli and
Arab people who don't have
to answer for Saddam," said
Mr. Zavelsky, who had
hoped diplomacy could have
prevented war. "I don't
know if there was a way to
stop Saddam without war.
But now that the troops are
fighting, I'll support it." ❑

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