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February 28, 1992 - Image 44

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

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

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44

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 1992

Arab World News
Not Always Negative

PHILIP SLOMOVITZ

Editor Emeritus

S

o many instances of
unfair coverage of
news about the Middle
East have developed into an-
ti-Israel propaganda. Too
often editorial comments,
like those in the Detroit Free
Press, give the impression
that the prejudice was
deliberate. The antagonisms
can be avoided with an effort
to strive for the positive in
the relationships between
the Jewish state, its
neighbors and the world
community.
Here is an item that ap-
pears to have been ignored
by the media. The impres-
sion always given about
King Hussein of Jordan is
that he joins in efforts to
undermine Israel's exis-
tence. However, his frequent
flirtations with claims to
peace endorsements leave
anticipations for eventual
good will. We are provided a
measure of hope in this Paris
datelined story released by
the Jewish Telegraphic
Agency:

Jordan's King Hussein
has spoken out against
the recent wave of armed
violence by Palestinians
against Israeli citizens in
the administered ter-
ritories.
In an interview publish-
ed (Jan. 27) in the French
daily Le Figaro, Hussein
said, "There may be a
minority willing to
torpedo all peace efforts,
but we should not allow
this minority to achieve
its aim."
The king pronounced
himself in favor of democ-
racy and human rights in
the Arab states.
"Democracy must exist.
Human rights must be
respected. I hope the
Arab world, as a whole,
will understand that it has
to go in this direction, that
these reforms are man-
datory," the king is
quoted as saying.
He expressed hope that
the Arab world would
evolve like Europe has
done in recent times, so
"that the walls of fear,
suspicion and doubt will
fall down.
"I know that saying this,
I make myself rather un-
popular," he admitted.
"But I am sure I am echo-
ing the feelings of the
Arab people."

Hussein deplored the
use of religion as a polit-
ical tool. "Islam is not the
property of a small group.
No one can pretend to.
have a monopoly on the
truth," he said.

The media and
"diplomats" who constantly
utilize antagonisms which
harm Israel will do well, as
an aid to peace, to make use
of the hopeful, such as pro-
nounced by King Hussein,
instead of the disparaging.
There is another occur-
rence that denies fear in
dealing with the Arabs. It
was found on several occa-
sions in relation to the
multilateral negotiations.
Now there is more en-
couragement in connection
with the meetings in
Moscow. There were cons-
tant references to the at-
tempts to undermine the
peace gatherings by the
refusal of Syria, the PLO,
Yemen and Lebanon to at-
tend.
There was the responsive
factor that included Arab

If you compare
where we are in
January 1992 to
every other
January since the
birth of Israel in
1948, you have to
conclude that a
miracle has
happened.

states with a desire to aid
peace. The multilateral ses-
sions in Moscow were at-
tended by emmissaries from
Jordan, Kuwait, Oman,
Bahrain, Qatar, United
Arab Emirates, Saudi
Arabia, Egypt, Tunisia,
Morocco, Mauritania and
Turkey.
It was only a matter of
days ago that this would
have been judged as an im-
possibility. Its development
into a reality makes a dra-
matic occurrence in our
time. It is by spreading its
significance that those who
are inclined in matters that
lead toward irritating Israel
can be instruments toward
peace developments.
Uninterrupted appeals for
peace from Jewish com-
munities were especially in
evidence at the recent ses-
sions of the American Israel
Public Affairs Committee
held in Washington.
The Detroit leader of the

movement, who recently
retires from the AIPAC pres-
idency, emphasized the
peace priority aims in the
movement's reaching out to
Congress and the com-
munities in his analyses. Ed
Levy Jr. called attention to
an encouraging statement
by Geoffrey Kemp of the
Carnegie Endowment for
International Peace:

If you compare where
we are in January 1992 to
every other January since
the birth of Israel in 1948,
you have to conclude that
something of a miracle
has happened.

There must never be
diminution of commitments
to peace with Arab as well as
Israeli cooperation. We must
now function as witnesses of
its approaching realization.

Clarifying Abuses
Is An Obligation

While the big debate in
matters relating to the Mid-
dle East developments is
over Israel's need for loans
to assist in the exodus of
Jews from the former Soviet
Union, there is still the
shocking distortion of
reports about human rights
abuses.
In many areas such rights
have become non-existent,
but incidents of excessive in-
justice are always searched
for by those who would
utilize them to treat them as
crimes.
A New Republic editorial
notebook comment on the
major issue involving
human rights is so very
basic. The facts enumerated
could become, as they
should, compulsions for the
media to consider:

The State Department
last week released its an-
nual survey of Country
Reports on Human Rights
practices. The depart-
ment's Bureau of Human
Rights and Humanitarian
Affairs, which produces
the document, is a feisty
body ... and rightly cited
offenses committed by the
government of Israel, a
detail lovingly focused on
by Peter Jennings ...
Jennings also cited the
report's finding that in
1991, Palestinian vig-
ilantes killed more of their
own by half in the ter-
ritories than did the
Israelis. More con-
spicuous to other readers,
however, was the hair-
raising account of abuses

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