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September 27, 1991 - Image 6

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-09-27

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

EDITORIAL

Are We Friends, Or What?

Let's make one thing very clear. Nobody
knows what is best for Israel, except Israel.
While its decisions involving settlement
of Jews on the West Bank at this time
might not be popular, it is still Israel's
decision. The world's politicians and major
media sources do a good job of listening to
Israeli leaders say that they'd rather be
unpopular than dead. These same leaders
and media sources could be questioned on
just how well they are hearing.
President Bush's strong gesture before
the United Nations further clouds the con-
sistency of this administration. The resolu-
tion comparing Zionism to racism happen-
ed in 1975, some 16 years ago. So while we
congratulate Mr. Bush for his words and
gestures, we still have to wonder why it
took political expediency to make this
speech. Why didn't this happen a year ago,
two years ago?
We don't at this time need calculated at-
tempts to ease tensions between pro-Israel
forces and the administration. What is it
that you want to accomplish Mr. Bush?
You are consistently inconsistent here.
You forgive $7 billion to Egypt for its part
in the allied effort against Iraq. You ask
Congress to thank all of the players in the
allied effort, but you leave Israel out. You
use a press conference to express your
disgust with Prime Minister Shamir and
the need for 120 days to let peace work
before you give the U.S. government's

backing to a loan guarantee. -
It's too bad that Israel isn't in a position
to tell you where to place the loan guar-
antee at this time.
What's even more bothersome, Mr. Bush,
is that the media of this land with few ex-
ceptions aren't really taking time to look
into the loan guarantee issue, this ad-
ministration's general treatment of Israel
and your personal pro-oil stance. Now, we
are reading editorials and looking at edito-
rial cartoons that make it seem that Israel
is committing highway robbery against the
United States. Pardon us if we quietly
wonder about anti-Semitism or if we even
bring up the word Holocaust. Some of the
editorial cartoons we're seeing have chill-
ing familiarities.
Mr. Bush, what are you doing? Do you
even know yourself? Mr. Bush, please try
and figure it out. We need to know which
President of the United States is going to
show up here. Is it the one who so emo-
tionally addressed the United Nations (We
haven't forgotten how you led the charge to
punish Israel in the United Nations in
1981 after Israel knocked out the Iraqi
nuclear reactor)? Or is it the angry guy
who has new friends to please in Saudi
Arabia and Syria?
So please, figure out which guy you are.
Your old enemies want to call you friend.
Your oldest friend in the region doesn't
know what to call you.

Rewarding Obfuscation

The Senate judiciary hearings on the
Supreme Court nomination of Judge
Clarence Thomas told us more about the
need for an overhaul of the confirmation
process than about Judge Thomas' views
on controversial issues.
The Bush administration has learned
from the experience of Robert Bork, who
spoke his mind in Senate hearings and
never made it to the Supreme Court. Since
then, Justices Kennedy and Souter were
tutored in the nuances of saying as little as
possible so as not to jeopardize their
chances, and each won approval — though
many senators, and American citizens,
were frustrated at how little information
was gleaned from the nominees.
Indeed, in the hearings Judge Thomas

disavowed many of his speeches and
writings that took a strong conservative
approach. Does he truly no longer believe
what he said and wrote, or was he just
seeking to offend as few senators as possi-
ble during the sessions? Either alternative
is troubling.
Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., chairman of
the Senate Judiciary Committee, has ex-
pressed his dissatisfaction with the current
process, which favors unresponsiveness.
He said he plans to hold hearings with
testimony from scholars, lawyers and polit-
ical scientists as to how best revamp the
process of questioning Supreme Court can-
didates. We can only hope that those hear-
ings will be more enlightening than the
Thomas hearings that just ended.

Dry Bones

c146ERING

CROWDS
OF EAST

CuRoWAtoS.

6

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 1991

FAGGito6 (k)

to4/6- AGAIN
1461R
FAVERLAM!

LETTERS

Project JOIN
And Rejection

In the Aug. 30 Jewish News,
Mr. Albert Ascher, executive
vice president of Jewish Voca-
tional Service, responded
with interest and concern to
your article, "Leadership Tur-
nover Concerns Agencies?'
He observed that talented,
qualified Jewish communal
professionals are difficult to
recruit. The twin issues of the
cost of graduate school educa-
tion and the value with which
human service occupations
are viewed were cited as
primary causes of the
shortage.
In response to this need
Project JOIN, an internship
for quailfied college students
was established. Mr. Ascher
states in the article that
many of these interns stayed
on to become Jewish s _ ervice
professionals.
On Sept. 10, I contacted Mr.
Ascher directly to express my
concern that my daughter
had been rejected twice by the
Project JOIN program. I felt
that a talented, potential
leader had been turned off . .
Mr. Ascher very quickly
pointed out to me that the
Project JOIN internship pro-
gram selected only the most
academically gifted students
and that lobbying for endow-
ment funds would be the
answer to the expansion of
the program. I explained to
him that my daughter was an
average student with above-
average committment. To say
that he was not concerned or
even interested in the loss of
the very type of Jewish, com-
munal professional that he
says there is a shortage of,
would be an understatement.
I would be interested in
knowing the statistics of how
many Project JOIN interns
actually remain in the service

1--

of local Jewish agencies after
the said interns complete
their college studies. I would
also be interested in hearing
from your readers regarding
how many other committed,
talented, potential leaders
have been lost to the Jewish
community.
If the attitude displayed by
Mr. Ascher pervades our com-
munity's Jewish agencies, my
daughter needs to look else-
where for a career in Jewish
community service.

Barbara R. Hubert

Southfield

The Soviet Union
And Its Jews

There is a little bit of
history concerning Soviet
Jewry that needs to be
acknowledged. Alone and
bereft, Soviet Jews were the
first to question the in-
evitability of the Soviet
system. We can trace almost
all the dramatic transforma-
tions now sweeping the Soviet
sphere back to their ex-
perience, their example.
From the Elbe to the
Caucasus, every oppressed
minority, every dissident
drew some measure of in-
spiration from their
resistance to the Soviet
monolith. In every generation
there are the few who stand
and refuse to be shackled by
leaden canons and iron cur-
tains. Among the few, there
were a multitude of Soviet
Jews.
Of course, there were other
factors, other actors in this
vast unfolding drama. But
there remains, nevertheless,
an undeniable causal link
between the epochal restruc-
turing of Eastern Europe and
the Soviet Jewry movement.
And now, at the moment of

Continued on Page 10

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