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August 28, 1981 - Image 13

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1981-08-28

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

Friday, August 28, 1981


Cabinet Surprise: Haig as Israel Defender


(Copyright 1981, JTA, Inc.)

One of the most unusual
developments in the first six
months of the Reagan Ad-
ministration has been the
perception that Secretary of
State Alexander Haig is the
strongest supporter of Israel
within the Administration,
except for President Reagan
The belief has always
been in Washington that
e State Department is
)-Arab or at least wants
an "even-handed" ap-
proach. This has been true
not only since the creation
of the Jewish state but goes
back to Britain's enuncia-
tion of the Balfour Declara-
tion when State Depart-
ment officials sought to
keep President Wilson from
giving his support to a
Jewish homeland.
Secretaries of state up to
now have echoed the views
of their department. The
professional foreign service
officers at the State De-
partment still share these
views. But Haig and some of
the people he has appointed
around him do not.
What makes suppor-
ters of Israel look toward
Haig as an ally is the view
that the anti-Israeli pol-
icy in this Administration
is being pressed by the
Pentagon, particularly
Defense Secretary Cas-
par Weinberger, Haig's
chief rival in the Ad-
ministration for control-
ling the shaping of
foreign policy.
Writing in the New Re-
public recently, Morton
Kondrake, the weekly's
White House reporter, said
that some see Weinberger
as part of the "Bechtel oil
group" which they consider
"further to the Arabist side
than the traditional State
Department Arabists."

Wei'Merger was vice
president of Bechtel, the
California-based firm
which is building billions of
dollars worth of projects in
Saudi Arabia.
During the presidential
campaign last year, some
supporters of Israel ex-
pressed concern about the
presence in Reagan's inner
circle of such people as
Weinberger and George
Shultz, Bechtel's vice
When this question was
raised before a Jewish audi-
ence in New York, Edwin
Meese, now the President's


counsellor, said that Re-
agan had supported Israel
when still an actor and be-
fore he entered politics and
the people he appointed
would have to support his
policies. Shultz was not
named secretary of state, as
expected. But Weinberger,
a close California friend of
the new President, did get a
Cabinet post.
A third Administration
official who should be
mentioned is Richard Al-
len, the President's na-
tional security adviser.
Allen, who entered office
as a strong supporter of
Israel, reportedly has lit-

Torah Education Available
to Women at Israeli School

Teshuva Yeshivot," Jewish
academies designed for
young people seeking reli-

Institute Seeks
to Close Industry
on Saturdays

Many industrial plants in
Israel which presently op-
erate on Saturdays and
Jewish holidays with spe-
cial permits could easily
pend operation on those
Sys without incurring fi-
nancial loss, according to
Menahem Hartman, chief
engineer at the Institute for
Science and Halakha.
Hartman maintains that
his research organization,
named in the recent gov-
ernment coalition agree-
ment as official adviser "to
aid in minimizing Sabbath
desecration in the nation's
industrial sector," has
suggested technological
solutions to prevent Sab-
bath desecration without af-
fecting revenue in all but a
few isolated cases.

gion, began springing up in
Israel following the Six-Day
War. Today, the schools are
part of a full-fledged move-
ment in which English-
speaking olim (emigres to
Israel) search for their
Jewish roots.

Rabbi Haim Brovender,
who believes that the
spiritual dimensions of
Torah study must be open to
both men and women, a
view that is unique in the
Orthodox yeshiva world, is
the founder and dean of two
such schools, Yeshivat
Hamitvar for men and
Michlelet Bruria for

Rabbi Brovender ex-
presses views that are not
often heard in the yeshiva
world. He derides the reli-
gious life of Jews in
America, ridiculing the lack
of Jewish authenticity, even
among the Orthodox.
"If you want the Jewish
people to live, you have to
come to Israel," he says.
"Why shouldn't we give
these kids a Zionist option."

tie influence.
He no longer briefs the
President daily, but pro-
vides a written briefing and
waits at the door of the Oval
Office for five minutes in
case Reagan has any ques-
tions. Consider how far this
is from his predecessors,
Henry Kissinger and Zbig-
niew Brzezinski, who spent
time alone with the
President each morning.
As for the President him-
self, one doesn't have to be a
supporter of Reagan to
admit that he is pro-Israel.
At his press conference after
Israel's raid on the Iraqi nu-
clear reactor, Reagan all
but endorsed the Israeli ac-
tion, even though he admit-
ted his Administration had
condemned it.
When Weinberger and
Deputy Secretary of State
William Clark criticized Is-
raeli Premier Begin in
harsh terms for the raid on
the Palestinian terrorist
headquarters in Beirut, the
White House repudiated
them the next day.
But Reagan does not
have the grasp of foreign
policy that he has
demonstrated on domes-
tic issues. And Haig does
not have the ability to see
the President at will, but
must make an appoint-
ment as do other Cabinet
The only ones who can see
the President unannounced
are Meese, Chief of Staff
James Baker, Deputy Chief
of Staff Michael Deaver.
None of them is familiar
with foreign policy and yet
these three are the people
who will have the final talk
with the President before he
makes a decision.
So far in all arguments
between Haig and Wein-
berger, Weinberger has
won, including the decision
last April to go ahead with
the sale of AWACS recon-
naissance planes to Saudi
Despite newspaper specu-
lation that Meese, for
example, favors Reagan's
old California friend, Wein-
berger, over Haig, the out-
side although experienced
foreign policy hand, no one
really knows how the White
House triumvirate stands
as a Middle East policy is
being developed.
Reagan stressed that
his recent meeting with
Egyptian President
Anwar Sadat was basi-
cally a learning experi-
ence for him. The same
will hold true when he
hosts Israeli Premier
Begin at the White House
after Labor Day.
His three chief advisers
are also learning. Both Is-
rael and Egypt want the
U.S. to begin pressing for-
ward with the autonomy
negotiations. The Reagan
Administration has not yet
shown that it has a policy on
this beyond a general sup-
port of the Camp David
agreements. So far it has
just come up with hasty
solutions to crises.
But the Administration
must develop a policy before
the end of the year. It may

The miracle, or the power,
that elevates the few is to be
found in their industry, ap-


plication, and perseverance
under the promptings of a
brave, determined spirit.






make a difference whether
the President and his three
chief White House aides de-
cide that in developing such
a policy they will lean more
closely on Haig or on Wein-

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