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May 05, 1995 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1995-05-05

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POLLARD page 4


Secrecy was also vital since about the disparate justice he is
some, if not most, of these Ger- receiving, while he languishes in
man recruits could have been prison for 10-plus years. The
prosecuted as war criminals for question is, does President Clin-
ton care?
their activities during WWII.
Irving Warshawsky
Now if such a program were
West Bloomfield
considered to be vital to nation-
al security, as many high-level
government officials associated Opposed To Move
with the program believed, then
why, as Ms. Hunt ponders, was Of U.S. Embassy
Mr. Whalen's punishment so le-
nient? Not even former Defense The Labor Zionist Affiance Coun-
Secretary Caspar Weinberger cil of Metropolitan Detroit sup-
could realistically argue that ports the government of the State
Jonathan Pollard compromised of Israel; that Jerusalem shall re-
national security as seriously as main an undivided city and its
Mr. Whalen did. Yet Mr. Pollard capital.
We are, however, opposed to
was punished far more severely.
Indeed, Mr. Weinberger's still- moving the United States Em-
secret memo to Judge Robinson, bassy to Jerusalem at this time,
prior to sentencing, ensured that. because the peace negotiations
Clearly, excessive government are at a very delicate stage and
secrecy still surrounding the Pol- we do not wish to hamper them.
Dena G. Greenberg,
lard case is repugnant. Those
Zionist Alliance of
who care about justice and hu-
Metropolitan Detroit
man rights ought to be concerned

Still Miraculous


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Talk Politics
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orty-seven years after the
declaration of independence,
many Israelis prefer mod-
ern myths to the historical
miracles that led to the birth and
survival of Israel.
Meeting in Tel Aviv in the last
days of the British Mandate,
David Ben-Gurion and the lead-
ers of the Jewish Agency and the
Haganah debated the wisdom of
declaring independence. By the
beginning of May 1948, the Pales-
tinians and Arab states were ful-
ly mobilized for war to ensure that
the Jewish state would be still-
born. The road from Tel Aviv was
blocked, and Jewish Jerusalem
was under siege. While the Arabs
were acquiring arms from every
corner of the world, no one would
sell the Jews in Palestine rifles or
The military leadership told
Mr. Ben-Gurion that the most op-
timistic estimates placed the prob-
ability of survival against the
Arab attack at 50-50. Only a se-
ries of miracles, such as the Czech
arms deal, which opened up the
warehouses of weapons withheld
from the Nazis in the last days of
the war, saved the nascent state.
Two thousand years after the Ro-
man exile, and three years after
the end of the Holocaust, the Jew-
ish people had been granted one
final opportunity to rebuild.
But it is hard to live with a mir-
acle for so many years. The psy-
chological pressures of being the
beneficiaries of this miracle are
Gerald M. Steinberg directs
research on arms control and
Israeli security at the BESA
Center for Strategic Studies at
Bar Ilan University in Haifa.

becoming increasingly apparent
in Israeli society and politics. To
free themselves from this histor-
ical burden, some secular acade-
mics have created post-Zionism.
The essence of post-Zionism is
that Israel is a nation like any oth-
er, no more threatened with ex-
tinction than England or Russia.
In rewriting history, this group
seeks to convert the miracles of
the past 50 years into myths that
can easily be discarded. On this
basis, they are free to leave the
country, and to devote themselves
to other pursuits, unconnected to
Israel and without the stigma or
psychological burden of aban-
doning the Jewish people.
In another sign of the desper-
ate effort to rewrite history and
erase its miracles, many Israelis
have embraced the idea that we
are somehow responsible for the
decades of conflict and terror with
the Arabs. Their logic is simple.
If we are responsible, even in part,
for this conflict, then we cannot
possibly be the beneficiaries of a
miracle. Furthermore, from this
perspective, by changing our poli-
cies, and withdrawing from "oc-
cupied land," we have the power
to normalize our status in the
Middle East.
Normalization is the key to all
these responses.
The simple truth is that Israeli
survival was and still is miracu-
lous, and the efforts to escape the
obligations and implications of
this essential fact will all fail. Zion-
ism was created in crucible of the
anti-Semitism of western civi-
lization and the threat to the
physical and cultural survival of
the Jewish people. El

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