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April 20, 1984 - Image 43

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1984-04-20

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

TF,IE DETROIT JT1,1§H-NEVVS

Did You Remember
to send someone a
gift subscription to

Vienna (JTA) — Au-
stria's relations with Israel
have taken a turn for the
better, both politically and
with respect to trade, ac-
cording to Gideon Patt, Is-
rael's Minister for Com-
merce and Industry, who
arrived here this week as
the head of a trade delega-
tion.
Patt, the first Israeli gov-
ernment official to visit Au-
stria since the 1973 Yom
Kippur War, said he left for
Austria with misgivings be-
cause of the long strained
relations between the two
countries. "But now those
feelings have been replaced
with good ones," he told a
press conference.
Since Chancellor Bruno
Kreisky left office last year,
to be succeeded by Chancel-
lor Fred Sinowatz,
Austrian-Israel- relations
have improved and the tone
of talks is much more
friendly, Patt said.
He noted that Sinowatz
has promised that he would
stress the principle of Is-
rael's right to exist at all his
meetings with Arab dip-
lomats, and in fact did so re-
cently in Abu Dhabi during
a visit to the United Arab
Emirates. Kreisky, though
Jewish, had been consis-
tently critical of Israeli
policies and maintained
cordial relations with Arab
countries and with Pales-
tine Liberation Organiza-
tion chief Yasir Arafat.
For that reason, Austrian
initiatives in the Middle
East were often suspect in
Israel. But Austria will soon
undertake new initiatives
in the region. Foreign
Minister Erwin Lanc told a
press conference here that
the government expects to
increase its activities in the
next few months to contrib-
ute toward an easing of ten-
sions in the Middle East.
Lanc, reporting on Aust-
rian foreign policy during
1983, would not specify
what the new initiatives
might be. But he made it
clear that Austria views the
Palestinian question as the
basic problem to be resolved
in the region and hinted
that whatever new initia-
tives might be taken will be
aimed in that direction. The
war in Lebanon was a dis-
traction, Lanc said. "Maybe
now there will be a time of
thinking instead of fight-
ing."
He stressed that for Au-
stria to play a mediator's
role in the Middle East, it
must be accepted by both
sides. But more important
than mediation are internal
changes in the positions of
both sides. "There was no
movement in Israel in that
respect and ont enough
movement on the Palesti-
nian side, so we have to
wait," Lanc said.
Lanc will leave next week

on a ten-day tour of the
Arab Gulf states, accom-
panied by Austrian
businessmen. But the main
purpose of his trip will be
political, Lanc said. "We
want to get new information
about the political views of
these states that help us
prepare future initiatives
for the Middle East."
Asked if he would visit Is-
rael, Lanc said he hadn't
been invited but added that
such a visit would be useful
even if there are policy dif-
ferences. He spoke in some
detail of Kreisky's recent
private visit to Egypt. He
stressed that the retired
Chancellor no longer repre-
sents Austria in an official
capacity but he does have
input with respect to policy.
Lanc hinted that Austria
is continuing its efforts to
arrange a prisoner ex-
change between Israel and
the Popular Front for the
Liberation of Palestine-
General Command, a pro-
Syrian terrorist group
headed by Ahmed Jibril.
Jibril's forces currently hold
two Israeli soldiers cap-
tured in Lebanon.

.Congress marks
Rebbe's birthday

Washington (JTA) —
Congress marked the 82nd
birthday of Rabbi
Menachem Schneerson, the
Lubavitcher Rebbe, last
week by proclaiming April
13 as "Education Day
U.S.A."
"Education represents
the very essence of the Re-
bbe's life," Rabbi Avraham
Shemtov, executive director
of American Friends of
Lubavitch, told a luncheon
meeting in honor of
Schneerson on Capitol Hill.
Shemtov noted that the
Rebbe was "devoted" not
only to Jewish education
but to education for
everyone.
A resolution adopted by
both Houses of Congress
praised Schneerson for his
contribution to education in
the United States.

Met opera
week slated

New York's Metropolitan
Opera Company will per--
form seven different pro-
grams during Metropolitan
Opera Week in Detroit, May
28-June 2 at Masonic Tem-
ple.
Placido Domingo, Mari-
lyn Horne and Renata
Scotto will be among the
Met performers making
guest appearances in De-
troit.
For tickets or informa-
tion, call the Detroit Grand
Opera Association, 832-
5200 during business hours.

).9; $4

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