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July 20, 1984 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1984-07-20

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

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4 Friday, July 20, 1984

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

THE JEWISH NEWS

Serving Detroit's Metropolitan Jewish Community
with distinction for four decades.

Georgia Jews like Bert Lance
in spite of his Arab connections

BY WOLF BLITZER

The Jewish News Washington correspondent

Editorial and Sales offices at 17515 West Nine Mile Road,
Suite 865, Southfield, Michigan 48075-4491
TELEPHONE 424-8833

PUBLISHER: Charles A. Buerger
EDITOR EMERITUS: Philip Slomovitz
EDITOR: Gary Rosenblatt
BUSINESS MANAGER: Carmi M. Slomovitz
ART DIRECTOR: Kim Muller-Thym
NEWS EDITOR: Alan Hitsky
LOCAL NEWS EDITOR: Heidi Press
EDITORIAL ASSISTANT: Tedd Schneider
LOCAL COLUMNIST: Danny Raskin

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES:
Drew Lieberwitz
Rick Nessel
Danny Raskin.
Seymour Schwartz

OFFICE STAFF:
Marlene Miller
Dharlene' Norris
Phyllis Tyner
Pauline Weiss
Ellen Wolfe

PRODUCTION:
Donald Cheshure
Cathy Ciccdne
Curtis Deloye
Ralph Orme

Bert Lance, the man named by
Walter Mondale to chair his
Presidential election campaign, has
had an intimate financial association
with several wealthy Arab
businessmen over the past seven
years.
Lance, who was forced to resign
as President Jimmy Carter's budget
director in October 1977 because of
alleged financial irregularities, sub-

© 1984 by The Detroit Jewish News (US PS 275-520)
Second Class postage paid at Southfield, Michigan and additional mailing offices. Subscription $18 a year.

CANDLELIGHTING AT 8:46 P.M.

VOL. LXXXV, NO. 21

The waffling Democrats

It's been a long week out there in San Francisco. Walter Mondale has
been busy putting a facade of unity on the Democratic Party that he hopes
will sail him into the White House come the November elections. But Fritz
is- n't as deft with camouflaging as he would like to be. Beneath that thin,
barely transparent veneer of friendship among the trio of contenders for the
. Democratic nomination — Mondale, Jackson and Hart — and behind the
hoopla generated by Geraldine Ferrero's nomination for Vice President,
there runs a nasty current that smacks of indecision, maybe even of timidity.
In his move for a centrist position that has some appeal to everyone,
Mondale and the Democratic Party of 1984 seem to have taken one of their
more loyal constituencies for granted. For decades now, Jews have
consistently voted Democratic. The Democratic Party was seen as the voice of
the Jews, just as it was perceived as the voice of the urban poor, industrial
workers and trade unionists, and of most other ethnic groups. The patty
championed the underprivileged, the underpaid, the underfed. As the party of
workers and immigrants, Democrats rarely brooked intolerance andbigotry.
The party, for instance, had heated debates at its 1948 and 1964 conventions
about civil rights. Floor fights were discouraged; they were not anathema as
they are of today's sanitized conventions.
But this has been the year of the political wild card for Democrats. Jesse
Jackson, a political novice, attracted 22 percent of the popular vote
nation-wide in the primaries and has become a voice to be reckoned with. He
has also scared the dickens out of the party leadership, including Walter
Mondale.
Though Mondale lambasted Black Muslim Louis Farrakhan's vitriolic
slaps at Jews, he did not come down on Jackson for refusing to repudiate
Farrakhan's support. This week, Mondale's political handlers managed to
deflect a floor vote on a 'resolution supported by some Jewish leaders calling
on the Democratic Party "to repudiate and completely dissociate itself from
people who promote all forms of hatred, bigotry, racism and anti-Semitism." -
Mondale's people feared it would set off a Jackson-choreographed
demonstration on the convention floor. In their pursuit of harmony — and not
of principle — they kept the resolution from the convention delegates. (As
part of a compromise reached, the resolution was set to be introduced at the
Democratic Naltional Committee meeting following the convention.)
This does not sound like the Democratic Party of the New Deal, the New
c Frontier and the Great Society. This sounds like a Democratic Party that is
waffling in a quest for a new identity, a Democratic Party that, not sure of
itself, is trying to accomodate some of the idiosyncracies of people like Jesse
Jackson so it can be all things to all people. In that process, the party belittles
itself, its history and its traditions. It also belittles Jews and blacks and
others who look to it to battle racism and bigotry everywhere.

A; new JacktOti?

Jesse Jackson went about as far as a politician can go in asking' for
forgiveness in his stirring' address to the Democratic convention Tuesday
night: No one speech can make amends for years of bitter rhetoric and
injurious actions. But let us take him at his word — and'watch carefully to see
if his behavior will now reflect a new attempt to heal the black-JevVish
wounds he helped cause.

Bert Lance's financial ties to Gaith
Pharoan have not been forgotten.

sequently established an extensive
business relationship with Gaith
Pharoan, a well-known Saudi inves-
tor who once owned Detroit's Bank of
the Commonwealth (which is now
part 'of Comerica).
Pharoan bailed out Lance's Na-
tional Bank of Georgia from financial
ruin by purchasing most of its out-
standing stock at a reported $4 pre-
mium over the assessed value. He
paid $2.4 million for the stock.
At the time, there was wide-
spread speculation in the U.S. news
media,, that Pharoan was seeking
influence in the Carter Administra-
tion.
Other
wealthy
Arab
businessmen were then involved in
some highly publicized activities
with Billy • Carter, the President's
younger brother.
Later, Lance was active in sev-

eral additional banking ventures
with a financial group headed by
Kamal Adhan, the former chief of
Saudi intelligence, and other Arabs,
including the Crown Prince of Abu
Dhabi and the head of Kuwait Air-
lines. "Lance has operated as a front
for Arab investors in the U.S and, in
turn, these same Arabs have seper-
ately bailed Lance out of financial
difficulties," one Washington insider
said.
On Aug. 6, 1978, Lance com-
plained in an interview with The At-
4anta Journal-Constitution that
"Jewish ownership of the press"
might be to blame for intense media
coverage -of oil-rich Arabs seeking
U.S. investments. "Multinational
investments have been a strong part
of the American economy for a long
time," he said. "I understand the con-
cerns, but circumstances have
changed. There's no special signifi-
cance to the word 'Arab.' I don't know
whether all the hurrah stems from
the great Jewish ownerhip of the
press or not."
Four days later, after the B'nai
B'rith Anti-Defamation League pro-
tested, Lance apologized for that re-
mark. "I sincerely hope that in no
such a statement would give
encouragement to those who feel any
prejudice towards the Jewish
people," Lance said following a two-
hour meeting with regional ADL di-
rector, Charles Wittenstein, at
Lance's Atlanta mansion. "It is
neither relevant nor constructive to
talk about the religious affiliation of
people in the media or any other pro-
fession, and that was the point I was
trying to make,,... I've tried always
to speak out against prejudice. . ."
Still, Lance's record since leav-
ing the Carter Administration has
become a source of deep concern
among some Jewish leaders in the
immediate aftermath of Mondale's
surprise decision to elevate the
former Carter associate to such a

Continued on Page 24

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