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May 21, 2004 - Image 73

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2004-05-21

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Editorials are posted and archived
on JN Online:

A 56-Year U.N. Outrage


ost in the 56-year-long outcry by Palestinians
over their 1948 uprooting when Israel became
a state and their subsequent hardship in the
Middle East refugee camps is the United Nations'
responsibility for the camps.
Palestinian propaganda is far more effective than
Israel's. It*has managed to hoodwink much of the
world into believing Israel's existence is the reason for
squalor and hopelessness in the camps. Joblessness and
poverty in the camps, meanwhile, top 60 percent.
Talk about make-believe.
Deranged Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat must be
blamed for inhuman conditions in what are essentially
welfare camps. The refugees' plight fuels hatred toward
Israel, a situation that Arafat needs to main-
tain to rouse the masses against "the Zionist
America helps finance the 59 U.N. refugee
camps for Palestinian Arabs. Of this total, 28 camps
are in Palestinian-inhabited parts of the West Bank,
Gaza Strip and eastern Jerusalem. The rest are in
Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.
The camps were started in 1949 as U.N.-monitored
havens for 500,000 Arabs displaced from Israel. The
population in the camps has mushroomed to 4 mil-
lion, doubling about every 15 years.
At a time when Israeli soldiers hunting for terrorists
and their factories are picked off frequently by snipers
and roadside bombs in the Gaza war zone, the truth
about the camps is of utmost importance.
In the camps, Arabs unemployed their whole life are
freely supported, weapons and explosives are stored
and children learn that all of Israel — not just Gaza,
Judea and Samaria -- is their Palestine. The title page
of the widely used camp textbook Our Country
Palestine reads: "There is no alternative to destroying
It is in these camps most of the suicide bombers
have been recruited and given lethal belts to blow up
as many Israelis as possible.
Most of the rifles, anti-tank rockets, mortars and

Still Separate But Equal

Editor's Note: On May 17, 1954, the U.S.
Supreme Court held in Brown vs. Board of
Education of Topeka that the "separate but equal"
doctrine (Plessy vs. Ferguson, 1896) did not extend
to public schools and that legally enforced racial
segregation in schools violated the Constitution.


emple Emanu-El and Second Baptist
Church of Detroit commemorated the
50th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme
Court's Brown vs. Board of Education decision with
a two-day program May 15-16. With committees
from both congregations, Rev. Kevin Turman and
I brought our members together to reflect on, and

Joseph P. Klein is spiritual leader of Temple Emanu-
El in Oak Park.


explosives used to kill, maim or wound
Israelis come to the Gaza camps from
Egypt through tunnels. The Israel
Defense Forces have destroyed dozens
of tunnels in a race against time. Israel
fears that terrorists might acquire
shoulder-held surface-to-air missiles to
shoot down military and civilian air-
craft over Israel.
On June 1, the Massachusetts-based
Center for Near East Policy Research,
working with the Israel Resource News
Agency in Jerusalem, will issue a study
claiming that Hamas is now a key play-
er in the camps insofar as
this Islamic terrorist group
controls the workers and
Stunningly, the camps are a collective
terrorist breeding ground while the
West largely funds their administrative
umbrella, the United Nations Relief
and Works Agency for Palestine
Refugees in the Near East. The
UNRWA draws 32 percent of its budg-
et from America, 11 percent from
Canada and 40 percent from the
European Union. The financially
strapped agency is doing what it can
for the most vulnerable refugees, but
the war fomented by Palestinian terror-
ists has intensified the lack of food,
medicine and sanitation in the camps.
The United Nations could learn from Israel about
making refugees productive.
After failing to destroy Israel in 1948, Arab states
persecuted and finally ousted their Jewish citizens, pil-
laging their businesses and possessions along the way.
At first, the 860,000 Jewish refugees in Israel had to
live in tents and be rationed food. The vast majority
became productive citizens of Israel with the will to
live and succeed, not die a "martyr."


Dry Bones



The U.N. camps overflowing with Palestinian
refugees are a flashpoint in the Middle East.
Conditions are so bleak, refugees have responded to
indoctrination and risen up against their perceived
aggressors. A lie remarkable in its ability to spread like
cancer gives Jews that undeserving tag.
The United States, to the tune of $75 million each
year, helps underwrite these camps.
Where's our outrage? ❑

tricably connected to the health and welfare
respond to, the issues that carried Brown
of our neighbors south of Eight Mile Road.
50 years ago, issues that are with us still.
Though Brown was a victory 50 years ago,
The court case then settled the question
the issues that drove it are very much still
of whether "separate but equal" education
with us. Last weekend, ours was a "shared
was necessarily legal. Our situation today
congregational commemoration," but
requires us to challenge a similarly "sepa-
Temple Emanu-El and Second Baptist
rate but equal" way of thinking that
Church did not gather in "celebration."
divides our metro Detroit community.
The social justice coalitions that drove
Since largely leaving the city of Detroit,
civil rights movement are no more. The
the Jewish community has settled itself in
partnerships that promised a
comfortable suburban neighborhoods,
of racial harmony and equal
believing that it has escaped the conflicts
been broken by bullies
and challenges of a city center struggling
who profit from our fear of each other.
to survive. "Not in our back yard — it's
Fifty years after Brown, we must rebuild
not our mess. What has happened there is
and demand from ourselves and
not the result of anything we did or didn't do, and
from our elected leaders an end to social
so if city and suburb are not 'separate but equal,'
it's not our problem to correct."
It is folly for us to believe that we are not inex-
KLEIN on page 75



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