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October 10, 1986 - Image 34

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

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

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NEWS

Shamir's Turn

Continued from preceding page

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sential reasonableness of Is-
rael's neighbors is touching,
even laudable, but scarcely
realistic and doomed in fail-
ure.
Shamir's own view of the
world is grounded in his be-
lief that the Arab states will
not be ready to make peace
with Israel until they first
solve their own internal dis-
putes and rivalries, and then
accept that the Jewish State
is a fact which cannot be
willed away by threats or
oratory.
Until then, Israel's task is
to remain strong and wait for
more propitious times.
Peres moves to the Foreign
Ministry in the knowledge
that for all his efforts as
prime minister, no great
breakthrough was achieved
on the peace front.

Moreover, just as Peres
used his position as prime
minister to dominate foreign
policy-making, leaving
Shamir to deal with secon-
dary issues, so Shamir, prime
minister in his turn, will do
to Peres.
Short of a major, unex-
pected breakthrough with
Jordan and the Palestinians
— a breakthrough that could
provoke a speedy disintegra-
tion of the national unity
government — Peres will
have to put his grand visions
on herd.
His best hope now is that
in Nov. 1988, when the pre-
sent government finally
grinds to a halt, his party
will have achieved enough
popular support to give him a
chance to make a more per-
manent mark on history.

Waiting In The Wings

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A JEWISH ALTERNATIVE

Make Friday Night, October 31, 1986, a Special One

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invites you to join us for a

TRADITIONAL FRIDAY NIGHT
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Reservations and payment required by October 20, 1986

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Friday Night, October 31, 1986
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34

Friday, October 10, 1986

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Shimon Peres and Yit-
zhak Shamir are the un-
disputed stars of the rota-
tion drama now playing in
Israel. But cluttering the
stage — and itching for a
shot at the Big Time — is
a cast of bit players and
understudies whose bla-
tant ambitions and barely
concealed plots will keep
Israeli voters glued to
their seats until the final
curtain falls on the ,na-
tional unity government.
Yitzhak Shamir, prime
minister-designate and
leader of the Likud Party,
occasionally resembles a
Julius Caesar, surrounded
as he is by lieutenants
who openly covet his job.
Earlier this year, the
Herut Party convention
provided the arena for an
assault on Shamir's lead-
ership by both David Levy
and Ariel Sharon, plung-
ing the proceedings into
an ugly display of verbal
and physical violence that
profoundly shocked even
the most devout party
faithful.
A leadership struggle
within the Likud (itself a
coalition of the dominant
Herut and smaller Liberal
parties) would certainly be
precipitated if Shamir
were to be implicated by
police investigators in the
"Shin Bet Affair" — the
killing, and subsequent
cover-up, of two Palesti-
nian hijackers by officers
of the General Security
Services after they were
captured.
If Shamir were forced to
resign, his own likely can-
didate for succession would
be Prof. Moshe Arens, the
hawkish, modest minister
without portfolio and
former defense minister,
who had earlier proved to
be a great success as Is-
rael's ambassador to
Washington.

But Arens would face
brutal opposition from
Sharon and Levy, both of
whom generate far greater
grass-roots support than
either Shamir or Arens.
Moroccan-born David
Levy, who commands a
large ethnic following,
might find that much of
his ethnic support is also
attracted to the strongman
appeal of Ariel Sharon,
better known to his ador-
ing supporters as "Arik,
King of Israel."
Sharon, who has demon-
strated a certain contempt
for the slow, painstaking
political and diplomatic
processes, both as an army
general and later as de-
fense minister, is regarded
with outright hostility by
many Israelis who fear
that he would not be
scrupulous in guarding the
country's democratic tradi-
tions.
Within Labor's ranks,
for all his current popular-
ity, Shimon Peres is also
likely to face internal
party challenges over the
next two years.
His legendary rivalry
with Defense Minister Yit-
zhak Rabin has been un-
characteristically dormant,
but there is speculation
that it might soon surface
again.
Rabin may not be the
only senior Labor Party
challenger. Mordechai
Gur, currently minister of
health and, like Rabin, a
former chief of staff, is be-
lieved to be carefully pre-
paring the ground for an
eventual bid for power.
Recently, he announced
that he would resign from
the cabinet rather than
serve under Shamir — a
move that could resonate
to his advantage if it col-
lapses ignominiously be-
fore its term is over.

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