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January 25, 1985 - Image 84

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1985-01-25

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Friday, January 25, 1985




Israel Scurries For New D.C. Contacts

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With the start of this
second Reagan Administration,
Israeli diplomats and their
American political supporters in
Washington find themselves
scurrying to establish closer
contacts with some of the new
faces thrust into the limelight.
The most important policy-
makers are remaining — Presi-
dent Ronald Reagan, Vice Presi-
dent George Bush, Secretary of
State George Shultz, Secretary
of Defense Caspar Weinberger
and National Security Adviser
Robert McFarlane.
But there already have been
some significant changes in per-
sonnel just below that level —
bureaucratic changes which
could directly impact on U.S.
policy toward the Middle East,
including Israel.
In addition, there have been
several significant changes in
the Senate and House of
How all of this will impact on
such critical matters as eco-
nomic and military aid levels to
Israel, sophisticated arms sales
to "moderate" Arab states,
backup support for Israel's just-
announced unilateral
withdrawal from Lebanon, and
diplomatic involvement in any
new effort to revive the broader
Arab-Israel peace process still
remains to be seen.
The departure of so many of
the President's closest Califor-
nia political cronies from the
White House staff in recent
I weeks has suggested to most
observers that he will be more
dependent on the thinking of his
chief foreign policy advisers
I than ever before. This has cer-
tainly strengthened the hands of
Shultz, Weinberger and
James Baker, who ably serv-
ed as White House Chief of Staff
during the first term, will
become Secretary of the Trea-
— switching jobs with an
I sury
equally competent Donald
Regan. As far as Israel is con-
cerned, that exchange of posi-
tions is unlikely to have any im-
mediate impact. Both men, ac-
cording to political insiders,
share roughly the same assess-
ment of Israel and the Arab
Neither is by any means hos-
tile toward Israel, although both
have occasionally caused pro-

blems for it. At the Treasury, for
instance, Regan was often
weary of Israel's ongoing efforts
to win large-scale U.S. economic
aid increases at a time of
domestic U.S. budgetary
This, by the way, has been a
traditional and even under-
standable posture taken by vir-
tually all Treasury Secretaries
over the years. It seems to come
with the territory. Their main
worry is over budget deficits.
But Baker, while of course
sensitive to domestic policies,
was not exactly known in the
White House as one of Israel's
most outspoken supporters
either. Thus, he can be expected
to follow the tradition of the
Treasury Department.

.To: The Jewish News I


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Southfield, Mich. 48076-4138




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Lim ommommmommo.


won't be as "Kissy-Kissy" —
Another senior White House
with the no-tie, open collar ap-
aide and long-time Reagan
proach. But then again, he will
associate, Michael Deaver, is
not be as stiff as former Am-
leaving the government, largely
bassador Malcolm Toon either.
in order to make more money in
Understandably, it will take
a private public relations
Pickering some time before he
business. Influence peddling in
Washington has become quite feels comfortable in Israel, ful-
lucrative in recent years. His ly grasping the most important
$75,000 a year White House issues and personalities of the
leaders. It has been a few years
salary is raw likely to nearly
since his mind focused on the
q ,. adrnnle.
Israeli officials and American Middle East and, as a result, he
Jewish leaders, for the most will not hit the ground running.
part, had never succeeded in But you can expect him to catch
establishing much of a personal up to speed relatively quickly.
At the start of this new ses-
relationship with Deaver during
these past four years, although sion of Congress, the leadership
he was without doubt one of the
most influential people in the
Administration. The same was
The President will be more
unfortunately true with William
dependent on the thinking
Clark, who is returning to
California after serving these of his chief foreign policy
past four years as Deputy
advisors than ever before.
Secretary of State under Alex-
This has strengthened the
ander Haig, National Security
Adviser and finally as Secretary
hands of Shultz, Wein-
of the Interior.
A much greater loss for Israel berger and McFarlane.
involves the appointment of Ed
Meese as Attorney-General.
Meese, as White House
counselor, was extremely sensi- changes on Capitol Hill also will
tive to the domestic political be significant,
The new Senate Majority
clout of American Jewry. He
first worked closely with the Leader, Republican Bob Dole of
Jewish community during the Kansas, has a strong record of
1980 presidential campaign. He support for Israel, going back
usually joined National Securi- over many years. He was espec-
ty Adviser Richard Allen on ially well-liked by the Jewish
speaking tours before Jewish community when he ran for the
audiences. Later, he often in- Vice Presidency on President
terceded in crucial foreign policy Gerald Ford's unsuccessful 1976
decisionmaking involving the ticket.
More recently, however, Dole
Middle East. His loss, assuming
his appointment to head the has become somewhat pro-
Justice Department is con- blematic, according to Israeli of-
firmed by the Senate, will be ficials and American Jewish
political lobbyists. He voted
Another such loss will be UN with the Administration in 1981
Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick, in favor of the Saudi AWACS/
who already has announced her F-15 enhancement package. He
intention to leave the govern- is known to have deeply re-
ment. There is still some sented Israeli and American
possibility that she will take Jewish opposition. This irrita-
another position in the White tion was reflected in an occa-
House — a development that sionally critical address last
would be warmly welcomed by year before the Policy Con-
Israel and its supporters. But ference of the American Israel
Public Affairs Committee
that is all up in the air.
Administration officials said (AIPAC), the pro-Israeli lobby
that veteran State Department on Capitol Hill.
As a result, the prevailing
Ambassador-at-Large Vernon
Walters, at the moment, is the view is that Dole's replacement
leading candidate to replace her. of Senator Howard Baker of
Given his personality and back- Tennessee — who retired — as
ground, he would be unlikely to Majority Leader represents a
take as fiery a public stance in net "wash."
The new chairman of the
support of Israel. Then again,
his appointment would by no Senate Foreign Relations Com-
means signal a return to the mittee, Republican Richard
gloomy days for Israel of Lugar of Indiana, does represent
Andrew Young and Donald a net plus for Israel. He suc-
McHenry, who served as Presi- ceeded the defeated Charles Per-
dent Jimmy Carter's UN cy of Illinois. Lugar, an articu-
late and respected lawmaker,
There will also be a new U.S. sees Israel as an important
ambassador to Israel. President strategic asset for the United
Reagan, the other day, signed States in the region. He is ex-
off on Shultz's recommendation tremely loyal to the Administra-
that Thomas Pickering, a career tion, however, and will not
State Department diplomat who necessarily always please Israel
currently serves as Ambassador and its friends. Already, he has
to El Salvador, succeed Sam made clear his support for
Lewis, who is retiring. Picker- Secretary Shultz's decision to
ing, a former Ambassador to link economic aid increases to
Jordan in the mid-1970's, is Israel to further austerity
smart and smooth — much like measures aimed at restructur-
Lewis. At the start, he probably ing the Israeli economy. Lugar

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