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May 08, 1992 - Image 40

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-05-08

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

I

PURELY COMMENTARY

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Expiation For Inquisition
And Poisoned Roots

PHILIP SLOMOVITZ

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Editor Emeritus

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11 roads from Jewish
communities every-
where have been
leading in recent months to
the atonement for the guilt
of the Spanish Inquisition,
marked by the expulsion of
Jews from Spain 500 years
ago. In our commemoration
of the expiation in Spanish
communities, with emphasis
on observances in Madrid,
Toledo and even in some
churches, a center of Jewish
events will be in Toledo
where Jewish culture
predominated.
What the lessons of the
ages keep warning is that
hatred of the Jew never dies
completely. Only a few days
ago we learned that lesson
again in Chile, where the
poisonous Jew-baiting was
in evidence with a revelation
by Elan Steinberg, executive
director of the World Jewish
Congress, that 100
gravestones were vandaliz-
ed.
The anti-Semitic graffiti
contained the threat: "Jews
you were expelled from
Spain in 1492. It can happen
again." The graffiti was
spray painted on with Stars
of David.
Such occurrences keep
reminding us that we cannot
be silent when the poisons
become evident. There is the
unending duty to be vig-
ilant. Such hatreds call for
action in the rejection of
whatever threat may be in
the offing.
One example of the desired
vigilance was in evidence in
the Detroit News on April 15,
1942, with the publication of
this item:

The federal government
today barred. from the
mails the magazine Social
Justice, founded by the
Rev. Charles E. Coughlin
of Royal Oak. The former
"Radio Priest" had begun
the magazine which
railed regularly against
Communists, New Deal
Democrats and
"international bankers"
____ after new government
rules forced him from the
airwaves. The - Justice
Department called the
magazine "traitorous"
and cited huge chunks
lifted whole from Nazi,
propaganda published in
Germany.

The Coughlin hatreds are
not forgotten. As on many

other occasions, however,
there is also the fact that the
struggles against them are
always unanimous.
Our overwhelming files on
the Coughlin distortions in-
dicate the following: Many,
even among prominent
Catholics, at first said, "Let
the Jews fight their own
battles." Then came Louis
Minsky of the Religious
News Service suggesting
postponement of action
against Coughlinsim. Out of
this emerged consensus as a
response to my editorial de-
mand for condemnation of
the clerical anti-Semite in
the Detroit Jewish Chroni-
cle in which I carried on a
campaign against
Coughlinism. My demand
gained nationwide publicity.
The following appeared in
the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Aug. 21, 1936:

The Detroit' Jewish
Chronicle, in an " open
letter" editorial, asks the

As on many other
occasions, the
struggles against
the Coughlin
hatreds are almost
always unanimous.

Catholic church to "call a
halt" to actions of the Rev.
Charles E. Coughlin,
Royal Oak priest.
"Obsessed with a self-
imposed mission to "drive
the money changers out of
the temple' " the editorial
says, "Father Coughlin
has made it a point to
mention only Jewish
names to give the impres-
sion that only Jews are
money changers, to em-
phasize the myth that the
Jewish people ... is
dominating the world in
finance and in politics."
Pointing out that "one
Pope after another has
expressed friendship for
the Jewish people," the
newspaper adds, "Father
Coughlin threatens to
destroy much of the good
that is on record to the
credit of the Catholic
church.

Such are the experiences
in the battles against anti-
Semitism which become a
necessity again in the Chile
occurrence 500 years after
the shameful events in
Spain. The lesson is renew-

ed, There must never be a
halt in the condemnation of
anti-Jewish hatreds.

Lessons For Arabs
And The Media

Whenever an opportunity
arises to encourage common
sense in world human rela-
tions and peace efforts, we
rush to do it. When tele-
phone pathways were pro-
vided for Israel with all Arab
nations, we hailed it as an
assurance that peace is
achievable. Regrettably,
news and editorial com-
ments have seemed to take
delight in sensationalizing
the negatives.
A heartening occurrence
in Haifa, Israel, again
taught the humanism of true
cooperation which demands
that journalists feel the duty
to avoid contributing to
hatreds. -
The story from Haifa tells
about a Syrian merchant
vessel sending messages
that it was in danger of sink-
ing; Israeli boats provided
aid and towed it to safety.
Furthermore, the readi-
ness of Israelis to adhere to
and encourage such decen-
cies always demands
realization and appreciation.
The story is a lesson to
Arabs about the attainment
of peace for themselves,
Israel and the entire Middle
East.
This episode asks the
media why they do not em-
phasize the relevant human
factors instead of searching
for the most critical of Israel.
Let there be demands for the
honorable lessons to be
taught and learned diligent-
ly. ❑

•■ •••• ■ 1 NEWS Imm"••1"

March In Rome

Protests Racism

Rome (JTA) — Thousands
marched through the center
of Rome last week to protest
rising racism and in-
tolerance and to mark the
47th anniversary of the
Allied liberation of the city
from Nazi occupation in
World War II.
State and city officials,
church dignitaries, Jewish
leaders, concentration camp
survivors, former partisan
fighters and youngsters who
were unborn when the war
ended attended a ceremony
at the Campidoglio, Rome's
City Hall.

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