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June 07, 1991 - Image 6

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-06-07

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

EDITORIAL

Dry Bones

Milestone For JVS

It seems every time we turn around
there's another worthy Jewish organiza-
tion celebrating a milestone anniversary,
be it one year, 25, 50 or 100.
There are certain groups whose purpose
today serves as a direct linkage to what
their purpose was at their origin. One of
those groups is the Jewish Vocational Ser-
vice. JVS is celebrating its 50th year by do-
ing what it was doing in 1941 and more.
This is an organization that found jobs for
World War II Jewish refugees from East-
ern Europe. This is an organization that
hasn't stopped reaching for its goals, an
organization that is helping settle Detroit's
new Americans from the Soviet Union.
Just as commendable is the JVS decision
to maintain its inner-city Detroit address.
At a time when the Jewish role within
Detroit is less and less visible, it is impor-

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tant that the beleaguered city see a Jewish
agency stay and fight the daily fight.

We wish the JVS success and support in
its mission to train, counsel and find
employment for its clients. Fifty years
hence, generations will remember 1991 in
the same terms that all of us look at 1941.
But no matter if the year is 1941 or the
year 2041, JVS must, with our help, re-
main strong.

As we've learned most recently in the
Soviet Union and then in Ethiopia,
miracles within the Jewish community can
happen with little warning. JVS takes the
miracle and makes it very real. There are
generations of Jews from Poland, Ger-
many, Hungary, the Soviet Union, and
now maybe even Ethiopia who will be able
to vouch for that.

So wi4AT

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KIND oF
..103 ARE tu NCrt VERY
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PRCSSURIZa

Arms Confusion

As our foreign correspondent, Helen
Davis, notes in an article this week on
Israel's reaction to the Bush arms control
initiative for the Mideast, there is a good
deal of confusion.
No wonder. The president seemed to call
for arms restraint in the region without
mentioning any U.S. plan to limit its own
arm sales to Israel or Arab states.
Mr. Bush, in his address to the Air Force
Academy, spoke of "halting the prolifera-
tion of conventional and unconventional
weapons in the Middle East, while suppor-
ting the legitimate need of every state to
defend itself."
That sounds like an awfully thin line to
walk, and one need not be a cynic to note
that the U.S. is one of the primary
beneficiaries of the widespread sale of arms
to the region.
The president's goal of the "eventual
creation of a regional nuclear-free zone" is
admirable. But he concentrated more on

-----

Council Not One
Out Of Touch

Your (May 31) editorial
criticizing the Jewish Com-
munity Council as being out
of touch with reality for citing
improved African American-
Jewish and Arabic-Jewish
relations, illustrates that The
Jewish News is woefully ig-
norant about the Council's re-
cent activities.
This year, Council joined
with all major Detroit African
American organizations in
supporting the Civil Rights
Bill. Council hosted a press
conference locally where we
all jointly spoke out on behalf
of the bill. The Jewish News
was invited to the press con-

6

FRIDAY, JUNE 7, 1991

doing away with nuclear, biological and
chemical weapons than he did on curtail-
ing conventional weapons, and that could
put Israel at a disadvantage.

Part of the Bush plan dealing with
nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles
relates primarily to Israel, since it is
believed to be the only country in the
Mideast with nuclear weapons. Israel,
which has complained about being singled
out unfairly, cannot be expected to be the
first country in the world to disarm, given
its history and security concerns.

Israel's counterproposal to the Bush plan
suggests linking limits on nuclear weapons
to curbs on conventional arms sales. That
makes good sense. Otherwise we have the
current situation where the U.S. calls for
control of weapons of mass destruction
while continuing business as usual in sell-
ing Arab states as well as Israel weapons of
"normal" destruction.

1LETTERS

ference, but did not bother to
attend.
Council joined the Detroit
Compact, an effort encom-
passing the Detroit public
school system, local corpora-
tions and community
organizations to upgrade
public education in Detroit, a
high priority for the African
American community.
The heads of the major
African American organiza-
tions in south Oakland Coun-
ty and Detroit joined Coun-
cil's solidarity rally on behalf
of allied troops and the State
of Israel last January.
Council sponsored a Michi-
gan state legislators study
trip to Israel that included
many of the leading African

American legislators: Senator
Virgil Smith and Represen-
tatives Teola Hunter, Morris
Hood, Juanita Watkins and
Nelson Saunders. The out-
come of the frank give-and-
take of the 10-day trip was
better understanding and im-
proved relations between
African American and Jewish
Detroiters, and a better
understanding of the impor-
tance of Israel by all the
legislators.
Your editorial noted the im-
proved relations between the
Chaldean and Jewish com-
munities, but then asserted
that the Chaldeans do not
consider themselves "Arabic."
Many Chaldeans are proud of
their Arabic heritage and feel

themselves a part of one of
the largest segments of the
Detroit Arabic community.
More important, Council and
the Arabic-Jewish Friends
have worked with all
segments of the Arabic com-
munity, in public and behind
the scenes, to improve Arabic-
Jewish relations.
Your editorial states that
the Council's mission is not to
"return to Israel and show
solidarity." This marks a
drastic and unfortunate
change at The Jewish News
since you co-sponsored our
community trip to Israel in
1989.
Today, the reality is that
hundreds of thousands of Rus-
sian olim and tens of
thousands of Ethiopian Jews
are coming to Israel. At the
same time, Israel is experien-
cing severe financial pro-
blems and continues to be
ostracized by many of the na-
tions of the world.
I firmly believe that Coun-
cil's role is to lead American
Jews to Israel — to provide
solidarity and financial and
emotional strength to our
brothers and sisters there
who represent the ingather-
ing of the Holocaust sur-
vivors, refugees from Arab
and African countries, and
refuseniks from Russia.
The "reality" is that Coun-
cil has accomplished much in
the past three years. It is un-
fortunate that The Jewish
News didn't care to learn
about these efforts before
writing its "out of touch with
reality" editorial.

Paul D. Borman
Immediate Past President
Jewish Community Council

Council Deserves
Our Gratitude

The Jewish Community
Council and its immediate
past president, Paul D. Bor-
man, deserve our gratitude
for their outstanding efforts
at building bridges with
Detroit's black, Chaldean,
Arab and other communities.
The first step in building
coalitions is to recognize our
separate agendas and start
talking about the ones we
share. From that starting
point and under the fine
leadership of Mr. Borman,
Council has carried our rela-
tionships to new levels of
understanding over the past
three years.
One of the best examples of
these growing relationships
took place during the Persian
Gulf War when Jewish Com-
munity Council leadership
spoke up time and again on
behalf of the Chaldean
American community and
against insinuations and
generalizations about their
loyalties. In so doing, Council
demonstrated to the Chal-
dean community — and the
black community, as well —
that we do have a common in-
terest in preserving the civil
rights of all Americans.
Finally, just because we
have a vital community rela-
tions agenda here at home
does not lessen the critical
nature of our global agenda.
We do indeed have a mission
"to run to Israel and show
solidarity." Mr. Borman ap-
preciated more than most the
importance of visiting Israel
— both for Jews and gentiles
Continued on Page 10

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