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March 13, 1987 - Image 22

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-03-13

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

r.

POLITICS

LTER

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MICHIGAN JEWISH SPORTS HALL OF FAME

t

22

Friday, March 13, 1987

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

I

n Washington in particu-
lar, there is no breathing
room between congres-
sional elections. Pro-Israel ac-
tivists have scant time to bask
in the glow of a number of im-
portant Senate victories last
November. Already a number
of 1988 Senate races are shap-
ing up which will undoubtedly
have consequences for contin-
ued U.S. economic and mili-
tary assistance to Israel as well
as overall diplomatic support.
But with increasing focus on
the presidential election, sig-
nificant resources and energies
will be channeled into the
campaigns of those aspiring to
the White House. This scram-
ble for campaign contributions
becomes particularly intense
when as in 1988 an incumbent
is retiring. With no candidate
in either party close to having
the nomination sewed up, the
Jewish community will be
heavily wooed by a number of
deserving (and non-deserving)
presidential hopefuls.
Fortunately, many of Is-
rael's consistent friends in the
Senate look secure at this point
for reelection. These include
such stalwarts as Republicans
Lowell Weicker of Connecticut
(Appropriations Committee),
John Heinz of Pennsylvania
and John Danforth of Missouri.
Democrats considered safe on
the early political line include
Dennis DeConcini of Arizona
(Appropriations), Spark Mat-
sunaga of Hawaii, George
Mitchell of Maine, Paul Sar-
banes of Maryland (Foreign
Relations), Ted Kennedy of
Massachusetts, Don Reigle of
Michigan, and Pat Moynihan
of New York (who has recently
come on the Foreign Relations
Committee).
However, there are some
strong pro-Israel incumbents
who could have potentially dif-
ficult reelections. The veteran
Howard Metzenbaum of Ohio
could face a tough challenge
from the moderate Republican
mayor of Cleveland or Rep. Bob
McEwen.
Metzenbaum, one of four
Jewish U.S. Senators up in
1988 has been a leader on is-
sues of concern. Similarly,
Frank Lautenberg of New Jer-
sey could have problems in the
unlikely possibility the popu-
lar Republican Governor Tom
Keane decides to challenge.
Sen. David Durenberger, who
has been solid in opposing
arms sales to Arab foes of Is-
rael despite administration
pressure, is expected to face a
tough fight from the late Sen.
Hubert Humphrey's son, the
state attorney-general.

However, a number of oppor-
tunities also exist to replace
weak incumbents with candi-
dates who would be more posit-
ive on Israel-related issues.
Those incumbents include Re-
publican Senators Chic Hecht
of Nevada, who has been a
major disappointment to many
of his original Jewish suppor-
ters, and Dan Evans of Wash-
ington who has compiled an
almost wholly negative record.
Evans serves on the Foreign
Relations Committee with
Democrat Ed Zorinsky of Neb-
raska, whose support has also
been lacking. In Nevada, popu-
lar Governor Joe Bryan is ex-
pected to defeat Hecht handily,
should he run. In the state of
Washington there are rumors
circulating that Evans may not
run again, which if true, would
be well received in certain
quarters.
The darkest cloud on the
political horizon, however
could be in West Virginia.
Should majority leader Robert
Byrd decide not to run again,
the most anti-Israel member of
the House of Representatives,
Nick Joe Rahall is expected to
jump into the race as the
Democratic nominee. A PLO
apologist who never misses a
chance to lambast Israel,
Rahall, now in his sixth term
in the House can be expected to
seek a Senate seat whenever
Byrd steps aside.
On the whole there will be no
lack of opportunities for
American supporters of Israel
to continue to play an active
role in the political process as
they have done in recent elec-
tions. What is crucial in this
process is to remain informed
of where the candidates really
stand and discount campaign
rhetoric of actual votes and
previous public statements.

Israel GS Says
To Drop Lavi

Tel Aviv (JTA) — The Is-
rael Defense Force general
staff has recommended aban-
donment of the Lavi fighter
plane project in favor of ac-
quiring additional
American-made F-16C jet
fighters, according to media
reports which quoted "well
placed sources".
The general staff proposed
that Israel apply the rest of
the money slated for the Lavi
to other development and pr-
ocurement programs, the re-
ports said. The fate of the pr-
oject is clouded by American
objections to the Lavi on
grounds it is too expensive.
The F-16C, an advanced air-
craft that Israel has equipped
with its own computer sys-
tems, is less expensive.

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