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January 15, 1993 - Image 6

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-01-15

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

Clinton And The Mideast


ill Clinton comes to power with an
even fuller plate than he could have
expected just two months ago. He
campaigned on a promise to turn the
economy around, but recent government
budget forecasts will make it extremely
tough for him to halve the federal deficit or
effect a middle class tax cut as pledged. Sad-
dam Hussein demands attention; Bosnia
cries out for intervention and American
troops are already in Somalia for who knows
how long.
Then there are the Arab-Israeli peace
talks. Given everything else, it would be no
surprise if President Clinton sought to min-
imize his administration's involvement in
the talks, at least for the time being. But de-
spite all the threats and charges that have
emerged from the talks, the Arab-Israeli con-
flict is probably closer to some sort of peace-
ful settlement than ever before and it would

be a mistake of historical proportions to let
the negotiations flounder because of other
What is needed is steady U.S. pressure to
keep the talks going. At the same time, the
new administration must stay supportive
without being perceived as trying to pres-
sure any of the parties into agreeing to more
than they are willing. A direct show of con-
cern by the new president or a hand-picked
special envoy — Al Gore? — is needed.
Settling the Arab-Israeli conflict would
deprive both Iraq and the Iranian-led Is-
lamic fundamentalist movement of a prime
motivational tool — state-driven propagan-
da intended to keep the Arab public hateful
of Israel. Doing that affords the chance to
deal with the real problem underlying Mid-
dle East instability — undemocratic gov-
ernments and gross inequity between those
who are oil rich and those who are not.

Choose Life At Home

The Torah Aura curriculum concerning
AIDS asks the question: Who is responsible
for teaching prevention to our teen-aged chil-
This curriculum, sponsored by Temple
Emanu-El, the Jewish Educators Council
and Jewish Experiences For Families, as
well as the Michigan Jewish AIDS Coalition,
is bringing AIDS education into the religious
school classroom.
While we support the intent of the pro-
gram, "Choose Life, That You May Live," we
hope that parents learn that Hebrew school
isn't the only place for their children to learn
about AIDS and its prevention.
The importance of teaching values at
home should be emphasized even more in
the "Choose Life" curriculum. The idea that

children should understand AIDS, care for
those afflicted and protect themselves and
their loved ones from acquiring the disease
is important. "Choosing Life" uses teachings
from the sources of our sages to get this mes-
sage across.
Those same sages also taught that fami-
ly morality, that living under the aegis of
the Torah, means that children should not
be engaged in sexual conduct.
The truth is that our children can "choose
life" if they are taught that, according to Jew-
ish law, it's important not to succumb to the
pressure of peers and the promiscuity they
see around them.
But that message can't be really under-
stood from a curriculum or an editorial. It's
got to come from the family.

RuftNiNG TIRES , &octet) RoADs,„



Questions Remain
About The ACLU

Your Jan. 8 article on the
American Civil Liberties
Union (ACLU), "The Cost Of
Liberty," calls for comment.
There is no quarrel that on
matters of justice each indi-
vidual has the right to repre-
sentation, be he Dreyfus in
Paris or Eichmann in
Jerusalem. The question is,
does that person require the
resources of the ACLU?
In the Skokie case, the
American Nazi Party had
sufficient other support. The
Jewish public supported the
right of the American Nazi
Party to a defense, but doubt-
ed the need for the ACLU to
provide that aid.
Why did the ACLU choose
to intervene? The same pub-
lic harbored suspicions: that
the ACLU attorneys involved
sought present personal at-
tention and later private
gain. The ACLU never ad-
dressed, let alone denied,
these possibilities.
The problems brought to
light at Skokie remain. A call
today to the ACLU concern-
ing their case selection or ros-
ter of lawyers will prompt the
reply: "I am not at liberty to

Dr. Joseph J. Weiss
Huntington Woods

Rabbis' Defense
Of Pollard Lacking

Rabbi Efry Spectre, in behalf
of the Michigan Board of Rab-
bis, appealed to President
George Bush to commute the
sentence of Jonathan Pollard.
In the rabbis' appeal, Pollard
is called a "convicted spy" for
Israel who committed a
"crime" and "espionage must
be punished." But they con-
clude Pollard has been pun-
ished enough.
Our rabbis are mistaken.
Pollard is not a criminal. He
is a hero. He put his life on
the line to save the lives of
others. He defied orders that
were intended to bring a hor-
rible disaster to the people of
The Nazis' defense for their

crimes was that they were
simply following orders. In
America, people should not
be forced to obey orders that
are corrupt and evil! Our
Michigan rabbis should be
asking who those American
officials are that wanted Is-
rael and its people destroyed.
And our rabbis should be call-
ing for Jonathan Pollard to be
freed so as to end a shameful,
cruel American injustice.

Hymie Cutler
Director, Michigan
Committee for a Safe Israel

Torah Versus
Torah Aura

The Council of Orthodox Rab-
bis utterly condemns those
organizations involved in in-
troducing to their students
the AIDS curriculum which
they so blasphemously call
"Torah Aura."
According to your front- 7
page article on Jan. 8 titlea
"Alef, Bet and AIDS," these
AIDS lessons explain that -)
"the Torah commands, 'When /
you build a new house, you )
must put a parapet (rail) \
around the roof.' Thus, pre-
vention is a mitzvah. And
condom is a preventive mea-
sure. So, is providing con-
doms to high school students
like building a parapet or like
opening a pit and walking
away? The lesson asks. The
students decide."
We consider this to be a
cynical and twisted manipu-
lation of the words of Torah.
To advise our children — or
anyone else — to use con- -/
doms so that they may "safe-
ly" engage in behavior thaf--\/
Torah manifestly considers to
be immoral and sinful is a
travesty of Judaism which r l
must be deplored by all seg-
ments of the Jewish commu-
nity. The Torah clearly N I
prohibits us from abetting_)
anyone in their quest to sin.
The Torah provides us with ,)
the one effective and appro-
priate way to defend our-
selves from the sexually )
transmitted causes of AIDS,
and that is abstention. Why
cannot our Hebrew school
and "spiritual leaders" broad-
LETTERS page 8

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