Mark Bruzonsky, a persistent journalistic critic of these Israeli excesses, concludes, Theres no way in the world that a Jew can avoid a savage and personal vendetta if his intent is to write a truthful and meaningful account of what he has experienced. Being Jewish did not spare the foreign news editor of Hearst newspapers from similar problems. In early 1981 John Wallach produced a television documentary, Israel and Palestinians: Will Reason Prevail? funded by the Foundation for Middle East Peace, a nonprofit institute established by Washington lawyer Merle Thorpe, Jr. His goal was a fair, balanced presentation of the problems confronting Israel in dealing with the Palestinians on the West Bank and Gaza. Public television broadcast the program without incident in Washington, D.C., New York and other major cities, but Jewish leaders in Los Angeles demanded an advance showing and upon seeing the film put up such a strong protest that station KCT inserted a statement disclaiming any responsibility for the content of the documentary. Wallach received many complaints about the presentation, the most common being that it portrayed Palestinian children in a favourable lightsome were blond and blue-eyed, and all attractivea departure from the frequently negative stereotype of Palestinians. Before the film was produced, Israeli Ambassador Simcha Dinitz called Wallach, urging him to drop the project. When Wallach persisted, invitations to receptions and dinners at the Israeli embassy suddenly stopped. For a time he was not even notified of press briefings. Wallach found himself in hot water again in 1982 when controversy erupted after a formal dinner he had organised to recognise Ambassador Philip Habibs diplomatic endeavours in Lebanon. Several cabinet officers, Congressmen and members of the diplomatic community attended the dinner. During the program, messages from several heads of government were read. Wallach asked Senator Charles Percy, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, to read the one from Israels Prime Minister Menachem Begin to the audience. On WalIachs recommendation, Percy did not read these two sentences: In the wake of the Operation Peace in Galilee, Phil Habib made great efforts to bring about the evacuation of the bulk of the terrorists from Beirut and Lebanon. He worked hard to achieve this goal and, with the victory of the Israel Defence Forces., his diplomatic endeavours contributed to the dismantling of that center of international terrorism which had been a danger to all free nations. Moshe Arens, the Israeli ambassador, was furious. He sent an angry letter to Percy expressing his shock and stating, Although I realize that you may not have agreed with its contents, this glaring omission seems to me to be without precedent. He also wrote to Wallach, complaining of unprecedented discourtesy and calling the omission an attempt to cater to the ostrich-like attitude of some of the ambassadors from Arab countries. Arens also wrote protest letters to the management of Hearst Corporation, which had picked up the tab for the dinner. Wallach told another journalist the next day why he had recommended the omission: I thought it was insulting to the Arabs [who were present] to have a message about war and terrorism at an evening that was a tribute to Phil Habib and peace. Wallach said, 'The irony was that, while I got lots of harsh, critical mail from those supporting Begin, I got no words of support or commendation from the other side. It makes one wonderwhen there is no support, only criticism, when one risks his career. Similar questions are raised by Nat Hentoff, a Jewish columnist who frequently criticises Israel and challenges the conscience of his fellow Jews in his column for the Village Voice. During the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 he lamented: At no time during his visit here [in the United States] was [Prime Minister] Begin given any indication that there are some of us who fear that he and Ariel Sharon are destroying Israel from within. Forget the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organisations and the groups they represent. They have long since decided to say nothing in public that is critical of Israel. Hentoff deplored the intimidation that silences most Jewish critics: I know staff workers for the American Jewish Congress and the American Jewish Committee who agonize about their failure to speak out, even on their own time, against Israeli injustice. They dont, because they figure theyll get fired if they do. The threat of being fired was forcefully put to a group of employees of Jewish organisations in the United States during a 1982 tour of Lebanon. Israels invasion was at its peak, and a number of employees of the Jewish National Funda nationwide organisation which raises money for the purchase and development of Israeli landwere touring Lebanese battlefield areas. Suddenly, while the group was travelling on the bus, Dr. Sam Cohen of New York, the executive vice-president of the JNF, stood up and made a surprising announcement. A member of the tour, Charles Fishbein, at the time executive for the Washington office, recalls, He told us that when we get back to the United States, we must defend what Israel is doing in Lebanon. He said that if we criticise Israel, we will be terminated immediately. Fishbein said the group was on one of several hastily arranged tours designed to quell rising Jewish criticism of the invasion, In all, over 1,500 prominent American Jews were flown to Israel for tours of hospitals and battlefields. The tours ranged in length from four to seven days. The more prestigious the group of visitors, the shorter. more compressed the schedule. Disclosing only Israeli hardship, the tours were successful in quieting criticism within the ranks of Jewish leadership and also inspired many actively to defend Israeli war policies. The Time May Not Be Far Off Peer pressure does not always muffle Jewish voices. A man who pioneered in establishing the state of Israel and helped to organize its crucial underpinnings of support in the United States later became a frequent critic of Israeli policy. Nahum Goldmann is a towering figure in the history of Zionism. He played a crucial role in the founding of Israel, meeting its early financial problems, influencing its leaders, and organising a powerful constituency for it in the United States. His service to Zionism spanned nearly fifty years. During World War I, when Palestine was still part of the Ottoman Empire, Goldmann tried to persuade Turkish authorities to allow Jewish immigration. in the 1930s he advocated the Zionist cause at the League of Nations. During the Truman administration, he lobbied for the United Nations resolution calling for partition of Palestine and the establishment of Israel. After the 1947 UN vote for the partition, unlike most Jews who were eager to proclaim the state of Israel, Goldmann urged delay. He hoped that the Jews would first reach an understanding with the Arab states and thereby avoid war. He lamented the bitter legacy of the war that ensued. He wrote, The unexpected defeat was a shock and a terrible blow to Arab pride. Deeply injured, they turned all their endeavours to the healing of their psychological wound: to victory and revenge. To the Israelis, The victory offered such a glorious contrast to the centuries of persecution and humiliation, of adaptation and compromise, that it seemed to indicate the only direction that could possibly be taken from then on. To brook nothing, to tolerate no attack, cut through Gordian knots, and shape history by creating facts seemed so simple, so compelling, so satisfying that it became Israels policy in its conflict with the Arab world. When the fledgling nation was struggling to build its economy, Goldmann negotiated with West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer the agreement under which the Germans paid over $30 billion in compensation and restitution to Israel and individual Jews. Yet he was bitterly condemned by some Israelis for his efforts. Philip Klutznick of Chicago, Goldmanns close colleague in endeavours for Israel, recalls the tremendous opposition, particularly from such extreme nationalists as Menachem Begin, to accepting anything from Germany. At that time many Jews felt that any act that would tend to bring the Germans back into the civilized world was an act against the Jewish people. Feelings ran deep. Goldmanns disagreement with Israeli policy toward the Arabs was his central concern. To those who criticised his advocacy of a Palestinian state, he responded, If they do not believe that Arab hostility can some day be alleviated, then we might just as well liquidate Israel at once, so as to save the millions of Jews who live there.. There is no hope for a Jewish state which has to face another 50 years of struggle against Arab enemies. Goldmann respected the deep commitment to the Jewish people of Israels first prime minister, David Ben Gurion, hut he regretted that Ben Gurion was organically incapable of compromise and that his dominant force was his will for power. Goldmanns essential optimism and his instinctive striving to temper hatreds and seek compromise were qualities that distinguished him from so many of his contemporarieson both the Arab and Israeli sides of the conflict. Goldmann might have been prime minister of Israel, Stanley Karnow wrote in 1980, but he chose instead to live in Europe and act as diplomatic broker, frequently infuriating Israeli officials with his initiatives. Seeking an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict, he attempted to visit Cairo at the invitation of Egyptian President Nasser in 1970. But the Israeli government headed by Golda Meir resented his maverick ways and blocked the mission. Excerpts from the book 'They dare to speak out To be continued