(Continued from p.10)routinely." Best of all, he chides the hypocrisy of Saperstein's Religious Action Center when it recently cheered the removal of the Christian Coalition's tax exempt status.
Another inspiring editorial concerned the efforts of Yael Fischer, a young California activist, who has spent her summer calling upon hundreds of rabbis to sign a petition to President Clinton demanding that Arafat surrender two terrorists for prosecution in the United States, since one of their victims in a Jerusalem bombing, was Yael Botwin, an American citizen. The editor notes that usually rabbis provide spiritual leadership, but here is a young woman who is informing and mobilizing the rabbis. He reminds Connecticut citizens, and all American Jews to undertake similar action on behalf of young Americans such as Joan Davenny, Matthew Eisenfeld, and Sara Duker, all killed by Arab terrorists in Jerusalem. The editor also condemns the mindless release of terrorists from Israel's jails. You never read that in the New York Times.
Here is yet another example of good sense from the Jewish Ledger. Debbie Schussel, a sport and entertainment agent and attorney, writing about Furrow's assault, reminds us that Jabotinsky urged Jews to protect themselves, quoting his warning "Jews, learn to shoot!" She dismisses the response of the ADL's Abe Foxman and that of President Clinton whose reaction is to seek to strip Americans of their right to self-defense. Furrow, she reminds us, had scouted out no less than three other institutions before settling on the JCC. The reason he decided against the others was that armed personnel or security deterred him. However one feels about gun laws, self defense should enter one's considerations rather then trendy, "comfortable" (non)solutions.
From the Boston Globe (on the whole, alas, a disappointing paper) we get the columns of Jeff Jacoby, pithy and erudite, on a wide array of topics. His articles on Israel and the Middle East are always welcome, but his takes on Hillary's pandering, the GOP floundering, Bush whacking, and so called "hate" crimes are beauties. On August 23, he wrote, "Would We Care About Buford Furrow If He Hadn't Used a Gun?" Jacoby points out that the assault on a Jewish community center in Los Angeles elicited massive media coverage, while an attack on a California early childhood school a few months earlier was virtually uncovered by media outside of California. The May 3, 1999 attack was carried out when a car driven by a Steven Abrams, who described his mission to "execute those children," deliberately plowed into a school yard into a crowd of children. His violence resulted in two dead youngsters and five more injured, but his grisly act received limited coverage because, in Jacoby's cogent argument, it did not involve guns or the perception of racial biasthe favorite bugaboos of the liberals.
Jacoby is absolutely right, and brings our attention to another matter. The Anti-Defamation League used Furrow's crime to go into high gear fund raising, evoking sinister "hate groups" stalking Jews. In fact, Furrow is criminally insane and should be dealt with by making hospitalization of mentally ill people easier prior to their commiting crimes, rather than with "bias" laws. The ADL's furor over Furrow is the more remarkable when one considers that it treats with the utmost deference another child killer, guilty of masterminding the murders of children in schools in Maalot, in Brussels, in Ankara, at airports, on airplanes, bus stops, cafes, cars, in their homes.
As summer wanes, all these journalists inform and provoke. The Gregorian calendar will soon start with the digit 2, and the impending Jewish Holidays will begin a new year. The questions that confront us are "Will we continue to survive?" and "Have we learned anything at all from our past?"
In "Ex-Friends", Norman Podhoretz quotes Hannah Arendt's response to the anti-Zionist American Council for Judaism. The latter offered her support in the wake of almost unanimous condemnation by Jewish critics, academics, intellectuals and virtually all Zionist and Jewish social organizations.
"You know that I was a Zionist and that my reason for breaking with the Zionist organization was very different from the anti-Zionist stand of the Council: I am not against Israel on principle. I know, or believe I know, that should catastrophe overtake this Jewish state, for whatever reasons (even for reasons of its own foolishness), this would be the perhaps final catastrophe for the whole Jewish people, no matter what opinions every one of us might hold at the moment."
We couldn't agree more. As Podhoretz states, "My sentiments exactly."
Ruth King is a member of the executive committee of Americans For a Safe Israel.
September 1999 - 11 - Outpost