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December 07, 2006 - Image 33

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2006-12-07

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Editorials are posted and archived on JNonline.us.

Bones AGAIN?



The Back Nine


here is no question
what would happen
if the Rackham Golf
Course soap opera were played
backwards. If Huntington Woods
city fathers tried to sell a subur-
ban-owned public entity inside
the city of Detroit against the
wishes of Detroiters, the cries
of racism from Detroit officials
would be loudly heard from city
hall to Lansing and back again.
Yet, when cash-strapped
Detroit officials went under
the table to sell off Rackham in
Huntington Woods to develop-
ers, then finally took the process
public — thereby almost dou-
bling the price to $11.25 million
— nary a word was heard.
Except from Huntington
Woods residents.
Nothing in recent memory
has galvanized and unified
Huntington Woods homeown-
ers as the Rackham Golf Course
issue. Residents in the small, 2-
mile-square community do not
want to lose their green space
to a new housing development
that will overwhelm community

Let's face it: There are large
numbers of Huntington Woods
residents who have never played
golf at Rackham or who have
never been inside the grounds.
But, there are very few residents
and nearby non-residents who
have not enjoyed the open vistas
of the golf course or not watched
the city's Fourth of July fireworks
display, which is launched from
Rackham's 123 acres.
Huntington Woods officials
and the Save Rackham commu-
nity group hit a hole-in-one in
October when Oakland County
Circuit Court Judge Rae Lee
Chabot ruled that two sets of
deed restrictions require that
the golf course remain as is.
And the Huntington Woods City
Council added a little chip shot
last month, voting unanimously
to give the golf course a his-
toric designation. According to
Huntington Woods City Attorney
Burton Shifman, the historic
designation means, "you need
a permit to cut a blade of grass.
You can't paint; you can't change
a window."
Will all of that scare away

Premium Golf LLC? Probably
not. Detroit City Council last
month approved the sale of
Rackham to Premium Golf on
a 5 4 vote. And the company
claims it is making progress in
tracking down all the heirs of
Horace and Mary Rackham and
buying their sign-offs on allow-
ing development. That would
take care of the Rackham deed
restrictions from the 1920s, but
does not address the earlier
Baker Land Company deed that
Judge Chabot included in the
October ruling.
Premium Golf representa-
tives told the Detroit News
that they were open to working
with Huntington Woods on the
type of development, be it hous-
ing, retail or office. Last month's
city council vote on the historic
designation may have been the
unanimous, right-down-the-
fairway answer.
The final say may rest with
the Michigan Supreme Court,
or even the federal courts, and
may not be heard for years.
But in the meantime, we'd like
to ask Detroit Mayor Kwame

ONE-51050 "CEASE




Kilpatrick and the Detroit City
Council what was their rush?
Neighborliness is a two-way
street. Wouldn't it have been
just as lucrative, and more
neighborly, to offer Rackham
to the Oakland County Parks

Commission for that $11.25 mil-
lion? E

been savaged by
Muslim leaders
in their countries
and by much of
the media, too. But
their approval rat-
ings among voters,
who are far smarter
than the elites about
these things, are
higher than anyone
It seems to me that asking
Islamic leaders to renounce ter-
rorism is setting the bar pretty
low for the start of dialogue. But
even in America, some Jewish
spokesmen feel that just may not
be reasonable. After all, didn't
Israel blow up that apartment
building in Gaza and kill chil-
Of course, Israelis did not
dance around in celebration
afterwards and there were sin-

cere expressions of remorse over
a mistake. It also can be pointed
out that by the simple act of
halting the firing of shells into
Israeli cities, the Palestinians
could avoid such tragedies. But,
no, it's just too much to ask, I
The film Obsession: Radical
Islam's War Against the West,
about the making of terrorists,
has been getting a lot of local
showings and ripping away illu-
sions of possible amity from its
audience. Some Jews are uncom-
fortable with that and call the
film "dangerous."
I'm afraid they don't know
what real danger is. As John
Lennon pointed out many years
ago, "Living is easy with eyes
closed." 71

E-mail letters of no more

than 150 words to:


Reality Check

Clear And Present Danger


t is now cool to be Jewish in
Spain, according to the New
York Times.
Some 514 years after we
were thrown out of the place,
the Spanish have decided that
Jews are a wonderful part of
their national heritage — and a
good tourist attraction, too. The
old synagogues in Toledo and
Cordoba are staples for visitors,
and many other cities are trying
to get in on the game by claiming
connections that may be wholly
spurious with Spain's former
model minority.
It's reminiscent of the recent
craze for klezmer that swept over
Poland, with music festivals held
near the old ghetto in Krakow.
This comes at a time, of
course, when anti-Semitism it as
its highest pitch in Europe since
World War II. The newsw media
and educational elites know for

a fact that Israel is the greatest
existing threat to world peace
and that, by extension, Jews who
support Israel are guilty of com-
plicity and dual loyalty.
Attacks against Jewish insti-
tutions and individuals are on
the rise throughout Western
Europe, especially in France and
England. Much of it is indisput-
ably fueled by radical Islamists
although those two governments
wouldn't say Shiite if they had a
mouthful. Even among suppos-
edly moderate Muslims, however,
a healthy majority tell pollsters
that attacks on Jews are justifi-
able given the behavior of Israel.
It also should be noted that
much of British elite opinion was
traumatized by the attacks on
London's public transportation
and the uncovering of a plot to
blow up transatlantic airplanes.
They are frightened of the ter-

rorists among them,
which is the whole
point of terrorism, and
feel that blaming Jews
is a good remedy.
So it is really not
so hip to be Jewish
— right now. Only 500
or so years ago.
Interestingly enough,
the rising political star
in France is Nicolas
Sarkozy, the interior minister
who supports a get-tough pol-
icy against Muslim rioters. His
counterpart in England, Home
Secretary John Reid, also had
the temerity to visit a Muslim
area of London, tell his audience
that their children are in danger
of being "groomed" as suicide
bombers and suggest that they
report, suspicious activities to the
Both Sarkozy and Reid have

George Cantor's e-mail_address is

gcantor614@aol.com .

December 7



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