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October 31, 2003 - Image 29

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-10-31

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•Vo.••••• ■

Ideas & Issues



Standing Strong

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

Christian Zionists show staunch support for Israel.

At a Havdalah service at the
Jefferson Memorial in Washington,
D.C., President Bill Clinton
addresses the B'nai Kith on the
importance of religious freedom in

Special to the Jewish News


nationwide network of
Christians issued a strong
statement supporting Israel
at the conclusion of a
four-day meeting in Detroit Oct.
The statement of the executive
committee of the National Christian
Leadership Conference for Israel
(NCLCI), defended Zionism, reaf-
firmed Israel's readiness for peace
and put the onus for Middle East
violence squarely on the actions of
the Palestinian and Arab leadership.
The statement will be distributed to
1,000 religious and political leaders
The executive committee meets
twice a year, and often comes to
Detroit because the national head-
quarters of NCLCI moved here with
David Blewett four years ago when
he became director of the
Ecumenical Institute for Jewish
Christian Studies. Blewett serves as
national director of the 26-year-old
organization that unites Christians
from diverse denominational, theo-
logical, political, ethnic and racial
backgrounds who share a commit-
ment to the security and well-being
of the Jewish state.
According to the NCLCI, the
group "does not involve itself in
Israel's internalpolitics. Instead, it
tries to influence public opinion in
America by encouraging Christians
generally and people of influence
particularly to learn about Israel and
respect the rights of Israelis to live as
they choose in the peace and securi-
ty of their homeland."
Previous NCLCI statements have
called for Vatican recognition of
Israel, demanded the U.N. rescind
its "Zionism is racism" resolution
and protested Syrian involvement in
Lebanon. Several statements have
condemned terrorism, hate crimes
and anti-Semitism, supported the

peace process, and declared support
for a united Jerusalem as the capital
of Israel.
Asked the what impact he hopes
its recent statement will have,
Blewett says, "We hope it makes
people think."
NCLCI statements are sent to
every church headquarters and
church directors relating to Middle
East, interfaith or social justice
issues as well as to all members of
The series of local meetings

included sessions on "The Growing
Conservative-Liberal Divide in the
Church," "Church-Israel Relations,"
planning for a trip to Israel and a
briefing by Israel Consul General for
the Midwest Moshe Ram, and dis-
cussions on Mel Gibson's upcoming
film, The Passion of Christ, which
many fear will stoke anti-Semitism
and erase important gains made in
Jewish-Christian relations.
The meetings began with breakfast

IssuEs on page 30

Statement Of Christian Support


he National Christian
Leadership Conference for
Israel (NCLCI), a broad-based
ecumenical network of Christian
organizations and lay and clerical lead-
ers united in support for Israel, issued
the following statement at its October
2003 meeting of the Executive
Committee in Detroit.
1. The responsibility for the intensi-
fication of hostilities between
Palestinians and Israelis at this time
rests squarely on the shoulders of
Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian
Authority, who rejected the generous
peace offer of Israel's Prime Minister
Ehud Barak in July 2000 without pre-
senting a counter-offer, and instead
intentionally initiated the current vio-
lent intifada uprising.
2. Major responsibility for the tragic
loss of life rests with Arab govern-
ments who have expressly encouraged
terrorism and homicide bombings and
have remunerated bombers' families.
3. Future possibilities for peace are
being consistently undermined by the
continued teaching of hatred for Jews
among Palestinians in their schools,
mosques, mass media and by those in
the Middle East and other nations
who do not clearly call for the cessa-
tion of these teachings.
4. It is a myth that the state of Israel
has ever denied the Palestinians a state

of their own. At the time of its incep-
tion in 1948, Israel accepted a U.N.-
proposed Palestinian state that was to
have existed side-by-side with Israel.
This proposed state was rejected by
Arab nations -- not by Israel. A
majority of Israelis continues to sup-
port this concept today
5. We call upon our fellow
Christians and all people of good will
to recognize that Zionism is the kgiti-
mate national liberation movement of
the Jewish people in our day, that the
State of Israel provides the legitimate
framework of the expression of that
movement, and that contemporary
anti-Zionism should be recognized as
insidious anti-Semitism.
6. It is frustrating and regrettable
that a fence must be erected to defend
Jewish and Arab Israelis against terror-
ism and homicide bombings. It
should be clear to all persons of good
common sense that if terrorism
ceased, the fence could come down.
Out of profound concern for the
future of the Palestinian people, we
call upon the Palestinian leadership
and its supporters to recognize that
continued violent confrontation rather
than an authentic pursuit of peace is
morally indefensible. This strategy can
only diminish the hopes, aspirations,
stature and status of Palestinian





• •

qtY ,


A memorial service commemorating
the 45th anniversary of Kristallnacht
is held at the Jewish Community
Center in West Bloomfield.


Ten Detroiters are among the 200
leaders of the Zionist Organization
of America meeting in Washington,
D.C., for an emergency two-day
conference on the Yom Kippur War.

Members of the United Jewish
Appeal Study Mission — including
Detroiters Mr. and Mrs. Max M.
Fisher, Mrs. Henry Wineman, Mr.
and Mrs. Abraham Srere, Mrs.
Abraham Cooper and Mrs. Sidney
Allen — meet with Pope Paul VI at
the Vatican.
Detroiter N. Brewster Broder is
named recipient of the Frank A.
Wetsman Memorial Leadership
Award for outstanding service to the
Jewish Welfare Association.

• -


A young aduit lounge is opened at
the Jewish Center on Woodward in


The Canadian National Committee
on Refugees launches a campaign to
obtain 500,000 signatures petition-
ing the government to admit
Louis Fischer, eminent foreign
correspondent and authority on
Russia, will address the men's club of
Congregation Shaarey Zedek in

— Compiled by Holly Teasdle,
archivist, the Rabbi Leo M Franklin
Archives of Temple Beth El'




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