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CANDLELIGHTING AT 5:01 P.M.
VOL. XC, NO. 20
Of Cardinal Concern
• John Cardinal O'Connor's visit to the Middle East, which began as an
effort to strengthen undestancling, veered toward a fiasco but managed to
conclude on a more hopeful note. The Cardinal, who is Archbishop of New
York, has been caught in the middle of a situation he did not create but one
that underscores the Vatican's ambiguous relationship with Israel.
Throughout his politically perilous journey, Cardinal O'Connor called
attention to the plight of the Palestinians. Some of his statements, including
his support of self-determination for the Palestinians, have gone further than
American policy. Even more disturbing, though, is the Vatican's
unwillingness to recognize Israel formally or view Jerusalem as its capital.
Cardinal O'Connor says that policy will change only when Jerusalem is given
some form of international status and steps are taken to solve the Palestinian
problem. In truth, though, Jerusalem is the capital, and soul, of the Jewish
State, a state that will not go away. And a resolution of the conflict will only
come about when the Arab states — and the Vatican — accept that reality.
Glasnost seems to be the word of the day. Russian for "openness" or
"candor,"glasnost is a keystone of Mikhail Gorbachev's alleged new direction
for the Soviet Union. Anatoly Shcharansky's emigration to the West last
Feburary, the recent release from internal exile of dissident Andrei Sakharov
and the USSR's new emigration policy have all been touted as a breath of
fresh air in the stale atmosphere of the Soviet state.
But there has been wide dispute over the depths — and the motives — for
the Gorbachevianglasnost. Newsweek for instance, has done a fine P.R. job for
the Soviet leader with a cover story entitled "Opening A Closed Society."
Economic efficiency, a streamlining of the cumbersome Russian bureaucracy
and, especially, improved trade and arms agreements with the West are all
cited as prodding 'Mr. Gorbachev toward glasnost.
These matters have been answered by a man who should know — Natan
Shcharansky (Anatoly's adopted new name). In last Sunday's New York
Times, Shcharansky wrote that the release of such prominent dissidents as
himself "are part of a carefully calibrated program of gestures" intended to
convince the West that a new breeze is blowing through the Kremlin. The
demise of repression is not Gorbachev's goal, says Shcharansky. Changing
his society to preserve that repression is his aim. The release of Sakharov, for
example, was timed to mask the death of fellow dissident Anatoly T.
Machenko, who died of a hunger strike in Christopol prison about the same
Shcharansky knows — as few men do — the workings of the Soviet
government. We should heed his warnings that Gorbachev will take only "the
minimum steps" necessary to appease Western human rights advocates.
True, we should be pleased that tensions have eased somewhat for Soviet
dissidents. But we should also understand the self-interest from which
glasnost springs — and know that there may be a narrow, limited impulse
behind what is being billed as a new climate in Russia.
Is There An Arab-Israel Axis
On The Mideast Horizon?
n the next several years do not be
too surprised to see Israel
approached by a group of Arab
states seeking a military alliance.
It will not be a miracle, but merely
the expediency of survival which will
cause one contingent of the Arab world
to seek an alliance with Israel in their
own self interest.
From ancient times through to-
day, nations or tribes formed tempor-
ary alliances to hold off and defeat a
more powerful enemy. Often the al-
liance was based upon how many
armed men each group could field
against the common enemy. The
number of men under arms is still im-
portant, particularly since the sophis-
tication of today's weapons is a force
multiplier of fantastic proportions.
One aircraft can devastate a city block
of apartments in one pass, with only
Israel has demonstrated her abil-
ity to fight on many frontssimultane-
ously and win. This is a valuable com-
modity when one seeks an ally. The
Middle East is a constantly shifting
spectrum of hostiles, alliances, broken
treaties, and then new alliances. Yes-
terday's bitter enemy is today's fight-
ing partner against some other al-
liance, very likely of former "friendly"
However, there has been a super
war in the making for numerous years.
The Middle East nations have been
buying and absorbing staggering
quantities of high tech weapons. Some
say in public that they intend to drive
Israel into the sea. For some it is
merely a wish; for others it is a deadly
pledge. In private, they speak not so
Emanuel A. Winston of Highland Park,
Ill. is an international trustee for the Jaffee
Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv
much of Israel, but their fear of other
Middle Eastern countries.
The immediate players are Egypt,
Syria, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq,
Iran, Libya and, of course, Israel. Af-
ghanistan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan,
Morrocco, Tunisia, Yemen and South
Yemen, Oman, Qatar, and the Arab
Emirates are all interested parties on
the fringes of the immediate area and
of minimal contribution. The outside
The Middle East is a
spectrum of hostiles,
alliances, broken treaties,
and then new alliances.
Yesterday's bitter enemy
is today's fighting partner.
interested parties are the United
States, the Soviet Union, Europe, and
Any of the confrontational states
can, under certain conditions, create
an alliance that can last for 30 days or
even several years. Although the Arab
states change alliances quickly and
frequently, nevertheless, they do have
some distinctive characteristics which
can be called either moderate or radi-
cal. Syria and Iraq can easily be called
radical due to their leaders and the
method by which they change gov-
ernments — the bloody coup. Saudi
Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, the
Arab Emirates can be called moderate,
although each supports groups of Arab
radicals and terrorists who wish to see
the destruction of Israel.
At the moment, in this constantly
shifting picture of changing alliances,
the so-called moderates fear Iran and
their Islamic fundamentalism. Even
Egypt fears the potential of civil war
instigated by such radical groups as
the Moslem Brotherhood. The
radicalization of 50 million Egyptians
through rising religious fanaticism