The Southern Israelite. (Augusta, Ga.) 1925-1986, August 01, 1986, Image 1
‘Seal of Israel’ In May, Israel’s Knesset honored Michael Schwartz, an artist and new immigrant from the United States, by installing his “Seal of Israel” in its main entrance hall, alongside Marc Chagall’s world famous tapestries. The seal, a replica of the state emblem, is gold- and silver-plated and weighs 400 pounds. The Southern Israelite The Weekly Newspaper For Southern Jewry 'Since 1925' Bush makes the rounds on goodwill tour of Israel by Joseph Polakoff TSI’s Washington correspondent © | WASHINGTON—Vice Presi- & dent George Bush scored personal f gain and boosted U.S.-Israeli bilat- i eral relations, during his sojourn in £ Israel, although unable to advance £ the peace initiative engineered by Morocco’s King Hassan with Prime Minister Shimon Peres or witness a tentative solution of the Taba dis pute between Egypt and Israel. One close follower of Israeli- American relations noticed that Bush’s visit “went well” despite the fact that he wanted the U.S. to impose sanctions on Israel at the time of Israel’s destruction of the George Bush atomic bomb factory in Baghdad and the 1982 Sabra-Shatila epi sode in Lebanon. “He handled himself well and walked a tight rope between the two parties (Labor and Likud groupings) that is diffi cult at any time,” the observer noted. Another said that “it was most unfortunate that his (Bush’s) people leaked to the media that he would go to Morocco. This put the onus on him, when in fact King Hassan couldn’t possibly see him at this time.” Another observation referred to media jibes that he wanted to go to Morocco merely to enhance his political image. “Peres bailed him out,” that observer said. Peres had said Bush’s visit was See Bush, page 19. Dark mmnoirn^ of Vienna. Nun, rabbi encounter barrage of insults Sister Rose Thering, Rabbi Avraham Weiss (left) and the Rev. David Bossman hold candles at a short prayer service in front of the Austrian mission to the U.N. by Susan Birnbaum NEW YORK (JTA)—For Rabbi Avraham (Avi) Weiss and Sister Rose Thering, their trip to Vienna to protest the inauguration of Kurt Waldheim as Austrian president was a nasty confrontation with undisguised anti-Semitism and, for them, an underscoring of what they perceived were their reasons for the trip. Among the memories they brought back with them are vile epithets, reported widely by the on-scene press, hurled at them dur ing their outdoor demonstration and hunger strike, and, for Sister Rose, a Dominican nun, a humil iating strip-search at the Vienna airport prior to her embarkation for the return flight to the United States. The Orthodox Jewish rabbi and Roman Catholic nun have been friends and political activists to gether for many years, Sister Rose having learned of Weiss’s activities on behalf of Soviet Jewry. She works with the Interre ligious Task Force for Soviet Jewry, and is a board member of the National Coalition of American Nuns. Since 1968, she has also been on the advisory committee of U.S. Bishops for Catholic-Jewish Relations. At Seton Hall Univer sity in South Orange, N.J., she teaches Jewish-Christian studies, a field she has worked in since 1953. Sister Rose has visited Israel 28 times. She remembers particularly the time, 11 years ago, that she took her mother, then age 84, with her to Yad Vashem. “Rose,” she recalls her mother telling her, “you almost have to be ashamed that you’re of German background.” The statement shocked her into an even stronger awareness of the Holocaust than she had had pre viously, motivating her all the more to work tirelessly in the field of Christian-Jewish understanding. She remembers watching programs on the Holocaust with her mother, discussing its history, its causes and the need for activism. Waldheim's election was a call to action by both Weiss and Sister Rose. Joined by Nazi-hunter Beate Klarsfeld, Glenn Richter of the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry, Father David Bossman, provost of Seton Hall and a professor in the department of Jewish-Christian studies, and two young men, an Israeli and an Austrian non-Jew, they spent what they described as an “open Shabbat” in the Jewish quarter of Vienna, the first ever. according to Weiss, praying, sing ing, eating out-of-doors to demon strate a lack of fear and a pride in their Judaism. During that time, Weiss told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, they engaged about 1,000 young peo ple—passers-by—in a dialogue. Dif ferent views were aired, he main tains, in a friendly, constructive manner. After Shabbat, the group moved to the area in front of the Presiden tial Office on Bollhaus Platz, “near where Hitler spoke when Germany annexed Austria,” Weiss explained. Dressed in striped prison uni forms, the Austrian-non-Jews wearing a yellow star marked “Jude,” and Sister Rose wearing a dark suit and the large crucifix in terwoven with a Star of David which she always wears, the group began a hunger strike, proclaiming this with signs reading “Hunger Strike of Conscience.” That’s when “things became ugly,” Weiss re called. He remembers “terrible anti- Semitic slogans that I’ll never forget. ‘We should have gassed you,’ ‘We’re going to hang you from lamp- posts,”’ he recalled, looking pained. He remarked on an older man who, he said, stopped and, with pride, showed a picture of himself in his wallet, wearing a Wehrmacht uniform. Following the inauguration ceremonies, the group remembers Waldheim passing them and look ing. They recall it as a “particularly ugly” part of their demonstration, people hissing and chanting anti- Semitic slogans. Weiss insists the group was refused police protection. Waldheim’s election, said Weiss, “was a vindication for Austria. 1 realized that many older Austrians voted for Waldheim because they could not vote against themselves.” “You, the Jew, you’re creating anti-Semitism. You don’t want to forget,” he quoted. Weiss drew a parallel between See Vienna, page 19.