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June 19, 1992 - Image 36

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-06-19

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

PURELY COMMENTARY

At the ZOA convention, 1971 in Pittsburgh, were the following Detroit delegates. Seated: Dr. Bernard Weston.
First row: Dr. Sanford Bennett, Louis Panush, Mrs. Louis Panush, Gerald Ford, Philip Slomovitz, Norma Hudosh,
Mrs. Jack Greenberg, Dr. Jack Greenberg. Second row: Mrs. Joel Hamburger, Dr. Joel Hamburger, Dr. Sidney
Leib, Mrs. Philip Slomovitz, Dr. Alex Friedlaender, Carmi Slomovitz, Mrs. Sanford Bennett.

Max Fisher's Diplomacy
President Ford's Zionism

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36

FRIDAY, JUNE 19, 1992

W

hen Max Fisher was
honored by the
Zionist Organiza-
tion of America with the
Justice Brandeis tribute,
June 1983, I spoke of him as
having reached heights in
Jewish leadership and
"wearing the mantle of
Nahum Goldmann." He was
deeply appreciative.
Now, with the imminent
publication of the Max
Fisher authorized biography
under the title Quiet Diplo-
mat, the distinguished Jew-
ish American leader's role in
diplomacy makes our fellow
Detroiter a factor in Ameri,
can-Israel relations.
He certainly planned
splendidly by selecting as
his biographer an ac-
complished journalist, Peter
Golden. When the Herzl
Press/Cornwall Books
biography makes its ap-
pearance this summer, Peter
Golden will have compiled
the history of Max Fisher's
roles with Israel's and world
Jewry's leader in striving to
retain and strengthen
American-Israel friendships.
The photo lines of a picture
reproduced in an advanced
text of the biography in the
Detroit Free Press Magazine,
May 3, 1992, shows the start
of the great Fisher role in
the years of negotiations.
The photo carried the cap-
tion; "When Israel and the
United States looked to be
parting ways in 1975, Max

Fisher stepped in to act as
mediator. He had quiet con-
versations with Yitzhak
Rabin in Israel and Presi-
dent Ford and Henry Kiss-
inger in the White House,
helping to clarify each side's
position."
This reference to Mr.
Fisher's introduction to
what is described as his dip-
lomatic career serves to re-
tain an important chapter in

Max Fisher is on
record as having
judged wisely in
much that he has
accomplished.

our history. The com-
mitments to Zionism were
noted on the part of Gerald
Ford, who at the national
convention of the Zionist
Organization of America in
1971 in Pittsburgh emerged
as one of the most active
supporters and defenders of
Israel in a definitive associ-
ation with Zionism.
That role by President
Ford, preceding by two years
his sharing of roles with Mr.
Fisher in American-Israel
relations, gained additional
enthusiasm with the an-
nouncement of his ap-
pearance as the keynote
speaker at the Yom
Yerushalayim anniversary
celebration in New York.
It was in his speech in
1971 that Mr. Ford gave ad-
vocacy to Israel's status as a
free, democratic nation with
Jerusalem as its capital.

At the 1971 convention,
Mr. Ford met with those who
were the Detroit delegates to
the national gathering as
the picture above testifies.
In his address, Mr. Ford
said:
Israel stands in the path
of the historic drive to the
south ... that it is neither
in the national interest of
Israel nor of the United
States, nor of the Arabs,
to permit one great power
to consolidate its grip on
this vital region.
We all know that Israel's
120-mile coastline is in
fact defended by the U.S.
Sixth Fleet against any
outright Soviet ambitious
intervention, just as
Israeli soldiers and
airmen man the ramparts
of the free world in Israel
itself.
This is one of scores of
statements on Zionism and
on the progress of the State
of Israel by Gerald Ford
when he was in the U.S.
House of Representatives.
Recalling the Gerald Ford
activism would not be com-
plete without noting his role
as a leading Christian
Zionist and mentioning
Milton Friedman as one of
his chief advisors. Mr.
Friedman joined Mr. Ford's
congressional staff upon
retiring as Jewish Tele-
graphic Agency White
House correspondent.
Hopefully, Milton will yet
compile his memoirs which
will surely have American
Jewish historic value. ❑

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