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November 08, 1991 - Image 7

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-11-08

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

OPINION

Why Peace Will Come

HIRSH GOODMAN

T

fr

I.

his conference is going
to work. We all have
too much to lose if it
doesn't. It is going to work
because we have Yitzhak
Shamir at the helm and not
Shimon Peres. Labor will
support any movement
toward accommodation; the
Likud, if it were in opposi-
tion, would oppose it.
It is going to work because
the Palestinians in the ter-
ritories have no option.
Their situation is desperate.
If anything, their national
cause has only been set back
by four years of intifada.
Unemployment in the ter-
ritories is rife. Security mea-
sures are becoming more
repressive. The anarchy in
the streets is growing and
the incumbent leadership is
worried that it will lose con-
trol.
Faisal al-Hussaini needs a

Hirsh Goodman is editor of the
Jerusalem Report, from which
this piece is reprinted.
Copyright 1991 by the
Jerusalem Report.

solution for his people in the
territories much more than
Yassir Arafat does for the
Palestinians in the
Diaspora, notwithstanding
the refugee influx into Jor-
dan. Therefore, it is the local
delegation that will be call-
ing the shots, not the PLO.
It will work because Yit-
zhak Shamir has finally
come to the realization that
he cannot be responsible for
the economic well-being of
1.8 million Palestinians, a

Put your pessimism
and prejudices
aside.

million Soviet immigrants
and our own youth at the
same time. He needs the jobs
being done in Israel by Pa-
lestinians for the Soviets
and he has to keep the
knives of vengeance off our
streets. He, therefore, wants
economic development in the
territories and this can only
come with Palestinian self-
rule and Arab investment
capital. The Saudis will not
give money to the Jews.

It will work because Wash-
ington and Moscow have an
interest in stability in this
area. There is turmoil in
Eastern Europe, instability
in Central America and a
dozen flashpoints around the
world. America has a
trillion-dollar deficit and
does not want, again, to have
to expend hundreds of
billions in dealing with an-
other regional conflict like
the Gulf War.
The Soviets are getting .
sick of eating potatoes for
breakfast, lunch and dinner,
and need to invest in their
own future, not the war-
making capacity of allies
like Syria that are no longer
of strategic importance.
It will work because Israel
came to the conference with
time on its side and confi-
- dent. Anwar Sadat did not
come to Jerusalem because
he was a Zionist, but because
he realized that he could not
deal with Israel by military
means. Mr. Hussein, Mr.
Arafat, Mr. Assad, Mr. Hus-
saini and company have
come to the same conclusion.
They once wanted it all —
the Mediterranean as their

Peace: Just across the table?

Western border. They will
now settle for half and less.
Israel is strong, and if
Seymour Hersh's book is
right, very strong.
We are here, in control of
the territories with no Arab
country capable of fighting
us alone and winning. The
prime minister heads a co-
alition that enjoys an ab-
solute majority in the
Knesset. He has a year in
which to evolve the formula
for autonomy — sorry, self-
rule — and three years in
which to watch it take hold
and the Palestinians prove
that they are capable of self-
government before we even
begin to discuss the final set-
tlement.
If the Palestinians are suc-
cessful in controlling the

The Holocaust Is Becoming Lost
At Martyred Ground Of Auschwitz

RALPH SLOVENKO

T

his summer, visiting
Krakow, which is
about 35 miles from
Auschwitz, I bumped into Dr.
Walter Reich, a psychiatrist
at the Smithsonian Institu-
tion and a highly regarded
scholar. I asked him whether
he had relatives in Poland.
"Yes," he replied, "all under
the ground." He had just come
from a visit to Auschwitz and
was visibly troubled by what
he had seen. He was concern-
ed about the de-Judaization of
the site in general.
"Martyrdom is important,"
he said, " and it's being lost
at the camp, notwithstanding
the best efforts of the direc-
tor."
It is that concern which pro-
mpted Rabbi Avraham Weiss
of the Hebrew Institute of
Riverdale, N.Y., and his group
to protest a convent on the
grounds. The group claimed
that the very existence of a
convent there insulted the

Ralph Slovenko is professor of
law and psychiatry at the
Wayne State University Law
School.

memory of Jewish Holocaust
victims and amounted to an
attempt to Christianize and
de-Judaize their national
tragedy.
A visit to Auschwitz begins
with a film produced by the
Soviet Union depicting the
Red Army's rescue of sur-
vivors at the camp. The film
— and nothing else in the
museum — makes it known
that Jews were the principal
victims of extermination.
Neither the guides nor the ex-
hibits point it out. A plaque
states: "Four million people
suffered and died here at the
hands of the Nazi murderers
between the year: 1940 and
1945."
Auschwitz was set up as a
concentration camp in 1940,
and until mid-1941 the camp
was used to intern Poles;
then, also for others, par-
ticularly Soviet POWs (until
March 1942); then it became
an extermination camp for
Jews.
The extermination was ac-
tually carried out at
Birkenau, or Auschwitz. II,
located a few miles from the
main camp, known as
Auschwitz I. Few visitors go

After years of controversy, the Carmelite convent adjacent to
Auschwitz will be moved to a new site.

to Birkenau, and there is very
little left of it.
And what about Auschwitz
I, the camp turned into a
museum, and where the con-
vent is located? In the 1940s
rows of trees were planted
there, and now, about a half-
century old, they give the
place the appearance of a
sylvan, almost pastoral set-
ting. The place looks more
like a lush residential area

than a concentration camp.
And what about the at-
mosphere? In this day of
privatization, posters are
plastered all about Krakow
announcing guided tours to
Auschwitz, $10. The camp is
now a tourist attraction, and
one might say, a place border-
ing on frivolity.
Tour buses and cars are

Continued on Page 10

streets, keeping the schools
open, providing jobs and
hope, stopping the stones
and Molotov cocktails, the
way we see a solution to our
differences in three years'
time will be very different
from now. By then there will
be no Arab economic em-
bargo on Israel; Jordan will
have ended the formal state
of war between us; and, yes,
Syria will be at peace with
this country.
We would return the
Golan to Syrian sovereignty
and one minute later they
would lease it back to us
with international guar-
antees for 99 years. In other
words, the Golan Heights
would become the Hong
Kong of the Middle East and
in 99 years' time, when our
grandchildren are all living
in peace, with open borders
and our armies being used
only for ceremonial func-
tions, we will end our lease.
Peace with Jordan is guar-
anteed if we are no longer at
war with Syria and the Pa-
lestinians. Accommodation
with the Palestinians is
assured if we allow true self-
rule to develop over these
next three years and we
have every interest in doing
so.
Sure, the fringes will try
and derail the process. True
progress is anathema for
Yitzhak Shamir. Mr. Assad
will never love us and the
Saudis will probably never
come to terms with the in-
fidel in Jerusalem. But they
have no alternative and
neither do we. For once, the
majority rules and self-
interest is on its side.
This is a chance. A real
chance. Put your pessimism
and prejudices aside. Final-
ly, Israel has come of age.
Finally, the Arabs have
come to the conclusion that
diplomacy, not war, is the
way to achieve their goals.
We have won. Mr. Shamir
will not sell the country
down the drain. If anything,
he won't go far enough.
Think not of the end of the
process but of its beginning.
Never has there been a more
auspicious start.



THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

7

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