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October 30, 1992 - Image 7

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-10-30

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

letters

Pollard Stance
Is Incorrect

fl

was disappointed in The
Jewish News' editorial (Oct.

.' 16) on behalf of a presidential
commutation of Jonathan Jay
Pollard's sentence of life in
prison for espionage.
I am particularly offended
c-4 the assertion of some who
advocate Pollard's release
that his crime is mitigated by
-,the rationale that he was
I seeking to protect Israeli
lives.
i If this naive argument is
carried to its logical conclu-
sion, no Jew should be en-
=, trusted with classified infor-
mation relevant to the Middle
East. It could be argued that
(c there is reasonable risk that
Jews may feel morally corn-
. r)elled to divert such informa-
tion to Israel, regardless of
-,

Jonathan Pollard

the normal procedures for
sharing intelligence informa-
tion that may exist between
the two countries.
When I took the non-
disclosure oaths for the
security clearances I hold, no
one asked me if I would pro-
mise not to share information
with Israel because I am a
Jew. Such a litmus test would
be outrageous.
When Pollard committed
crime, he did more than
break an oath to his country.
He carelessly endangered the
; lives of innocent people whom
• he did not know, without
I their knowledge, placing
their lives in the hands of
strangers whose actions he
• would be unable to control.
I do not know if Mr.

• Pollard's assertion is true
I D that his sentence and punish-
1 ment are unduly harsh. I am
I not an expert on his case.
However, two out of three
(2, judges on the Federal Court of
Appeals panel that heard his
case — both Jewish — found
• no error on the part of the
sentencing judge which re-
quired a new trial.

This is not a "Jewish" issue,
it is a national security issue.
Mr. Pollard's sentence serves
not just to punish but to deter.
It should not be commuted
due to misdirected public
pressure.
David M. Dworkin

Germantown, Md.

Editor's note: Mr. Dworkin, a
native of the Detroit area, is
acting deputy assistant
secretary of state for legislative
affairs.

Supreme Court
Ruling Erred

The shocking statistics about
the sharply rising anti-
Semitic and racially-
motivated incidents in the
United States, as published in
a four-page report by the ADL
in The Jewish News Oct. 2, is
a clear indication of the grave
mistake of the U.S. Supreme
Court.
On June 22, the Court
struck down state and
municipal laws banning sym-
bols and expressions which
can incite hatred against peo-
ple because of their race, col-
or, religion or origin.
With this regretful deter-
mination the highest court of
this country is opening the
floodgate for racists, Nazis
and other hatemongers to in-
stigate hatred, advocate
violence, overtly or covertly,
and to do harm to people
because they are part of a
minority.
Citing the First Amend-
ment, which guarantees free
speech and expression, is an
archaic interpretation of the
spirit of the amendment .. .
If the members of the
Supreme Court cannot realize
the changing times and cir-
cumstances, then the United
States Congress should act to
amend the Constitution to en-
sure for all its citizens an ex-
istence of life without threat
and harrassment regardless if
race, color, religion, or other
diversity, and strengthen and
preserve the unity of our
country.
Charles Lukacs
Southfield

Holocaust And
Bosnia

Dr. Emanuel Tanay, in a let-
ter to The Jewish News (Oct.
9), correctly stated that the
word "Holocaust" is frequent-
ly misused in describing in-
cidents of sever oppression or
atrocities.
The misuse of the word in-
deed dilutes the full scope and
magnitude of the tragedy of
the Holocaust. We feel

however that Dr. Tanay has
mistakenly cited CHAIM's
recent program on Bosnia,
"Bosnia-Herzegovina:
Another Holocaust In The
Making?" as an example of
such a misuse.
Recent news reports about
atrocities being committed
against targeted ethnic
minorities, i.e., the reported
policy of "ethnic cleansing,"
as well as pictures of
emaciated human beings who
have been transported by cat-
tle cars to prison camps, have
evoked the horrible images
and memories of what occur-
red to our people during the
Holocaust.
As a result, an important
question that has been raised
in the media and elsewhere is
whether the world is witness-
ing the beginning of another
Holocaust or not. It was
precisely because of this ques-
tion that CHAIM chose to
have a program on Bosnia, to
shed light on the atrocities
that are now occurring.
The purpose of the program
was to clarify questions that
are already being asked.
In fact, at the CHAIM pro-
gram, guest lecturer Dr. Zvi
Gitelman in summary stated
that what is now occurring in
Bosnia is part of a terrible
civil war being fought by
historic ethnic enemies. He
compared this civil war in the
former Yugoslavia to the civil
war that occurred in Lebanon

The tragedy of Bosnia-
Herzegovina is not the
Holocaust. Nevertheless, it is,
as is also now occurring in
Somalia, a terrible human
tragedy in which innocent
people are dying.
As Jews, as people who have
experienced persecution and
human tragedy, we continue
to call upon our Jewish com-
munity to do as much as we
can to stop the innocent losses
of life.
Charles Slow
President, CHAIM

Problems At
Borman Hall

The deficiencies cited by the
Michigan Department of
Public Health survey team
are deeply troubling to all of
us who have loved ones at
Borman Hall (Oct. 23).
After the most recent
survey, the Jewish Home for
Aged notified residents'
families and residents about
the citations and met with
the Borman Hall Family
Forum on Oct. 11th. The
Home's administration con-
tinues to communicate with
residents and family

Borman Hall

members in an open and
ongoing basis.
Despite our dismay, we have
been gratified to see the enor-
mous effort that Borman Hall
has been making to correct
the problems.
The Family Forum has of-
fered its total support to Bor-
man Hall staff and its ad-
ministration. We are hopeful
that our team efforts will suc-
ceed in returning Borman
Hall to its long record of
quality service to our Jewish
aged. We welcome the com-
munity's involvement in
achieving this vital goal.
Molly Diamond
Midge Appel
Co-chairs, Borman Hall
Family Forum

Jewish Leaders
And The Saudis

I am writing to express my
disbelief at the recent deci-
sion of some American
Jewish leaders not to attend
a national celebration they
were invited to at the Saudi
Arabian Embassy in
Washington, D.C.
While I agree with these
leaders that their rebuff will
send a message to the Saudis,
I believe it is the wrong
message.
The leaders claim that their
absence will bring home to
the Saudis the need for their
government to take concrete
steps to promote peace in the
Middle East. Some suggest a
step such as ending Saudi
Arabian participation in the
secondary boycott against
Israel (where Arab nations
will not do business with any
company that does business
with or in Israel).

I believe it is wrong for the
Jewish leaders to demand
such a large step at this time
as the "price" for increasing
contacts between Saudis and
Jews.
Viewed in unemotional and
logical terms, the Saudi in-
vitation was a rather large
step in itself. As anyone who
ever took government or
civics in high school knows,
the grounds of a foreign em-
bassy are considered national
soil of that foreign nation,
and not as American soil. In
this light, the invitation can
be viewed as a Saudi invita-
tion to enter upon Saudi
territory.

This step is significant
because in the past, the
Saudis have been loathe to
permit, let alone invite, Jews
to enter their land. Jewish at-
tendance at the embassy
would be a symbolic step that
the parties in the Middle East
are at least a little closer to
ending over 40 years of enmi-
ty and warfare.
Jewish leaders should not
be so hasty to brush off such
opportunities to help the par-
ties move closer to real peace.
Acknowledging the tentative
efforts of the Saudis might en-
courage them to work towards
ending the Middle East con-
flict.
It is reasonable to believe
that such an old conflict will
be brought to an end by a
gradual series of small steps,
then to expect that the par-
ties' will shake off all the
vestiges of the conflict in a
rapid series of major moves.
I urge the Jewish leaders to
reconsider their decision.
Mike Sherman
West Bloomfield

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