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September 13, 2002 - Image 35

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-09-13

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

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Editorials are posted and archived on- JN Online:

www.detroitiewishnews.com -

Be There For Israel Now

Greenberg's View

t the critical moments in our lives, we turn
to family, friends and community for sup-
port. And later, we remember who was there
and who wasn't. Who made the time, and
who was too busy. Who ran to help, and who ran
away. Today, Israel is in need, and how we act will be
remembered.
Israelis will remember. The worsening economy, the
trickle of tourism and the daily physical threats and
psychological pressures have taken their toll. While
there isn't an existential threat to Israel, there is a threat
to the kind of existence that Israelis, or any people,
seek for themselves and their children. Our support
helps them face adversity; our absence weakens them,
personally and politically.
Our children will remember. Our children
are observing how the disruption of Israeli
life affects the lives of American Jews. Do
their families, schools and synagogues do
anything different now? Does the community?
Our action, or inaction, imparts important lessons
about our connectedness to Israel and our fellow Jews.
We show them by our faith in action. We reassure
them best not by ignoring the threats, but by reassur-
ing them with the love, support and action we take to
counter those threats.
We will remember. Mark Talisman — the driving
force behind the world tour of Jewish artifacts known
as "The Precious Legacy" — movingly tells the story of
how, as a child, he asked his parents what they did to
help the Jews of Europe during the Nazi years. He says

his parents had no answer, but to
look down at their shoes. While
they might not have known every-
thing that was happening, or been
well versed in European politics or
the intricacies of Jewish life there,
they knew enough to take action,
but didn't. It stayed with them the
rest of their lives.
Beyond writing those important
checks and engaging in political
activity, we must reach out to the
Israeli people on a personal level.
The Jewish Federation of
Metropolitan Detroit's
Partnership 2000 pro-
gram does a wonderful
job of connecting peo-
A gP,EAk5 oXr".....recfsvilikezorw, 4 A7.4,1a.
"Alpe dOsevwf lae rg- 2et:
44.W.
ple. A highlight of com-
munity and synagogue missions to
Israel is always the home hospitali-
ty and other interactions with Israelis that
pick up the phone and call relatives and friends living
Michiganians experience in the Central Galilee. The
in Israel we haven't talked to in a while. The possibili-
local grassroots project that sent Rosh Hashanah post-
ties are only limited by our imagination and willing-
cards to Israelis reached thousands on a personal level.
ness to act.
And local families, initiating a meaningful relationship
At this time of reflection, let us each commit our-
that can be continued, "adopted" hundreds of Israeli
selves to taking action that will make a difference, and
teens attending Tamarack Camps this summer.
that will make us proud to recall and tell others. To
Opportunities exist for us to act today. For example,
quote a Zionist slogan, Anu Banu Artzah, Livnot
we can send condolences to Israeli families of terror
V'Lihebanot Ba" — "We will build [the Jewish home-
victims by accessing wwwwalk4israel.org . Or we can
land] and be built by building it."

The Case Against Iraq

coming weeks, incriminating evidence will be made
public to show that in the 12 years since the Gulf War
ended, Hussein has consistently broken his commit-
ments to stop work on chemical, biological and
nuclear weapons. If the evidence is as clear-cut as the
administration says it is, then it should also be persua-
sive in the United Nations. The U.N. would be moral-
ly bound to insist on the resumption of a meaningful
arms inspection process.
A decade of sanctions and military encirclement,
such as the no-fly zones, have not stopped Hussein
from rebuilding his war machine out of profits from
the sale of oil, much of it illegal. But waiting a few
months to build the case against him and
assemble a true coalition of nations would
not work an irreparable damage to an even-
tual military action. Any hope of surprising
Baghdad is long gone anyway. Better to use the time
to, among other things, remind the Mideast that
Hussein has twice invaded neighboring Muslim
nations, Iran and Kuwait, and that he is as much a
future threat to them as he is to Israel or America.
What is truly important is that President Bush artic-
ulate a clear vision of what he wants Iraq's future to be
after Hussein is gone.
Does the president who was so dead-set against
"nation-building" now expect to create a democratic,
Western-oriented, capitalist nation out of the rubble of
socialist tyranny? Or is he simply aiming to depose
Hussein and replace him with the strongest of strong

A

EDITO DIAL

s Americans and as Jews, we have a profound
interest in the current debate over whether
the United States should launch a military
attack aimed at ending the regime of Saddam
Hussein in Iraq.
As Americans, we need to consider what such an
action will mean immediately to our sons and daugh-
ters who would go to war and how it may affect
America's standing in the world in the future. As Jews,
we weigh a tradeoff between the desire to get rid of
one of Israel's most implacable enemies and
our concerns about whether an attack may
incite Hussein to launch chemical and biolog- ,
ical weapons against the Jewish state or pro-
. yoke a larger-scale war that masses Arab troops against
Israel.
In the short term, it is clear that President George
W. Bush has to do a much better job than he has done
so far in convincing this nation and the rest of the
world that Hussein poses a threat demanding immedi-
ate military action. Good policy doesn't necessarily rely
on following the polls, but the polls do show deep
- American ambivalence about the need for a military
strike now, and the Congress is quite correct in assert-
ing its right to decide on the necessity of this war.
The administration has properly started its briefing
of congressional committees. It seems likely that in the

A

f .2.2



EDIT OltIAL

men left standing? Does he want an Iraq with its cur-
rent borders or would he carve out the Kurdish north
as an element of a future Kurdistan?
Telling us what he thinks Iraq should be would
greatly clarify the goals for the Mideast and even
lead to new thinking about the strategies needed to
attain a long-term stability. President Bush must
show that his "War on Terror" is not a war on
Islam, but rather an effort to make the world more
peaceful and prosperous for all legitimate nations.
Israel obviously would be delighted to be rid of
Saddam, but not if it is to be barraged by Iraqi
chemical and biological weapons. A nation that has
already endured two years of brutal terrorism by
the Palestinians should not rush to put itself in the
center of Hussein's bull's-eye. Jewish leaders in
America should help the president and Congress
understand that the Israel that held off responding
to the Scud missiles for the sake of the Gulf War
coalition would meet any Iraqi attack now with
utmost force.
Ultimately, action will be needed. We would
expect the United States to take the lead, and we
would support the president as the commander-in-
chief. But action cannot be successful until the case
against Hussein is proven in the courts of public
opinion in America and the world — and until the
president makes clear what new Iraq he would cre-
ate. A war for the sake of war, aimed only at getting
rid of Saddam, is not the proper course. ❑

9/13

2002

35

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