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Wizard Of Amman
Continued from Page 1
Khomeni; and, of course, the from Amman. The king himself is
peripatetic Wicked Witch of the part of the problem, not of the
Region, Yasser Arafat. All he can solution. His essential intransi-
do is to intone an incantation in gence, brought on by weakness
his Sandhurst baritone: "Hocus- and cowardice, is an impediment
pocus, 242, 338, international to any real progress on the issue
conference, just and lasting peace of Middle Eastern peace. Israeli
and American interests may be
— hesto presto . ."
And so the procession wends its served by his continued rule in
way home. The Palestinians re- Jordan — he is after all, better
turn to the West Bank, where and more moderate than the
they report that it would be likely alternatives — but no West
foolhardy to look for an alterna- Bank policy based on his coopera-
tive to the PLO. The Israeli tion can possibly succeed. Some-
statesmen, still without a part- thing else must be devised.
Hussein himself, however, has
ner, gaze longingly across the
Jordan River. The American no reason to fear that this will
envoy flies back over the rainbow happen. Instead, he can be confi-
to report on "modest progress in dent that, at about this time next
the peace process." And the jour- year, the procession on the Yel-
nalistic scarecrows seek to dis- low Brick Road will once again
guise the fiasco by putting the commence, and hopeful supplic-
Wizard's incantation into the ants from near and far will
gather at his palace for yet an-
first paragraph of their articles.
audience with the Hashe-
The most curious aspect of the other
humbug. On second
pilgrimage is that it is repeated mite
every year, and yet no one seems thought, maybe he is a wizard
to grasp its futility. Hussein's after all.
continued credibility is a triumph
of image over reality, a victory
for mirrors and special effects. He
is indeed a wizard, and this is his
wizardry: that after almost 35 Continued from Page 1
years as the ruler of Jordan,
people who should know better — top lay leader following two years
Israeli statesmen, Palestinian as the organization's secretary.
moderates, American diplomats During that time, he also served
and the international press - still as a member of its Executive
Committee and as chair of
take him seriously.
In fact, the Wizard of Amman NJCRAC's Domestic Task Force.
An attorney, Pelavin currently
is as impotent and, phony as his
fictional counterpart. He is afraid sits on the boards of the Ameri-
of war and afraid of peace; afraid can ORT Federation, the North
of Israel, of the PLO, the Syrians American Jewish Student Ap-
and the Saudis; of Palestinian peal, the Commission on Social
nationalism, Islamic fundamen- Action of Reform Judaism, and
talism, Ba'athist radicalism. All the American Friends of Hebrew
his uniformed strutting and University. In addition, he has
posturing, all his police-state served as chairman of the United
popularity and captive press Jewish Appeal's Young Leader-
coverage cannot obscure the sim- ship Cabinet and as chair of the
ple fact that he is paralyzed with Council of Jewish Federations'
Small Cities Committee.
During the early 1970s, he was
His admirers have paid a
heavy price for believing in fairy president and Campaign chair-
tales. The Israeli Labor Party can man of the"Flint Jewish Federa-
no longer pretend •that "territo- tion. His wife, Natalie, is the fed-
rial compromise with Jordan" is a , eration's current president. In
viable policy for the West Bank January, he was elected chair-
man of the Greater Flint Urban
and it has yet to come up with
anything more sensible. The Coalition's Board of Directors.
party's naivete on what is after Additionally, he is general
all, a central issue of Israeli secu- chairman of the Detroit College
rity, has cost it tremendous cre- of Law Fund, and a founding
dibility at home. Similarly, the member of MIPAC, a Jewish
king's moderate Palestinian sup- multi-issue political action coin-
ports have lost influence with
their own constituency. It has be-
come apparent over the course of
the past 19 years that he will not
undertake any initiative that
might serve their interest if it ParalMedICS 'Get
means jeopardizing his own.
As for the Americans, they Legal
have squandered diplomatic
Tel Aviv — Israel's Ministry
enew and prestige on a delu-
. Health has given l legal MDA
sion. The comings and goings of of
their diplomatic Dorothies, their \, mission
and to authorized
manic optimism and patent ins- param ency medical procedures
on cardiac patients, trauma,
thisHashemite king, have made cases, accident victims, etc.
them appear silly and ineffectual while attending patients on an
— precisely the wrong image for
a super power with genuine MDA
field , without the presence of a
interests in the region.
doctor, but under medical
In ,a logical world, the victims
of the king's sleight-of-hand supervision by telephone,? ;e=;
would have learned their lesson
etry, and medical
by now. A settlement on the fu- -- ac
ture• of the West Bank, and the
Palestinian issue, cannot come Protocols.
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