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July 22, 1988     Jewish News
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July 22, 1988
 

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Kissinger doubts MidEast settlement possible i' Dr. Henry Kissinger said it Would be % ]:lisaster" for Israel to go to an international peace confer- ence on the Middle East without "substantive assurances from the United States" that the Jewish state will not have to make conces- sions jeopardizing its security. Even if Israel agreed to such a conference, "1 don't really think a Peace settlement in the traditional sense is possible, Kissinger told Some 3,000 people attending a ,, . .. ,, . Jewish lown Hall forum m Man- hattan's Sutton Place Synagogue last month. . In his dialogue with Rabbi David g. Kahane of the Manhattan syna- , .,a gogue, Kissinger said, "The irrec- oncilable demands of the Arabs for land and Israel for security make the achievement of an overail Arab- Dr fh'nrv Kissinger discussed Arab.Israeli re&lions during a 7bwn Hall Jbrum Israel treaty imlossible to achieve hosted by New }brk  Sutlotl Place SVnagogue. Also pictun, d is Rabf, i DavM 11. at lhis stage. The best that can be A)dmm'lhe Manhaltan.:wma, oa, ue. expected is a series of disengage- men - t agreements like the Golan results too potentially dangerous, Heights pact that Israel reached for Israel to enter an international 7 With Syria and that still holds to- conference on Mideast peace, day, 14 years later." where the Soviet Union would act The former U.S. Sec:retary of as the lawyer for the Arab states Stale and Nobel peace laureale and lhePIX)." .made these main points in answer- --"It would be a disaster for Israel toga seriesof probing questionsbv to bow to pressure to enter such Kahane: " " talks without substantive assur- "Therisks art, too great, the end antes from the United States that Pontiff back from Austria: l: Jewish reaction blasts Pope John Paul II AROUND THE WORLE JTA Staff Report Copyrigh11988. Jewish "lbh',raphic Aa, cm3: Inc. VIENNA--Pope John Paul II con- cluded his five-day visit to Austria last month, leaving behind a turbu- lent relationship with Jews in that Country and around the world. The swelling Jewish anger and I hurt. however, - goes far beyond re- Sentment over the papal meetings With President Kurt Waldheim. Whose Nazi past the pontiff seems disinclined to acknowledge. [1 is rooted in John Paul's appar- ent insensitivity m the uniqueness of Jewish suffering in the Holo- Caust. his reluctance to mention it Specifically even when referring to the horrors of the Nazi era and his reference to Austrians as Nazi vic. tiros rather than as the enthusi- astic collaborators they historic- ally were. Even when the pope was made aware of Jewish reactions and Sought to redeem himself, his Words bad a negative impact. Jewish feelings toward Pope John Paul may have been summed , up most accurately by Elie Wiesel. author, human rights activist, and Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986. Writing in the New York Post June 28, Wiesel accused the pope of wanting to "de-Judaize the Holo- ust" with his "strange and often- stove behavior whenever he is con- fronted by the cruelest event in recorded history." The pontiff's failure to mention that Jews had died at Maut hausen, after he had repeatedly failed to ention Jewish victims during two visits to Auschwitz and a visit to Majdanek, left Wiesel with one Conclusion. "It is now clear: This pope has a lroblem with Jews, just as Jews leafY:; a$bglefmr t tvhnhgiwH i sUnd 'mited as his compassion for dead Jews," wrote Wiesel, an Auschwitz SUrvivor. }:: Wicsel _vemf,i that at: hs?fifsi'_ t it will not be forced to make the kind of territorial and other con- cessions that could pose a grave threat to Israeli security." --'"l'he best cou rse, both for Israel and our country, would be either bi-lateral negotiations or Arab-ls- rael peace talks with the United States serving as mediator." "... This pope has a problem with Jews, just as Jews have a problem with him..." Elie Wiesel the Jews, it was also against the faith of those who honor the Jewish Jesus of Nazareth as the savior of the world," he said. After the pope conducted Mass at Mauthausen and failed to men- tion that Jews were the primary victims, Eisenberg remarked, "The only Jew he mentions who suffered is Jesus Christ, and he did not suffer at Mauthausen." In New York, Rabbi Jerome Davidson, chairman of the Union of American Hebrew Congrega- tion's Interreligious Committee, and Annette Daum, its director, issued a statement saying: "It is deeply troubling that Pope John Paul II, at a prayer meetingduring his visit to Austria, should have described the suffering of the vic- tims of Nazism as 'a gift to the world.' "Jews reject the notion that there is any nobility in suffering as a communal sacrifice for the sins of Christian anti-Semitism. The Pope's remarks, however well-irl- tentioned, underscore the need for the Vatican to examine fully the role of the Catholic Church in the development of attitudes that made the Holocaust possible," the state- ment read. On the last day of his visit, the pope did raise the matter of Aus- trian complicity with Nazi Ger- many. "No one can undo what has al- ready been done," the pontiff said in.an address at a Catholic youth center in Salzburg. But, the pope added, "Do not simply sweep the waste of your failures, your guilt, your deeds committed in vain, under the car- pet. They will only contaminate the spiritual climate or make us look for a scapegoat for our own mistakes." visit to Auschwitz, the pope cele- brated a general Mass to those who died there. "Would not common decency and respect for the dead have dic- tated that he invite a rabbi and nine other Jews to recite Kaddish for the Jewish victims, even as he said Christian prayers for the others? Did he [subconsciously[ wish to conve/'t the Jewish dead posthumously?" Wiesel accused John Paul of wanting people to believe Chris- tians suffered as much as Jews in Hitler's concentration camps. "Was this yet another attempt to whitewash the church of its heavy responsibility for the Euro- pean anti-Semitism that led to mass murder?" Wiesel wrote. "When he finally spoke of Jew- ish land Christianl suffering he described it as a 'gift to t he world.' A gift? Whose gift? God's? The Jewish people's? *'We Jews have never considered the death.of anyone a gift to any- one. The murder of one million Jewish children was a moral scan- dal, a catastrophe of universal di- mensions, not a" gift," the Nobel laureate wrote. The pope met with six Austrian Jewish community leaders, includ- ing Paul Grosz, president of the Federal Association of Jewish Com- munities, and Rabbi Paul Chaim Eisenberg, chief rabbi of Vienna. Although both sides described the atmosphere as cordial and friendly, they expressed divergent views. The pope, referring to the Nazi campaign of extermination against the Jews, told the group that "it would be unjust and untruthful to put the blame on Christianity for these unspeakable crimes. "Although the extermination was di/'ected3fiore openly.agains July 22, 1988--UJF--7 WASHINGTON, (JTA) -- President Ronald Reagan has signed into law a bill that imposes federal criminal penalties for damage to religiou property. The bill, originally proposed by Rep. Dan Glickman (D-Kan.), imposes fines up to $250,000 and/or D-years imprisonment for anyone convicted of causing more than $10,000 in damage to a religious institution or cemetery, or causing serious bodily injury to anyone t rying to exercise his or her religious beliefs. "We've sent a clear message to organizations of hate that racist and racial religious violence will not be tolerated," Glickman said after both houses of Congress approved the bill. Still pending in the Senate Judiciary Committee is another "bate crimes" bill, which would require the Justice Department to gather statistics and report annually on crimes against persons or property because of race, religion, ethnic origin, or sexual orientation. That bill, sponsored by Rep. John Cowers (D-Mich.), was adopted by the House in May by a 383-29 vote. %stifying in support of the legislation last week at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Alan Schwartz, director of research and evaluation for the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, said that keeping such statistics "would be a major step forward in accurately gauging the dimensions of the hate crimes problem." He added that it would also "promote public awareness of, and profes- sional sensitivity toward, hate crimesand encourage victims and com- munities to feel that they can respond effectively to counter such activity." The'ADL's most recent study revealed that hate crimes increased by 17 percent in 1987 over 1986. NEW YORK, {JTA) -- A former Jewish community center in Moscow will be returned to its owner, Moscow's famous Choral Synagogue, 47 years after it was requisitioned by the Soviet authorities to serve as a hospital for war casualties. An agreemept was reached last week between Rabbi Arthur Schneier, president of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation, anl Mayor Valery Saikin of Moscow for the transfer, which has been approved by the Moscow City Council. Schneier said his congregation will help pay for restoring t he D0-year- old building, which stands next to the Choral Synagogue, the largest in the Soviet Union, on Arkbipova Street. It will send architects and construction specialists to Moscow for that purpose. Schneier, who is rabbi of the Park East Synagogue in Manhattan, said he began to campaign for the return of the building 18 months ago, in talks with Konstantin Kharchev. chairman of the Council of Religious Affairs of the Soviet Council of Ministers. Ea flier t his mon ! h, t he Soviet govern ment returned property to t he Russian Orthodox Church that it has controlled since the 1920s. "It's part of a process that seeks to align religious believers with " perestroika [rec0nstructionl and the rebuilding of Soviet society," said Schneier, whose foundation promotes religious freedom worldwide. He said it was unlikely the synagogue's annex would have been returned five years ago. The building, which was requisitioned in 1941, now houses a medical school. The two doors connecting it to the synagogue are sealed. JER[ JSALEM, (JTA)--The Conservative movement in Israel will appeal to the Supreme Court unless the Jerusalem rabbinate reverses its deci- sion not to renew kashrut certification of the movement's youth hostd. Rabbi Pesacb Schindler, director of the World Center for Conservative Judaism, told the jerusah, m Post that the center adheres to the kashrut and Sabbath laws. The youth hostel has had a kashrut certificate from the local rabbinate for the 14 years since it opened. The sudden withdrawal occurred with no explanation. The only reason seems to be that the Orthodox rabbis just found out that the hostel was affiliated with Conservative Judaism. Apparently it is the affiliation, not violation of the kashrut laws, that prompted the action. Rabbi Yehoshua Pollak of the Jerusalem rabbinate said the hostel asking for a kashrut certificate was like a monastery asking for one. "'l'he kitchen can be kosher, but our rabbis can't go in there," he said. According to the rabbinate, the hostel is a place which "destroys the Jewish religion." NEW YORK, (JTA)--Natan Sharansky, who has never been Bar Mitz. vah. joined 12 Soviet Jewish students last month in celebrating their collective Bar Mitzvot at the Fifth Avenue Synagogue. The former refusenik praised the boys' school, the 320-member Beer Hagolah Institute in Brooklyn, for providing a traditional Jewish educa- tion for the immigrants. Sharansky also told the audience of some 300 that he believes Soviet Jews should come to Israel, but should not be coerced, according to Pearl Kaufman, director of Be'er Hagolah. Instead of forcing refuseniks to immigrate to Israel, Sharansky said he hopes Be'er Hagolah, which aids in absorption of Soviet Jewish children from kindergarten through high schod, and other such institutions will teach the students the culture and character of Israel in preparation for theiraliyah,' .... " :. - ,, - ":