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September 06, 2002 - Image 33

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-09-06

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

he said. "But the right was not correct in believing
there can be a military solution to the conflict.
"People are obviously outraged at the continued
terrorism; but they're uncomfortable with some of
Israel's responses — though there's no moral equiva-
lency between" them, he added.
At the Reform m ovement's highest levels, that debate
has been shifting for some time. The movement strong-
backed the Oslo peace process, but by 2001 Rabbi
Yoffie acknowledged he had badly "misjudged"
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. Rabbi Yoffie also criti-
cized anti-Israel images in the Palestinian and Arab
media that he described as "neo-Nazi."
Like other Jewish leaders, Rabbi Yoffie rebuffed
calls to denounce Israel's conduct during the battle
in the Jenin refugee camp last spring, or Israel's
bombing of a Hamas leader in Gaza in July that also
resulted in civilian deaths.

Idea Criticized

Morton Klein, president of the Zionist Organization
of America, blasted the tenor and timing of the teach-
in. He was especially critical because teach-in material
includes the UAHC plank that "the key to peace will
be two states, Jewish and Palestinian, side by side."
"Promoting this is promoting the most dangerous
policy possible, and Eric Yoffie is doing that," Klein
said. "At a time when Israeli Jews are being mur-
dered on an almost daily basis, the focus should be
solely on how to end the regime that promotes and
finances the murder."
Others also questioned the need for the teach-in.
"I think people are able to sort out the issues,
they're able talk about questions such as what's hap-
pening to the Palestinians and what will happen to
the Palestinians as a result of actions Israel does or
doesn't take," said Rabbi Joel Myers, executive vice
president of the Conservative movement's
Rabbinical Assembly.
Rabbi Steven Dworken, executive vice president
of the Orthodox movement's Rabbinical Council
of America, questioned the efficacy of "going on a
vast initiative with a great deal of publicity."
Rabbi Dworken said there is open debate about
Israel in his religious Zionist community. The
key, though, is "how we do it, what language is
used, in front of what audience it's done, and
what media is used," he said. El

`Fifth Column'

Israeli Arabs are the focus as ministers push to strip terrorists' citizenship.

GIL SEDAN

Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Jerusalem

T

West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Defense Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, however,
objects even to the demolition of houses in eastern
Jerusalem. Ben-Eliezer said all punitive measures should
be decided by the courts, not the executive branch.
The debate over punishment reflects the
deepening rupture between Israeli Jews
and Arabs just a month before the second
anniversary of the October 2000 riots,
when police killed 12 Israeli Arabs rioting in solidari-
ty with the Palestinian intifada (uprising). A state
inquiry commission is still investigating the incident.

ensions between Jews and Arabs in Israel are
rising as plans move ahead to strip
the citizenship from Arabs who
carry out or aid terror attacks.
Interior Minister Eli Yishai and Internal
Security Minister Uzi Landau have called for radical
action against Israeli citizens or residents involved in
terrorism.
In two recent cases, a group of eastern
Jerusalem residents — who are not Israeli citi-
zens — are accused of killing 35 Israelis and
wounding hundreds in a series of attacks,
including the July bombing at the Hebrew
University cafeteria and a March bombing at
Jerusalem's Cafe Moment.
Each day also seems to bring new arrests as
police track an Israeli Arab clan whose mem-
bers allegedly sheltered and aided a Palestinian
man who blew up a bus in the Galilee in early
August, killing nine people and wounding 50.
Yishai and his hawkish partners are faced
with a dilemma. Revoking a terrorist's Israeli
citizenship or residency status may deter other
Family members of terrorists involved in attacks against Israel
potential terrorists. But it will also further
wait in an Israeli courtroom.
alienate Israel's one million Arabs, who are
frustrated with the continuing Israeli-
Palestinian conflict.
"Why hasn't Yishai revoked the citizenship of
On Sept. 1, Police Inspector-General Shlomo
Yigal Amir?" scorned Shawki Khatib, chairman of
Aharonishki
chose the first day of the school year to
the Monitoring Committee of the Israeli Arab
meet
with
leaders
of the Israeli Arab community and
Leadership, which represents Arab legislators and
stress
that
he
distinguishes
between the small group
mayors. "Isn't the murder of a prime minister a grave
of
alleged
terrorists
and
the
Arab community at large.
a
Jewish
Israeli,
assassinated
act of terrorism?" Amir,
But the tension is evident. More and more voices
Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in November 1995.
inside the Arab community charge that they are being
Landau and his deputy, Gideon Ezra, insist that
subjected
to an overall offensive: for example, the
Israel should demolish the homes of all terrorists,
`FIFTH COLUMN' on page 34
whether they are Israeli Arabs or Palestinians in the

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33

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