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November 09, 1984 - Image 32

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1984-11-09

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32

Friday, November 9, 1984

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

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Landslide misses 5

Continued from Page 1

religion. Half of those Jews
who supported Reagan were
influenced by Jackson's role in
the Mondale campaign and in
his own quest for the
Presidency. And three-
quarters of those Jews who
supported Reagan were con-
cerned about his church-state
policies.
Social justice issues, such as
the needs of the poor and the
aged, were also a factor among
those Jews siding with Mon-
dale.
Analysts also concluded
that Jewish voters are not as
liberal as two or three decades
ago. Still, their personal eco-
nomic status continues to play
a far less important role in
their politics than it does for
most other Americans. Thus,
Jews continue to vote dispro-
portionately liberal.
Ronald Reagan's immense
personal popularity held sway
through most of the race for
the Presidency. But once away
from the Reagan-Mondale
contest, the power and influ-
ence — and the fund-raising
acumen — of the Jewish com-
munity was able to exert its
influence.
Perhaps, this was more ap-
parent in the Percy-Simon
race than elsewhere. Arab-
Americans gave top priority to
Percy's re-election, mostly be-
cause, as chairman of the Se-
nate Foreign Relations Com-
mittee, he was not partial to
Israel. They poured money
and workers into his cam-
paign. But despite this aid and
despite the advantage of Per-
cy's three-term incumbency,
challenger Paul Simon man-
aged a slim majority of votes.
Percy's departure from the
Senate means that North
Carolina's Senator Jesse
Helms has a clear choice: re-
main as chairman of the Se-
nate Agriculture Committee
or assume the chairmanship of
the Senate Foreign Affairs
Committee, where his senior-
ity has put him next in line to
succeed Percy.
Helms has said several
times that he would remain as
head of Agriculture. But now
that Percy's loss is a reality,
there is always a chance he
may reconsider. His campaign
rhetoric was certainly made
less controversial — at least
for home consumption — by
Helm's claim that he would
continue as chairman of the
farming committee: Agricul-
ture, not Foreign Affairs, is
surely of more interest to
Helms' North Carolina con-
stituents, a people ' whose
economy is heavily dependent
on tobacco.

Jesse Helms

Former North Carolina
Governor Jim Hunt's loss to
Helms by a four percent mar-
gin throws fear into a number
of American Jews. A hero of
the New Right-Moral Majority
coalition, Helms has voted al-
most consistently against Is-
rael since entering the Senate
in 1973. He has backed arms
sales to Arab states and op-
posed almost every aid pro-
gram for Israel. In 1982, he
proposed that the United
States "shut down relations
with Israel" if Prime Minister
Menachem Begin did not
agree to a cease fire in Beirut.
Kenneth Jacobson, Middle
East director for the Anti-
Defamation League, said the
possibility of Helms heading
Foreign Affairs "has to be
viewed in the total perspective
of Washington. One has to as-
sume that the depth of support
for Israel will continue in the
Congress and the White
House. It's hard to imagine
that one person will make that
much difference. There will be
no major developments until
there is more acceptance of
Helms' positions some years
from now."
Another close observer of
Capitol Hill said that a key
factor that could determine:
the success of a Helms chair-
manship of Foreign Relations
is the relationship between
the North Carolinian and
other committee members.
Helms' reputation for brow-
beating, rudeness and arro-
gance could easily work
against him in the more
prestigious committee.
Should Helms opt for re-
maining at Agriculture, the
man who would head Foreign
Affairs is Richard Lugar (R-
Ind.), a former Rhodes scholar.
An ally of the New Right,
Lugar has a reputation as
being mildly pro-Israel. Cur-
rently a leader of the
mainstream GOP forces on the
committee, Lugar believes in
more defense spending and a

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