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November 11, 1994 - Image 71

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1994-11-11

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

recent column by Neil Ru-
bin, managing editor of the
Atlanta Jewish Times and
a Baltimore native, elicit-
ed an editorial in the Atlanta
Journal about churches and syn-
agogues accommodating gay
members.
The Journal's Nov. 2 editori-
al stated that "bitter opposition
to gay rights by conservative re-
ligious groups tends to obscure
the efforts of many other people
of faith to come to a new religious
understanding of sexual orienta-
tion."
It referred to Mr. Rubin's col-
umn, in which he had alluded to
the difficulty of religiously corn-
ing to grips with homosexuali-
ty. Jewish law, he wrote, clearly
prohibits homosexuality, but
Jewish tradition also interprets

A

scripture to find its various mes-
sages. With one Atlanta syna-
gogue now catering to gay and
lesbian Jews, Mr. Rubin stated
that the larger Jewish commu-
nity is moving toward accepting
the gays and lesbians in its midst.
The same applies to other
faiths, noted the Journal. " ... Peo-
ple of faith are struggling to make
sense ... of the dramatically new
concept of sexual orientation as
something that is God given.
Their sincere efforts to come to
terms with this idea — radical
among many, heretical among
others — are to be commended ...
Many religious groups are
willing to suspend condemnation
for a period of listening, to see
where faith and compassion lead
them." 0

Is Jennings Again
Anti-Israel?

Peter Jennings:
Pro-Arab bias?

uth Andres of Dallas,
Texas, recently learned of
network newscasters' con-
cern for the complaints of
lone viewers.
On Oct. 21, she sent a letter
to Rick Kaplan, executive pro-
ducer of ABC's "World News
Tonight," charging anchor Peter
Jennings with an anti-Israel bias
when reporting about the recent
Hamas bombing of a Tel Aviv
bus. She was especially exercised
with Mr. Jennings' questioning
of Yassir Arafat, whom he in-
terviewed soon after the bus

R

bombing. She considered his
questions to the PLO leader ex-
tremely soft. "He allowed Arafat
to get away without saying these
are bad, bad people," she said in
an interview with the Baltimore
Jewish Times.
In her letter to Mr. Kaplan,
she scolded, "Please report the
news as it occurs, not as you per-
ceive it through tainted anti-Is-
rael eyes."
On Nov. 1, she was "stunned"
to receive a phone call from
Arnot
Walker, the press represen-
tative for "World News Tonight,"
who told her that she had un-
fairly criticized Mr. Jennings
since she had not seen the other
10 hours of recent ABC broad-
casts from the Middle East.
"I felt her comments were un-
fair and she was misinformed,"
Mr. Walker said. "We get hun-
dreds of letters a week, but hers
just got to me."
This wasn't the first time, of
course, that Mr. Jennings has
been accused of being biased
against Israel. Such censure has
trailed him for years. When con-
fronted with such charges, he
said in a 1991 interview, he
"tend[s] to answer with a fairly
automatic response — which is
a fairly neutral response — that
the Middle East is a complicat-
ed place. People on this subject,
more than any other, tend to see
truth through their own eyes."

Photos by Paul Katzman

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