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September 25, 1981 - Image 125

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1981-09-25

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trilby,' Septeiief 25; 1911 '125

Time Magazine s Bias =Falls Short of Middle East Reality

rity asset" for the U.S.
Near East Report
Talbott's bias, long
WASHINGTON — shared by Time, is transpa-
"What To Do About Israel" rent. Arab states are never
— a 3,000 - word essay in the taken to task, nor is there
Sept. 7 Time magazine — is any indication that • they
ayrescription for America's might conceivably share the
abandonment of Israel.
blame for the conflict:Even
Its author, Time diploma-
the PLO is spared any harsh
* correspondent Strobe word; in fact, the "trouble
Talbott, is much too sophis- is" that all the other Israelis
tic.ated to •advance so bold a are just as "adamantr,as
thesis overtly and un-
Begin ,in refusing to deal
equivocally. But in a dense with it. But:
analysis which proposes
King Hussein has
that Israel is nothing but a
"many times" proven • "a
btirden for the United
staunch friend of the
States, Talbott offers no
West" — though in what
concrete, specific reasons
way is not demonstrated,
for continuing American
nor is one instance-cited.
support of Israel.
The Saudis have shown
The reasons he sees fit to "true statesmanship" —
cite are vague, insubstan- though their oil price,goug-
tial and irrelevant; any cri- ing, their venomous hatred
tic could readily discredit of Israel, their opposition to
the Camp David accords
His stated reasons for and the Egyptian-Israeli
U.S. friendship for Israel peace, their boycott of
are "humanitarian" — of Egypt, and their refusal to
only marginal practical sanction even a minimal
value. Thus, Harry Tru- military-strategic collab-
man recognized Israel in oration with the U.S. are
1948 "for reasons of right,
never mentioned.
not might." It is simple
President Sadat is cre-
enough for a critic to re-
dited with "forebearance
spond that it is now a and flexibility" — though
generation later and any Begin's risk-taking for
moral obligation the West peace is never noted.
may have felt for the sur-
In Talbott's dispensation,
vivors of the Holocaust only Israel is culpable.
has long since been dis-
What accounts for this
litany of outrage? Ostan-
Truman's successors all sibly it is Israel's refusal
felt that American "guard- to withdraw unilaterally
ianship" of Israel "was more and unconditionally
than worth the trouble." from Judea and Samaria
But nowhere does Talbott (the West Bank) and to
suggest concretely why they give the Palestinian
felt that way. He focuses ex- Arabs their indepen-
clusively on the thesis that dence.
if was and is trouble.
It is this Israeli "intransi-
He points to an "incalcul- gence," toward which the
able poltical, human and U.S. has traditionally been
idealistic investment" complaisant, which thwarts
Ainerica has in Israel's sur- America's regional and
Vival. So incalculable is it global objectives.
he can find not even
In all this, Talbott, like
LI one tangible calculation others who share his view,
)"dthat would warrant main- reveals a superficial grasp
! Wiling that "investment."
of Middle East realities, an
' Precious little, then, is ignorance of the history of
i left
to justify the special the Arab-Israeli conflict,
` U.S.-Israel relationship. On and a shallow comprehen-
the other hand, albott is at sion of American national
Rains to deny that Israel has interest.
any- value for America;and
Why should Israeli "occu-
tb' explain that it is a pation" of the West Bank
Menace. Here his feelings of "gall, humiliate and
tok and contempt come weaken" King Hussein?
' ng forth.
That territory does - not be-
He refers repeatedly to long, after all, to Jordan. It
"Israeli stubornness" — was never legally a part of
"Larsen militancy" — "Is- ' the Kingdom of Jordan or of
riieli intransigence." He its predecessor, the Emirate
,r#pes Israel as "a rather of Transjordan.
nasty and bitter nation,
An integral and indistin-
even a violent one ... guishable segment of West-
shrill, self-righteous and ern Palestine (that portion
even a bit frightening ... of the land between the Jor-
Israel is a problem, and a dan River and the Mediter-
growing one."
ranean), it was seized by
- Israel is, or is fast becom- Jordan as spoils of the first
ing, an "embarrassment" — Arab-Israeli war in 1949•—
lit mixed blessing" — "a and simply reseized by Is-
dubious asset" — "a netlia- rael in the 1967 war. Israel
bility" — 'an outright lia- has as much right to it-as
Nifty to American security Jordan: Why, as a matter of
principle, should Israel's
"Begin's aims and means possession of it now
are potentially disastrous" humiliate Hussein any
and it is "a delusion that Is- more than Jordan's posses-
rkel isr or ever has been, a sion of it then should have
strategic . ally." President galled David Ben-Gurion?, •
Why is the ancient
Trinnan was under no Mu-
,' Sitin" that Israel "was or Jewish claim to the Land;
to be a military ally," of Israel decried as
residerit, Reagan is "fanatical-irredentism?"
''' . 14. 1016be- Likeygg-piargir,modern
'Vetu- journalists and- - dip-
heves tha rs

. ,
lomata,l'albott shows no
awareness of the crucial
role which Israel played
in shaping the con-
sciousness, identity and
destiny of the Jewish
people for -2,000 years of
the post-hiblical Dias-
The Arabenever had that
bond of raillenial spiritual
and ,physical continuity
with the land. Why should
their claim now weigh
heavier- in the scales of his-
toric justice?
"Ainerican 'diplomacy,"
Talbott -charges, "never
translated (sic) into a per-
manent, comprehensive
peace,'! and Israel is to
blame. He fails to grasp that
patience, good will and time
are -needed to cope with so
deep-rooted, complex and
painful a conflict.

• that is the triumpth of
the Camp, David accords:
They • provide the
framework for a stage-by-
stage transition to Arab-
Israeli Co-existence, negoti-
ation, mutual acceptance,
and gradual resolution of
differences. It is Jordan and
the Palestinians who have
interpokied the obstacle to
peace by their utter rejec-
tion- of Camp David.

Israel-iS held responsi-
ble for the radicalization
of Arab states, the com-
plication nf. American re-
lations with non-aligned
regimes, and opening up
the region to Soviet influ-
.... .
Btit-ifiirael didn't exist,
the USSR•would still have
invadea • Afghanistan; the
Shah would have been over-

thrown and replaced by a
military elites would have
taken power in Iraq, Syria,
South Yemen, Libya;
Syria's old ambition to
dominate Lebanon would
have surfaced; the Saudi re-
gime would still be inher-
ently unstable and corrupt;
the Algerians would have
ejected the French;
Polisario would be contend-
ing for control of the West-
ern Sahara.
As for the "non-aligned
movement," it is animated
by the restful spirit of anti-
colonialist, anti-capitalist,
nationalism which
rationalizes itself through
the shibboleths of mindless
Marxism; whose main
enemy is "imperialist"
America; and whose chief
friend is the Soviet-
dominated world of
"Marxist-Leinist socialism."
To all of this Israel is
purely incidental, but for
the irrational mentality of
the Third World it serves as
a vulnerable scapegoat. For
of what rational, realistic
concern can the inconse-
quential West Bank be to
distant India or Indonesia
or Uganda or Cuba?
It is, in truth, not a
specific policy of a par-
ticular Israeli govern-
ment which Talbott sees
as the obstacle to peace
and the burden for
America, for the problem
began long before Israel
entered the West Bank in
1967. It is the very exist-
ence of the state itself.
He tips his hand when he

recalls, with evident ap-
proval,. that Truman's De-
fense Secretary, James For-
restal, opposed the creation
of the Jewish state "because
he feared that Israel and
Anierica's commitment to it
would hamper" U.S. global
The logic of Talbott's rea-
soning leads ineluctably to
the conclusion that the U.S.
should abandon Israel. Ac-
tually, his thesis explicitly
calls for overt U.S. pressure
to disrupt Israel's demo-
cratic processes, to de-
stabilize its government,
and to get a new, tractable
satellite regime that would
be amenable to his vision of
American interests.
That vision is paltry and
trite. It has but two objects:
to secure the oil supply and
to resist Soviet encroach-
ment — necessary but
hardly sufficient. A policy
limited to those purposes
would soon defeat itself.
The American national
interest is not quantifi-
able, its definition is not a
scientific exercise, nor is
its pursuit forever graven
in stone. But its guiding
principles are ascertain-
able: They flow naturally
from the specific char-
acter of the American
The Founding Fathers,
profoundly influenced - by
their classical, English and
Judeo-Christian heritage,
consciously created a
unique polity that has
endured as the marvel of the
entire world because it ex-
presses mankind's natural
duality — the drive for
power and the thirst for jus-

tice — and has thus been
animated by tremendous
spiritual as well as physical
It is an enterprise that
conjoins, power and moral-
ity, idealism and strength.
At its best, America has
known and acted upon the
truest lesson of history:
Idealism without strength
is a deceptive pipedream.
Power without justice is a
nightmare of evil and cor-
ruption. This is the rock of
realism on which the
structure of American na-
tional interest must be
In order to secure
peace, advance justice,
counter Soviet influence,
safeguard all our basic
interests, America re-
quires a force in the
region with which to col-
laborate, that embodies
that duality of power and
morality. Israel is that
force, for, alone in the
region, it represents the
stability of power and the
morality of democracy.
In any alliance, mutual-
ity is the key. In Europe,
NATO embodies the mutu-
ality of like-minded democ-
racies. In the Middle East, it
is Israel — like the West
European democracies —
that provides the base of
moral, spiritual and
strategic strength which
America needs.
It is this mutuality of
interests and outlook that
serves as the basis for the
American-Israeli strategic
understanding that, despite
Time magazine, President
Reagan and Prime Minister
Begin have just reinforced.

Riegle Hears ZOD Protest on AWACS

"Mr. President, it is not in
The Detroit District —
Zionist Organization of America's interest or honor
America-Monday presented to promote a war in the
petitions - to Sen. Donald Middle East that can lead to
Riegle protesting the sale of the destruction of Israel and
AWACS to Saudi Arabia. its replacement with a
The petition, in the form Soviet surrogate. Please,
of an open letter to Mr. President, reconsider
President Reagan, stated in and do not give the Saudis
part: the weapons to make possi-
"Mr. President, the Arab ble their holy war to destroy
states. already have more the Jewish state."
In his remarks Sen.
arms than NATO. Israel
has 65. percent of its popula- Riegle stated that "it is im-
tion and-15 percent of its in- portant that the American
dustry concentrated along people understand that the
the•coast and is highly vul- AWACS sale will funda-
nerable from the air. mentally change aloe bal-
"Your Administration's ance of power in the Middle
proposed arms package will East and in the world as a
provide the means with the whole. It is a turning point
five AWACS, the plane for decision — it brings vast
battlefield surveillance and new dangers to the United
tactical 'control, to knock States, to Israel, and to our
out Israel's air defenses and other allies and for the
allow tale 62 F15s outfitted prospects of peace in the
as 14:r1g Trail& attack born- world."
In reference to the bomb
berslaii . pait of your arms

Irving Laker, right, president of the Zionist
Organization of America — Detroit District, presents
petitions protesting the sale of AWACS to Saudi
Arabia to Sen. Donald Riegle.
number one target of the ex-
ated it in conjunction
tremists to compromise that
with therh."
equipment. The claim that
Sen. Riegle also stated
that the proposed AWACS Saudi Arabia having those
five AWACS will make
sale was "... a little more
than an outright surrender them more secure is sheer
nonsense. It will make them
to the blackmail of the
Saudi Arabian oil barons more insecure — it makes
them a target and to take
who have been price-
package, .tg, readily pene- racks, the aerial tankers, gouging America for years. that risk makes no sense at
"The question fundamen- all."
tratp andagvristate all of Is- the missiles and the
"Israel has been out-
rael: Ntrimidtint of military AWACS, "... anyone who tally is — What is best for
numbered in terms of
equipment cor loans can does not see this as the of- the United States? That is
manpower and conven-
compensate -for such a fensive threat that it is is the basic question — what
tional weapons. The only
breach of Israel's defenses. just not looking at the hard serves the strategic inter-
thing that has allowed Is-
"There is the matter of facts."
ests of this country on that
rael to maintain its own
the - creaibility of Ameri-
He added that the basis and that basis alone.
can promises and com- AWACS are so sensitive This sale makes no sense at security is the fact that it
has been able to maintain
naitnrnts. -The conver- and are so vital to the se- all.
a qualitative edge."
pion ,of the, F15s to long curity of the United
"Saudi Arabia is in
Participating in the pro-
Vancg0- attack bombers States "that we have danger today because of the
gram with Riegle were
violates 'solemn 1978 allowed only one to be relation it maintains with
Panush; Ezekiel
pledge not to do so. How • used, byanyeny.else, and extremist, groups• such as
Leikin;,.and`Arifig Laker,
3fatLe *; ple'dges that one was to our NATO,' -taie-PLO. If SairdialiaV6the
presidentof the ZOD.
be credible?" --- --
t affies; Wtferety'vi,e.rojper- AWACS, it will become the

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