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June 21, 1991 - Image 7

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-06-21

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Ten Years Later,
The Threat Remains



Ten years ago
this month, in a
surprise air raid,
Israel bombed
and destroyed an
Iraqi nuclear re-
actor that was
scheduled to
begin operation later that
Prime Minister Menachem
Begin defended the action as
one of self defense against a
sworn enemy of Israel who,
with nuclear capabilities,
would have had the poten-
tial to destroy the Jewish
state. "Israel has nothing to
apologize for," Mr. Begin
said in announcing the ac-
tion, which he called "moral-
ly supreme."
Not surprisingly, most of
the world took a different
Today, in light of the re-
cent Gulf war, the continu-
ing threat posed by Saddam
Hussein to Israel and the

Mideast, and reports this
past week that Iraq still has
hidden away enough ura-
nium to cause nuclear havoc,
perhaps it would be instruc-
tive to see how the world re-
sponded to Israel's bold ac-
tion a decade ago — and
what lessons, if any, have
been learned.
The Arab world, of course,
issued ritual denunciations

If this is the price
we have to pay, so
be it, Jerusalem

of the Israeli raid, though
countries like Egypt, Saudi
Arabia, Syria and Iran no
doubt were relieved that a
very real threat from a
neighbor had been removed,
or at least postponed.
The hypocrisy did not end
there. France, which had
supplied uranium to Iraq in
return for oil and $1.5 billion
in arms contracts, condemn-
ed the Israeli bombing as "a
very grave act" that "can

only increase tension in this
region of the world."
The Soviet Union de-
scribed the raid as "an act of
gangsterism" and accused
the United States of being
an accomplice.
United Nations Secretary
General Kurt Waldheim
called Israel's bombing a
"clear contravention of
international law," and two
weeks later, the UN passed a
resolution that "strongly
condemned" Israel for its ac-
Perhaps most disappoin-
ting was Washington's sup-
port of the unanimous UN
resolution and her un-
qualified condemnation of
the Israeli raid. Indeed, to
punish the Israelis, the
Reagan administration
(which was upset in part be-
cause it had no prior knowl-
edge of Israel's plans)
delayed shipment of U.S.
arms scheduled for delivery
to Israel.
The strong symbolic action
was said to have been a vic-
tory for Secretary of Defense

A clipping from the New York Times, the morning after Israel's raid on
the Iraqi reactor.

Caspar Weinberger and a
blow to Secretary of State Al
Haig, who had advocated a
milder rebuke. At the time,
Philip Habib was serving as
a special U.S. envoy to the
Mideast, attempting to
negotiate an end to the de-
teriorating situation in Leb-
anon. And Washington and
Jerusalem were locked in a
fierce battle over the propos-

ed U.S. sale of AWACs
planes to Saudi Arabia. An
angry Pentagon official said
that Israel's raid on Iraq
made efforts for peace in the
Mideast "immeasurably
more difficult."
(Within a year, President
Reagan would win a narrow,
bitter victory on the AWACs
sale, and Israel would go to
Continued on Page 12

the community to question
our political role as American
Jews. Again, thanks, for pro-
viding us with thought-
provoking and challenging
issues, and not taking the
easy way out. Keep it up.

ly Jewish youth group. For
many of us, SYO provided the
context in which we learned
about ourselves as Jews and
as a person in a changing
A group of us have decided
that it would be fun to get
together with old friends and
acquaintances from that time.
Our goal is to locate people
who were members of SYO
anytime between 1964-1969
in order to determine if such
a gathering is feasible. If you
(or your friend or your child)
were a member of SYO, please
send your name and current
address to Debbe Mour
Trachtman, 11700 W. 108th
St., Overland Park, KS,


the Likud, public opinion has
been about equally divided
between "hawks" and
"doves," with, if anything,
more "doves" after the Gulf
In this context, "Peace,
Arab Style" (Jewish News,
May 24) can be seen as an at-
tempt to find out and report
what the "other side," the
Arab-American community,
has to say on the subject.
What are their hopes and
fears, and how do those affect
us? What they had to say was
not too different from what
we might say under similar
circumstances. And weren't
some of the circumstances
rather similar for us not that
long ago? Those who would
deny that such reports con-
stitute healthy journalism
and a more balanced ap-
proach to the news believe in
propaganda, not news.
As far as the Jewish Com-
munity Council is concerned,
there is no doubt that it has
worked more closely with the
African-American communi-
ty, as several programs can at-
test. Its relations with the
Arab community, however,
have been rather superficial
with the exception of a strong
statement by Paul Borman

against anti-Arab racism dur-
ing the Gulf War.
Yes, there is an Arabic-
Jewish Friends' group, and no
doubt it does work "in public
and behind the scenes to im-
prove Arabic-Jewish rela-
tions," but the group limits
its focus to domestic and not
Middle East issues — issues
that really clutch at the
heart and mind of both
How could the relationship
between the Arab communi-
ty and the Council not be con-
sidered superficial when the
Council has shown itself to be
so leery of being a party to
talks presented by Jewish
groups (Israelis included)
perceived as "dovish," while it
evidently shows less hesitan-
cy in being a party to
"hawkish" groups? Let us, in-
deed, be "in touch with reali-
ty." Evasiveness in writing as
well as in behavior does not
serve us well in the long run.

Francine Rosemberg

Variety Of
I just wanted to express my

appreciation to the Detroit
Jewish News for its well-

rounded coverage of events
and issues affecting the world
and local Jewish community.
I suspect that the safest route
for a Jewish paper to take
would be to present just the
attitudes of the perceived ma-
jority of the American Jewish
community. In the past few
years, reading the Detroit
Jewish News has become
much more stimulating
because of the variety of
perspectives that have been
Recently, I found in-
teresting and informative
your article in which several
Arabs were interviewed about
the Israel/Palestinian con-
flict. Your coverage of lectures
by members of the Israeli
peace movement, such as
Mark Rosenblum, political
director of Americans for
Peace Now, are also to be
I also find enlightening the
recent discussion between the
Detroit Jewish News and the
Jewish Community Council.
I am impressed that the
Detroit Jewish News has the
courage to criticize Council,
even though it would be
easiest to simply accept the
status quo. This type of
discussion is important in
that it forces many of us in

Sheryl King
Huntington Woods

Thank You
For JVS Story

I really enjoyed the June 7
issue of The Jewish News,
with two major news articles
on JVS. Both articles gave the
reader an accurate and
dynamic picture of our
organization. We are also
grateful for the other articles
and editorials which have
also been carried in the paper.

Rabbi Daniel R. Allen

Albert I. Ascher
Executive Director, JVS

Letters Policy

Former Members
Of SYO Sought

S, Y and 0 are three letters
near and dear to my heart.
SYO stands for the
Synagogue Youth Organiza-
tion. It was the Midwest af=
filiate of NCSY. For nearly
two years I was the regional
president of this traditional-

The Jewish News en-
courages readers to com-
ment on issues in the
newspaper. Preference is
given to letters which are
brief. All letters must be
typewritten, double-
spaced, and include the
signature, home address
and daytime telephone
number of the writer.



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