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September 26, 2003 - Image 148

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-09-26

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


This Week


vNA ro ititt
46, t


Cort,48 : 8, S 0

Year In Review — 5763


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Security Vs. Rights

Jewish groups cheered as U.S. officials
shut down several Islamic foundations
and arrested individuals allegedly rais-
ing funds for terror groups. But other
tactics in the war on terror drew criti-
"We still find a concern about strik-
ing the right balance between security
and protecting our civil liberties," said
Hannah Rosenthal, executive director
of the Jewish Council for Public
Affairs. "We, as a religious minority in
the United States, have felt our safety
and success is due in large part
because our liberties and freedoms
have been protected. We don't want
to see compromised the very freedoms
that our war on terrorism is fighting
Given the divisions in the commu-
nity, it was little surprise that the first
instance of the Bush administration's
new policy of pre-emptive deterrence
— the war on Iraq — would arouse
fierce debate. Most Jewish groups ulti-
mately supported the war, yet many
worried about how it would impact
Israel and world Jewry. Some
expressed anxiety that Jews might be
blamed if the war with Iraq ran into
Indeed, several commentators high-
lighted the Jewish backgrounds of

some key architects of administration
policy. In March, Rep. James Moran,
D-Va., also suggested that the "strong
support of the Jewish community"
had driven the march toward war.

Defending Israel

There also were renewed whispers of
American Jews' supposedly divided
loyalties. But that didn't deter Jewish
groups from a third year of vociferous
defense of Israel.
In addition to fund-raising, Jewish
organizations focused on arming
grass-roots activists with information
in the public relations war for Israel.
They provided them with talking
points and seminars to combat per-
ceived anti-Israel bias in local commu-
nities, on college campuses and in the
The Jewish Council for Public
Affairs, for example, began a series of
regional "Israel Advocacy" conferences
to better educate constituents. Yet
there were no massive shows of sup-
port for Israel like the April 2002 rally
in Washington.
For the most part, the sense of crisis
that pervaded the previous Jewish year
— ushered in first by the intifada and
then by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks
— was absent in 5763.
A year earlier, Jews said they felt
besieged, sensing that everyone was

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