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January 09, 1981 - Image 48

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1981-01-09

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

k

48

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Friday, January 9, 1981

Levin Gives Reagan Series of Recommendations for U.S. Policy

(Continued from Page 47)
our security than most
areas of the world. We need
one command to study and
plan for its defense. We need
one command to coordinate
the operation of our forces.
That single command
should take responsibility
for all the lands and waters
in the Near East, i.e. Per-
sian Gulf, Middle East,
Southwest Asia, and the
Horn of Africa.

We should take one
other preventative action
in the Gulf. Because one
of the most effective ways
to close the Strait of
Hormuz to oil tanker traf-
fic is to mine it (sinking a
ship or two won't do it —
it is 26 miles wide), we
should expand our own
efforts to improve our
mine countermeasures
capabilities and our col-
laboration with other na-
tions which already are
well-established in this

field.
Third, our top civilian de-
fense and military leaders
should improve their
dialogue with their coun-
terparts in that region and
with our allies who already
are supporting us in this
regard in an effort to better
coordinate planning, pro-
gramming and operations
for the defense of the Per-
sian Gulf.
If possible, the conduct of
multi-national military
exercises also ought to be
considered to augment the
lessons learned from past,
and to be learned from fu-
ture bilateral joint opera-
tions.
These, then, are the three
principle recommendations
which I have developed
since returning from my
trip. There are, in addition,
several occasions which my
. experiences in this area
lead me to believe need to
be better explained to the
American people. . •

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We must understand
the strategic position and
external threats to our
friends from their
perspective. For in-
stance, Oman, "guard-
ing" the Straits of Hor-
muz to her east, has no
economic need to keep
them open — her oil is
shipped from ports lo-
cated below the Straits.
But she is threatened to
her west by South
Yemen, supported by
Russia and Cuba.
Another example: Egypt
is not pre-occupied with
threats from Israel — she is
very much concerned about
her mortal enemy Libya,
which has a power-mad dic-
tator and oil riches to arm
herself with Soviet weapons
to threaten Chad, the Sudan
and Egypt itself.
The Sudan contains a
great stretch of the Nile, be-
fore it reaches Egypt. Egypt
is dependent on the Nile for
her very life's blood: her
population lives exclusively
along side it (the other 98
percent of Egypt is arrid
desert).
We must understand the
internal dynamics of our al-
lies. The future of Camp
David is less likely to be de-
termined in the short run by
negotiations between the
parties as it will be by Is-
raeli elections (where Begin
may try to paint Peres as a
supporter of an independent
Palestinian state in the

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West Bank, and Peres will
try to paint Begin as some-
one who, because of his in-
flexible manner, got too lit-
tle credit for Israel although
giving away a great deal at
Camp David).

We must unshackle
ourselves from some
self-imposed restrictions
in light of the threat to
our interests in the Mid-
dle East. For instance,
the Omanis want our help
training their internal se-
curity personnel and
police. Domestic law
prohibits us from provid-
ing such training, al-
though we could help
train their army. I would
hope our law could be
changed so justifiable
exceptions could be

are a potent economic force
as well as a political lightn-
ing rod in the Middle East.
The basic aspirations of
most people involve hous-
ing, food and survival. The
Strait of Hormuz and Rapid
Deployment Forces mean
little to the masses of Egypt
or to the desperate
Lebanese.
We must understand that
real progress is possible de-
spite seemingly overwhelm-
ing odds. Camp David was
an extraordinary feat, de-
example: spite its failure so far to
Another
stereotypes about the Pales- untie the Palestinian knot.
tinians place them huddled Recognizing that fact will
in refugee camps, and while keep hopes alive. Equal'
there are too many of those, important it helps keep _
Palestinians have become focus what is achievable. If
economically powerful in we expect more than Camp
many Arab lands to which David in any one step, we
they have emigrated. They are expecting too much.

allowed, perhaps upon
notice to the appropriate
Congressional commit-
tees.
We must seek to avoid
stereotypes. For instance,
Arab states are very differ-
ent from each other. The to-
tally closed society of Saudi
Arabia, fearful of even the
slightest "western" influ-
ence, and dominated by
religious orthodoxy, is as
different from Jordan as
Canada is from Mexico.

Levin Sees Mideast Awaiting
Reagan and Israel's Elections

WASHINGTON (JTA) —
Senator Carl Levin (D-
Mich.) says top officials of
the six Middle East coun-
tries he met on his
recently-concluded nine-
day visit all speak well of
President-elect Ronald Re-
agan although some lead-
ers, such as Egyptian
President Anwar Sadat and
Jordan's King Hussein,
have reservations about
Reagan's expressed views
that favor Israel as a
strategic U.S. ally.
"Everybody welcomes the
new President," Levin said.
"My impression is that
Sadat misses Jimmy Car-
ter. Reagan has somewhat
pooh-poohed Camp David
and Sadat, who seems will-
ing to meet with Reagan,
wants Camp David." On the
other hand, Levin added,
King Hussein regards
Camp David's "very name
as a distaste" and "a dead
horse."
Referring to Reagan's
election campaign pledges,
Levin said Hussein re-
marked, "I choose not to be-
lieve them." He also re-
ported Hussein saying Jor-
dan would not participate
alone in the settlement
negotiations with Israel
like Egypt but must have
the Palestinians and other
Arabs included, "at least
Saudi Arabia."
Israel's Prime Minister
Menahem Begin and his
chief political rival,
Labor Party leader Shi-
mon Peres, think Jordan
will hold "informal dis-
cussions with Israel as in
the past," Levin said.
Sadat, "yearning" for a
new direction from Is-
rael, feels that "nothing
can happen" in the peace
process until after Is-
rael's elections sometime
this year and therefore
Sadat, at present, is "kind
of on a shelf."
Observing that "Peres is
looking for other options,"
Levin said, "Sadat's people
are very close to the Labor
Party in Israel." Many
Egyptians, he said,
attended the party's con-
vention and "they were

acclaimed.
wildly
Whenever Camp David was
mentioned, there was an
ovation."
Levin visited Saudi
Arabia, Oman, Jordan, Is-
rael, Lebanon and Egypt.
Levin saw the possibility
of Palestinian Arab partici-
pation in the West Bank/
Gaza talks. The "only solu-
tion" for that problem, he
thought, would come after
Hussein and other Arabs

meet with the PLO and see
how the West Bank and
Jordan would look under
West Bank autonomy. Hus-
sein was non-committal, he
said, on the meaning of
"self-determination" for the
Palestinians while Israel
would not accept self-
determination because of
the threat that poses to it.
Sadat doesn't want "pure
self-determination" be-
(Continued on Page 49)

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