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January 30, 1987 - Image 24

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-01-30

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

FINAL MARKDOWN CLEARANCE

AT

Israel's Iran Point Man
Disavows Contra Tie

MALTER FURS

30% To 60%

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Special to The Jewish News

C

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SEMESTER
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GLANCE!

The Midrasha spring semester offers exciting new courses for Jewish teachers in the
community interested in certification:

Date

Time P.M.

Mondays
Feb. 2-23
Room 3

7:30-9:30

Mondays
Mar. 2-May 4
Room 12

7:30-9:30

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instructor

Course

Philosophy of Education - Basic philosophies Dr. Gerald A. Teller,

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Teaching the Holocaust - The New
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Dr. Avi Aharoni,

'Principal, United Hebrew
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Dr. Sidney Bolkosky
& Ms. Betty Eilias

Co-Authors of The New
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Mrs. Bea Kriechman,

Curriculum - Theory and Practicum -

Curriculum theories and models studied
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All four courses are being offered this
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24

Friday, January 30, 1987

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MIDRASHA

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Division of United Hebrew Schools

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

FOCUS

K

hicago — David Kim-

che, the former direc-
tor-general of Israel's
Foreign Ministry who helped
coordinate the Iranian arms
deal, has declared in an inter-
view that had he known in ad-
vance of the Contras connec-
tion, he would have never per-
mitted Israel to participate in
the operation. Moreover, he
openly ridiculed the notion
that he or any other Israeli
might have originated the
scheme to divert funds to the
Nicaraguan rebels.
Reached at home via trans-
Atlantic telephone, Kimche
repeated his vehement denial
that he knew of the Contras
connection in advance. "I
learned of this affair at exact-
ly the same time that the
whole United States learned
it . . . the day it was pub-
lished," declares Kimche. His
reaction to the news was, "I
thought it was ridiculous."
Because Kimche is no longer
a government official, he has
become Israel's unofficial
"point man" on the crisis, ver-
balizing Jerusalem's frustra-
tion and anger. As such, Kim-
che again lashed out at the
notion that Colonel Oliver
North may have accused him
of originating the schema
Qualifying first, "I'm still
not sure that he [North] ac-
tually did accuse me in front
of the [House] Foreign Rela-
tions Committee — because
he knows the truth?' Kimche
denied that the word "Con-
tras" was even mentioned
during his two meetings with
North. "In the first meeting
[in a Washington restaurant
in November 1985], there was
another person present,
[former National Security
Council staffer] Michael Le-
deen, who has since. . .
averred that the word "Con-
tras" didn't come up during
that meeting."
In a second meeting shortly
thereafter in London, 'there
were Israelis, there were Iran-
ians, and there was Pat Mc-
Farlane and other Ameri-
cans," noted Kimche.
"Obviously in such a meeting
with so many people, the sub-
ject couldn't come up. So I con-
sider the whole thing to be
ridiculous."
With some irritation, Kim-
che added, "If Colonel North
did actually say what he is
supposed to have said, then
he is obviously, definitely ly-
ing— he is a liar. It is a
malicious, vicious slander and
it means that he or somebody
else is indeed trying to make
me or Israel a scapegoat."
Asked if he would have per-
mitted Israel to participate in
the operation had he known
of plans to divert arms pro-
ceeds to the Contras, Kimche
answered, "N egative." He ex-

David Kimche

plained, "First, from a pure-
ly professional point of view,
one should never link two
plans or operations together.
It's almost an elementary
thing, because if one falls
then the other one is im-
mediately damaged?' Kimche,
added, "the fact that he
[North] is now saying that I
proposed this is therefore also
an insult to my professional-
ism.
"Second," Kimche con-
tinued, "this would mean that
I was trying to persuade an
American official to flaunt
the Congress — something I
would never dream of doing."
Israel's veteran foreign rela-
tions specialist asserted that
the Jewish State would never
do anything to endanger its
special relationship with
Congress.
Denials and Israeli perspec-
tives notwithstanding, Kim-
che also pointed out why the
notion that the Contras
scheme originated with him is
not credible on its face:
"It is a dubious honor to
say that I succeeded in just
one small conversation to
send the whole of America's
policy upside down," says
Kimche. "That would mean
tremendous powers of persua-
sion. Obviously, if that would
be the case, I would advise
the American foreign policy
[sic] to do all sorts of other
things. I just haven't got that
power, I'm sorry to say," he
declared.
Trying to place his role in
perspective, Kimche insisted,
"I wasn't the guy who
thought it [the Iranian arms
plan] up — as some jour-
nalists disclosed, nor was I
the guy who masterminded
it. . . . Look, I was asked to
come in to coordinate political
affairs in July 1985. When I
came over to the United
States and tried to continue
with this operation, I didn't
come over as an Israeli Super-
man or an Israeli Mighty
Mouse to bewitch the boys
and make them do things
they didn't want to do," he
says. "I came to say this is
what we in Israel are capable
of doing. You people in the
United States decide whether
you want us to do it or not."
Reflecting continuing ir-
ritation over the controversy,

c3

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