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December 14, 1984 - Image 26

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1984-12-14

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

26

Friday, December 14, 1984 THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

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COMMENT

Will Nixon alter policy?

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Special to The Jewish News

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If the Reagan Administration is
responsive to the input it is receiv-
ing from former President
Richard M. Nixon, one of its first
moves in the foreign affairs area
will be to launch a radically
different policy in the Middle East
early next year before the Ameri-
can Jewish community can make
its influence felt in the 1986 Con-
gressional elections.
The former President, widely
hailed as a great friend of Israel
despite the anti-Jewish senti-
ments he revealed in the
Watergate tapes, currently es-
pouses a Middle East policy con-
trary in many respects to the Rea-
gan Administration's "strategic
consensus" to block Soviet penet-
ration of the area.
Today, Nixon sees a role for the
Soviets in the Middle East and
advises President Reagan to talk
it over with Moscow.
The ex-President strongly sup-
ports the Reagan Plan for resolu-
tion of the Palestinian question by
establishment of an autonomous
Palestinian entity on the West
Bank in some form of association
with Jordan. Reagan's plan, in-
troduced in September 1982, was
promptly rejected by Israel, which
had not been consulted prior to its
disclosure, and by Jordan and the
Palestine Liberation Organiza-
tion.
The disclosure of the Nixon
recommendations to the White
House followed on the heels of
Washington's disclosure that dip-
lomatic relations were being re-
established between Iraq and the
United States. The Iraqis severed
relations with the United States
in 1967 because of American sup-
port of Israel. They developed and
maintain close ties with the
Soviet Union which has been the
principal source of their arms and
equipment in Iraq's four-year war
with Iran.
The former President went pub-
lic with his views in a surprisingly
frank interview with Karen El-
liott House of the Wall Street
Journal. In Nixon's view, House
reported, President Reagan has
almost limitless latitude to chart
a new course, since "he owes his
victory to no one and to everyone."
To use this freedom most effec-
tively, Nixon asserts, Reagan
must concentrate his efforts on
only a few issues — "to use a rifle,
not a shotgun." He considers the
major foreign policy issues to be
the Middle East and Soviet-
American relations.
Explaining his new concept of
the Soviet role in the Middle East,
against which he fought so
strenuously during his incum-
bency, Nixon told House:
"I don't want the Russians
dominating the area but I think
the Soviet Union should play a
role in the Middle East. After all,
the Russians are there. We must
recognize that the major de-
stabilizing factor in the Middle
East isn't the communist revolu-
tion but the • Moslem-
fundamentalist revolution."
There is a compelling urgency
in dealing with the Middle East,
Nixon thinks, because the risk of
a superpower confrontation is
greatest there.
"The least likely threat of war is

a Soviet SS-20 attack on Western
Europe," he told House. "But
you've had five wars in the Middle
East and at the present time it is
the best candidate for another
one."
Another reason for urgency in
dealing with the Middle East, in
Nixon's view, is the need to for-
estall pressure from the American
Jewish community. That means
that what he considers sound
Middle East policy is possible only
if it is launched by early 1985. .
"The only time you have a win-
dow of opportunity to come up
with anything responsible in the
Middle East is non-election
years," he claims. "In 1986,
there's no way you can do any-
thing in the Middle East that
won't be tilted too far in the direc-
tion of Israel."
He urged Reagan to revive the
initiative on the Reagan Plan,
noting that things have changed
since Israel and Jordan said "no"
and that chances for progress are
better today.
In the ten years since Richard
M. Nixon and Henry Kissinger,
first as his national security ad-
viser and then as his Secretary of
State, formulated and carried out
American foreign policy, Nixon's
foreign policy views have under-
gone a metamorphosis both in
their broad perspective and in
specifics. In office, his major
foreign policy objective was to
neutralize Soviet power and he
pioneered establishment of rela-
tions with Communist China as a
check on the Soviet Union.
Today, a decade later, his call is
not for confrontation with the
Soviet Union but for accommoda-
tion. Instead of relying on China's
friendship as a Soviet counter-
weight, he advocates better rela-
tions with Moscow to reduce
chances tha China will try to
exact too high a price for coopera-
tion against the Soviet Union.
How great a friend of Israel was
Nixon in power and how much a
friend is he today? These ques-
tions assume significance as Ni-
xon, with powerful support, is
slowly emerging from the Coven-
try that followed Watergate and
inches perceptibly. toward the seat
of a respected elder statesman.

NEWS

Credit union
robbed again

The B'nai B'rith Covenant Cre-
dit Union in Southfield was held
up for the second time in two
months last Thursday, this time
losing $11,000. Police are looking
for a man who may have been in-
volved in both robberies.
In last week's incident, a man
armed with a .25 caliber auto-
matic pistol entered the credit
union, located inside th B'nai
B'rith Building at 25835 South-
field, at about 4:15 p.m. and said
"OK, I'm here again," according to
police. In October, a pair of men
escaped with more than $6,000 in
a similar robbery.

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