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October 03, 1986 - Image 37

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-10-03

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

YEAR IN REVIEW 5746 YEAR IN REVIEW

Wo rld Wide Pho to

CHERNOBYL became a household name after a major accident at the Soviet nuclear
power plant killed more than 30 people and jeopardized the future health of tens of
thousands of others. The incident dealt a blow to the already troubled nuclear power
industry in the West as policymakers and citizens sought to reassess the merits of
nuclear-generated energy.

World Wi de Pho to

NICHOLAS DANILOFF,
U.S. News and World
Report Moscow
correspondent, charged
with espionage by the KGB.

THE GENEVA SUMMIT brought U.S.
President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader
Mikhail Gorbachev face to face for the first
time to discuss arms control and other
world issues.

A RABBINICAL PROTEST at the
Soviet Embassy in Washington led to the
arrests and jailing of several Washington-
area rabbis who refused to pay their fines
and sought to draw attention to the plight
of Soviet Jews.

with Israel's economy suffering badly
from the travel fallout.
The fallout, though, over documented
reports linking Kurt Waldheim to Nazi
deportations of Jews did not seem to
adversely affect the former UN Secretary
General's bid to become president of
Austria. Waldheim admitted that he had
lied about his past but vigorously denied
any wrongdoing in the face of a continu-
ing barrage of reports issued by the World
Jewish Congress. He successfully par-
layed world media attention into a referen-
dum on whether the people of Austria
wanted "outsiders" to determine their
leadership. The climate of anti-Semitism
in Austria, never far from the surface,
grew increasingly blatant during the in-
itial campaign and run-off election, mak-
ing the Austrian Jewish community of
about 12,000 feel more even more vul-
nerable.
Many American Jews felt vulnerable to
charges of dual loyalty after the arrest and
conviction of Jonathan Pollard, a 31-year-
old civilian employee of the U.S. Navy,
who provided secret defense documents to
Israel. The FBI arrested Pollard, who is
Jewish, near the Israeli Embassy in Wash-
ington. There were numerous reports that
Washington was dissatisfied with a lack
of Israeli cooperation in the investigation
that followed, and there were fears that
the spying case was not a fluke.
But U.S.-Israeli relations continued to
maintain a high economic and diplomatic
plateau, despite the Pollard affair and
disagreement over America's effort to sell
sophisticated military equipment to Jor-
dan and Saudi Arabia. Israel maintained
a low-key approach and AIPAC, the pro-
Israel lobby in Washington, opted to stay
out of the battle, but supporters in Con-
gress overwhelmingly opposed both deals.
Opposition to the Jordan arms package
was so strong in the House and the Senate
that the Administration was forced to bite
the bullet and postpone the sale indefinite-
ly. The Saudi deal came within one Senate
vote of being killed as well but the Ad-
ministration prevailed.
One of the reasons why U.S.-Israel rela-
tions remained strong despite these dif-
ferences was the apparent positive per-
sonal relationship between President Rea-
gan and Prime Minister Peres, who met
several times in Washington this year.
Reagan was supportive of Jerusalem's
peace efforts on various fronts, including
Peres's extending the olive branch to Jor-
dan's King Hussein, meeting with King
Hassan in Morocco and President Mubar-
ak in Egypt in an effort to rekindle peace
talks before the rotation of Israel's unity
government in October. Washington of-
ficials were concerned that Yitzhak
Shamir, the Likud party leader who is
scheduled to become prime minister and

37

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