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June 06, 2003 - Image 27

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-06-06

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Insight

WO .

Meg

Remember
When • •

Ideas is Issues

Israeli Perspective

Author Naomi Ragen gives a no-nonsense assessment of the road map.

DON COHEN
Special to the Jewish News

N

aomi Ragen strode pur-
posefully to the bimah at
Adat Shalom Synagogue
and gave a no-nonsense
look to the largely female audience of
300.
The Brooklyn-born Israeli is famous
for her five books, including her first,
the groundbreaking 1989 novel,
Jepthe's Daughter, which dealt with the
taboo subject of spousal abuse in the
ultra-Orthodox corn-
munity. But it was clear
that everyone at the
. May 27 forum, spon-
sored by Adat Shalom
and Temple Israel, was
more interested in the
outspoken author's
analysis of the Middle
East road map, intend-
ed by the world com-
munity to bring peace
to the region, than in
her thoughts on the
craft of fiction.
The author said she
was "absolutely vilified"
when she wrote of
domestic abuse and the
carefully enforced code Naomi Ragen
of silence" in Jerusalem's
ultra-Orthodox religious
community. This taught her the cost
of dealing with unpleasant topics.
"I've decided to tell the truth and
forget about winning Miss
Congeniality contests," she said.

office."
Ragen called the Oslo Accords and
the ensuing agreements "a triumph of
hope over experience."
Although she doesn't begrudge the
peace efforts made by successive Israeli
governments, she deplores Palestinian
violations of the agreements that "were
ignored" by the Israelis and the
Americans.
Attacks against Israelis during the
Oslo years averaged one for each hour
of every day for two full years, Ragen
said. She herself was in Netanya's Park

( C

Road Map Pi t falls

In Ragen's view, the road map signed
by the Israeli cabinet is "not good for
Israel and it will not lead to peace."
"We now know who the other side
is and what they want," she said.
The sound a suicide bomber makes
when he blows himself up is a lan-
guage; it speaks clearly. The road map
is Oslo: The Sequel. It will be a bomb,
but unfortunately not at the box

Hotel when a suicide bomber mur-
dered 29 people celebrating Passover;
140 more were hurt.
"I don't think we can afford to take
any more chances," she said. "How
many more people will have to die to
prove the road map won't work, as
they had to die to prove that Oslo
won't work?"
To Ragen, any plan that tries to
impose a settlement before the
Palestinian public changes its attitude
toward Jews and Israel is doomed to
disaster.
"Once we have a partner for peace
who will live with us, I believe that
everything is negotiable," she said.

"Until then, all our concessions are
merely aiding and abetting the terror-
ists who wish to kill us and take our
place."
The peace plan Ragen favors is
predicated on a change in Palestinian
attitudes and actions, and a strength-
ened Jewish faith in God and commit-
ment to Israel. And she believes it can
work.
"Along with being a realist I'm also
an optimist," she said.
Ragen's plan calls for rounding up
illegal weapons in Palestinian-con-
trolled areas. After an
amnesty period for turn-
ing in weapons, a
house-to-house search
must be conducted, she
said. Anyone found
with weapons or suicide
belts "needs to be arrest-
ed and deported, and
their house needs to be
destroyed."
Next, the Israelis must
"destroy the ideology
and the culture of hate,"
she said, much as the
United States and the
Allies launched a mas-
sive re-education cam-
paign in Japan and Nazi
Germany after World
War II.
"You must emphasize
the love of life and the value of free-
dom," Ragen said. "You have to teach
people the true history because their
heads are filled with lies. Palestinians
need to be shown that evil has gained
them nothing."

Forward With Courage

Many recent developments encourage
Ragen in her belief that peace is possi-
ble.
She sees the work of God in Israel's
miraculous recovery from a severe
water shortage. "The rivers are
swollen, the water holes are thunder-
ing; they say the Kinneret might over-
ISRAELI PERSPECTIVE on page 28

From the pages of the Jewish News
from this week 10, 20, 30, 40, 50
and 60 years ago.

:VVIV, V41:

Jack A. Robinson is nominated to
serve a second year as president of
the United Jewish Foundation of
Metropolitan Detroit.

,

::t y 04, 94

ea,
Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Simon
Wiesenthal Center at Yeshiva
University of Los Angeles, who led a
group of 30 Jews to visit Auschwitz
and Warsaw to mark the 40th
anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto
Uprising, gains an audience with
Pope John Paul II at the Vatican.

IttVz$
Atg
ta>4 .40 '
, ,

'1•4

Louis Hamburger, Detroit philan-
thropist and co-founder of
Production Steel, honors himself and
his wife, Ethel, on his 70th birthday
with the planting of the Hamburger
Jewish National Fund Forest in Israel.

<th

TAIr:lorte:

*4:1 t

Dr. E. Gould, director of pa h -
ogy at Wayne County General
Hospital and professor of pathology
at Wayne State University School of
Medicine, is appointed visiting pro-
fessor of pathology at the
University of Miami School of
Medicine in Coral Gables, Fla., for
the coming academic year.

o

,

Detroit Hadassah's County Fair
will be held at Beth Aaron
Synagogue in Detroit.
Detroiter Edward Stewart is elect-
ed president of the Hillel Foundation
at Western Michigan College.

1943

-Tgat -of

ed a fellow of the American
Psychiatric Association at the APA
convention in Detroit.
Mrs. David B. Werbe, chairwoman
of the Jewish Community Center's
art school, announces the 22nd
annual student exhibition will open
Monday.



— Compiled by Holly Teasdle,
archivist, the Rabbi Leo M. Franklin
Archivesof Temple Beth El

(ZIN

6/ 6

2003

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