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November 22, 2002 - Image 157

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-11-22

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Obituaries are updated regularly and archived on JN Online:

Israel's Mighty, Velvet Voice

Eloquence was not rare for Mr. Eban.
bba Eban was the voice of
most famous line came after the
Israel — and what a voice he
PLO rejected a plan for Palestinian con-
was!" said longtime friend
trol over most of the West Bank and
Max Fisher of Franklin. "He
Strip that was part of the Camp
did so much to make Israel understood
David Accords that
by the rest of the world.
Israel and Egypt
"Israel would not be where it
in 1978.
is today without him."
The Palestinians,
Abba Eban died in Israel on
he said, "never miss
Nov. 17, 2002, at age 87. In his
an opportunity to
final two years, he suffered from
miss an opportuni-
Alzheimer's disease.
In 1947, Mr. Eban gave
But Mr. Eban
impassioned speeches on behalf
never lost his com-
of Jewish statehood as the
mitment to his own
Zionist cause was debated at the
version of pragmatic,
United Nations.
dovish Zionism.
As ambassador simultaneous-
After 1967, he
ly to Washington and the
came out in
United Nations from 1950-
a Palestinian
1959 and later as Israel's
Abba Eban
Israeli rule in the
Mr. Ebanwasbboth an eloquent
advocate of his nation's cause and a tena- West Bank and Gaza Strip.
He once said that Israel was "tearing
cious negotiator.
its own birth certificate. Israel's birth
Mr. Eban was elected to the Knesset
and intimately linked
in 1959 and served successively as minis-
sharing territory and
ter without portfolio, minister of educa-
tion, deputy prime minister and foreign
The young Mr. Eban honed his
minister. His eight years as foreign min-
rhetorical skills in the argumentative
ister spanned the difficult period of the
Zionist societies he joined in his
1967 and 1973 wars.
London teens and later at the
One of his legacies is the "creative
Cambridge Union debating society. His
ambiguity" of U.N. Security Council
resonant yet witty, always
Resolution 242, which has remained a
crafted. Yet he could
cornerstone of Middle East peacemaking
think on his feet.
since 1967.
Mr. Eban's tragedy was that he was a
During the 1973 Yom Kippur War, he
greater hit on the world stage than he
helped persuade President Richard
was back home. Despite his fluency in
Nixon to airlift weapons and supplies to
Hebrew (and nine other languages),

Abba Eban was born Aubrey Solomon
in Cape Town, South Africa, on Feb. 2,
1915, the son of Abraham Solomon
and Alida Sacks, immigrants from
Lithuania. His father died of cancer
when the boy was 1; and the family set-
tled in London, where Alida married
Isaac Eban, a physician.
The young Mr. Eban spent weekends
studying Hebrew with his maternal
grandfather, Elijah Sacks. After a year's
private tuition in Arabic, Mr. Eban won
a scholarship to Queens College,
Cambridge, in 1934. He emerged with
first-class honors in classics and Oriental

SALLY L. BERMAN, 74, of Oak
Park, died Nov. 13, 2002.
She is survived by her daughters
and son-in-law, Rose and Buddy
Fenster of
Huntington Woods,
Lisa Berman Cohen
of West Bloomfield;
Bryan and Danny
Fenster, Benjamin
and Emily Cohen;
brother and sister-
in-law, Sidney and
Julia Kovinsky of
Sally Berman
Interment at Clover
Hill Park Cemetery. Contributions
may be made to Hospice of

Ruthan Brodsky of Bloomfield Hills,
Dr. Stuart and Deborah Brodsky of
Kentucky; daughter and son-in-law,
Suzanne and Larry Arnkoff of
Florida; grandchildren, Sheila and
Scott Printz, Denise and Adam
Hoeflich, Marjorie and Tim Smith,
A.J. Goldman, Sasha Arnkoff; great-
grandchildren, Andrea, Eric and Ian
Printz and Jacob and Joshua
Hoeflich. She was the beloved wife
of the late Harry N. Brodsky.
Interment at Adat Shalom
Memorial Park. Contributions may
be made to the Harry and Pearl
Brodsky Endowment Fund at the
Jewish Community Center, 6600 W.
Maple Road, West Bloomfield, MI
48322 or the Mayo Foundation, 200


Michigan, Jewish Programming, 400
Mack Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201.
Arrangements by Ira Kaufman

PEARL BRODSKY, 88, of Orchard
Lake, died Nov. 16, 2002. She was a
member of Women's
American ORT,
Hadassah, JARC,
Jewish Community
Center and the
Michigan Jewish
Sports Hall of
Mrs. Brodsky is
survived by her sons
and daughters-in-
Pearl Brodsky
law, Bernard and

earthy Israelis found him "too British."
He lacked the stomach for infighting.
He built no alliances. In an era when
Israelis were known for their informal
dress, he favored suits.
It made it too easy for Yitzhak Rabin,
a new prime minister who despised Mr.
Eban's jacket-and-tie diplomatic style, to
marginalize him after the 1973 Yom
Kippur War. The conflict led to Mr.
Eban's humiliation in 1988, when a
Labor primary relegated him to 18th
place on the Knesset list. "I don't have
to be where I am not wanted," he
fumed and launched into an alternative
(and more lucrative) career as author,
lecturer and television broadcaster.
The books of his TV documentaries,
Heritage: Civilization and the Jews and
Personal Witness became bestsellers. His
New Diplomacy was adopted as a text-
book in American and British universi-

British Roots

As a British soldier during World War
II, Mr. Eban served as a major in Egypt
and Palestine, where he became the first
director of the Middle East Center for
Arab Studies, a training ground for gen-
erations of British spies and diplomats.
While in Egypt, he met and married
Suzy Ambache, daughter of a Jaffa
Jewish engineer employed by the Suez
Canal Company. Suzy Eban survives
him, as well as their son, Eli, and
daughter, Gila.
At the end of the war, Mr. Eban
stayed in Palestine and joined the Jewish
Agency under David Ben-Gurion.
Posted to the United Nations, Mr. Eban
lobbied for the partition of Palestine
and for Israel's admission to member-
ship. He served as his country's first
ambassador to the world body and to
the United States.
Despite the harsh resolutions the
U.N. often passed against Israel, Mr.
Eban argued that the Jewish state
gained more than any other nation
from it. The U.N.'s recognition of Israel
was "absolutely decisive", he said, in
legitimizing the newborn state after
When the nation finally acknowl-
edged his contribution last year by
awarding him its highest honor, the
Israel Prize, Suzy Eban received it on his
Said Fisher: "It's a great loss because
he meant so much to all of us."

Freelance Writer Eric Silver JTA News
Editor Peter Ephross and Jewish News
Senior Copy Editor David Sachs con-
tributed to this story.

1st Street, SW, Rochester, MN
55905. Arrangements by Ira
Kaufman Chapel.

THAL died Nov. 6, 2002.
He is survived by his wife,
Bernice; daughter and son-in-law,
Julie Ann and Darryle Jay of
Cincinnati, Ohio; sister, Fay L.
Weiner of Southfield; brother and
sister-in-law, Albert and Arlene
Brookenthal of Toledo, Ohio.
This announcement was placed at
the request of the family by Hebrew
Memorial Chapel.

LISTINGS continued on page 128



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