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Fell Way Short
A few weeks ago, the Jewish News pub-
lished a story describing each candidate
running for governor of Michigan
("Who Will Lead Michigan?" June 21,
page 14). In the overview of U.S. Rep.
David Bonior, D-Mount Clemens, a
number of points directly relevant to the
Jewish community were carelessly left
Those points begin and end with his
voting record on Israel. Unlike the other
candidates for governor, we know exact-
ly where Bonior stands regarding Israel;
as a member of Congress, he's had many
well-documented opportunities to either
support or oppose pro-Israel legislation.
Let this be clear: David Bonior is not a
supporter of Israel. In fact, the exact
opposite is true. By not digging into the .
facts, the JN revealed Bonior in a favor-
One might ask, "Why is it important
for a governor to be pro-Israel?"
Governors are on the national stage.
Governors may ascend to president.
Governors may become ambassadors.
Governors have their own lobbying
organization on Capitol Hill.
Is David Bonior a man who Jews
should help in any way to obtain such
power? Let's take a look at some "high-
lights" from his voting record on Israel:
• Voted against HR 4811 — FY2001
Foreign Aid Appropriations (gave rou
ly $3 billion in foreign security assistance
• Voted against FY1999 Foreign Aid
propriations Bill (gave roughly $3 bil-
lion in foreign security assistance to
• Voted against a resolution in 1999
expressing congressional opposition to
the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian
state (passed 380-24)
• Congress to sign a letter to President
BEYOND THE HEADLINES
Clinton requesting an end to sanctions
• Did not sign a 1996 letter urging
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to amend
. the Palestinian Covenant (PLO Charter)
• Did not sign a letter in 1994 to
Secretary of State Christopher expressing
disappointment with Arafat's failure to
condemn terrorist attacks in Israel
• Did not sign a 1991 congressional
letter expressing solidarity with Israel fol-
lowing Scud attacks
• Voted against a 1990 resolution
expressing support for Jerusalem as
Israel's capital (passed 378-34)
Bonior's voting record on Israel is hor-
rible, at best. Your readers deserve to
know this. I urge you to do more in
depth reporting on political candidates
in the future.
Editor's Note: In his report on Michigan
members of Congress who did not vote
May 2 for House Resolution 392 to sup-
port Israel's incursion into the West Bank
("Breaking Away," May 17, page 18),
Associate Editor Alan Hitsky re-printed
. Bonior's remarks from the_
"Congressional Record" explaining the con-
gressman's views on Israel and the
Show Israel Support
Through Shul Attire
On the theory that how one dresses
often reflects one's inner emotional state,
I wonder if it might be psychologically
meaningful for us, as well as a positive,
public gesture, to "dress like Israelis"
when we go to synagogue services for
the remainder of this summer and up
through the Days of Awe.
Men could forego ties and suit jackets
in favor of simple white shirts. Women
could leave fancy dresses and high heels
at home and wear light-colored dresses
or white blouses with skirts instead.
Regarding footwear, I've heard that
many Israelis wear sandals to shul, but
others tell me that's not necessarily the
I think it would be great for us to be a
little less formal and uptight about our
shul dress codes at a time like this, and
make a statement, through our shul
attire, of identification with our brothers
and sisters in Israel.
Apropos Berl Falbaum's recent column
("Boycott Gas-Guzzlers To Help Israel,"
July 5, page 34) urging us to abandon
SUVs (in which I heartily concur), we
could also turn our air-conditioning
down a bit (at home as well as at shul)
and experience more of life in a non-
artificial environment — maybe send
the money we save on a/c to Magen
David Adom or an emergency fund to
assist victims of terror.
Finally, with regard to the recent
photo exhibit (depicting the vigil for ter-
rorism victims in Israel), I hope we can
all agree that since September 2000,
innocent people also have been injured
and killed on the other side, albeit unin-
tentionally (and notwithstanding that
the blame for the overall situation rests
almost exclusively on the Palestinian
leadership rather than on anything the
Israeli government could have done dif-
ferently). I would feel better about the
photo exhibit if it included photos of
even a handful of innocent Palestinian .
victims as an acknowledgment of our
Nancy E Kaplan
I've been in Israel three times in the last
nine months: Sept. 11, during the
bombing of the World Trade Center in
New York City; Dec. 3, one day after
two suicide born
in May of this y,
seemingly endless •
trip to Ism
bottom line is always e same. srae is
are going to work, children are going to
school and people are shopping in open-
air markets and gr
on with no real via
Israelis are living`their'
day, under a very dark cloud. IN- called
survival. It's an unwavering commitment
and love for their homeland. Israel needs
us now, more than ever.
I understand that when CNN or
MSNBC reports news from Israel and
all you see are shells of blown-up buses,
cafes, hotels, ambulances, blood and
bodies, it makes us afraid, and well it
should. However, it is . times
Israel needs us the most, not
dally, but also for moral
Israel is family and yoti dote up-
on family when times get ro4NKyou
had a family member or very
friend who had a contagious, possibly
life-threatening disease, would you give
up or stop seeing them? Of course not;
you would take the necessary prcau-
tions and be there to support
their time of need.
I know each of us has different corn-
fort levels. But you have to try to put
your fears aside and show your support
for Israel, for family.
There is a calm that you feel inside
when you step off the plane at Ben-
Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, a calm that
is hard to explain and even harder to
describe. It is a feeling to be experienced,
by each and every one of us. When you
are in Israel, it's not what you think. It's
from page 5
newly dedicated YEDID's Citizens Rights Center,
a grassroots advocacy and assistance center for
Israeli Arabs in Nazareth, is a prime example.
"One of the huge issues in Israel is the state of
the Arab citizens," Aronson said.
"Take Nazareth: The city lived off tourism.
Now there are no tourists at all. Israel's cutbacks
have affected the Arab society as well. There is a
feeling in Israel that this is a disaster waiting to
.During his trip, Aronson dedicated a family
clubroom at the Ramat David Air Force Base in
northern Israel in memory of his grandparents.
"You tend to think of the Israeli army as a .
tough, independent, nuts-and-bolts shield," he
said. "I was awed by how delighted the pilots, the
commander of the base and others were to have
an American visitor come in and say: 'We care,
we're with you and we're investing in that.'"
We've survived as a people for more than 3,000
years — through slavery,.exile, expulsion,
pogroms, the Holocaust. So Israel isn't in immi-
nent danger of extinction, despite the terrorism
that has taken more than 570 Israeli lives.
But quality of life there is a grave concern.
As Aronson put it: "It's about Israelis being able
to make it. It's about the kind of society they are
building and whether Jews in America are part of
it. At some point, we have to define ourselves
either as part of, and committed to, what's hap-
pening, or not.
"And I think we're at that point."
I do, too. 111