Page 4 - The Canadian Jewish News, Friday, July 25, 1975
An independent Community Newspaper serving as a forum for diverse viewpoints.
Directors: Oonald Carr. Q.C., Georqe /K. Cohon. Murray B. Koffler. Albert J. Latner. Ray D. Wolte. Editor. Ralph Hyman Associate Editor, Lewis Levendel Director, Quet>ec Bureau,.Mark Medicoff Advertising Manager, Douglas G. Gibson Production Manager, Gary t_aforet Office Manager, Candace Carroll
VOL. XVI, NO. 24 (857) '
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In this space recently, in the belief that the Trudeau government was about to annouce its decision that the PLC would be allowed to attend the September crime conference in Toronto, we were sharply critical of an act for which there could be no moral justification.
The editorial was written a short time before The Canadian Jewish News went to press, and was based on an Ottawa report that the government would make known its decision within a matter of hours. The report was in error, and for the following week the Trudeau cabinet, divided on what action to take, wrestled with the problem.
On Monday last, the government announced Canada had advised the secretar>'-general of the United Nations that this country does not wish to prbceed with the crime conference this year. Since 1970 when the invitation to hold the UN conference was extended, "there has been a steady deterioration of the atmosphere in which international conferences are held," the secretary-general was told by External Affairs Minister Allan MacEachen.
If this newspaper was quick to condemn Ottawa on the basis of a report which later proved erroneous, it is equally quick to seit the record straight by giving the government full marks for t^ action it finally took. Rabbi Gunther Rlaut called it "a morally and politically courageous stand," and fair-minded people, Jew and . non-Jew, will agree with this view. The outcome of this dialogue on international terrorism is a victory for moral principles and a rebuff for those forces which attempt to gain their ends through violence and economic blackmail.
Stripped of its diplomatic language, the message Canada has conveyed to the United Nations is that under the prevaQing circumstances, this country wants no part of a gathering which would be used as a sounding board for voicing bitter recrimina-
tions oyer the Middle East and which would plunge the delegates into emotional outbursts on issues far removed from the agenda.
The Trudeau government, however, has done much more than tell the United Nations to take the crime conference elsewhere. The external affairs minister, in his address to the House of Commons, gave notice that from now on Canada will adopt a much tougher stance when anti-Israel developments occur within the United Nations. There are clear signs that the Third World offensive to exclude Israel from the General Assembly is gathering momentum, and Mr. MacEachen made reference to this when he said Canada will resist any attempt to exclude Israel or any other country from the proceedings of the General Assembly.
It is often said that governments all too frequently are out of touch with the people they serve; that legislation on major issues fails to take into account public thinking and aspirations. The PLO controversy is a classic case of citizens making themselves heard through letters of protest and the representations of organizations. The Jewish community of Canada, and of Toronto in particular, has been well served .by such bodies as the Canada-Israel Committee, CAPLOT (Canadians Against PLO Terror), Canadian Jewish Congress, B'nai B'rith, The Canadian Zionist Federation and many other bodies. They were joined in this enterprise by the Ontario government, the International Association of Police Chiefs, the Law Society of Upper Canada and other voices from outside the Jewish community.
Ottawa's decision should not be regarded as a victory for Canadian Jewfy, welcome as it is, but rather as a victory for morality and decency in international relations. The will of the people was, expressed, Ottawa listened and acted on that basis. That is democracy in action.
Western trade unionists oppose admission of PLO to UN agency
The stage by stage campaign waged by Arab terrorists and their Middle East supporters to gain entry into world bodies has, achieved a greater measure of success Than we would have believed possible, given the nature of the PLO.
The controversy over the prospect of the PLO being allowed to send observers to attend the United Nations crime conference in Toronto, has overshadowed to some extent last month's admission of the PLO to the 60th conference of the International Labor Organization. (ILO). at Geneva. Here the Arab terrorists scored a political' victory in the oldest agency of the United Nations, winning admission as observers by a vote of 246 to 35. with 66 abstentions.
Admission of the PLO was not gained without strenuous objection from Israeli and western delegates. There was a large-scale walkout of trade unionists, including those from Canada, the U.S., Holland, Norway and the Israeli delegation led by Gideon Ben Israel.
An 11th hour attempt by western delegates to obtain approval for an amendment which would have limited recognition of liberation movements to those that agreed to respect the rights of others and abide by the ILO's constitution, failed to make headway. It was obvious the Arab delegates and their Third World supporters were in control of an organization whose effectiveness henceforth will be curtailed, if not destroyed. The international labor movement is the loser.
Oi'g^nized labor in the United States is uncompromising in its oppositioQ to Arab
terrorism. At a recent conference of labor editors and educators in Washington, speakers dealt with all aspects of the Middle East crisis, and strong support was forthcoming for Israel. Dr. Gil Carl Alroy. a former Middle Eastern specialist for the U.S. State Department, told the conference that the Arab region of the:Middle East is still living in a pre-industrial age "with one foot in the 16th century and one in the 20th."
Here in Canada, the trade union movement has been equally unwavering in its opposition to PLO terrorism and its use of violence as an instrument of policy. At the recent national convention of the New Democratic Party in Winnipeg, a resolution was adopted reiterating the convention's support of Israel and its support of Histadrut. Israd's trade union federation. The resolution urged the Canadian Government to take a more active role in the search for peace in the Middle East. The new .national NDP leader, Mr. Ed Broadbent. branded the PLO as ''terrorists and murderers whose aim is the destruction of the state of Israel."
There are encouraging signs that the Israelis and the Jewish communities of the Diaspora are not alone in their struggle. The Christian world —/ with the notable exception of isome Christian denominations — is now, for the first time, getting a realistic perspective of what is happening in the .Middle East. We miist intensify our efforts to provide the non-Jevdsh world with valid reasons why Israel is entitled to their understanding and support.
Death of a Jewish community: Hondurans hse interest in
Central Americans.. Honduras seems doomed to perpetual oversight: the Pan-Am Highway goes through a tiny strip of the worst counjryside in the land, and in Jacob Belter's comprehensive ^ork on Latin American Jewsi Honduras isn't allotted one paragraph. There are two Jewish communities but both are smair (15-20 families each) and soon to disappear.
-Tegucigalpa, the capital city, has a "used-to-be" Jewish community. Helmut Seidel, co-owner of the lQxariou.« Honduras Maya Hotel, relates that "there used to be a. Wicogroup" and "there used to be a youth orgamzatipn." But the youth haveleft fat the U.S< and parents seem to have lost idierest in commmuty ot]ganization. ■ TliHE^ used to be Friday evening services lit a womiaii's home but when she passed
♦•Now there b hardly a minyan for Rosl| .jEIIijshiiUh^lwd^^V^^ ffi^pur." revealed V:^l^ a young woman who
In 1954, a synagogue was built in San Pedro Sula, an industrial town in northern Honduras. They get a minyan easily every Friday evening but a strange minyan it is.
there is no rabbi,.so an elder teaches children whose parents waiit them to be bar mitzvah. they learn the Tdrah portion and blessings in H e b re w translated into Spanish.
In Honduras there is a large and wealthy Arab population tut anti-Semitic incidents are rare. A native Honduran had only good words for the Jews and a long string of curses when referring to the ^bs. He complained that Arabs exploit the people whereas the "Jews were fair employers."
Choluteca and Tela, two sm^l towns, each have one Jewish faipily. They come to one of the larger cities for high holidays. When as|(ied how these Jews stay Jewish being so remote, Maurido Weisenblut, president of San Pedro Sula's community, answered.' 'You have to learn to become an isolated Jew. We know we are and the' people around us know we are:"
By A.J. ARNOLD [One of a series]
In township 16, range 32,_near Wapella, Abraham Klenman. Harry Jacobson, -Edel Brotman. Kalman Isman and a few others were making their first back-breaking efforts, in the spring of 1889. to clear the land they hoped to farm and claim as their own. :
These new Jewish arrivals again aroused the concern of non-Jewish settlers arid once more the Liberal Conservative Association protested. At the end of May a resolution w as drafted declaring the reservation of land for Jews "detrimental to the interests and
welfare of the district." It was sent as a petition of Edgar Dewdney. Minister of the Interior, signed by about 35 residents.
Officials of the Dominion Lands Commission responded that earlier reservations for the Jews in 1886 had been cancelled. However the C.P.R. land commissioner. L.A. Hamilton, urged that the Jews now arriving should be able "to settle in the neighborhood of theii-compatriots." and new reservations were made for this purpose. Because of these protests however the land reserves for the Jews were not held as long as they might have been. This is probably why less than 40 Jewish farmers were able to establish themselves at Wapella.
Solomon Hirsch (Harry) Jacobson was at . Wapella by 1889. at age 26. and farmed there until his death at Moosomin in 1943. In 1937 he addressed the Prosperitj-Homemakers Qub of Rocanville (a neighboring municipality), on, "Reminiscences of my Pioneer Days." He spoke in Yiddish with Harry Klenman. andther Wapella farmer, doing the translation for the largely non-Jewish audience.
Jacobson said he came to Canada to show the world that a Jew could be a farmer as well as anybody else. "I realized my ambition in Wapella, starting alone and with no experience. I uprooted trees, cleared the bush, broke the land and made it one of the mostifruitful farms in the district. All this was done by a Jewish peddler whose parents couldn't get onto the land in Russia."
To say that Jacobson learned and did things the hard way is putting it mildly. After breaking 2'/j acres of land, clearing five more and building a shack, he lost his first sumriier's work for failing to make legal entry for his quarter-section homestead. Someone else came along and claimed it.
For some weeks you have reported the split within various elements of the Israel government concerning the controversial issue of charter flights. It seems to me that there is a great deal of misunderstanding on this issue not only on the part of those in Israel charged with the decision iriaking process but more especially with the leaders of various Jewish organizations in the United States who have been exerting great pressure to introduce charters. Having been active in the field of promoting travel to Israel since the state was founded and having operated what was probably the first charter flight froni Canada to Israel. I can
, claim some knowledge in this subject.
It must clearly be established from the outset that the public is not in the least interested in charter flights perse. They are . interested only in low cost air travel. If charters are the lowest price available, they will be purchased. If lower costs are available on scheduled flights, charters are unnecessary. When charters were first banned from Israel, the group fares that were introduced to replace them were at a price very little more than the previous charter* fares.
If the Israel government is really deisperate to increase tourism one might wonder whether they cannot merely subsidize El Al or other airlines to lower their present group fares. This particular fare is independent of the normal I. A.T. A. fare structure. While I am not minimizing the difficulty in working out such an arrangement, it would certainly achieve all of the objectives of charters without causing internal dissension.
The more confusing matter is the use of^ the term "charter". Historically, El Al and all responsible elements of the travel industry have been opposed to the reintroduction of the " affinity'' type charter because of the tremendous number of abuses to which it was subject. Among the greatest of the abusers then (and still today) were the various organizations serving, the Jewish community who used travel as a major means of fund-raising without any concern for what it did to the travel industry a.nd thejivelihood of those in it — many of
^hom are staunch supporters of these same organizations.
The Canadian government recognized the inequities in this type of charter and they are no longer legal within Canada. The substitute technique of advance booking char^rs, or alternatively, inclusive tour charters—both of which would provide the same low fare to the individual as any other kind of charter, but which would retain
What Really Happened
For a time he hired himself out with his oxen to non-Jewish farmers but before long he did obta.in his own homestead. . Jacobson's farm was 15 miles from Wapella and at the beginning there were just two other settlers between him and the town. The winters were particularly severe not only because of the cold but because there was no work and little money. They sur\'ived in a state'of great fnigality and complete isolation. •
In those first years Wapella had two rabbis who wanted to be farmers, Edel Brotman and Jacob Wasserman. Brotman and three of his sons t<x)k homesteads and settled at Wapella but Wasserman moved to Oxbow after a few years.
During the early 1890s Edel Brotman fell off his wagon one day and broke a leg. While convalescing he took a trip as far as San Francisco. There he was offered a pulpit but turned it down, according to one of his children, because he didn't think that the "gay nineties" Barbary Coast was a respectable place to bring up four young daughters. So he returned to the farm, though later he became a store-keeper in Winnipeg.
The Kaplun family has established a record for long-time farming at Wapella. After completing his service in the Russian army. Alter Kaplun came to Montreal and worked his way west on the railway in 1891. On bearing that a quarter section of land could be obtained for only SIO cash, he quit the railway at Virden. Manitoba, and took a homestead.
In the summer of 1895 Alter Kaplun married Batsheva (Bessie), the daughter of Kalman Isman, another Wapella pioneer. The marriage contract, specified that the bride was a virgin and provided that her father would give her a dowry of one cow "before the chupah" and clothing appropriate to her posifion.
The descendants of that marriage are still farming at Wapella almost 85 years later. , Max Heppner. one of John's sons, went to work for the Jewish Colonization Association in the early 1900s, helping to establish other Jewish farm settlements in the west. And by the 1920s the Heppners had their own grain elevator at Wapella. It burned down in 1925.
Abraham Klenman lived on the farm until his death in 1910. When he got too old for farm work, he became the Hebrew teacher. Harry Klenman. Abraham's younger son. farmed air his life except for service overseas in both world wars; he died in 1955. Solomon Barish died on the farm in 1944. One Barish son sold out during the depression; threeothers, Eli. Ben and Sam. who acquired 1.100 acres between them, sold out between 1958 and l%2 when they retired to Vancouver.
Next: Beginning of the Jewish Colonization Association.
(Copyright, A. J. Arnold, 1975]
Abraham Klenman, when he got too old for farmihg in Wapella, became a Hebrew teacher; He died in 1910. Below is bam built by one of the families on farm in the year 1912.
Letters to the Editor
esust concerning charter ^^f^
within the travel industiy the initiative for promotion — would likely receive the support of the travel industry, and eliminate the dissension presently existing within the Israel cabinet.
MoiiayHeifetz, Domfaiion Travel Ltd., Tonmto.
In the July 11th issue of the Canadian Jewish News, you repdhed' that the Associated Schools are about to accept all of Wells' conditions for integration of the two school systems.
It seems to me that by accepting Wells' conditions, the Associated board members are playing right into the hands of the Conservative government — namely, that the only way "private" schools can get any government funds is to lose their identity and autonomy and merge with the monolithic public school boards.
Instead of accepting such self-destructive terms, the Associated board should renew its efforts to impress on the government
that "private" schools have a right to a share of the tax dollar without losing thetr unique character. Particularly because this is an election year, the Associated board should stop being so eager to destroy their own system, and instead support the Ontario Association of Alternative and Independent Schools in its province-wide effort to., obtain a viable and fair arrangement from the education minister.
lili Pasternak, Waterloo, Ont.
Over the past few years, the cost of day school education has risen sharply. If the increase in tuition fees does not go into higher salaries for the teachere, we are wondering just what the money is being used for?
Goidie Riditiger, Mrs. Eugene Tkapun-sky, Mynia Lambert, Sheila Starfcmen, Mary Becker, Miri Gertner, Tonmto.
Tht>se of us in Hamilton, at McMaster Uniwrsity. who are part of the Canadian Union of Jewish Students, were surprised to read in your paper that we have forriied a run-away organization. It's news to us!
As the three other letters to the editor have made clear, in your June 20th edition,
the organizational unity and integrity of CUJS is intact and have not changed. In Hamilton, the Jewish Students Association at McMaster voted to support CUJS and to help its survival in the face of the attack by a few people in Congress.
We hope that everj-one who supports a meaningful Jewish existence for university students will support CUJS — the umbrella group of Jewish student organizations in Canada. We hope that democracy is not yet ian outmoded concept in the Jewish community. ,
Shlomo Perei & Charles Lebow, Co-editors, DAVKA magazfaie and members of Steering Committee of McMaster Jewish Student Association.
IsjraeU independence resu^^ in full-scale war; many immigrants died defending oudying kibbutzim
The Syrian and Israeli representatives affixed theii^signatures to the document before th^m, officially ending the War of Liberation. It was July 20, 1949.
Prior to that, under the mediation of the United Nations' Ralph Bunche, Egypt and Syria signed an armistice agreement Feb. 24 on the Isle of Rhodes. So, too. did Lebanon March 23 and Trans-Jordan, representing herself and Iraq, April 3.
For the Jews in the Holy Land who could now call themselves Israelis, the first Arab-Israeli war was a matter of eln bielra — no alternative.
In addhion to previous fighting among Palestine's inhabitants, stepped-up attacks and counter-attacks began as soon as the United Nations' partition plan was passed Nov. 29. 1947, This changed to fuU-scale warfare. May 15, 1948. when the armies of five Arab countries and the Grand Mufti's Arab Liberation Army launched an offensive on the day Israel was bom.
Israel's vulnerability at that p6mt is well documented. In addition to her pitifully low arsenal (legally the Jews and Arabs of Palestine could not purchase arms from any country until they attained statehood, but the surrounding Arab states could), from the moment of her birth, Israel fluiig^her doors, open to the wandering Jew- (
The refugees (to ease'the process of transition for them, they would be called "new immigrants") mainly came from camps that'housed the remnants of the Holocaust and from neighboring Arab countries they were compelled to flee.
Many arrived with broken spirits.
innumerable diseases and only the clothes on their back. But immigration never ceased, even while the Holy Land was being attacked from the land, air and sea.
They kept arriving through the three main stages of fighting and during the intervening ceasefires. They poured in while the Egyptian army was 30 miles from Tel Aviv and the famed Arab Legion of Trans-Jordan was ousting the last Jews from the Old City of Jerusalem.
Many hew immigrants, smuggled ui before statehood or arriving after, would play a part in the defence of out laying kibbutzim, the capture of the Negev and the capture of land in t^e Galilee area. Others would survive the Holocaust only to die at such places as Latrun While defending the land of their forefathers.
Unfortunately, th«/ War of Liberation would not be the last Mid-East conflict, and, for the Israelis, this first wai' would constitute their greatest wartime casualty list. It is estimated that 6,000 lives were lost — about one in every lOOIsraelis.
The birth had not been easy, but then, neither hadthe almost 2,000'year exile.