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November 02, 1984 - Image 20

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1984-11-02

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

1 21:1 fFiday„(\loyprpper,3i1?84

pEili911"-;JEN1§11:WWS

ELECTION '84

JEWS&ARABS
AGRE1:enoFOrgyi
Is The Race To Watc

BY YOSEF BENZVI
Special to
The Jewish News

Incumbent Charles Percy: Called Arafat a "moderate."

F

inally, there is some-
thing Arabs and Jews
agree on: For them,
Charles Percy's re-election
bid is the most important in
the country.
When asked at the Na-
tional Association of Arab
Americans' (NAAA) conven-
tion last spring which
political race the organization
should consider most impor-
tant, former GOP represen-
tative Pete McClosky said,
"Chuck' ' Percy is number
one." McClosky, not known
for his love of Israel, urged
the NAAA to "get every
dollar you can into Illinois
and re-elect" Percy.
When asked by The Jewish
on which
News
candidates the Jewish com-
munity should focus its at-
tention, a top political opera-
tive for a major national Jew-
ish organization listed sever-
al, then said, "Charles Percy
is the most important."
Of course, the reason Jews
and Arabs have for giving
such prominence to the re-
election effort of Illinois'
senior senator are diametric-
ally different. But the reason
each thinks Percy, an 18-year
veteran of the Senate, is so
important, is exactly the
same: Percy is chairman of
the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee.
The committee seems to in-
clude the word "powerful" as
an official part of its name. It
is the first stop for a foreign
leader wanting to explain a
position or outline a request
for a foreign aid bill, a foreign
arms sale, a foreign policy
question to be resolved. The
committee's view of a bill can
largely decide its fate on the
Senate floor.
The chairman of the com-
mittee appoints its staff, sets
its schedule, determines what
gets investigated and con-
trolls its proceedings. He
wields enormous power. Pow-
er, when it comes to the Mid-
dle East, that Israel and its
American Jewish supporters
are very concerned a-
bout. Power held by
Senator Charles Percy.
Percy's power sterns
from the 1980 Reagan
landslide which gave Re-
publicans control of the
Senate and from his own
last-minute re-election win
in 1978. That victory came,
in large measure, as a result
of Percy's ability to garner a
large percentage of Illinois'

Yosef ', en Zui is the pseudo-
nyn- .). I Ch;:.:ago-based writer.

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