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May 10, 1991 - Image 6

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

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

EDITORIAL

Why Do We Walk?

Last Sunday, some 8,000 Detroit area
Jews came together at the Maple-Drake
Jewish Community Center to walk in sup-
port of Israel. Even under a cold, overcast
sky, we felt good about ourselves and this
show of support for Israel.
But as Assistant Editor Elizabeth Ap-
plebaumi-eports on Page 28, the Israelis
would rather have us rename our annual
function the "Fly to Israel." Their resent-
ment toward American Jews is growing in
light of declining tourism.
While U.S. Jews choose to stay home or
vacation elsewhere, Christians are flock-
ing to the Jewish state in record numbers.
For Christians, Israel is a holy land,
whether Scud missiles or Palestinian rocks
are flying. Whatever their motive, funda-
mentalist Christians still go.
A Jerusalem rabbi said in the summer of
1988 that when a rock is thrown on the
West Bank, American Jews head to Mex-
ico. Surely, many of these Jews who choose
to spend tourism dollars in the collective
millions elsewhere join us on these pro-
Israel walks. Why? Because it makes them
feel good, and it shows the non-Jewish
world that there is a solid bloc of local sup-
port. It also shows the political world that
we care, and we know that numbers count.
At a debate held last Thursday at Con-
gregation Beth Abraham Hillel Moses, a
speaker stressed the importance of parents

teaching their children about giving chari-
ty and having their sons and daughters
present while they wrote out checks to
Israel.
We suggest that the better education, if
affordable, is to take the children to the
travel agency and write out the check for
the family trip to Israel. Israel needs
American Jews to spend their travel
money in Jerusalem, not in Florida. They
need wealthy American businessmen to
invest heavy capital so that the reset-
tlement of some 1 million Soviet olim will
include gainful employment.
What Israel needs more than another
walk is for American Jews to put our
thinking and our money where the support
should be, in Israel.
Let's not forget that Israel is a country
surrounded by millions of people who
largely wish it wasn't in existence. This is
a country that, for a million Soviet olim, is
the realization of a dream. Let's not forget
that this dream isn't exclusive to the
Soviets, that a Jewish state was the dream
of our heritage. This is a country that took
Scud hits and remained responsibly re-
strained. It's the land of "milk and honey,"
but lately it's been the land of shaky
nerves and weariness.
And for this country that we love, which
many of us freely call "homeland," all we
can do is walk?

United On Jerusalem

This Sunday, few of us need to be
reminded, is Mother's Day. But it is also
the newest Jewish holiday, Jerusalem Day,
the 24th anniversary of the reunification of
the holy city. And though there are no
greeting cards to mark the occasion, it is a
day we should be aware of and appreciate.
On the 28th day of Iyar, in the Hebrew
calendar year of 5727, Israeli troops storm-
ed through Lion's Gate of the Old City dur-
ing the Six-Day War, and soon after, Gen-
eral Moshe Dayan declared, "Jerusalem is
united, never again to be divided."

Those who recall the day surely can pic-
ture Rabbi Shlomo Goren (who later
became chief rabbi of Israel), rifle in one
hand, shofar in the other, praying at the
Western Wall, whose liberation was the

high point of the war. Indeed, for the first
time in two millennia, Judaism's most
sacred place was under Jewish control.
At a time when the Bush administration
has increased tensions with Israel by in-
sisting on distinctions between East and
West Jerusalem, it is important that we
show our support for Jerusalem Day and
the age-old prayer that the city be a source
of physical and spiritual unity.
In Israel, of course, Jerusalem Day is
widely celebrated with special prayers, as
well it should be throughout the Jewish
world. Maybe we are too close to the event
to appreciate its historical significance. If
more of us were aware of the fact that
Jerusalem is not only Israel's capital but
the soul of the Jewish world, surely more of
us would celebrate its redemption.

Dry Bones

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roue

LETTERS

Debate Story
Is Debated

Concerning your story of
May 3, "Church Debates
Merits of Wary' That The
Jewish News would allow its

front page lead story to be us-
ed as a forum for the un-
critical presentation of the
views of an apologist for the
murderous Iraqi government
is incomprehensible.
Many
of
Professor
Abraham's charges remain
unanswered in the body of
your story. For starters: When
the Iraqis offered to withdraw
from Kuwait, in August, they
withdrew a few vehicles,
while introducing thousands
of troops.
Their offers to withdraw,
since August, have been dis-
ingenuous. They were linked
to actions by other govern-
ments, such as Israel, Syria,
etc. and would have made
Saddam Hussein a great hero
in the Arab world as a result
of his bloody invasion of
Kuwait.
There are many other im-
portant stories that took
place in the Jewish world that
you failed to cover. Why was
this debate in a church more
important?
What's wrong with you peo-
ple anyway?

Israeli Peacenik
Visits Deplored

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FRIDAY, MAY 10, 1991

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Sara King
Southfield

Afie
ST/MS ARE
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A group of representatives
of the so-called Israeli peace
camp is visiting the States
right- now to press their case.
Here in Israel there are ob-
jections to this trip on two
grounds:
If the "peace camp"
represents the majority of
Israeli opinion, as it claims it

does, then it can, through
democratic means, create an
Israeli government which
adheres to its platform.
While Israelis from the
right certainly visit the
United States and express
their opinion, they at no time
have asked either the
American government or
American Jewry to take
measures which would serve
to impose the right's position
onto the government of Israel.
In fact, when the Likud was
not in government, its leader-
ship was careful not to even
criticize the Labor govern-
ment when on overseas visits.
In stark contrast, the peace
camp have counseled for sanc-
tions to be taken against the
Jewish state in order to force
its democratically elected
leaders to change their posi-
tion on various issues.
The message to this group
should be clear: "Information,
yes; calls for external
pressure and sanctions, no."
We in Israel live in a
democracy. You simply can't
move your marbles to another
place if you aren't winning
the game.

<

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Aaron Lerner
Kfar Sava, Israel

Nothing's Changed
In Middle East

While we wish Secretary
James Baker III the best in
his peace-making efforts in
the Middle East, it would ap-
pear that they are doomed to
failure. Before it is possible to
make peace between two war-
ring parties, it is necessary
that they both want peace.
We read in the Wall Street
Journal (April 25) that Syria
used the $1 billion they
received from Saudi Arabia
(for their help in Operation

Continued on Page 10

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