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June 04, 1993 - Image 50

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-06-04

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

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page 49

it has been the root cause of
intolerance and violence on
a mass scale in the modern
world.
At its worst, this desire to
forge unrealistic perfection
in worldly affairs gave rise
to "the single most horrid
crime of the century: mecha-
nized murder, aimed at the
annihilation of a whole peo-
ple, and committed in the
name of a civilized nation:
Germany."
The antidote, he said, is
tolerance and learning.
After referring to Europe's
difficulties in adjusting to
the end of the Cold War
and, especially, to the pre-
sent horrors in Bosnia, he
said Europeans "seem to
learn slowly that to pre-
serve a common heritage it
is not necessary to live in
one nation and have that
nation exclusively to our-
selves."
Referring to Germany's
recent ethnocentric violence
and neo-Nazi resurgence, he

said, "We are... fast to forget
the limitations, defensive-
ness and aggressiveness
that can so easily follow
when cultures shut them-
selves off, particularly
behind national interests."
The xenophobic violence
of some Germans, he said,
shows how economic and
social pressures can undo
the lessons of tolerance that
Germany has been trying to
learn since the Nazi era.
But many other Germans,
he said, have demonstrated
how the seeds of tolerance
planted during the postwar
decades have taken root in
German culture.
"Hundreds of thousands
of Germans crowded the
cities, carrying candles as a
sign of their solidarity with
the foreigners living and
seeking refuge in our coun-
try," he said. "They clearly
voiced their rejection of the
criminal perpetrators of vio-
lence as well as the racist
and the Nazi ideologies."



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Tel Aviv (JTA) — A third
Israeli soldier in 10 days has
been found shot dead during
a game of Russian roulette,
prompting the Israel
Defense Force to launch an
investigation into why this
deadly diversion has taken
off among its soldiers.
The latest victim, Elias
Alimi, a 20-year-old Chris-
tian Arab from Nazareth,
was a member of the elite
Givati Brigade and had been
attending a medical corps
class for unit paramedics.
Mr. Alimi played the
suicidal game in the guar-
droom at a base near
Ramallah.
He was reported to have
played the game several
times before.
The deadly game has been
increasingly practiced in re-
cent years, and the IDF has
been unable to deal with the
phenomenon. Parents of
soldiers are circulating peti-
tions insisting that the army
put a halt to the practice.
Mr. Alimi's death by his
own hand took place in the
presence of his comrades.
Those who were with him
when he died are expected to
be put on trial for failure to
stop him from killing
himself

The other deaths from
Russian roulette have
likewise taken place in the
presence of other soldiers.
A preliminary investiga-
tion indicated that Mr.
Alimi began playing with
his rifle.
According to one report, he
first pointed the weapon at a
comrade, stopping only
. when his comrades shouted,
"Don't dare do that."
He then allegedly put the
rifle to his own head and
pulled the trigger.
In the other recent in-
cidents, another soldier, Guy
Melihi, was killed last week
playing the game while
posted as a guard at the
West Bank settlement of
Hadar Beitar.
Mr. Melihi was with a
friend, who played with his
rifle and reportedly pointed
it at Mr. Melihi, pulling the
trigger believing there was
no bullet in the chamber.
On May 20, Ofer Arieli, a
paramedic with the
paratroop unit that was in-
volved in a "friendly fire"
incident in which four
soldiers were killed and
three injured, died during a
game of Russian roulette at
his base near Lebanon short-
ly after the killings.

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