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August 21, 1992 - Image 18

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-08-21

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

I DETROIT I

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1992 BMW 325i

Jews, Arabs Condemn
Violence in Bosnia

DAVID KOTZEN-REICH

Staff Writer

R

arely do the Detroit
Arab and Jewish
communities get
together. But prompted by
human rights violations in
Bosnia, Arabs and Jews
have joined for a public
statement condemning the
atrocities there.
Zana Macki, regional co-
ordinator of the American-
Arab Anti-Discrimination
Committee (ADC), said she
asked the Jewish Commun-
ity Council of Metropolitan
Detroit to participate in the
condemnation after the JC-
Council had issued a similar
statement Aug. 4 with the
Detroit Council of Islamic
Organizations.
"We're grateful that the
Jewish community on a
global level was the first
group to speak out against
atrocities over there," Ms.
Macki said. "It relates to
what happened in Germany
(the Holocaust). The sen-
sitivity is there. We appreci-
ate the candor the Jewish
community has in speaking
out against what is going on
over there."
The ADC held a press con-
ference Wednesday at the
Islamic Center in Detroit,
with representatives from
the Arab, Jewish, Christian,
Bosnian and Croatian com-
munities present. Rabbi
Efry Spectre, president of
the Michigan Board of
Rabbis, and Alan Gale, asso-
ciate director of JCCouncil,
joined the press conference.

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"We, members of the
Muslim, Christian, and Jew-
ish communities, are
outraged by the devastation
in Bosnia-Herzegovina and
are shocked that the inter-
national community has
allowed conditions to
devolve to this point," the
joint statement says.
This is the first time the
ADC initiated a joint state-
ment with the Jewish com-
munity, said Miriam Imer-
man, JCCouncil director of
domestic concerns.
During the Persian Gulf
War, the two groups joined
to express concerns about`
potential acts of racism here
against Arab-Americans.
Also, the two joined in a
statement last year condem-
ning bigotry in the political
process \NThen David Duke, a
former Ku Klux Klan mem-
ber, was running for gover-
nor of Louisiana.
However, it was the JC-
Council that had initiated
those contacts. JCCouncil
and ADC members also par-
ticipate in the American
Mosaic Coalition that ad-
dresses racial diversity in
area public schools.
Ms. Macki, who became
the ADC coordinator this
year, seemed surprised to
learn that this was the first
time her organization has
reached out to the Jewish
community. "I feel like we
have a pretty good relation-
ship," she said.
Lissa Hurwitz, spokes-
woman for JCCouncil, said,
"It's proof that all this coali-
tion building we're doing is
having an effect."

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hen Mitchel Katz
and Eric Feldman
ascend the bimah at
Congregation Shaarey
Zedek Sept. 5, they will be
among the first Detroiters in
several years to twin their
b'nai mitzvah with Jews in
the former Soviet Union.
The ceremony heralds the
revival of an active Soviet
Jewry committee in Detroit
— the Soviet Jewry Prisoner
Information Center — and
the continuing problem of
Jewish prisoners of cons-
cience in the Soviet repub-
lics.
Judy Grenader and Rae

Sharfman are reactivating
the Detroit group. Mrs.
Sharfman said at least 10
Jews are in prisons and
labor camps in the Soviet re-
publics, held on trumped-up
charges because of their re-_,
ligion.
Mark Glizer of Moscow
was sentenced June 4 to five
years in prison for helping
someone sell a car. Such
"economic crimes" were
specifically abolished last
year by the Commonwealth
of Independent States. Mrs.
Sharfman said Mr. Glizer
was charged after police
found in his apartment an
invitation to immigrate to '
Israel.
"There are 500 Jewish
families — 2,000 people —

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