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February 28, 1992 - Image 1

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-02-28

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

THE JEWISH NEWS

SERVING DETROIT'S JEWISH COMMUNITY

SEVENTY-FIVE CENTS

FEBRUARY 28, 1992 / 24 ADAR 5752

Public Insight, Politics
Worry Pro-Choice Clergy

NOAM M.M. NEUSNER

Staff Writer

F

or local pro-choice
clergy, these are
difficult times.
The Supreme Court ap-
pears ready to rethink, even
overturn, its 1973 Roe vs.
Wade decision legalizing
abortion. Last May, the
Michigan Senate passed a
law requiring a waiting
period for abortions.
On a political level, pro-
choice clergy find these de-
velopments troubling. But
they are more troubled by
what they feel is the public

perception that religion says
abortion is wrong.
Earlier this month, the
Michigan Religious Coali-
tion for Abortion Rights
(RCAR) launched a plan
where clergy would counsel
women on how to resolve
their pregnancies. They will
help women find an abortion
clinic, if necessary, or they
will discuss adoption, day
care and a range of other op-
tions.
Michigan RCAR Executive
Director Sarah Smith Red-
mond said women should
know that religion has more
than one thing to say about
abortion.

Several local rabbis who
support abortion rights, re-
sponding to the RCAR idea,
said there was nothing new
about RCAR's plan. Since
rabbis are supposed to pro-
vide counseling, they said,
they make themselves
available to their con-
gregants on any issue.
Plus, unlike the challenges
faced by their colleagues in
Christian churches, rabbis
said there is little profes-
sional risk involved in sup-
porting a pro-choice position
from the pulpit.
"That's not germane to our
community," said Rabbi
Continued on Page 36

CLOSEUP

Secretary of State James Baker

Ultimatum Splits
Arabs And Jews

AMY J. MEHLER

Staff Writer

A

The former executive editor of the New York Times
has become an advocate of Israel and Jewish issues.

rabs applaud it. Jews
condemn it.
So it's no surprise
that Arab and Jewish
leaders in metro Detroit are
split as ever concerning the
Bush administration's deci-
sion to use economic aid as a
tool to change Israeli polit-
ical actions in the so-called
occupied territories.
For the first time in
American-Israeli relations, a
president has slapped Israel
with a mighty ultimatum:
Washington backs $10
billion in loans over five
years if Israel freezes all
construction of Jewish set-
tlements in the West Bank
and Gaza Strip; or Washing-
ton grants a one-year guar-
antee for $1 billion in
exchange for a pledge not to
build new settlements and
an understanding that all
Israeli spending on construc-
tion in the territories will be
deducted from the total.
"The loan guarantee pro-
gram, consisting not of loans
or grants but of co-
signatures on loans from
commercial banks, would
fulfill the U.S. commitment
to the millions of Soviet
Jews seeking a life free from
oppression and persecution,"
said Jeannie Weiner, presi-
dent of the Jewish Commun-
ity Council of Metropolitan
Detroit.
"We hope that our
government will remove the
needs of the immigrants

from the political arena, so
that the U.S. and Israel can
reach an agreement meeting
the imperative human-
itarian needs," she said.
Mark Schlussel, president
of the Jewish Federation of
Metropolitan Detroit, is
"astonished" by this ad-
ministration's reaction to
Israel's unique cir-
cumstance.
"This is the first ad-
ministration that has gone
public with a position that is
profoundly adversarial to
the State of Israel," said Mr.
Schlussel. "Apparently, the
American government no
longer believes it needs
Israel as a strategic ally bas-
ed upon the breakup of the
former Soviet Union.
"We tend to forget that
there is no indigenous Pales-
tinian people or Palestinian
state," Mr. Schlussel added.
"These are Arabs in-
distinguishable from the
Arabs occupying 21 other
Arab countries. Americans
have bought into a fiction
created by a brilliant public
relations and media cam-
paign which developed a
core of Palestinian people."
Leila S. Hannah, 47, na-
tional president of the
American Federation of
Ramallah, Palestine, who
lives in metro Detroit, was
born in Ramallah, a village
on the outskirts of
Jerusalem.
"Why should a Soviet Jew
be entitled to a homeland
and get a passport when a

Continued on Page 37

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