Peres' Miracle Message:
A Fist Pounding A Hand
When Israel's Foreign Minister Shimon Peres
addressed the assembled 1,300 Miracle Mis-
sion participants, his message was like a fist
hitting the palm of a hand.
As part of his official greetings, Mr. Peres
told the assembly Israel wanted green lands,
not only for itself but for the entire Middle
East. He said Israel wanted fresh water, not
just for itself but for the entire region.
Finally, he said Israel was against violence,
no matter where it is.
Then Mr. Peres raised his voice to say Jews
cannot control anti-Semitism, but Jews and
Israel can control weakness. He said for a last-
ing peace to happen, Israel's strength must
be mighty enough to be a factor at the peace
It was not the recent terrorist acts causing
the closure of the West Bank and Gaza into
Israel for Palestinian workers that he was
talking about. For that, while difficult, is still
only a nuisance, a harassment.
The real picture involves peace in a region
of enemies who won't throw stones or knife
individuals here or there. It's the spread of
aggression that concerns Israel.
Mr. Peres was saying to get to green lands
and fresh water and non-violence, strength is
an imperative peace-table tool. That's what
the region needs to understand and respect,
before the peace process can carry on in good
Jewish life, and death, is receiving an extraor-
dinary amount of attention this week in the me-
dia. The 50th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto
Uprising inspired somber ceremonies in War-
saw, attended by Vice President Al Gore and
other dignitaries. The occasion was also marked
by large observances in New York and many
other cities around the world. In addition, Holo-
caust Remembrance Day was marked through-
out the nation, and this year there has been
special attention paid to the dedication and open-
ing of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in
Also in Washington, the status of the on-
again, off-again Middle East peace talks have
received wide coverage.
The kind of event that does not make the
headlines, but bears mentioning here, is Israel's
celebration of its 45th anniversary of statehood
on Monday, corresponding to the 5th of Iyar on
the Hebrew calendar.
The correlation of the Holocaust observances,
the peace talks and Israeli Independence Day
are clear. Had there been a strong Jewish state
60 years ago, perhaps the tragedy would have
been averted or lessened. Yet 41/2 decades after
statehood, Israel is still seeking to make peace
with her Arab neighbors.
What Israel, and all Jews, celebrate most on
Independence Day is the normalcy of the Jew-
ish state. We rejoice in the very ordinariness of
that nation's daily life, its schools and theaters
and parks and picnics. And we are reminded of
one Israeli youngster's reaction to his first vis-
it to Yad Vashem, the national Holocaust mu-
seum in Jerusalem. On learning of the death of
six million European Jews, the little boy asked,
"But where was Tzahal (the Israeli army)?"
The message of course, is that Israel must re-
ma;ri strong, morally and militarily, as a haven
for Jews anywhere in the world.
Israel's decision to negotiate directly with Faisal lamic fundamentalists ready to push aside the
al-Husseini, the east Jerusalem Palestinian PLO.
leader, is a major step by the Rabin government
Should Likud and/or the Islamic fundamen-
toward acknowledging reality. But it is also talists be successful, peace for Israel can be all
u) fraught with danger.
but forgotten for now.
Mr. Husseini has been the unofficial inter-
At the same time, because Mr. Husseini lives
locutor between the Palestinian delegation and in east Jerusalem his presence at the table rais-
c.) Yassir Arafat's Tunis-based PLO — Israel's real es questions about the status of Jerusalem. (Dis-
negotiating partner for the Palestinian track of regard the fiction of his "official" residence being
the talks. It makes sense to openly sit at a table the West Bank town of Ramallah; some unre-
. . Mr. Husseini, particularly since Foreign ality will always be part of these proceedings.)
c) Minister Shimon Peres has been meeting unof-
The Rabin government has chosen to ignore
ficrally with him in recent weeks.
this problem for now, preferring instead to take
Moreover, in the context of Palestinian poll- the chance that dealing with Mr. Husseini will
= tics, Mr. Husseini is a moderate with whom Is- advance the peace process.
rael can negotiate seriously. And if there is to be
We hope so. But Israel is fast coming to the
a Middle East peace treaty, no additional time point where it can ill afford to keep compromis-
can be lost — not with the Likud poised to oust ing without obtaining concessions of equal im-
Prime Minister Rabin's Labor coalition and Is- portance from the Arabs.
A Thanks And
Thank you for the very nice
article about WAND and me
in the April 16 Jewish News.
As usual, Kim Lifton's re-
porting was accurate and
The omission of a comma
left the impression that Phyl-
lis Schwartz is president of
WAND, Metro Detroit. Phyl-
lis was one of the founders,
but Joyce Kaplan, along with
Joanne Underwood, are the
In addition, other Jewish
board members are Claire
Bronson, who was also a
founding member, and Mari-
We were outraged erev
Shabbat and just before our
sacred Yom Hashoah to read
your article (April 16) titled
"First J. Edgar Hoover —
Now Hitler." We know most
of you, and have respected
your professionalism in pub-
lishing a high-quality paper.
It is for this reason that our
disappointment is so pro-
We are at a complete loss
as too how this piece of trash
made its way into your paper.
There is no byline. If we had
had anything to do with it, we
wouldn't want our names on
Since when is anything
printed in the supermarket
rag called The Sun considered,
news? Your reprinting of ex-
cerpts gives it credence. You
disclaim that credence in your
article — all the more reason
for it not to have appeared at
all. You are guilty of propa-
gating Holocaust revisionist
Was your intent to malign
Hitler by calling him gay, or
are you bashing gays by as-
sociation with the most
heinous person who ever
lived? The gay community is
under enough attack these
days' by bigots without any
additional help from The Jew-
You raise many of the false
titillating stereotypes of gays
in outlandish fashion. It is as
if the fundamentalist right
has taken over your paper.
Pinning the entire Holocaust
on Hitler's mythical homo-
sexuality, as you do in the
first sentence, is egregious ho-
mophobia at its worst. To
print the offensive word
(which we will not repeat -\
here) coined after the pieces
of wood used to burn homo-
sexuals to death — a practice
Hitler used on gays as well as
Jews, is unconscionable.
You end your article with
the quote that "Allied leaders L
kept Hitler's homosexuality
from the public because they
wanted the people to hate
Hitler, not laugh at him and
treat him like a joke." By
printing this are we, there-
fore, to assume that your po-
sition is: (A) that being
homosexual makes one a '\
laughing stock and a joke? or
(B) that 50 years later we can
and should laugh at Hitler
and treat him like a joke?
Survivors and children of sur-
vivors are appalled.
L'shon ha-ra, gossip, is one ,\
of the worst of sins because (,)
once uttered or printed, the
maligning words can never be
As the leadership of MO-
SAIC, an organization up-
holding the value of diversity
and advocating for the vic-
tims of bigotry, we are corn-
mitted to demanding that you
address your mistake in the
hope that some of your slan-
derous words can be retract- /
ed and that The Jewish News C
be an agent in the battle ()
against prejudice of any kind.
Dr. John Telford
Rabbi Arnie Sleutelberg
Editor's note: The item ap-
peared in Arthur Magida's Me-
dia Monitor column and was
intended to inform the public of
spurious material available in
a supermarket tabloid. Our in-
tent was to inform, not offend.
Letters must be typewritten, dou-
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number and signature of the writer.