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May 10, 1991 - Image 30

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

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y Ila

Top: Drawn by the
affordable housing and
jobs, Soviet immigrants
have settled in
underdeveloped areas like
Tel Teomim in the Bet
Shean Valley. The typical
home in Jerusalem costs
between $100,000 and
$150,000. Most Soviet olim
arrive in Israel with just a
few dollars.
Above: Observant and
secular Jews battled at
length over this community
center pool, which
permitted mixed swimming.


FRIDAY, MAY 10, 1991

says is crucial to Israeli
security. Israeli guards
stand at the entry point to
the West Bank. They wear
heavy jackets even amid
this hamsin, heat wave. The
jackets will protect them
against frequent attacks of
knife-wielding Palestinians.
West Bank Palestinian
cities are now cordoned off
by sheets of heavy metal to
stop rock throwers. Roads
are dusty and barren. Shops
are closed; outside sit Arabs
sheishbaish, backgammon.
Beside them: steaming cups

of coffee with cardamom.
"You know what their
favorite cry is these days?"
asks an Israeli, a former
member of the Israel De-
fense Forces. "Slaughter the
Two days later, a group of
Israeli children in Jerusa-
lem chase after an elderly
Arab. He has a shack in
Ramot Gimmel, a Jerusa-
lem suburb, where he works
full-time as a guard.
It is Shabbat. The man
walks, alone, to his shack.
About 20 children run after
him. They throw stones and
bits- of dirt. They taunt and
jeer at him.
Moments later, the Arab
emerges from his shack. He
is wearing a long kaffiah
and carries a cane. He turns
to the leader of the pack, an
8-year-old boy in a white
"Why, children, why?" he
asks over and over and over
again. "Why?"

alestinians are not the
only targets of Israeli
anger these days. In
the aftermath of the war,
Israeli residents have little
positive to say about U.S.
Though living thousands
of miles away, they refuse to
give their names if they are
to speak openly. It just isn't

done, publicly criticizing the
source of such desperately
needed dollars.
"We are angry," says Yossi,
who lives in Jerusalem. "We
felt abandoned by you
American Jews (during the
Gulf War). Soviet ohm came.
Sometimes, their planes ar-
rived the same day Scuds
were falling near Tel Aviv.
The planes would have to
circle and circle until it was
safe to land.
"What hypocrisy," he says.
"You had Soviet Jews come
all the time, but you your-
selves wouldn't come even
for a one-week solidarity


A young Soviet immigrant
in Detroit's sister city,
Yavne. "They come as
capitalists, not Zionists."

mission. We needed you bad-
ly. I never thought Ameri-
can Jews were such cow-
"We are one," he says
laughing, quoting the
United Jewish Appeal's
famous slogan. "Yeah,
A Tel Aviv resident,
Chana, recalls the Ameri-
can rabbi who came for one
day to Israel not long after
the war began. He got his
gas mask and waited for the
air-raid siren. It came
several hours after he
"He left the next day,"
Chana says. "But mean-
while, he kept talking about
`solidarity' and how he had
`gone through it all' with us.
Maybe this washed well
with his congregants, but
for us, the attacks were not
some game and not a one-
day event. We live with bat-
tles every day."
"American Jews? To tell
you the truth, I can't stand
them;' said Meir, who works
with a Tel-Aviv based travel
agency. "They come here
with their money, loads of it,
and they dedicate some
center or park and put their
name on it and expect us to
fall all over ourselves with
"Then they go back to
their expensive homes and
leave us here to handle the
real issues, like finding jobs
for all these Soviet Jews and
dealing with the Arabs. Do
me a favor, American Jews,
stop patting yourselves on
the back. If you really care
about Israel, come live
Robert Aronson, executive
director of the Detroit

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