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October 18, 1985 - Image 15

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

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Friday, October 18, 1985 17


for Sharon at times. With his
fortunes inextricably linked to
the controversial General, Ma-
gen's strength, within Herut
rests on a narrow base.
Iranian-born Minister of
Labor and Welfare MOSHE
KATZAV, 40, has made many
concern about youth-oriented well-publicized trips to Israel's
problems and his pleasant man-
floundering development towns.
ner have established him as an That and his on-going quarrels
electoral asset in any future - with Deputy Minister
Menachem Porush of Agudat
Herut campaign.
DAVID MAGEN'S career is
Yisrael have increased his sta-
closely linked with that of his ture as Defender of the Poor and
mentor, Ariel Sharon. The 40-
year-old Sephardic mayor of
Kiryat Gat is now serving in his
second parliamentary term and youngest of the Likud's par-
has become known in some cir- liamentarians, is an attorney
known as a fine debater and
cles as "Sharon's Sharon." "He
does Sharon's dirty work," notes tough party whip. His sophistry
one Israeli observer, speaking has proven time and again a
out on issues to test the waters scourge to the Laborites, and

Another Half-Dozen
To Watch Closely

Israel has no shortage of in-
teresting characters in politics.
Here are a half-dozen young
notables who deserve mention.

MEIR SHITRIT is consid-
ered one of the most likeable
politicians in' Israel. Born in
Morocco, the 37-year-old mayor
of Yavne first offered his politi-
cal services to Labor; when he
was turned down he approached
the Likud and was well re-
ceived. He is not an ideological
type, but his popularity among
Sephardim, his well-publicized

even in a coalition government
his sharp tongue rarely rests.
He is closely aligned with Yit-
zhak Shamir and his political
career may rise or fall with the
former and perhaps future
Prime Minister.
man to see if you want to see
Shimon Peres, serving as chief
of the prime minister's bureau
and the one who arranges his
daily schedule. He is a former
student leader at Haifa Univer-
sity and still retains an aggres-
sive air of 'the campus activist.
Considered more of a staffer and
behind-the-scenes adviser than a
leader himself, Eppelbaum has
served on Peres's personal staff
since 1978 and loses no oppor-
tunity to slight the Likud. Dis-
cussing the workaholic tenden-
cies of Peres and his staff, whose




Dan Meridor, 37, is as mild-mannered
in his approach as he is hawkish in his
views. Nurtured on politics from the
cradle and the longtime apple of
Menachem Begin's eye, Meridor's good
looks, connections, brains and ability
guarantee him .a place in the sun for
New serving in the Knesset after two
years as Cabinet Secretary, he takes a
firm Likud stand regarding dealing
with the Arabs. He favors no negotia-
tions with the PLO, no return of ter-
ritory, and no restriction on .Jewish
settlement in Israeli-held land. "They're
big and we're small," he says of the
Arabs. "We have to be very strong to
At the same time he says that Jews
and Arabs have to face up to reality
and learn to live together.
Meridor has not done alot in the
Knesset but he is a favorite of Moshe
Arens and if Arens' wing of Likud
gains control of the party, look for
Meridor to play a key role.


Israel's Ambassador to the United
Nations has much going for him in
terms of natural ability and name
recognition. He is brilliant, articulate,
effective, handsome and the -product of
a well-known family in Israel. His
father is a noted scholar and his older
brother, Jonathan, was the martyred
leader of the Entebbe rescue.
Benjamin Netanyahu has accom-
plished much by his mid-thirties.
American-educated, he served in the
Israeli Army and came to the attention
of Moshe Arens, who chose him to be
his key deputy while serving as Israeli
Ambassador to 'the United States.
There Netanyahu was known for his
ideas as well' as his efficiency. He wrote
several thoughtful articles for the Wall
Street Journal, including one asserting
that the Arab population in Israel is
not growing as rapidly as many believe.
The fact that he speaks and acts like,
an American has made him very
popular among Jewish groups and
public officials in this country, but
there are some Israelis who distrust
him for that reason, calling him an
"American Israeli."
Still ; . his talent and ability '— he
helped found a think,-tank dealing with
terrorism in , Israel in his brother's
memory; :— are sure to carry him for
ward Sixtjas is destined to play a leader-
ship role in the future.

working day often continues
until the early hours of the
morning, Eppelbaum notes,
"under the Likud, the staff went
home at one or two in the after-
Finally, there is the son of the
former Sephardic Chief Rabbi
Ovadiah Yosef. Thirty-eight-
heads the Midrosh Sefarad
Yeshiva for Rabbis in Jerusalem
and the ultra-Orthodox Sephar-
dic party, Shas; he can be ex-
pected to continue the family
tradition of religion and political
savvy for years to come. For
power in Israel is so frac-
tionalized and the chances for
electoral reform so remote that
the keys to the kingdom some-
times rest in those most un-
likely of hands, the non-Zionists.
R.B. and G.R.


Ehud Olmert's gift for oratory, and
the fact that he speaks well in English,
has boosted his visibility, whether it be
as a host to UJA missions or as an
Israeli spokesman on "Nightline." A
lawyer by trade and columnist for the
daily Yediot Acharonot, his talent for
public debate combined with his pop-
ularity in the Diaspora strengthen his
position among the Upper Party
Echelons of Likud.
A self-described "moderate hawk"'
who opposed the Camp David accords
because they called for the dismantling
of Jewish settlements in the Sinai, he
is opposed to any dealings with the
About a decade ago, he teamed up
with Yossi Sarid, then a left-wing
member of Labor, to uncover extortion
rackets and other forms of corruption.
Now 39, Olmert was elected to the
Knesset at 27, the youngest man to
achieve that office. He says he hates
politics, particularly the "party work
and all the long and boring sessions."
But he'd love to be prime minister and
he thinks that he or Meir Shitrit or
Yossi Sarid will be "the leaders of the
coming generation."


The oldest of the "young breed,"
"Yossi Sarid is 44 and is affiliated with
neither Labor nor Likud. At least not
anymore. After 11 years in the Knesset
as a favored member of Labor, he took
the political risk of his career last year
by leaving the party that "gave me
everything" and joining Shulamit
Aloni's small Citizens Rights Move-
ment, which is not a part of the cabinet.
"I was very spoiled by the Labor
party," he says. "My career was secure
for the next 25 years."
But he was unhappy with Shimon
Peres's decision to form a unity govern-
ment with Likud and he opted for
Moth's party which is dovish on
defense, liberal on social issues and
critical of the political power of the
religious parties.
Sarid calls himself a socialist and op-
poses any settlements in the occupied
territories while calling for a settlement
based on "mutual recognition" and an
Israeli guarantee to honor a Palestinian
referendum on self-determination.
Sarid attended Hebrew University
and the New School in New York and
wrote for several Israeli newspapers.
lie was active in six national election
campaigns for Labor and some feel he
will someday return to the party but
Sarid says, "I don't think so."
Even those who disagree with his
politics say that he standee out as a man
. '
with leadership qualities ;

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