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March 05, 2004 - Image 6

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2004-03-05

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Exposing The Truth

When discussing the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict, many individuals and nations
around the world like to stress Israel's
wrongdoings. By using words like
"apartheid," 'occupation" and even "ter-
ror," these pro-Arab groups establish a
dialogue that blames the violence in the
Middle East entirely on Israel.
If we as Jews want to hold on to our
homeland and our rights, we must
change the course of this dialogue.
It's tough to deny a visual image, espe-
cially a graphic one. The Israeli govern-
ment has a duty to expose the truth
about Palestinian violence, and visual
images may be one of the only ways to
do that. And for disbelievers of
Palestinian culpability, graphic images
may be the only ones that work.
By showing a clip of the destruction
and death wrought by a suicide bomber
— no matter how graphic and disturb-
ing — the Israeli government empha-
sizes the role terror tactics from the Arab
nations has played in this dispute ("The
Shock, The Gore," Feb. 13, page 5).
This clip shows the world that terror
tactics do nothing but cause loss, fear
and pain.
Is this suicide-bombing clip disturb-
ing? Of course. Is it horrible, graphic
and difficult to watch? Absolutely. But
should the Israeli government stop
showing it for these reasons? No way.
The government must do everything in
its power to show the world that the
Jewish people are not responsible for the
violence occurring in the Middle East.
And this film may very well be on of the
most powerful tools at its disposal.
Susan Horowitz

site knowledge to be a school board
member? It was clear to me during
board interviews of candidates that
many other candidates had a much
more intimate knowledge of the issues
the district is facing, as well as ongoing
involvement in the district.
Also, where was Mr. Wallach when
one of our outspoken community mem-
bers, who questioned the board's
actions, was verbally attacked by several
of these school board members. To this
very date, there has been no comment
from Mr. Wallach.
Finally, Mr. Wallach has claimed to
have reviewed the International Affairs
course and monitoring plan. If indeed
he did, how could he have approved the
recent evaluation survey, which asked
students to identify their religious affilia-
tion (optional) as well as ethnic back-
ground and race (mandatory)? Surely, in
his role as board member, if not in his
role as the head of:the ADL, these
deplorable survey questions can never be
Susan Burstein Kahn

Farmington Hills

Mood Hard To Pinpoint

Unfortunately, there is no evidence that
"most" Palestinians want peace ("Most
Palestinians Do Want Peace,-" Feb. 13,
page 6). No good statistics are available
to support the true trends within the
Palestinian society. Logic begets that
peace and its dividends are better than
war and its suffering. Yet common sense
does not work in the Holy Land; there
have been no denunciation of homicide
bombing as a crime against humanity.
On the contrary, there is acceptance
Ann Arbor and support of killing of Jews even if
they are innocent civilians, mothers,
babies and children. There was one
School Action Questioned
open protest signed by 50 Palestinian
intellectuals and was published in the
The appointment of Howard Wallach
newspaper Al Kuds.
to the recently vacated Farmington
There are a number of reasons why
school board seat ("On Board: ADL
the Palestinian majority is so silent:
chair joins Farmington school board,"
There is total anarchy in the Palestinian
Feb. 13, page 21) appears to be a politi-
Authority and people are murdered by
cally motivated move that stuffs the
extremists or criminals. Expressing criti-
board with yet another of the "good old
cism is a death sentence without trial.
boys and girls," [board member] Jack
Usually, the accusation against
Inch excepted.
Palestinian dissidents is "collaboration
While no one can contest, fairly, Mr.
with Israel." Robberies, beatings are
Wallach's experience in many areas, I
- common, yet not advertised.
find no evidence of his attending multi-
Between 2,000 3,000 Palestinians
ple board meetings, serving on commit-
have been killed by Palestinians in their
tees, or at minimum, being involved in
latest uprising, more than the number
the parent information network at the
killed by Israel. Palestinians will want
high school his children attend.
peace when they denounce openly and
Does holding a voluntary leadership
demonstrate against homicide bombing.
position in an organization (Anti-
If they will take the step, despite all the
Defamation League) give one the requi-



3/ 5 .


make ends meet if, God forbid, some-
thing happened to the other.
Did you know that we cannot collect
Southfield each other's Social Security benefits? Did
you know that most children of gay
Local Support Funded Speaker couples cannot collect one parent's
Social Security benefits?
Thank you for publishing Staff Writer
Did you know that a constitutional
Harry Kirsbaum's article concerning the
amendment against gay marriage would
Michigan visit of Israeli Professor
take away already existing domestic
Reuven Hazan ("Budget Cuts And
partner benefits for gay couples that
Politics," Feb. 27, page 12). Your readers provide medical insurance for their part-
should know that the Max M. Fisher
ners through willing employers and
Jewish Community Foundation and the
insurance companies? Did you know
Irwin and Bethea Green College Life
that the legally unrecognized parent of a
Fund provided the funding for Professor child in a gay family cannot provide
Hxznn's two appearances on the
medical insurance coverage for that
Michigan State University campus.
child, even if it is the better or the only
Allan Gale coverage available?
associate director
Homosexual couples are no less likely
Jewish Community Council of than their straight counterparts to work
Metropolitan Detroit in every vocation and profession, pay
Bloomfield Township taxes, contribute to charity, volunteer,
raise (healthy, well-adjusted) children,
participate in religious life, and support
Gay Marriage Natural
our economy as producers and con-
There is no reason to deny civil
In your Point-Counterpoint feature
benefits to them and their families. Jews
("Unholy Matrimony," Feb. 13, page
need to become activists in support of
26), David Benkof conflates the ques-
civil marriage for gays and lesbians.
tions of religious and civil marriage
Beth S. Greenapple
between committed same-sex partners.
The question he was ostensibly answer-

ing was, "Should same-sex marriage be
No Place To Discriminate -
recognized in America?"
"Certainly," he says, "hospital-visita-
If special commentator David Benkof
tion and inheritance laws should afford
wants to not act on his gay impulses for
dignity and respect to people who chose
religious reasons, more power to him
to live their lives with a member of the
("Unholy Matrimony," Feb. 13, page
same sex."
26). However, his zeal blinds him to a.
He is - referring to but two of the more critical point. As Jews, we don't want
than 100 civil rights accorded to hetero-
other religious groups governing our
sexuals who marry in this country, so I'll lives through their ability as a majority
take him to mean that those of us who
to manipulate secular law. If we don't
make this "choice" should also benefit
want this done to us, we shouldn't do it
from the rest of the rights enjoyed by
to other groups.
American heterosexual married couples
Secular law should not be used to
and their beneficiaries. However, Mr.
enforce religious perspective. Once you
Benkof proceeds to give an anxious-
take the alleged religious impediment
sounding Jewish argument against gay
away from the issue, there is no reason
marriage. He bases his argument on the
that the law should treat same-gender
premise that Judaism's purpose is to hal-
adult couples differently than opposite-
low the mundane, or what he refers to
gender couples.
as "natural."
Society denies gay couples a way to
I would argue that heterosexual and
legally legitimize their relationships, and
homosexual coupling are both natural in then because they can't legitimize their
most species. Judaism sanctifies coupling relationship denies them a host of legal
through commitment, requiring com-
protections married people take for
munal witnesses and implying the
granted. Jews used to experience this
mutual responsibility of community and kind of discrimination a lot in the
couple to maintaining the relationship,
first half of the previous century, until
for the good of the society.
our legal system was fixed to prevent
Our country supports married people
discrimination based on religion. It is
with civil rights that protect them and
shameful to ask the legal system to
their families in myriad ways most het-
discriminate against another minority
erosexual couples take for granted. As a
because we're safe for now
gay working parent with a working part-
Gary Rimar
ner, I worry about how one of us would

difficulties of doing so, peace will be
around the corner.
Isaac Barr, M.D.

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