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June 12, 1992 - Image 40

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-06-12

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

PURELY COMMENTARY

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r"--

THE FANTASTIC KITCHEN

Human Rights Contrasts
Undermine Existing Amity

PHILIP SLOMOVITZ

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i1 too frequent news
reports and commen-
taries on human
rights conditions, especially
in the Middle East, are filled
with repetitive critical allu-
sions to Israel with condem-
nations undermining amity.
This was true again re-
cently in Amnesty Interna-
tional treatments that are
on many occasions either
condemning of or expecting
too much from Israel. It is,
therefore, important that
the U.S. State Department's
report on human rights be
treated seriously. It deals
with both Israel and its
neighbors.
In the section dealing with
Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi
Arabia, Syria, Iraq and Iran,
the report touches upon
democracy, free press, public
administration, religious
freedom, freedom to form
opposition parties and sex-
ual equality. As a totality,
reaction of every Arab coun-
try named was :"NO!"
The human rights report
provides the following:

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FRIDAY, JUNE 12, 1992

• Israel is a parliamen-
tary democracy with a
multiparty political system
and free elections. Public
debate on issues of con-
cern to Israelis is open and
lively. A vigorous free
press scrutinizes all
aspects of Israeli life and
politics.
• Israelis representing
almost any point of view
are free to assemble and
associate, and the law and
court rulings protect these
rights.
• Israel citizens enjoy a
broad range of civil and
other human rights.
• Israel is responsive to
international and nongov-
ernmental interest in its
human rights situation. It
hosts and works with a
delegation of the Interna-
tional Committee of the
Red Cross. It permits
regular visits by a wide
range of private and inter-
national organizations
concerned with human
rights.
• The right to a hearing
by an impartial tribunal
with representation by
counsel is guaranteed by
law and followed in prac-
tice. The judiciary is in-
dependent, and effectively

insulated from political
interference.
• Israeli law and ad-
ministrative regulations
bar torture.
• Israeli law and practice
provide
guarantees
against arbitrary arrest or
imprisonment.
• There are strong
guarantees of freedom of
religion for all faiths.
• Women's rights in Israel
are protected by the Equal
Opportunity Law, which
forbids sex discrimination.
It requires employers to
pay male and female
workers equal wages for
equal work. The courts in
Israel deal firmly with per-
sons convicted of violence
against women.
• Israelis fully exercise
their legal right to organize
and bargain collectively.
Nonresident workers are
entitled to the protection of
collective bargaining
agreements. Palestinians
from the territories are
represented by Histadrut
and covered by its work
contracts.

The all too frequent un-
complimentary references to
Israel in human rights
commitments need these
facts. They should be kept as
a reminder every time abuse
is leveled at Israel. This
statement as a defensive
weapon for Israel should
never be ignored.

Status And Duties
Of The Affluent

Scores of American Jewish
communities are seriously
tackling budgets with in-
creasing needs for world, na-
tional and local causes.
While obligations are moun-
ting, there are the problems
of acquiring the needed
funds. There are already
difficulties with declines in
allocations. This compels
awareness of the manner in
which contributors confront
their duties.
A report commissioned by
the American Jewish Com-
mittee indicates that it is "ex-
pensive to be Jewish in
America." Under the title
"The High Cost of Jewish
Living," the facts assert that
living a fully-involved Jew-
ish life in 1992 will cost a
family of five $18 to $25
thousand. The costs alluded
to provide for day school tui-
tion, the synagogue, the
Jewish Center, summer

camp and the Jewish Fed-
eration.
The findings were reported
in Philadelphia by the co-
author of the report, Lisa
Hostein. She stated that,
"To generate that amount of
discretionary income, a
family must •earn $80 to
$100 thousand per year."
She added an explanatory
note that " in. 1990 according
to recent statistics, the
median annual income for
Jewish families was $39
thousand."
The facts in this study af-
fect all fund-raising ap-
proaches. The reality is that
a major portion is derived
from the more affluent. The
studies of existing conditions
compel knowledge of the sta-
tus of the communities that
make up American Jewry.

Israel Or Judea:
Which Designation?
It is fortunate that the

well-informed among the
historically minded find it
obligatory to correct errors
by letter writing to news-
papers. One such letter ap-
peared in the New York
Times Book Review May 24
under the heading "Biblical
Israel." Even children's
books need to be watched for
accuracy as this letter by
Jonathan Kellerman
asserted:

Your review of several
children's books with
Jewish themes refers to
"biblical Palestine." That
is a historical inaccuracy
with unpleasant political
overtones.

The writer of the letter
then provided the correct
historiography:

The land in question
was known, for most of
the biblical era, as Israel
or Judea. It was renamed
"Palestine" by the
Romans in A.D. 70 after
they conquered Israel,
murdered and exiled the
Jews and destroyed the
second Jewish Temple of
Jerusalem. The
redesignation was more
than victor's bravado. It
was a deliberate attempt
to de-Judaize the region
and to expunge the
memory of a thousand-
year-old Jewish presence
in the land. "Palestine"
was chosen with malice
recalling the Philistines, a
tribe whose vicious and
chronic hatred of the
Jews was well known and

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