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March 23, 1984 - Image 11

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1984-03-23

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

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Mideast peace push

Continued from Page 1
by "so-called moderates"
like the Jordanian
monarch. "You make a
number of very useful
points," the senior official
said calmly. "I'm not here to
pretend that we are dealing
with giants of courage in Is-
rael's neighboring states,
but we must deal with the
cast of characters we have
and try to persuade them to
make peace with Israel."
He repeatedly em-
phasized that America's
"foremost concern" is with
Israel's security and noted
that while the U.S. and Is-
rael continue- to have dis-
agreements, they are less
serious than "a year or two
ago and they are over tactics
rather than strategy."
He asserted that "no Ad-
ministration has made a
bigger commitment" to Is-
rael than the present one in
terms of -economic support.
"We've been very forthcom-
ing at their every request in
Jerusalem and the govern-
ment there is very pleased
by this."
In response to a question,
the official said that it

"I'm not here to
pretend that we are
dealing with giants of
courage in Israel's
neighboring states,"
a senior official noted.

would be wrong for the U.S.
to move its embassy in Is-
rael from Tel Aviv to
Jerusalem because "we
don't want to provide any
excuses for the Arabs to
avoid the main issues, and
we don't feel this is a sub-
stantive issue." A minister
responded by saying that
Christians believe that the
status of Jerusalem is not
negotiable. "The Bible is
our source," he said to gen-
eral applause in the room.
Criticisms of Reagan
Mideast policy from the
audience were often fol-
lowed by applause and calls
of "Amen."
While the national secu-
rity affairs official probably
did not change any minds
regarding the wisdom of the
Administration's Mideast
policies, he did evoke em-
pathy from some for the dif-
ficulty of Washington's pre-
dicament. Policies are based
on risk, the official said, and
one must deal with reality
rather than wishful think-
ing. And above all there
must be the willingness to
persevere. "Some of you
have portrayed the situa-
tion as hopeless," the offi-
cial said after responding to
a series of questions. "Cer-
tainly we, are faced with
serious problems but you, as
Christian and Jewish lead-
ers, must recognize that
there must always be hope,"
he noted, gently prodding
the room full of clergy.
He emphasized that as
someone who meets with
the President on a daily
basis, he can attest to the
fact that "Ronald Reagan
intends to leave as his le-
gacy two primary achieve-
-

9 .

and his

ments: lowering the
number of nuclear arms in
the world and bringing
peace to the Mideast."

In another session de-
voted to the Mideast, a
senior Defense Department
official spoke of the con
straints imposed by Con-
gress on his department and
of defense efforts to provide
increased stability in the
Mideast. We have followed
up on some good initiatives
from the Carter Adminis-
tration in protecting the
Persian Gulf' by building
up U.S. assets in Oman,
Kenya and Egypt, develop-
ing formal talks with Israel
("the first meeting went ex-
tremely well") and increas-
ing U.S. security assistance
to Israel, Turkey and
Greece.
He stressed that "there is
a misperception that this
Administration is leaning
towards nuclear warfare —
the opposite is true."
A session on Central
America found a White
House spokesman char-
acterizing the conflict as
that of "the atheistic Corn-
munists" engaged in "the
end battle against our
Judeo-Christian values."
He emphasized that the
problems in Central
America and the Mideast
are closely allied — with
Soviet-supported terrorism
a key ingredient — and
urged the Jewish and Chris-
tian leaders to devote more
of their attention to Central
America.
In all, the White House
briefing was primarily an
effort on the part of the Ad-
ministration to explain its
policies — "something we
haven't done terribly well
up until now," a senior offi-
cial acknowledged.

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Response to
Israeli boasts?

Tel Aviv (ZINS) —
Russian-born Israeli author
David Markish blames Is-
raeli boasting for the
placement of sophisticated
Russian missiles and tech-
nicians in Syria.
Markish wrote in Maariv
that the Soviet Union would
not have moved the sophis-
ticated weapons into Syria
after Israel destroyed the
Syrian tanks and planes
during the Lebanon incur-
sion if Israel had not brag-
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"technically - inferior" Rus-
sian equipment.

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