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September 12, 1980 - Image 77

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1980-09-12

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Fictions Espoused by Arafat

CINDERELLA'S
CASTLE

By LEONARD DAVIS

From Near East Report

IrShana Tova

1980-5741

Rob and Linda
Goutsmit
and Family

Lathrup Landing
11 Mile & Evergreen
Southfield 569-0530

With Western Europe as-
serting itself in the Middle
East peace negotiations,
and the Western European
press attempting to justify
the diplomatic incursion, it
is surprising to read a Euro-
pean editorial attack the
PLO.
The Times of London sur-
veyed the stalemated
negotiations and found the
"PLO at fault."
Reviewing
Israel's
generosity with Anwar
Sadat, the Times called Is-
rael's offer to "let other

/980-574/

Marty, Barbara
David and Brian
Silverman

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Eat-

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Arabs come to the table and
offer us friendship and
ourhearts may soften
towards them as well" to be
a "persuasive argument."
Yet, the paper continued,
PLO leader Yasir Arafat
"has yet to give a
straightforward answer
. . . (as to whether he is)
prepared to live in peace
with a Jewish state."
"When statements are at-
tributed to him or to his
organization calling for the
`destruction' or 'liquidation'
of Israel he will generally
repudiate them, but often
only after an awkward lapse
of time and always in a tan-
talizingly ambigious way,"
the Times complained.

Arafat, the editorial said,
will not succeed in changing
the American attitude "un-
less he convinces the
Americans of his willing-
ness to accommodate the
Jewish state . . . The Euro-
pean community would
like to help convince the
Americans of that . . . but
in the last resort only Mr.
Arafat himself can do the
convincing."
Nine months after the as-
sault on Mecca shocked the
world, writers are analyz-
ing Saudi Arabia's political
health. American writers
tend to find it improving,
while European analysts do
not.
The Wall Street Journal's
Ray Vicker, for instance,
found the government un-
dergoing "revolutionary"
political changes. "Saudi
Arabia is overhauling its
government apparatus, at-
tacking corruption, tighten-
ing regulations on foreign
workers, and looking more
closely" at billion dollar
contracts, Vicker wrote.
He pointed to the de-
velopment of a new majlis,
or consultative assembly, as
such a revolutionary step.

Walter Taylor of the
Washington Star echoed
Vicker's prognosis. "There
is a growing consensus,"
Taylor wrote, "that the gov-
ernment has responded to
the threat to its existence
that most outsiders — and
many members of the royal
family itself — saw in the
Mecca revolt."
Taylor did admit, how-
ever, that the majlis "still is
just a promise."
From its Swiss perspec-
tive, though, the Neue Zur-
char Zeitung portrayed a
much different picture. An
article, written earlier this
summer by A. H. Riad
warned that the Saudi
armed forces, faced with a
"dearth of qualified person-
nel," may be forced to insti-
tute a military draft, which
could "trigger rebellion —
or even revolution."
The current Saudi prac-
tice of using foreigners to
run "the kingdom's entire
military machine," Riad
wrote, "impinges on the
self-esteem of the native
personnel." The Iranian
units which first and most
forcefully rebelled against
the shah, he explained,
were "precisely those units
with a high concentration of

American experts."
Under a military draft,
however, the Zeitung con-
tinued, hostile elements
would be brought into the
army — "intellectuals, reli-
gious fanatics and young
extremists."
Even within the current
volunteer system, the Swiss
paper revealed, the Saudi
leadership suspected some
army units of supporting
the Mecca attack. And those
sent in to the Mecca fray
performed poorly, the paper
reported.
In one case, the army
"tried unsuccessfully to
land a helicopter in the
courtyard of the mosque,
and many lives were lost."

Friday, September 12, 1980 11

112:1211 MZIIID 71=5

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IrShana Tova

1980-5741

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