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December 30, 1983 - Image 46

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1983-12-30

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

46 Friday, December 30, 1983


U.S. Hoping Arafat's Defeat Will Make Him a Dove


The Reagan Administra-
tion appears to be pinning
its hopes for reviving
President Reagan's
moribund Middle East
peace initiative on the slim
expectation that Yasir
Arafat has been so chas-

tened by his defeat in Leba-
non that he is ready to give
his blessings to the entry of
King Hussein of Jordan into
the peace talks.
It was this possibility that
was given by at least one
senior State Department of-
ficial as one of the reasons
for U.S. support of the un-

hampered departure of
Arafat and some 4,000 of his
Palestine Liberation
Organization terrorists
from Tripoli last week de-
spite Israel's strong protest
that it was disgraceful that
the PLO was leaving under
the aegis of the United Na-
tions flag.

This hope was also seen in
the declaration by the State
Department that the meet-
ing in Cairo last week be-
tween Arafat and Egyptian
President Hosni Mubarak
was an "encouraging de-
The meeting shocked
the Israelis who said it

Proposal to Freeze Settlements to Save
Money Touches Off Israel Political Battle

reported proposal by Fi-
nance Minister Yigal
Cohen-Orgad to freeze
Jewish settlements on the
West Bank, strictly for eco-
nomic reasons, has touched
off a fierce political row that
could shake and possibly
destroy the Likud-led coali-
tion government.
Cohen-Orgad did not
deny the report, though he
told furious settlers leaders
that they were inaccurate.
The ultranationalist Tehiya
Party threatened im-
mediately to quit the coali-
tion if there was a partial or
total freeze on new settle-
ments in the territory.
Cohen-Orgad is himself a
hawk on the settlements
issue and is building his

house calls
a thing of
the past??

t 141 1r


own home in the Samaria
district, but Israel's dire
economic situation de-
mands major budget cuts.
The treasury announced
that the finance minister
will present "outline pro-
posals" on the budget when
the Cabinet meets in special
session today to discuss the
Informed sources said
the report of a possible
economic freeze on set-
tlement building was in-
tended to shock the
Cabinet into cooperation
with Cohen-Orgad in the
matter of drastic budget
cuts in all sectors of the
Galei Zahal, the army
radio station, reported that
Premier Yitzhak Shamir




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summoned the finance
minister to his office after
the settlement freeze report
was broadcast and urged
him to stress that "no deci-
sions have been made on the
matter — only proposals."

But the Council of Set-
tlements of the Judea -
Samaria - Gaza regions
branded such proposals as
"ideological and political
suicide by the government."
Council Chairman Yis-
rael Harel said the Likud
government "won its
mandate on an unre-
stricted settlement pro-
gram and its good settle-
ment record. A freeze
would be fooling the pub-
Housing for Jewish
settlers is heavily sub-
sidized by the government
in the territories and can be
obtained much more
cheaply than in Israel pro-
The purpose is to induce
as many Israeli families as
possible to move to the ter-
ritories, including those
without any ideological
commitment to settlements.
Harel said that the settlers
are prepared to consider
some cuts, including lower
living standards in existing
and new settlements.
However, he vowed that
they would fight any kind of
freeze. Settlement activists
were out in force Wednes-
day lobbying coalition
Knesset members on the is-
But the tide of public
opinion may be turning
against the advocates of
massive, unrestricted
Jewish settlements. Ac-
cording to a public opin-
ion poll taken by the Pori
institute and published in
Haaretz Wednesday, "a
turning point" has been
reached on the issue. For
the first time a majority of
respondents, 48 percent
— opposed new settle-
ments against 36 percent
who favored them. Pori
canvassed 1,200 Israelis
all over the country re-
presenting a cross-
section of the population.

Haaretz noted that only a
year ago, 48 percent of those
polled favored more settle-

ments and 35 percent were
opposed, exactly the reverse
of the latest poll results.
Two years ago support for
new settlements was over-
whelming, with 53 percent
in favor and under 30 per-
cent opposed.
According to the Pori In-
stitute, opposition to new
settlements was highest
among the better educated
and higher income sectors of
the population.
Meanwhile, the coalition
is faced by protests from its
various partners on other
issues likely to be affected
by budget cuts. The Na-
tional Religious Party said
it will not accept the aboli-
tion of free high school edu-
cation introduced six years
ago under the stewardship
of Education Minister Zevu-
lun Hammer, an NRP
Tami, which claims to
speak for large, low-
income families, mainly
in the Sephardic commu-
nity, also denounced cuts
in education. It opposes a
levy on national health
care and has taken the
government to task for al-
leged failure to distribute
the tax burden more
equitably. Tami has pro-
posed higher taxes for
the more affluent sectors
of the population.
The finance minister is
expected to propose a series
of specific budget cuts to-
day. These would effect a
major sewage scheme near
Rishon Lezion; a major
road-building project in Tel
Aviv which is already under
construction; plans for a
new railroad line to carry
phosphates from the Dead
Sea to the Port of Eilat; and
the controversial
Mediterranean-Dead Sea
Canal, a massive hydroelec-
tric project.
Political observers pre-
dict that Cohen-Orgad will
have a hard time pushing
through his proposals, but
he was one important factor
on his side, they say. Likud
and its coalition partners
know that if Cohen-Orgad is
forced to resign — he would
be the third Likud finance
minister to do so — the gov-
ernment would surely col-
lapse. ---

contradicted the Camp
David agreements. Am-
bassador Meir Rosenne
went to the State De-
partment late last Thurs-
day to express the Israeli
view and called
Mubarak's meetings with
Arafat "encouragement
to terrorism."

But Reagan, in an inter-
view with reporters, made it
clear that he sees the meet-
ing as perhaps leading to
Arafat's endorsement of
Hussein's participation in
the peace talks on behalf of
the Palestinians.

The differences between
the U.S. and Israel were
seen by some to reveal the
fragility of the new agree-
ment for close strategic
cooperation between the
two countries and an-
nounced during Premier
Yitzhak Shamir's recent
visit to Washington.
But State Department
spokesman John Hughes
pointed out several times
last week that it was not
unusual for close friends
and allies to disagree.
Shamir made the same
point during his speech to
the National Press Club
_ But not mentioned was
that the U.S. disagree-
ment with Israel over
Arafat's departure from
Tripoli and then his meet-
ing with Mubarak helped
the U.S. in its effort to
convince the Arabs that
despite the new agree-
ment with Israel the U.S.
also sought closer rela-
tions with "moderate"
Arab states.
Meanwhile, it is still un-
clear what last week's meet-
ing in Cairo meant. For
Arafat, with a large part of
the PLO coming under the
domination of Syria, it was
logical to seek support from
Egypt, the most important
Arab state. At this stage
Arafat is also obviously
willing to meet with any
Arab leader who will re-
ceive him in an attempt to
bolster his sinking prestige.
However, even some of
his most loyal supporters in
the PLO were outraged by
the meeting; The PLO,
along with the other mem-
bers of the Arab League,
broke relations with Egypt
six years ago after the sign-
ing of the Camp David ac-
cords. The revolt against
Arafat by PLO groups in
Lebanon is directed against
him giving the Jordanian
monarch approval to repre-
sent the Palestinians in the
negotiations with Israel,
Egypt and the U.S.
Mubarak's motives are
more worrisome. Israel is
already concerned about

"Serving the Jewish community with traditional dignity and understanding"

what it calls the cold peace
with Egypt and it has ear-
lier expressed the fear that
Mubarak is seeking to move
back toward the rejectionist
Arab camp.
At the same time, the
Egyptians have always
urged that the PLO be in-
cluded in the negotia-
tions. Egyptian Foreign
Minister Kamal Hassan
Ali, during his visit to
Washington last week,
said that Arafat con-
tinues to the most popu-
lar Palestinian leader.
When Reagan was asked
if he agreed with this
assessment, he replied,
"Well this is what we need
to find out. I can't believe
the radical group under the
influence of the Syrians — I
can't believe that the mil-
lions of Palestinians are
going to choose that leader-
The State Department
made clear last week that
the U.S. still sticks to its
position that it will not deal
with the PLO until it recog-
nizes Israel's right to exist
and accepts United Nations
Security Council Resolution
242 and 333. But it was ob-
viously signalling to Arafat
that the time was ripe for
him to do so.
The State Department
also made clear that it
knows Israel will never sit
down with members of the
PLO. Under the Reagan in-
itiative, Jordan is urged to
join the peace talks with
Palestinians in its delega-
tion, especially from the
West Bank and Gaza, who
are not members of the
PLO. Hussein has main-
tained he first needs the
approval of the PLO and of
Arab states.
But if Arafat could not
give his approval last
April when he was still
the undisputed leader of
the terrorist group, can
he do it now when he has
all he can do to stay in
control of the few
loyalists left?
It seems to many that the
hope in Washington for
Arafat's metamorphosis
from a terrorist to a respon-
sible leader is based more on
wishful thinking and self-
delusion in Washington
than on reality in the Mid-
dle East.

The Family
of the Late


Acknowledges with
grateful appreciation of
the many kind ex-
pressions of sympathy
extended by relatives
and friends during the
family's recent be-





Alan H. Dorfman
Funeral Director & Mgr.

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