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December 20, 2012 - Image 40

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2012-12-20

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points of view

>> Send letters to: letters@thejewishnews.com

Contributing Editor


NEI Transforms Region
And Embraces Diversity

a;@M:fib .


st b s tress its
missile defense shield.

The Iron Dome is but a starting point in Israel's



t's a fantasy to think Hamas won't target

ian human shields to elicit global outrage.
Israel for another round of rocket and mortar Because of that, Operation Pillar of Defense con-
shell attacks — or worse. Bluntly put, it's not
sisted strictly of strategic air strikes. This Israel
in Hamas' DNA or charter to change its stripes
Defense Forces (IDF) tactic not only limited the
and suddenly work toward a lasting
Palestinian death toll, but also took
peace with the Jewish state, its arch-
out a lot of llamas' sophisticated
rocket stockpile.
The U.S. State Department has
named Hamas, which rules the Gaza
Matter Of Morals
Strip, a terrorist organization. No
Many Israelis are frustrated, said
wonder: The 25-year-old organization
Israel's new consul general to the
considers "martyrdom death" fight-
Midwest, Roey Gilad, because
ing Israel the supreme achievement;
Operation Pillar of Defense didn't
that's why young Palestinians in the
take dead aim on Gaza City, the hold-
prime of life are willing to literally
ing place for llamas' arsenal, which
blow themselves up killing Israelis.
includes more menacing medium-
During the fragile cease-fire
and long-range rockets and missiles.
between Israel and Hamas that took effect on
But Israel was clearly hesitant to commit ground
Nov. 21, it behooves Israel to scrutinize the
forces that would be compelled to engage Hamas
effects of Operation Pillar of Defense, strengthen
terrorists hiding near mosques, schools, hos-
its Iron Dome and other defense systems, and
pitals and other highly populated civilian loca-
assure its emergency alerts and bomb shelters
tions. The Netanyahu administration feared the
are the best they can be. You can bet Hamas is
high price in lives and public outcry.
using the tenuous downtime to rearm via Gaza
"Using human shields is
Strip tunnels connecting to Iran and Libya — a
the most immoral thing to
situational powder keg in a Middle East rocked
do in a war," Gilad told a
by regime change and grassroots rebellion.
gathering of 20 Jewish lead-
In 2007, Hamas emerged victorious in a Gaza
ers hosted by the Jewish
election and staged a violent coup, ousting the
Community Relations
Council of Metropolitan
opposition Palestinian Authority, which was
Detroit on Dec. 5. "War
left to govern only the West Bank. Since then,
should have some legal
Israel has been peppered with more than 13,000
framework; Hamas is play-
rockets and mortar shells authorized, or at least
allowed, by Gaza City.
ing a game that is com-
pletely immoral:'
This assault, of course, began after Israel
pulled up settlement stakes in 2005 and left Gaza
That should surprise no one, however. Hamas
with everything but its greenhouses. Former
is a terror-monger, notwithstanding its elevation
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon hoped the residents through a "popular" election in which the people
of Gaza could tap into the greenhouse potential;
of Gaza responded to Hamas' social service pro-
visions, ignoring its barbaric military wing.
instead, Hamas destroyed the greenhouses,
deeming them unfit vestiges of the evil Zionists.
Despite some well-documented mistakes in
Israel learned from ill-fated Operation Cast
Operation Cast Lead and Israel's forced con-
Lead in December 2008 — when ground
tinued occupation of the West Bank to prevent
forces entered Gaza and were drawn into a high
Palestinian acts of terror, the IDF, as Gilad
Palestinian casualty count because of llamas'
stressed, "is a moral army and Israel is a moral
penchant for not-so-discreetly deploying civil-
Security on page 41


December 20 • 2012

ince its inception in 2008, the New Economy Initiative (NEI)
has sought to leverage $100 million pooled from 10 lead-
ing philanthropic and business organizations to reshape and
redefine the economic landscape of Detroit and southeast Michigan.
This unique collaboration, aligning the expertise and resources of the
Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, the Max & Marjorie
Fisher Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Hudson-Webber Foundation,
the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the John S. & James L. Knight Foundation,
the Kresge Foundation, the McGregor Fund, the Charles Stewart Mott
Foundation and the Skillman Foundation, has been propelling a transfor-
mation of the area's economy – with emphasis on reclaiming its entre-
preneurial and innovation-driven roots – while also tackling its top-down,
heavy-industry/automotive culture.
In its heyday, Detroit was the Silicon Valley of America; a place where
creativity, innovation and calculated risk-taking were as much a part of
the environment as busy factories belching smoke while churning out
automobile parts. Detroit symbolized the opportunity inherent in "the
American Dream" and attracted inventors and raw muscle from around
the country and the world. Entrepreneurial minorities and immigrants
turned slag captured from blast furnaces into paving material for road
beds; scrap metal from factories into global recycling enterprises; oil-
soaked rags into linen supply companies; pushcarts selling sandwiches
into restaurant chains.
But over the years, the region failed at incubating new businesses as
established ones aged, educating its workforce for the jobs of tomorrow,
and keeping a welcome mat out for enterprising and hard-working new-
comers. Launched just as the region's auto-centric economy and flag-
ship city were hurtling toward contraction and bankruptcy, the NEI could
have become a "too little, too late" attempt to salvage the status quo.
Instead, the NEI has leveraged its investments in ways that are jump-
starting sectors of the region's economy while embracing and engaging
often-overlooked minority, ethnic and immigrant communities. A key
beneficiary of the NEI's vision has been New Michigan Media (NMM).
Conceived in 2008 by Wayne State University Professor Hayg
Oshagan as a way to harness the individual voices of ethnic and minority
media into a strong collective, New Michigan Media's founding members

– Michigan Chronicle, Arab American News, Latino Press, Detroit Jewish
News and Michigan Korean Weekly – have established common ground
on an array of domestic issues, many relating to entrepreneurship, immi-
gration and small business development.
Embracing the important role immigrant, minority and ethnic com-
munities play in driving the region's economy, the NEI has supported
New Michigan Media with a grant enabling business entrepreneurs from
each community – almost 150 in total – to be identified, featured and
celebrated. Posting their stories via the NEI-funded Southeast Michigan
Start-Up website exposes their hard work and success to the region.
While NEI's vision is delivering obvious benefits to Detroit and
southeast Michigan, some of these benefits are less apparent but no
less important. Through its investment in New Michigan Media, NEI is
addressing one of the region's most nagging obstacles – a diverse but
segregated culture. And that investment in New Michigan Media has cre-
ated a special dividend. New Michigan Media members are now working
together as colleagues and friends, bringing our communities together
with each other and the region, and creating a model for collaboration
unique in America.

This New Michigan Media editorial represents the collective viewpoint of Bankole

Thompson, senior editor, Michigan Chronicle; Osama Siblani, publisher, Arab

American News; Elias Gutierrez, publisher, Latino Press; Arthur Horwitz, publisher/

executive editor, Detroit Jewish News; Tack-Yong Kim, publisher, Michigan Korean

Weekly; Dr. Hayg Oshagan, executive director, New Michigan Media.

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