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May 10, 1991 - Image 157

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-05-10

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A Toast
To Jewish Living

What's A Nice Jewish Country Doing In A Place Like This?

Shared Interests
Bind U.S., Israel


Balancing Between
Ideology, Reality


The U.S.-Israel Relationship
This week marks the 43rd
anniversary of Israel's independence
on May 14, 1948, although we and
Israel celebrated Yom Ha-atzmaut
last month, according to the Hebrew
calendar. The United States was the
first country to recognize Israel,
leading the way for the Soviet Union
and most other nations to follow.
Many assume that the United
States has always helped Israel
defend against Arab aggression
during its many wars. In fact,
despite Soviet military aid to Egypt

Israel was created out of
idealistic visions and hard realities
that determine its destiny and what
it expects of itself and what others
expect of it.
Israel is not just a state but is
also a state of mind. It was founded
as a homeland for the Jewish
people, fulfilling a dream of two
thousand years of homelessness,
with the hope and goal of
"ingathering the exiles."
It was established to once and
for all combat anti-Semitism and to
give security to the Jewish people,
to make sure that the Holocaust will
never recur and that Jews will never
again be helpless, alone or
dependent on others for their
Israel was established with the
goal to become the spiritual and
cultural center for the entire Jewish
world. The founding fathers of Israel
aspired to build a society based on
the vision of the prophets,
exercising the highest values and
morals and developing an
exemplary society where social
justice, freedom, equality, love of
the human being and civil rights are
implemented to the highest. In other
words "to become a light unto the
To Orthodox Jews, Israel is to
be a country based on the Torah,
strictly adhering to Jewish laws and
customs. To the non-observant Jew,
Israel is to be a modern democracy
based on Jewish values and
Western heritage. To the non-Jewish
world, Israel is to be a combination
of the Holy Land and modern
democracy based on the Judeo-
Christian heritage of social justice,
freedom and civil rights. For most of
the Arab world, Israel should have
never been established and should
disappear altogether.
The combination of the above
presents the Israeli citizen and

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At times like these, the
relationship between the United
States and Israel is placed under a
microscope. Every twist and turn in
American Mideast policy in the
aftermath of the Persian Gulf war,
and every utterance by an Israeli
official, is considered to be of major
It is important for us to
recognize that relations between
countries are not static. U.S.-Israel
relations, like America's ties to
Europe and Japan, for example,
reflect a normal ebb and flow,
depending on a host of factors.
Just as we must not assume
perpetual closeness between Israel
and the United States, neither
should we conclude that rocky
periods jeopardize the long-term
relationship. As in a marriage, if
periodic strains in fact fracture a
relationship, the relationship was
probably not very strong in the first
Fortunately, the United States
and Israel — the governments and
the people of the two nations — are
bound together by a combination of
shared values and mutual interests
which serve to transcend the ups
and downs of the day-to-day

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