Friday, November 23, 1984
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
THE JEWISH NEWS
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© 1964 by The Detroit Jewish News (US PS 275-520)
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CANDLELIGHTING AT 4:47 P.M.
VOL. LXXXVI, NO. 13
Helms at the helm?
Contrary to his promise to North Carolina voters to maintain his position
as chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, it seems increasingly
likely that ultra-conservative Republican Jesse Helms will assume the
chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He is said to prefer
the Foreign Relations post and his senior aides are acting as though he will
Helms' record on Israel is the worst in the Senate. He has voted against
aid to Israel, supports arms sales to the Arabs and, most distressing of all,
publicly, called on President Reagan during the height of the war in Lebanon
to break relations with Israel.
It should be noted, though, that the majority of the Senate Foreign
Relations Committee is pro-Israel and that in four years with Charles Percy
as chairman, supporters of Israel never lost a vote.
Pro-Israel supporters are not the only ones in Washington disturbed by
the prospect. The State Department, leading Republicans and Democrats are
worried that Helms will use the position to disrupt future negotiations with
the Soviets and U.S. diplomatic activities from Central America to the Far
East. On a political level, Republicans fear that Helms will hurt this party's
image and may lead to a Democratic Senate majority in 1986.
The Reagan Administration and Senate leaders would prefer to see
Richard Lugar of Indiana, who is the next ranking Republican, assume the
chairmanship of Foreign Relations. Lugar is a respected leader and has a
solid record on Israel. But the job is Helms' if he wants it and we'll find out
next week if he prefers to champion his constituents' tobacco advocacy or
grandstand on foreign policy.
Reagan landslide victory
mixed blessing forlsrael
BY WOLF BLITZER
The Jewish News Washington correspondent
Washington — President Ronald
Reagan's dramatic, landslide re-
election potentially portends some
mixed blessings for Israel.
On the one hand, Reagan is
clearly a proven and committed friend
whose gut instincts toward Israel are
almost always positive. On the other
hand, he has won a truly impressive,
personal mandate from the American
people to try to implement his national
agenda over the coming four years —
both on domestic as well as foreign pol-
The President, therefore, will be
in an unusually strong position to lean
on Israel if he should so desire. Israeli
officials in Washington and their
American supporters are, of course,
well aware of this fact. They were
quietly expressing hope shortly after
the election that Reagan and his
foreign policy team will be tempered in
pressing Israel too tightly into a
Walter Mondale's backers in the
Jewish community had repeatedly
warned over the past several months
that a second term Reagan presidency
would be in a position to impose all
sorts of demands on Israel — economic
as well as political — without worry of
domestic political retribution.
Certainly, the "moderate" Arab
states, including Egypt, Jordan and
Saudi Arabia, are now hoping to see
Washington embark on a new, get-
tough policy toward Israel. They had
privately sided with Reagan during
the campaign, convinced that Mondale
was simply too pro-Israel to ever ac-
cept their concerns.
But there is a prevailing sense in
Washington that the Arabs are going
to be in for a disappointment. This
Administration — with George Shultz
staying on as Secretary of State — is in
no mood to overly antagonize the new
national unity government of Prime
Minister Shimon Peres.
They view Peres as about as de-
cent and forthcoming an Israeli leader
as is realistically possible. They do not
want to do anything to weaken his
admittedly fragile position in Israel. If
anything, they want to strengthen
him, recognizing that other potential
prime ministers could cause Washing-
ton considerably more grief.
There is also mounting despair in
the U.S. capital over the entirecom-
plex and seemingly endless sources of
tension in the Middle East. The first
Reagan term of office suffered re-
peatedly and badly in the region, the
disasters in Lebanon being only the
climax of many other embarrassing
setbacks. There is no great desire to
jump back into that mess.
This Administration —
with George Shultz staying
on as Secretary of State —
is in no mood to antagonize
the new national unity
government of Shimon
There are several other areas
around the world where the Adminis-
tration will be more inclined to under-
take new diplomatic initiatives —
arms control with the Soviet Union
and easing overall East-West tensions
being number one on the agenda. This
should mount up to a general inclina-
tion to avoid the grand Arab-Israeli
arena as much as possible.
As long as Reagan is President,
the upward curve in American-Israel
relations can be expected to continue.
Major among the victims of the economic difficulties in Israel are the
universities. The pride of the nation, the creative, cultural force of a people
whose chief aspirations are the advancement of its spiritual values, the
reduction in means of continuing higher education aims is appalling.
Symptomatic is the deplorable revelation-that Hebrew University in
Jerusalem has limited means to carry on its vast program and may be
compelled to close ranks or greatly reduce functioning in a matter of weeks.
Tel Aviv University, Haifa University, the University of the Negev and
the other important schools are seriously affected. Ben-Gurion University
Earlier, concern about its future functions was expressed by Bar-Ilan
University. Technion similarly warned of the threats to the school, on a par
with other universities in Israel.
Partial solution to the crisis lies in the attitudes and interest of the
Diaspora. Exemplary in generosity toward the schools is the response to the
needs of the Technion and Bar-Ilan University in this community.
While the bulk of the funds towards the enumerated schools comes from
t, te Israel government, it is apparent that outside aid is an utter necessity.
Therefore, assistance to Israel's universities, by Detroit Jewry and other
Diaspora communities, becomes an obligation.
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