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July 17, 1992 - Image 6

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-07-17

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

EDITORIAL

When The Old Neighborhood
Gets A New Commitment

It's sometimes too easy to oversimplify
patterns in the Detroit Jewish experience
and say that the Jews are all interested in
moving as fast as possible to the outer
suburbs.
With a renewed show of commitment to
the area of Huntington Woods, Southfield
and Oak Park, groundbreaking for the
Jimmy Prentis Morris Jewish Community
Center renovations (see photos and story
on page 23) brought hundreds of commun-
ity members together for a day of celebra-
tion.
We weren't celebrating in West Bloom-
field nor were we breaking ground in Far-
mington Hills. Last Sunday was about the
soul of this Jewish community. Com-
munities along the 1-696 corridor do not
make up an amorphous land mass known
as the "old neighborhood." Hardly. In-
stead, the JPM renovation shows that the
existing neighborhoods are thriving so well
that a central Jewish address is of major
necessity.

That address can flourish well within the
front lawns of ethnic diversity. In
Southfield, the Sharon Meadows commun-
ity (see page 14) teaches us all that Jewish
families can thrive in a spirit of multi-
ethnicity. Sharon Meadows is a neighbor-
hood where diversity is celebrated as a
cornerstone of a united community. Blacks,
whites, Christians, Chaldeans, Jews and
others are in each other's homes, watch
each other's children, and take care of their
homes and streets together. It's the ethnic
and racial cooperation that we fantasize
about, and yet it is happening in com-
munities right here in Southfield.
A renovated and improved JPM tells us
all that Jews can stay where they are and
flourish. The investment is being made not
so it can be abandoned by flight in five
years. Instead, it's telling us that the in-
terests of our community are here to stay
and addresses such as Southfield, Oak
Park and Huntington Woods are Jewish for
the long term.

Israel's New Direction

Yitzhak Rabin blended compassion and
strength in his inaugural speech as prime
minister this week, setting a tone for a
rapid advancement of the peace process as
well as recognizing the importance of ad-
dressing pressing domestic problems.
Indicating a change of direction for Israel
after years of Likud leadership, Mr. Rabin
emphasized pragmatism rather than ideol-
ogy. (As a result, outgoing prime minister
Yitzhak Shamir verbally attacked his suc-
cessor rather than congratulate him.) Mr.
Rabin warned Israelis not to continue their
belief that "the whole world is against us."
He called on his countrymen to "overcome
the sense of isolation that has held us in its
thrall for almost half a century."
In a similar vein, Mr. Rabin addressed
the Palestinians, acknowledging that their
lives have been difficult, and urging them
to take seriously Israel's offer of limited
self-rule rather than following the advice of
the Palestine Liberation Organization and
holding out for the "delusion" of statehood.

"Listen to us, if only this once," said Mr.
Rabin. "We offer you the fairest and most
viable proposal from our standpoint today:
autonomy, with all its advantages and lim-
itations. You will not get everything you
want. Neither will we. So once and for all,
take your destiny in your hands. Do not
lose this opportunity that may never
return."

The Bush administration wasted no time
in showing its pleasure with Mr. Rabin's
stance. Mr. Bush called Mr. Rabin to con-
gratulate him, invite him to his summer
home in Maine next month, and to inform
the Israeli leader that Secretary of State
Baker will visit the Mideast this weekend
to accelerate the peace talks.

Washington and the new Israeli govern-
ment still have serious differences on the
peace process, but the improvement in re-
lations is welcome, particularly since these
developments put the onus on the Palestin-
ians, where it should have been all along.

LETTERS

The Draur Letter
And Anti-Semitism

Since I am not a candidate
for reelection in the West
Bloomfield Township primary
election, and since my hus-
band is a candidate, I have
tried to remain in the back-
ground in this hot election
season. I can no longer re-
main silent.
The interpretation Mr.
Leslie Dick applauded in your

6

FRIDAY, JULY 17, 1992

letters column July 10 with
regard to Sandra Draur's let-
ter to the Oakland County
Republican Party Executive
Committee cannot be allowed
to stand unchallenged.
Ms. Draur's letter had
almost nothing to do with
anti-Semitism and every-
thing to do with politics. Her
letter attacked the only two
highly placed Jewish mem-
bers of the Oakland County
Republican party, Mr. Jim

Alexander and Mr. Frank
Mamet, for allegedly attemp-
ting to utilize charges of anti-
Semitism for political
purposes.
That attack resulted, not in
a cry for investigation of the
initial anti-Semitism charges,
but in a cry for the resigna-
tion of Mr. Alexander and Mr.
Mamet.
I have been in politics only
a short time, but I have been
a committed Jew all my life

I LETTERS

and I know that if there were
any legitimate concerns
about anti-Semitism, hiding
from the issue is not the way
to resolve it.
It isn't often that I agree
with Dennis Vatsis, but in
this instance, his remarks
were entirely accurate. Ms.
Draur's letter was insensitive
to the Jewish people and was
the basest form of political
pandering I've seen in a long
time.

Judith A. Holtz
West Bloomfield Township Trustee

Defending
Ronna Romney

Recently, The Jewish News
published two articles concer-
ning charges of anti-Semitism
in the Michigan Republican
Party. These articles may
have left the impression that
Ronna Romney is anti-
Semitic.
Ronna and I have been
friends for many years, and I
continue to be one of her
many Jewish friends. I would
like to assure your readers
that she is not anti-Semitic.

Harvey Bronstein
Southfield

Jews Should Not
Ignore Perot

I am writing to take excep-
tion to the July 3 article con-
cerning H. Ross Perot's can-
didacy and its potential effect
on Jewish political activism.
The article and headline
paint him as some kind of
danger to the Jewish
community.
In past elections, the Jewish
community has supported
candidates whose platforms
were appealing and then been
displeased with their actual
performance or we've hailed
candidates who said the right
things and then couldn't get
elected. We might as well be
as openminded about the

choices we do have this year.
Our community has been L,
able to maintain a close
liaison with every presiden-
tial administration since
Eisenhower. The strength of
Jewish political activism will
not be affected if Perot wins
the presidency, nor would a
Perot victory spell doom to
the American Jewish political c
world.
Rather, an independent
president who fails to live up
to the laws and standards of —,
office would face the wrath of
the two entrenched political
parties; when the Democrats
and Republicans do agree on
something, it happens quite
quickly. The American
system of government does
work, just ask Richard Nixon.
It should also be noted that
Mr. Perot has made several
comments that are very
heartening about how he
views the American-Israel
relationship; one cannot help
but remember the fear and
trepidation expressed in the
Jewish community about can-
didate Ronald Reagan, yet
few now say that his ad-
ministration wasn't one of the -
best friends that Israel ever
had.
As Jews, we should be wise „_
to carefully examine all of the
political strengths and weak-
nesses of the various can-
didates; we should neither
blindly trust nor write off any
candidate until we have all of -'
the information about the
candidate's character, ability -
and positions before making ,
our decisions. The Jewish
press has a job to fairly pre-
sent the positions of all the
candidates.
This should also apply to
Mr. Perot. Let's see where he 3-=
stands on the issues before we
declare our objections to him.
Let's keep our minds open
and then choose.

Gilbert Borman
Birmingham

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