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November 13, 1992 - Image 6

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-11-13

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

Home Needs Goals

The Jewish Home for Aged this week was
granted an extension by the state in its bid
to clean up violations in the area of infec-
tion control.
For the sake of the Borman Hall
residents, we urge families and Federation
to come together for a better hold on what
will be. Whether or not Borman Hall
passes its upcoming re-inspection, the
results, even if successful, could be nothing
more than a Band-Aid.

We urge the Federation and the board of
directors of the Home and the families in-
volved to come to a solution that will con-
tinue the Jewish community's commit-
ment to the care and security of our elder-
ly, whether that solution is a new facility
in West Bloomfield, the continuation of the
current Seven Mile Road location or other
solutions. A goal needs to be set and a plan
executed.

Set Pollard Free

As president, George Bush managed to
offend the American Jewish community far
too often, most notably his derogatory
comments about pro-Israel lobbyists and
his squeeze play against Israel over the
loan guarantees. Such actions accounted in
large part for his rejection by the vast
majority of Jewish voters in the recent
election.
There is, however, an action open to Mr.
Bush that would redeem him in part. He
could commute Jonathan Pollard's prison
sentence to time already served. More than
making amends, justice and compassion
dictate the action.
Mr. Pollard, the former Naval intel-
ligence officer who pleaded guilty to spying
for Israel, has already served nearly seven
years. Five of those years have been in soli-
tary confinement — unusually harsh
treatment.
Seven years for passing secrets to the
United States' one true friend in the Mid-
dle East is more than enough, particularly
since a strong case exists for the Pollard
argument that the government reneged on
its legally binding pledge not to throw the
book at him in exchange for his guilty plea.
Traditionally, lameduck presidents have
used their final weeks in office to issue

commutations and pardons, and a behind-
the-scenes effort to get Mr. Bush to free Mr.
Pollard is already under way.
Significantly, the Pollard case has
always been about more than Mr. Pollard's
having broken the law. It is also a reflec-
tion of Washington's almost schizophrenic
approach toward Israel; one day the Jewish
state is our only democratic ally in the
Middle East, the next it is a thorn ir-
ritating our relationship with oil-rich Arab
states that remain hostile to Israel's exis-
tence.
The vehemence with which the govern-
ment, led by then-Defense Secretary
Caspar Weinberger (the subject of another
presidential pardon campaign relating to
Iran-contra prosecutions), went after Mr.
Pollard stems from this conflict of inter-
ests. Commuting Mr. Pollard's sentence,
therefore, would also serve as a symbolic
act of reaching out toward Israel when do-
ing so no longer has any practical
drawbacks in regard to Mr. Bush's stan-
ding in the Arab world.
Nothing Mr. Bush can do now will undo
the past. But he does have the power to
help heal past wounds. We urge him to
show compassion toward Jonathan Pollard.

Letters

Pollard Letter
Was Improper

Your Oct. 30 issue published
a letter by a government
employee, David D. Dworkin,
which was pure garbage. He
said that Jonathan Pollard
received an appropriate
sentence.
Our system of justice is not
the same as that of China or
Saudi Arabia, where they ex-
ecute people for the slightest
law infraction. Under our
judicial system, persons who
violated the espionage act,
similarly to what Jonathan
Pollard was charged with,
received from one to five
years, and for what his wife
had done, received from zero
to one year.
As you know, that was not
the case with Mr. Pollard.
Mr. Dworkin said that lives
of children were in danger
withoilt giving any evidence.
It was just the opposite. Mr.
Pollard's disclosure allowed
Israel to supply its citizens
with gas masks in addition to
other preparedness .. .
We want American justice
to prevail. Even the Jewish
judges that denied Mr.
Pollard's appeal admitted
that the severity of the
sentence was too harsh. They
denied it on legal procedural
grounds.
The gentile judge was mind-
ful of other illegal pro-
ceedings of the government
and strongly recommended
an open trial . . .

Dr. Sidney Leitson

Chairman, Citizens for
Justice, West Bloomfield

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Fabulous Night,
Rude Audience

IS*

The Balfour Night was fab-
ulous! The excellent music
and entertainment were plen-
tiful and we enjoyed them
immensely!
Also plentiful was the rude-
ness! The audience loudly
chattered throughout Mack
Pitt's music and continued
even through Hal Linden.

Many, many people kept get-
ting up and down and moving
about during the entire
evening.
The culmination of the
evening was when the final
applause began and, en
masse, a large number of peo-
ple left their seats, con-
gregating in the aisles so that
when he came out for the en-
core, we had to move our seats
to see Mr. Linden.
Those who departed con-
gregated in the lobby, speak-
ing loudly so that others
couldn't hear Mr. Linden.
It is unfortunate that such
a well-planned and wonderful
evening had to be affected by
the lack of courtesy and con-
sideration of so many people.

Denise Diskin

Ann Arbor

Bill Clinton,
Mideast History

Mr. Clinton says he is opposed
"to the creation of a Palesti-
nian state" (Nov. 6). Doesn't
our new president know that
an independent Arab Pales-
tinian state already exists?
Doesn't he know that Pales-
tine already has been divided
between Arabs and Jews?
Every map of the Middle
East before the 1920s showed
Palestine including land ly-
ing on both sides of the Jor-
dan River. The League of Na-
tions gave Great Britain the
administration of all of Pales-
tine for a Jewish home. The
British rulers ousted all Jews
living east of the Jordan
River and gave that Palestine
East Bank to the Arabs —
now the Kingdom of Jordan.
To this day, all Jews are
banned from living or even
visiting that eastern part of
Palestine .. .
lb help bring real peace and
security to both Arabs and
Jews, our President Bill Clin-
ton must recognize that a
two-state settlement of the
conflict already exists.

Hymie Cutler

Director, Michigan
Committee for a Safe Israel

C71

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