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October 25, 2002 - Image 35

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-10-25

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Editorials are posted and archived on JN Online:

Dry Bones

Feeling The Pain

srael knows what it is like to live with both
the reality and the threat of terror. So it's not
surprising that its press has paid a lot of atten-
tion to the sniper who has shot at least 13
people at random in the Washington, Maryland and
Virginia suburbs and to the Oct. 12 bombing that
killed 180 people at a nightclub in Bali, Indonesia.
What is surprising — and sad — is how little effort
either Washingtonians or Australians (whose country-
men were the vast majority of victims in the Bali
bombing) seem to be making to understand that the
terror is the same whether it is there or in Israel.
Obviously, there are major differences between a
lone sniper who randomly attacks individuals at gas
stations and mall restaurants and the
organized gunmen directing fire at settlers
on the West Bank. The Washington
sniper is a madman whose purpose is
obscure; the Palestinian attackers, politically driven
and professionally trained, simply want to drive out
the settlers and, later, destroy all of Israel.
But the Balinese bombers seem to be Islamic mili-
tants who want the Indonesian civilian government
overthrown and who are willing to organize mass
murder for political gain — exactly like the agents
of Hamas and Fatah and Islamic Jihad and
Hezbollah who over the last two years have sent
homicide bombers to murder innocent Israelis pizza
parlors and hotels. The Kuta bomber in Bali is
indistinguishable from the Dolphinarium Disco
bomber in Tel Aviv — and not much different from
the terrorist who ignited his liquefied natural gas
truck to blow up a synagogue and 21 German and
French tourists on the Tunisian island of Djerba.
Yet a review of Australian media shows discussion
of the 9-11 destruction of the World Trade Center
in New York City, but almost no effort to draw any
parallels with the more than 14,000 attacks, accord-
ing to the newspaper Ha'aretz, that over the last two
years have taken 635 Israeli lives — 14 of them just
this week in the suicide bombing of a Hadera bus.


In worrisome fact, some Australian offi-
cials even said the attack in Bali was a sym-
bol that Australia had allied itself too closely
with the United States, particularly in regard
to the U.S. support of Israel. The need, the
officials said, was to distance Australia from
what is perceived as American military and
economic hegemony and to identify more
closely with the continent's nearest neigh-
bors, such as Indonesia and Malaysia.
That, of course, is just plain stupid.
What the recent years of terror have
proved so conclusively is that the terrorists
are never going to be content with any-
thing except total victory, which
they interpret as world-wide
Islamic rule under Sharia
(Islamic law), hardly what the
vital democracy of Australia would want.
The public discussion of the
Washington-area sniper has focused on
the search for the killer and on his
impact on local citizens — how schools
have shut down, how gas stations have
put up screens to protect motorists and,
most of all, how fear has eroded daily
life. That fear is exactly what prompts
Israelis to wear bulletproof vests on cer-
tain highways and to sleep at night with
guns by their beds, but Washingtonians
seem not interested in the parallels. They
treat their situation as uniquely horrifying when •
it is, in truth, the ordinary agony for much of the
Jewish state.
Somehow, Israel has lost its rightful claim for
world understanding of its existential peril. Perhaps
that is because the Palestinian suffering — kids
killed as a side effect of rocket attacks, the elderly
thrown out of bulldozed housing — is so often doc-
umented by a media that ignores the Palestinian
violence that triggered actions intended to thwart

additional terror. Or perhaps it is some larger world
feeling about Jews in general now that memories of
the Holocaust are fading.
In any event, Israelis can grieve as much as they
want to about the Bali bombers' victims or the
innocents slain around Washington, but they are
kidding themselves if they expect the Aussies and
the Americans to say now "we know how you
feel." That isn't happening and, shamefully, isn'
going to. ❑

man of integrity and a role model of public service.
A bonus for the Jewish community is that he is
one of ours. He's not just a Jew, but also a native
Detroiter, a former city councilman and a
Congregation T'Chiyah founder.
So, do we recommend a vote for Levin
because he's a nice guy and a Jew? In the
post-Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich
era, voting for a gentleman isn't a bad
idea. But Levin also has developed
smashing credentials during his Senate career,
mirrored by his rise through the ranks to head
the important Senate Armed Services Committee
and the Government Affairs subcommittee on
Bombast, partisan politics and the limelight are
not this senator's style. Although Levin has

become a major force in the national debate over
Iraq, Social Security, prescription drugs, educa-
tion and other pivotal issues, he is still the kind
of politician who strangers feel comfortable greet-
ing with an informal, "Hi, Carl."
Notably, though, we urge him
to be more responsive to con-
stituent interest in opposing the
importing of Syrian products to
be sold in this country given that
the profits help fund the Syrian
terror machine. He has the influ-
ence to help block such despica-
Sen. Levin
ble importation and he should
use it.
Still, if people from around the
nation forced us to identify one person who best
exemplifies the qualities of Michigan, that person
would be Sen. Carl Levin.
Vote Levin on Nov. 5. ❑


A Vote For Carl Levin

f running against an incumbent in a
statewide race is an uphill battle, running
against U.S. Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan
must be akin to mountain climbing.
Farmington Hills' Andrew (Rocky) Raczkowski
knew campaigning against the popular
four-term senator would be difficult. But
the race has become almost embarrass-
ing. And it's not the conservative
Republican's fault.
Levin's stellar record after 24 years in the U. S.
Senate is enviable. His left-center viewpoints — and
thoughtful, respectful demeanor — have often
earned him the appellation "the conscience of the
Senate." Somehow, this loyal, approachable
Democrat stays above party politics, expressing his
thoughts on the issues, not the personalities. He's a






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