When • • •
Many local lawmakers sign JCCouncil letter
commending Israeli democracy.
Special to the Jewish News
t the same time Israelis go
to the polls on Tuesday,
Jan. 28, more than 25
Michigan elected officials
will publicly enter a vote for Israeli
democracy, security and peace. U.S.
Sens. Carl Levin and Debbie
Stabenow and five U.S. representatives
head the list of signatories to a letter
circulated by the Jewish Community
Council of Metropolitan Detroit.
The "Open Letter to the
Community" states: "We highly com-
mend the nation of Israel as a bulwark
of democracy and shared values with the
U.S., and as the only such democracy in
the Middle East." It makes note that
Israel's democracy flourishes in spite of
the "terrorism and violence of the past
two years" and endorses the view of the
majority of Israelis for "a return to the
negotiating table with a Palestinian lead-
ership committed to peace and co-exis-
tence with Israel and which renounces
terrorism and acts to stop it."
Council Chair Ann Zausmer sent
out the letter requesting signatures on
"We are very satisfied with the
response," said Allan Gale, Council's
associate director and lead staff mem-
ber for Israel advocacy. The letter was
sent to metropolitan Detroit legisla-
tors. As of Jan. 21, in addition to the
seven Congressional members, seven
state senators, six state representatives,
four university board members and an
Oakland County commissioner have
signed on. The Council was awaiting a
response from Gov. Jennifer
The letter will be released to the
media as a strong statement of support
on Israeli election day. It is one of
many efforts the Council has made to
strengthen elected officials' understand-
ing and support for the State of Israel.
"Many of those who signed have trav-
eled to Israel with the Council, or oth-
erwise worked with us over the years,"
Gale explained. "We regularly share
information and perspectives with com-
munity leadership; and with the grow-
ing realization of the importance of
building democratic institutions in the
and the Arab world,
Israel's thriving 54-year-
old democracy deserves
attention and praise.
"Usually, the media
only plays to violence
and conflict and misses
the bigger story," Gale
added. "The larger issue Gale
is that Israel is a solid
democracy and an important friend
and ally to the U.S."
Newly elected U.S. Rep. Candice
Miller, R-Mt. Clemens, signed the let-
ter because "it is important that those
of us who are supporters of Israel
openly demonstrate that support."
Miller, who visited Israel with the
Council six years ago, said, "I've
always admired the Israeli people's
zest for life and determination to live
freely. Going through the election
process right now must be difficult.
Signing a letter like this was a small
thing, but I'm happy to do so."
U.S. Rep. John
whose position and
record regarding Israel
and the Palestinians was
the center of a control
versy over his being
honored at a recent
fund-raising dinner for
Seeds of Peace, had not
responded to the Jewish
Community Council's efforts as of Jan.
2 1 , or to requests for a statement by
the Jewish News.0
An Open Letter to the Community
Having just completed a fair, free and untainted democratic election, and having
done so "under fire" from Palestinian terrorism, we highly commend the nation of
Israel as a bulwark of democracy and of shared values with the U.S., and as the only
such democracy in the Middle East.
As is true of most democracies, Israel gives voice to its people, and that voice, despite
the terrorism and violence of the past two years, still speaks out for peace. The majority of
Israelis support a return to the negotiating table with a Palestinia leadership committed to
peace and co-existence with Israel and which renounces terrorism and acts to stop it.
We know that Israel's new government will have as its highest priorities providing
security to its citizens and working for peace. We join with all Israelis to endorse
SIGNATORIES as of 1/21/03:
D-Detroit, 5th District
D-Farmington, 37th District
R-Rochester; 12th District
R-West Bloomfield, 39th District
Gilda Z. Jacobs,
R-Bloomfield Hills, 40th District
D-Detroit, 13th District
R-Mt. Clemens, 10th District
D-Royal Oak, 12th District
R-Novi, 15th District
R-Tinverse City, 37th District
D-Flint, 29th District
Eugene Driker, Wayne State
Board of Governors
Richard Bernstein, Wayne
D-Detroit, 12th District
D-Ferndale, 27th District
Samuel Buzz Thomas III,
Andrea Fischer Newman,
D-Detroit, 4th District
D-Southfield, 35th District
University of Michigan regent
Traces of what are believed to be
the oldest olives in the world and
indications of their use 7,000 years
ago have been found in underwater
archaeological digs off the Israeli
coast, south of Haifa.
United Hebrew School trans-
portation workers voted 26 1 6 to
Tel Aviv University presents an
honorary doctorate to violinist Isaac
Stern for his contributions to music
and Israel's cultural life.
Windsor Jews open the I. L.
Peretz House for Jewish Elderly,
located next to the Windsor Jewish
Prominent Detroiter Hyman
Safran, former president of the
Jewish Welfare Federation, has been
named chairman of the Institute for
Abraham Tulin, world Zionist
leader, dies at 94.
Friends of the Hebrew University
announced this week that plans have
been made for the construction of
the Detroit Students Hostel at the
Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Harry S. Goldberg, Pontiac
Jewish Community leader, was
elected to the Community National
Bank board of directors.
The children of Rabbi Isaac Meyer
Wise were honored at a dinner in
New York to commemorate the
80th anniversary of Reform
Judaism in America.
State Board of Governors
Dennis Muchmore, Oakland
University board member
R-Livonia, 11th District
From the pages of the Jewish News
from this week 10, 20, 30, 40, 50
and 60 years ago.
Detroiter Henry Wineman is given
a citation for his 17 years of service
as member of the board of directors
and his generous support of
Hebrew Union College.
— Compiled by Holly Teasdle
archivist, the Rabbi Leo M Franklin
Archives of Temple Beth El