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December 28, 1984 - Image 21

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1984-12-28

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

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS Friday, December 28, 1984

0

Wit& 546-6200

Tel Aviv gets word on austerity:
fire city workers, raise taxes

Tel Aviv (JTA) — The Interior
Ministry told the Tel Aviv Munic-
ipality that it had better fire sev-
eral hundred city employees and
raise local taxes by ten percent if
it expects to be bailed out of its
current financial difficulties.

(

,7)

The austerity-or-else scenario
was outlined by the Ministry's di-
rector general, Haim Kubersky,
at a press conference last week.
Kubersky was responding to
charges by Tel Aviv Mayor
Shlomo Lahat that the govern-
ment's failure to allocate funds
was responsible for the 11-day
strike by city workers to protest
the non-payment of their Novem-
ber salaries. The strike ended
Saturday night after commercial
banks agreed to lend the city
council an additional IS 2 billion

4

(about $3.3 million) so that it
could meet its payroll.
Kubersky insisted that the city
government must make sacrifices
in the interests of an economic re-
covery plan. Lahat said elements
of the plan proposed by the gov-
ernment are "unreasonable and
impossible." But according to the
Interior Ministry, which oversees
local governments, cutbacks in
expenditures are a prerequisite
for further government assis-
tance.
Kubersky explained, however,
that the city will not receive direct
financial help from the state. In-
stead, the government will
encourage local banks to loan Tel
Aviv more money, which the city
will have to pay off from its re-
sources.
The government official con-

Analyzing human rights

New York — Direct political ac-
tion is less likely to bring on social
change in the Soviet Union than
the current human rights move-
ment, asserts a noted authority on
Soviet repression of dissidents,
himself a Russian emigre now liv-
ing in the United States.
Valery Chalidze, co-founder
with Andrei Sakharov and Andr.3i
Tverdokhlebov of the Soviet
Human Rights Committee, points
out that there is no telling how
long a preliminary struggle must
continue in the Soviet Union be-
fore direct political action be-
comes possible.
Stressing that the approach of
the human rights movement in
the Soviet Union, which em-
phasizes understanding of the
rule of law, is more effective than
direct political action in
encouraging the necessary social
development.
Chalidze adds: "Any direct
political challenge in the Soviet

"Revolutionaries and
human rights
activists in the Soviet
Union are critical of
the authorities.
Nevertheless there is
a fundamental
incompatibility
between them."

Union would require greater sac-
rifices and achieve fewer results."
Chalidze's views are expressed
in a 50-page pamphlet entitled
The Soviet Human Rights Move-
ment: A Memoir just published by
the American Jewish Commit-
tee's Jacob Blaustein Institute for
the Advancement of Human
Rights. In a foreword, Richard
Maass, chairman of the institute,
emphasizes Chalidze's conviction
that "revolution does not auto-
matically or necessarily result in
more freedom or justice, or in
greater respect for human rights
either by governments or their
peoples."

Chalidze believes, Maass notes,
that "before respect for human
rights can be achieved in the
USSR, knowledge and under-
standing of the rule of law must
spread among the leadership and
the people."
The Russian human rights ad-
vocate points out that in the West
traditions of pluralism, peaceful
political struggle, and tolerance of
differing opinions have developed
over the course of centuries.
"It is quite unrealistic," he
states, "to expect that Russia can
achieve the same level of social
development within a few years."
Not only is the regime too
strong and too insecure to permit
serious unsanctioned political ac-
tivity, Chalidze believes, "but the
pursuit by separate political
groups of specific concessions
would divide, rather than unite
the people."
"Both revolutionaires and the
human rights activists in the
Soviet Union are critical of the
authorities," writes Chalidze,
"and both take considerable per-
sonal risks to pursue their goals.
Nevertheless, there is a funda-
mental incompatibility between
them" he explains.
"We human rights activists
hoped that by exercising our
rights in exemplary fashion, and
by encouraging some of our com-
patriots to do so, we would lay the
groundwork for positive change in
the Soviet Union and persuade
the government, over time, to
yield to public pressure and show
greater respect for the rule of law.
For the revolutionaries, however,
the Soviet system is beyond rede-
mption."
Both the revolutionaries and
the reformers think they are
right, Chalidze notes, adding that
he believes that "a realistic ap-
praisal of the strength and stabil-
ity of the Soviet system, as well as
of its historical experience, favors
the reformers."
The world functions by -com-
promise and deals, Chalidze as-
serts, and insistence on moral
absolutes and utopian ideas will
only inhibit the practical politics
that can lead to a better and freer
life for Russian citizens.

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tended that Tel Aviv's financial
problems were of its own making.
He accused the municipality of
spending money on non-essential
projects such as development of its
Haaretz Museum and $1 million
for an art school that will serve
only 200 pupils.
Lahat had complained that the
city was forced to spend large
sums providing services for out-
of-town visitors who do not pay
local taxes. Kubersky replied that
Tel Aviv's budget was almost
twice that of Jerusalem which has
more residents in its municipal
area. Because of the outsized
budget, the government cannot
take into account the commuters
who stream into Tel Aviv every
day, Kubersky said.
At the same time, in northern
Israel, employees of the Ata tex-
tile mills and hundreds of other
workers from the Haifa area took
to the streets in an angry demon-
stration against the imminent
closure of the Ata plant.
The textile combine, one of the
largest employers in the Haifa
district, has been in the hands of
government receivers for several
months. Formal bankruptcy has
not been declared while the re-
ceivers search for a buyer or in-
vestment group that would keep
the mills running. Thousands of
jobs are at stake.
With commercial banks refus-
ing to extend further loans, the
deadline for shutting Ata down is
Monday. The demonstrators
cheered loudly when Pinhas
Groob, chairman of the Ata
Workers Committee, declared,
"They will have to cut us into lit-
tle pieces before we leave Ata."
The Haifa Labor Council has
threatened to call strikes
throughout northern Israel if
Ata's doors are closed on Tuesday.
The Shmuel Eisenberg Invest-
ment Group, which holds the
majority of Ata shares, said that it
has invested some $10 million in
the faltering industry and cannot
affort to invest any more.

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Israelis like
Negev bases

Tel Aviv (ZINS) — The head of
Israel's air force, General Amos
Lapidot, says that the air bases in
the Negev are significantly better
than those that the air force used
in the Sinai. There is, however, a
problem in that Israel's pilots are
operating within very restricted
air space which was not the case
when they flew over the Sinai
peninsula.
At the same time, the quality of
the Negev air fields is signific-
antly better than those that were
vacated in the Sinai. By this time,
he said, the Israeli pilots have ad-
justed to the resticted air space in
the Negev but there are still diffi-
culties. With regard to Israel's de-
pendence on the import of Ameri-
can weapons, General Lapidot
said that notwithstanding Israel's
capacity to manufacture the Lavi
aircraft, the country will still de-
pend upon the U.S. in the future
for the American-made Phantom
jets and for other military equip-
ment.

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