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October 18, 1985 - Image 14

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1985-10-18

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

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16 Friday, October 18, 1985

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

ilf:

TAKING THE HELM

posts went to fellow compatriots
decessors, with virtually all
holding university degrees and
who served with Begin in the
Irgun forces pre-1948, but the
several with doctorates. All of
party now recognizes the need to
these young leaders are male.
appeal to the young through at-
The great mystery is why vir-
tractive candidates.
tually all of the major parties
have ignored the women's vote.
It is far more difficult for
Despite the fact that women
young politicians to break
make up half of the electorate,
through in Labor because of its
there are only a handful of
rigid bureaucracy and its rule
female candidates. This lack of
barring Knesset members from
competition virtually guarantees
holding positions outside the na-
Shulamit Aloni of the Citizen's
tional administration, according
ā€¢ Rights Movement 50,000 votes
to Smith.
in every election, and when
Young politicans today are
everS, percentage point carries
"much less ideological and far
incredible political weight, this
more pragmatic" than past and
oversight borders on the in-
present leaders, asserted Yosef
credulous.
Goell, a political science in-
"In the Religious Movement, a
structor at Hebrew University.
He pointed out that the younger group of women (Emunah) did
leaders grew up after Israel be- try to come together and form a
came a state and for them
list, but they ran into heavy
pressure and lack of money, so
statehood is a given. They are
more educated than their pre- they abandoned the idea at the

last minute," said Dr. Freedman
of the Hebrew College. "Also in
Labor, a women's caucus de-
veloped, but they lacked the
muscle and the support to
catapult anyone forwards, and
they too, unhappily, gave up the
effort. The Likud, which cap-
tured such a large part of the
young people's vote in the last
election, just hasn't felt a need
to cultivate women candidates.
Possibly because a majority of
their constituency is Sephardic,
where the women still maintain
a secondary status."
In any event, the fact is that
Politics is a less reputable pro-
fession in Israel than in
America. "Once you go into poli-
tics in Israel, that's it," observed
an Israeli journalist. "It's a
lifetime career." In addition, be-
cause of the party bureaucracy,
it is much more difficult for a
politician there to attract a con-

stituency and establish his own
platform.
2 Analysts agree that the
sigma of a political career has
driven away some of the coun-
try's best and brightest. "It's a
long climb up the greasy and
often spiritually demeaning
pole," says Yosef Goell. "I be-
lieve it fair to say that the best
would not touch student politics
(the accepted first step in a
political career) with a 10-foot
pole. Israel's best used to go into
politics. For perhaps the last 20
years, Israel's best have been
going into the army, to the uni-
versities, to business, to settle-
ments ā€” and some to other
countries." He believes that de-
veloping leadership is "one of Is-
rael's most serious problems."
"Political leadership has a bad
name in Israel," agreed an Is-
raeli official in Washington.
"When you look at the crop of

potential future leaders, y o
realize that they are the pr o f
lem, not the solution." Still, li
added that the new breed
politicians have a broader bad
ground than their predecessot
and are more attuned to Ameri
can affairs. "There is more of
relationship now betwee
academia and politics in Israel
he said, "with some people abl
to function in both areas, at
there is more respect for eel
demically trained officials.
the past they all used to con
only from the military."
For the most part, Israel's I
ture leaders are not in ti
dues-playing stages of the r
spective careers. The mill
profiles are of men under
generally considered to 1
among the most likely to su
ceed and offer a glimpse of tho
who may one day be the leade
of Israel's government. ā‘

LABOR'S LOVE: PERES' BOYS

YOSSI BELLIN

CHAIM RAMON

NIMROD NOVICK

AVRUM BURG

At 37, Yossi Bellin is the leader of the
five or six key young aides to the prime
minister who have become known as
"Peres' Boys."
A doctor of political science, news-
paper columnist, and author of Sons in
Their Father's Shadows, he serves as
Cabinet Secretary to the Coalition
Government and as Shimon Peres'
closest confidant. Bellin treads the
precariously thin line between inner-
circle sycophant and independent iden-
tity with remarkable dexterity. His
dovishly tinged yet keen political
acumen expresses itself in speech-
writing, in dosed-door strategy ses-
sions with the Prime Minister, and in
the Mashov.(Feedback) Group which he
founded, a discussion forum dedicated
to debating Labor's touchiest ideo-
logical dilemmas. His weekly briefings
of the Sunday Cabinet Meeting to the
local and foreign press also have
enhanced his image, since he has
proven himself to be thoughtful,
accurate, and articulate.
The son and grandson of active
Zionists, Bellin says that serving in the
Six Day War in 1967 was the most
important event in his political life. "It
molded my attitude toward war,
toward the conflict," he says. It also
softened his hawkish orientation.
Though the Jerusalem Post called him
"an ultra-dove," Bellin prefers to call
himself "moderate, a pragmatist."
He is comfortable with Labor's views
and acknowledges: "I'm a political
creature. It's very important for me to
participate in political life."

A self-described leader of the dovish
wing of Labor, 35-year-old Chaim
Ramon served as chairman of the
Young Guard, a student political
group, for three consecutive terms as
a means of landing a high enough rank-
ing on the party list to make it to the
Knesset. It worked.
An outspoken member of the tumul-
tuous Finance Committee and a firm
advocate of equal rights for all of
Israel's citizens, Ramon appeals pri-
marily to Tel Aviv's Yuppie population
and Peace Now activists and sympath-
izers. He says, he is ready to talk to any
Palestinian who will recognize Israel.
As Labor's youngest parliamentar-
ian, his clear awareness of the Party's
need for fresh talent has led him to
cultivate.America's Labor Zionists as
well as Israel's, in order to deepen their
involvement and influence.
Ramon has let it be known that he
would serve on a cabinet, but his in-
dependence may hurt him "I'm not
working too much with political groups,"
he says. "I'm very independent. Too
much. I'm working alone."

Despite his lack of training in the
foreign service, Nimrod Novick, 38, has
become chief foreign policy adviser
within Shimon Peres' inner circle. His
dazzling reputation as a strategic
analyst at the Jaffe Centre for Stra-
tegic Studies at Tel Aviv University
convinced the erudite Peres that they
could work well together. With a doc-
torate from the University of Pennsyl-
vania, where he taught for eight years,
his expertise ranges from internal
American politics to the labyrinth of
Lebanese intrigues, to the implications
of North-South Yemenite dialogue.
Novick's penchant for secret diplomacy
dovetails nicely with his boss's own
fierce desire to lift Israel out of the
international doldrums. Hence, the
niche he has carved out for himself in
Government, Academia, and Party,
should amplify his voice in Israel's
overseas affairs for many years to
come.
Novick was in Washington over the
summer for a series of meetings. His
politics have been described as "on the
dovish 'side of Labor."
"At first, Peres was wary of us,"
recalls Novick of Peres' younger ad-
visers. "He maintained a certain
distance. But when he saw that we
never leaked information to the media,
he became more informal and more
forthcoming."

Perhaps the most intriguing of th
Prime Minister's "whiz kids coterie,
Avrum Burg is the son of the Nations
Religious'Party's Yosef Burg, who ha
been a member of every Israeli cabine
since the founding .of the state.
A genuine original, young Bur,
gained widespread attention as one c
the first army officers to publicly cal
for withdrawal from Lebanon two year
ago, and then shocked many by joinie
the Labor Party, an unprecedented ac
for the son of a man totally identifie
with the NRP.
Charming, witty and knowledgeabl
in a variety of fields, Burg speaks a
excellent English and is known a
a first-rate writer and captivatin
speaker. All.of which led Peres to mall
him Chief of Diaspora Relations. (Se

.

profile on Burg; page 18.)

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