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July 16, 1993 - Image 52

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-07-16

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

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Library Association
Defeats Resolutions

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Most carriers are Jews of Eastern European descent.

You should be tested if you are over age 17, of Ashkenazi (Eastern
European) descent, considering marriage or pregnancy, or had been
tested for the disease prior to 1980. Orthodox Dor Yeshorim approach
to screening is available.

For the month of August, Sinai Hospital will offer Tay Sachs screening
for a reduced fee of $15. The normal charge for this test is $90.

Call Sinai Hospital Genetics Counselor Robin Gold at 493-6060 to
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New York (JTA) — Follow-
ing charges of anti-Israel
bias, the policy-making
council of the American
Library Association voted to
rescind a 1992 resolution
condemning Israel for cen-
sorship and human rights
violations.
The ALA's membership,
meanwhile, defeated a
resolution that would have
reaffirmed last year's con-
demnation of Israel. The
larger body, however, did
not repeal its 1992 resolu-
tion.
Both decisions were reach-
ed by overwhelming
majorities at the ALA's an-
nual convention held in New
Orleans from June 24 to
July 1. About 18,000
librarians attended the con-
vention.
Protestors have charged
the ALA with singling out
Israel while ignoring censor-
ship and human rights
violations in other countries.
They have also said it was
inappropriate for the ALA to
involve itself in complex po-
litical issues.
The 1992 resolution, pass-
ed by both the council and
the membership, called for
"the government of Israel to
end all censorship and
human rights violations in
the Occupied West Bank and
Gaza, and in Israel itself."
The council repealed the
1992 resolution on the
grounds that it had been
passed without being sub-
mitted to the ALA's Interna-
tional Relations Committee
for study and recommenda-
tions.
The council, however, did
not rescind another resolu-
tion passed last year con-
demning Israel for the
deportation of a Palestinian
librarian, Omar al-Safi.
Al-Safi, a member of the
Democratic Front for the
Liberation of Palestine — a
hard-line faction of the
Palestine Liberation Organ-
ization — was in fact never
deported and was released
by Israel earlier this year.
This year's annual conven-
tion was marked by addi-
tional controversy regarding
Israel.
Protestors charged that
one of the sessions, a panel
discussion titled "Israeli
Censorship: There and
Here," would be nothing
more than an excuse to bash
Israel.
The session was the only
one focusing on a single
government at this year's
convention.

The session was sponsored
by the Task Force on Israeli
Censorship and Palestinian
Libraries and the Human
Rights Task Force, a sub-
committee of the ALA's So-
cial Responsibility Round
Table.
In response to the con-
troversy, ALA President
Marilyn Miller asked the
International Relations
Committee to examine how
the ALA can take effective
positions on censorship and
human rights violations in
the future and communicate
these positions to foreign
governments.
ALA officials said they
have received many letters
and phone calls expressing a
wide range of opinions about
the controversy. While some
criticized the ALA's involv-

This year's annual
convention was
marked by
controversy
regarding Israel.

ing itself in politics and
singling out Israel, others
supported the resolutions
condemning Israel.
"Several officers of the
ALA have basically told us
that no issue has ever caused
such concern and dissension
on both sides ever before,"
said an officer of the ALA's
Jewish Library Committee,
who asked to remain anon-
ymous.
Outside the convention,
Hadassah members pro-
tested the 1992 resolutions
and distributed leaflets to
ALA members about the
issue.
The Association of Jewish
Librarians, an independent
1,000- member group, also
responded to the controver-
sial resolutions at their an- E(
nual convention in June by
condemning the ALA for an-
ti- Israel bias and calling for
the immediate repeal of the
Israel resolutions.
The officer of the ALA's
Jewish Library Committee
praised individuals and Jew-
ish communal organizations
for their interest in the
issue.
"We are deeply indebted to
all the librarians — Jewish
and non-Jewish — who
wrote letters and made
phone calls, people who felt
ALA should not get involved
in highly complex interna-
tional issues," the official
said.

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