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January 31, 1992 - Image 12

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-01-31

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UP FRONT

Fear Of War

Continued from preceding page

Dr. Hoffman, a pediatric
anesthesiologist. "We
believed there weren't going
to be any chemical missiles.
After awhile, the Scud at-
tacks became just a nui-
sance."
Michelle and Harold Platt,
Mrs. Hoffman's parents, also
returned to Israel during the
Gulf War. A year ago, the
former Oak Park residents
were completing a month-
long visit with a son,
daughter and grandchildren
who still live in the Detroit
area. The Platts were inter-
viewed by The Jewish News,
Channel 4 and by CNN on
the eve of their Jan. 28
departure.
Mr. Platt said then he
didn't think Saddam Hus-
sein was crazy enough to to
turn his missiles on
Jerusalem. "You have to
believe that God is in charge
here," he said last year. "To
have two missiles fall in Tel
Aviv and kill no one is a
miracle. I just hope the
miracles continue."
Mr. Platt was partially
correct. Iraq launched 39
missiles against Israel
before the Gulf War came to
a close. One man was killed
by a Scud, and 12 people —
mostly elderly — died of
heart attacks or suffocation
during missile alerts. As for
property damage, nearly

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AMY J. MEHLER_

Staff Writer

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12

FRIDAY, JANUARY 31, 1992

4

14

The War Continues
In Iraq And Detroit

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You couldn't ask for a better gift.

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9,000 homes in Tel Aviv and
Ramat Gan sustained
damage. In the two cities
combined, 3,100 people were
evacuated to hotels.
Bernard Epel, a former
Detroiter who lives in
Herzliyah, a Tel Aviv
suburb, said there was little
damage to his neighborhood.
"We saw the Scuds flying
overhead," he said.
Putting the masks on his
children, Tal, 4, and Tamir,
7, was the biggest problem.
"As long as nothing happen-
ed, the kids grew to regard
the attacks as a kind of
adventure," said Mr. Epel, a
professor of botany at Tel
Aviv University. "When we
went into the room, we read,
talked to each other and
watched the TV."
Waiting was the worst
part, Mr. Epel told The Jew-
ish News last year, "The un-
predictability of the attacks
are maddening," he said.
"Everyone is always
waiting, which means a
great deal of anxiety."
If the Gulf War ac-
complished anything, Mr.
Epel said, it was to shake
Israel out of a general sense
of malaise. "This is some-
thing we'll probably have to
face again," he said. "No one
dwells on it, but it can
happen again." ❑

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he Gulf War still
plagues Jamal
Bidawib, 51, of
Warren. His family lives in
Baghdad, suffering from the
effects of Western sanctions
that continue to deprive
relatives of crucial medi-
cines and food staples.
"For us, the war never
ended," Mr. Bidawib said. "I
don't understand how the
United Nations can justify
destroying 17 million people
because of the actions of one
dictator."
Nabby Yono, of West
Bloomfield, has aunts and
uncles in Iraq. Nevertheless,
he views the whole country
as family. "The desertion of
our Arab brothers hurt us
deeply," Mr. Yono said.
"Also because of them, the
Iraqi people are still
hostages.
Iraqis aren't asking for
handouts, Mr. Yono said.
They want all the sanctions
to be lifted so they can go
and buy what they need, he
said.

"The most ironic develop-
ment of all," he said, "is that
Iraq, which brought about
the Middle East peace talks,
is now the one left out. In the
past 50 years, Israel has had
one serious confrontation
with Iraq. In the same time,
Israel has fought numerous
wars with Jordan, Syria and
Egypt."
Christine Oram of Birm-
ingham called Jan. 16, 1991,
"the darkest day in all of
Iraqi history." Ms. Oram,
founder of Victims of War, a
non-profit humanitarian
relief organization for Iraqi
civilians, returned from Iraq
in June from a 35-day mis-
sion.
"Almost one-half of Iraq's
population is below the age
of 14," Ms. Oram said.
"According to Harvard
Study Group, by May,
170,000 Iraqi children will
die as a direct result of the
Gulf War."
Dr. Ramsey Dass of Oak
Park visited 10 Iraqi cities
in May as part of a 15-
physician delegation from
the Arab American Medical
Association. The group, the

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