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January 23, 1987 - Image 21

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-01-23

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

NIBBLES & NUTS

Delivery Available

Happiness Is . . . Remembering that special someone you
love with a special treat on Valentine's Day Feb. 14th.

fair. From the start, Israel
was deeply involved in work-
ing with officials of the Na-
tional Security Council in
that sordid mess. As a result,
some U.S. officials are pre-
pared to try to protect
themselves by making Israel
the scapegoat for blunders
which were committed.
The outcry in Washington
is only beginning, and Rea-
gan's political fortunes have
slipped. His popularity in the
opinion polls has dropped
dramatically since the Amer-
ican public discovered that he
and his Administration were
selling arms to the Ayatollah
Khomeini's despised regime.
Reagan's January 17, 1986,
intelligence "finding" which
authorized the arms sales to
Iran said that selling weap-
ons to Iran "may well be our
only way to achieve the
release of the Americans held
in Beirut." The word "only"
was underlined. It said that
both Iran and Israel, which
served during the second half
of 1985 as an intermediary in
the hostage negotiations,
"have agreed that the host-
ages will be immediately
released on commencement of
this action!' And it added, "If
all the hostages are not releas-
ed after the shipments of the
first 1,000 weapons, further
transfers would cease." All
the hostages were not re-
leased, yet the sales con-
tinued until last November
when word of the arranage-
ment was leaked to a small
Lebanese magazine by a fac-
tion in Thheran opposed to
any improvement in Amer-
ican-Iranian ties.
The January 17 "finding"
was presented to Reagan as
an Israeli idea. "The Israeli
plan is premised on the
assumption moderate ele-
ments in Iran can come to
power if these factions
demonstrate their credibility
in defending Iran and in
deterring Soviet intervention.
lb achieve the strategic goal
of a more moderate Iranian
government, the Israelis are
prepared to unilaterally com-
mence selling military mater-
iel to Western-oriented Ira-
nian factions," the document
stated.
There are other reasons for
some problems in U.S:Israeli
relations. The Jonathan Jay
Pollard spy scandal is by no
means over. Its continued
fallout is also likely to hurt
the overall U.S:Israeli rela-
tionship in the coming
months.
Under different circum-
stances, the damage from the
Pollard affair probably could
have been contained. A
strong, pro-Israeli President,
Secretary of State, Attorney-
General and Central Intel-
ligence Agency Director
could have fudged the issues.

But today Reagan is weak;
Secretary of State George
Shultz still seems to be on his
way out; Attorney-General
Edwin Meese is unlikely to
lean on lesser officials in the
Justice Department to ease
up on Israel; and CIA Direc-
tor William Casey is in
critical condition in a Wash-
ington hospital following the
removal of a cancerous tumor
from his brain.
Indeed, the cast of char-
acters formulating U.S. policy
toward the Middle East is
changing rapidly. Fiercely
pro-Israeli advocates are be-
ing replaced by more "tradi-
tionalist" experts on the Mid-
dle East.
At the National Security
Council, for instance, the new
National Security Adviser is
Frank Carlucci, a former
State Department foreign
service officer who served as
Defense Secretary Caspar
Weinberger's deputy earlier in
the Reagan Administration.
Carlucci's two immediate
predecessors, Robert Mc-
Farlane and John Poindexter,
were known for their unusual-
ly close ties with Israel.
Already, Carlucci has
named Robert Oakley as his
chief Middle East adviser.
Oakley, who used to head the
State Department's Office of
Counterterrorism, brings
with him a traditional point
of view as far as the Middle
East is concerned.
Since replacing Alexander
Haig as Secretary of State in
June 1982, George Shultz has
become extremely pro-Israel.
He worked very closely with
Israel in many areas, especial-
ly in its economic recovery
program. He supported large-
scale financial grants to
stimulate the economy. He
also helped Israel in many
other ways. Thus, Israeli of-
ficials dread the thought of
his departure.
But Shultz remains in deep
trouble in Washington be-
cause Reagan's closest ad-
visers believe he was disloyal
to the President in the im-
mediate aftermath of the Iran
affair. After a decent interval,
Shultz will probably leave
Washington to return to the
academic environment of
Stanford University in
California.
Casey was also extremely
pro-Israel during his six years
at the CIA. He allowed
Israeli intelligence coopera-
tion to reach new heights —
even after Pollard's arrest.
Like others in the Reagan Ad-
ministration, Casey came to
have an enormous amount of
respect for Israel's intel-
ligence capabilities. Israel
was seen as a "can-do" and in-
novative force in fighting
state-sponsored terrorism
and Soviet expansionism.

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