Both Sides Of The Fence
Security issues stir debate, but mission goers see co-existence as possible.
pinions about Israeli politics are as varied as
the 568 people on Federation's Michigan
Miracle Mission 4.
Many embrace the stance put forth by
panelist Bret Stephens, editor-in-chief of the Jerusalem
Post, at a breakfast presentation.
"You might question Sharon's leadership — regard-
less of the bribery case — but he's the most effective
prime minister since Levi Eshkol," he said.
Stephens' position is that peace is not possible now
because there is no one to negotiate with on the
So he supports the separation of Palestinian Arabs
from Israelis, both Jew and Arab.
To the Palestinians, he says, "You have bargained
yourself off the bargaining table."
Herschel Fink of Orchard Lake agreed with
Clockwise from top
Attorney Herschel Fink of Orchard Lake visits the
Israeli Supreme Court in Jerusalem.
Brad Schram of West Bloomfielch center, poses with
Israeli Jewish and Arab children before a game at the
"We're waiting for moderate Palestinians to take
action against terrorism," he said.
Mission-goers who visited an Arab Israeli village said
it was there they first found hope of improving rela-
tionships between all Arabs and Israelis.
"It can be done," said Janis Holcman of Farmington
She was impressed by the soccer team of Arab and
Israeli children playing together on .a field at Kibbutz
Barkai, part of the "Goals of Peace" program.
Rabbi Joseph Krakoff of Congregation Shaarey
Zedek, who played soccer with team members, also
was moved by this experience.
"To live in Israel is to be on a continual roller coast-
er," he said. "Jews live in the tension."
He added that while he hates the destruction caused
by the terrorists, "we need to separate them out from
other Arabs," he said.
In this village, where sports has brought people
"Goals of Peace" soccer program in Kibbutz Barkai.
Rabbi Robert Dobrusin of Congregation Beth Israel in
Ann Arbor, Brad Schram of West Bloomfield and Rabbi
Joseph Krakoff of Congregation Shaarey Zedek play in a
soccer game with Israeli Jewish and Arab children.
together, he saw hope.
Of course, security issues do not get discussed long
before the "wall" or "security fence" is brought up.
Some of it is concrete slab, but 97 percent is barbed
wired — all with sensing devices that detect anything
that mounts the structure.
Mission-goers saw various segments of it close up as
they passed sections of the West Bank, either on their
way to Massada or from Jerusalem to the Galilee area.
Avi Ben Yossef, Bus 10 guide, mentioned the "beau-
tification project" on the outside of the fence visible
along the highway to Haifa. Dirt was mounded up
against the wall and vegetation had been planted.
However, another guide who discussed the wall with
several groups said this wall makes Arab towns "like a
reservation" for those within it.
"It's part of the lunatic reality," he said, adding that
the fence was only one part of the solution. "There
must be other ways, too." ❑
Betsy Heuer of West Bloomfield kicks a soccer ball
before a game in the "Goals of Peace" program.
Mission participants watch an Israeli Arab woman
bake bread in Ki bbutz Barkai.