Truth To Power
Jerusalem Post publisher sees Palestinian regime change as essential to peace.
Special to the Jewish News
or Tom Rose, publisher and
CEO of the Jerusalem Post,
conventional wisdom is
convenient wisdom. But
both can be limiting and dangerous
for journalists and nations.
"We [journalists] have the responsi-
bility to speak truth to power, whether
it is pleasant or unpleasant. We are
[the prophet] Jeremiah without the
optimism," Rose said in his keynote
talk following a reception celebrating
the Birmingham Eccentric's 125th year
of publication. The event was held
May 7 at the Jewish Community
Center in West Bloomfield.
"When we return to our role of
speaking truth to power, it will be
good for Israel and the Arab nations,"
'A dictator depends on violence the
same way a democrat depends on a
vote," says Rose, recalling that slain
Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin
was wrong about his belief that
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat could
deliver because he didn't have to worry
about public opinion or human rights.
"The primary failure of Oslo was an
Israeli one" because "the premise that
you can make peace with a violent, dic-
tatorial regime is not tenable."
What is needed is "regime change"
among the Palestinians, Rose says. He
calls new Palestinian Prime Minister
Mahmoud Abbas "the same bride, dif-
So what are the chances for the road
map that U.S. Secretary of State Colin
Powell is shopping around the Middle
"I am highly skeptical but convinced
there is no alternative but to explore
any opportunity that might present
itself," says Rose. "Arafat needs Harnas
and Islamic Jihad more than he needs
Colin Powell. Colin Powell will come
and go, and if you [anger] him, you get
a stiff lecture. If you [anger] Hamas
and Islamic Jihad, they kill you.
"A cease-fire [with these groups] is
bad for Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas]
and bad for us," says Rose, noting they
will have time to re-group, re-arm and
re-assert themselves. "Those organiza-
tions must be destroyed, not appeased
and not tolerated."
But the current "truth," as Rose
speaks it, doesn't mean that peace is
impossible nor that Israel's days are
Quipping that being positive "might
be the greatest challenge for the Jews;"
he told the audience to "look where
we are today compared to where we
were 20, 50, 100 years ago. The future
Publisher Tom Rose
Making note that he was speaking
on Yom HaAtzmaut, Israel Independ-
ence Day, he reminded the audience
that Israel was "the first time a people
dispossessed has returned to their
land." Calling it "remarkable" and
"miraculous," he said there is "no
other possible description or explana-
tion of how a people can survive, rise
up from the ashes and build a nation.
And a wonderful little nation at that.
"Israel has never been stronger polit-
ically or militarily" and, even with the
weak economy, which he blamed not
on Yasser Arafat but on the Israel's
government being "too big and too
[economically] oppressive," Israel's
GNP is greater than all 21 Arab
Further, Rose believes "change in
Iraq will mean change in Syria and a
change in Iran."
Rose says he's amazed by the con-
ventional wisdom that war with Iraq
was to be opposed because it would
damage the stability of the region.
"We have too much stability," he says.
"When you live in a region where
leadership doesn't change, you need
"The notion that Arabs are inher-
ently a violent people does not only
border on racism, it is patently
untrue," he says. "Progress is unstop-
pable; you can not stop people's desire
for freedom. The world has changed.
much more than we can comprehend
over the past 2 1 /2years. It takes time
for people to catch up with the reality
on the ground. Freedom is on the
move, we are a light unto the nations
and we are doing a great job."
Rose is "one of the most-distin-
guished journalists in the world -
today," said Phil Power, owner and
chairman of the board of HomeTown
Communications Network, which
counts the Observer & Eccentric
Newspapers among its 33 Michigan
"The link between local concerns
and world concerns is an appropriate
theme as the Birmingham Eccentric
celebrate 125 years of service to our
Not only is the Jerusalem Post the
most-widely read English-language
Israeli newspaper in the world, the
Web site at wwwjpost.com averages
more than 1.2 million "hits" a day.
Before joining the Post in 1998, Rose
worked at the Chicago Sun-Times and
in city government in his hometown of
His first cousin, Cathy Young of
Farmington Hills, is the promotions
manager for the Observer & Eccentric
From the pages of the Jewish News
from this week 10, 20, 30, 40, 50
and 60 years ago.
Some 300 descendants of the
renowned 18th century Prague
Rabbi Ezekiel ben Yehuda Landau
gather at his tomb to commemorate
the 200th anniversary of his death.
The Michigan Friends of Chabad's
Children of Chernobyl, whose goal
is to bring Jewish children from the
contaminated Chernobyl area of
Ukraine to Kfar Chabad in Israel,
will hold their second fund-raising
dessert reception this week.
JARC President Norman Wachler
announces that the Sadie and
Charles Grosberg Haverim Home
in Beverly Hills will be dedicated
Jeanne Daman, whose heroism res-
cuing Jewish children from the
Holocaust has been chronicled, will
keynote the local men's intermedi-
ate gifts dinner for the United
Jewish Appeal at Beth Israel.
Judge Ira G. Kaufman is re-elected
president of the Zionist Organiza-
tion of Detroit.
Two-hundred Jewish officers and
soldiers of the Red Army have been
executed by the Soviet authorities
in a slave labor camp known as
"Amur 3" in Siberia.
Starting this week, Detroit's
Dexter Theatre will show The •
Jewish Melody, a Yiddish film fea-
turing Yiddish star Chaim Towber.
'7,, r, ;r-,, ',o.k.7kr,p.
Allied victories in North Africa
brought freedom to 30,000 Jews in
Tunis and 1,300 in Bizerte, Tunisia,
who are now seeking to regain their
homes, lands and businesses.
Pisgah Lodge's membership drive to
honor B'nai Kith's 100 years of serv-
ice is in the final stages with almost
850 new members to be initiated.
— Compiled by Holly Teasdle,
archivist, the Rabbi Leo M Franklin
Archives of Temple Beth El