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May 22, 1987 - Image 20

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-05-22

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

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20

Friday, May 22, 1987

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

ANALYSIS

Shimon Peres

Continued from Page 18

tered credibility and persuade
some of the smaller parties to
rally to his side. But Peres
had clearly lost an important,
perhaps decisive, domestic
battle and Shultz was not
about to allow himself to be
sucked into the maelstorm of
Israel's internal affairs.
When Peres finally boarded
his plane back to Israel early
this week, he carried in his
luggage little more than a col-
lection of pious hopes for
peace and an unhelpful pro-
mise of neutrality from Amer-
ican Jewish leaders. Instead
of the life-saving support he
was clearly counting on, Peres
was reduced to appealing to
Shultz at least not to retreat
from his previous, albeit
lukewarm, position. Noted
one senior Israeli commen-
tator who had been regarded
as a champion of the Labor
Party leader: "If he meekly
backs away now from his
`historic opportunity' yet
stays on as a neutered foreign
minister, he will become a
pathetic figure on the interna-
tional stage, a figure of
ridicule at home, and a
deadweight to his party" In
the process, Peres, through
his lack of political judge-
ment and his lack of firm
resolve, may also destroy
what is arguably the most
promising prospect for Mid-
dle East peace in the past 20
years. For even if he does,
belatedly, recognize that
there is no place for him in the
national unity coalition and
succeeds in bringing down
the government, he will lead
his party into fresh elections
with a heavy cloud not only
over his own head but over
the peace proposal itself.
The central issue in the
election will, of course, be
peace; peace and the conces-
sions — political and ter-
ritorial — that Israel will
have to make over the oc-
cupied territories in order to
achieve a settlement. Such
concessions will inevitably en-
tail security risks and will de-
mand a great leap of faith
from Israelis who are justi-
fiably preoccupied with their
own security.
There appears to be a con-
siderable body of Israelis who
are ready to make the neces-
sary territorial compro-
mises — and take the risks in-
volved — in exchange for
peace. According to an opin-
ion poll published last week,
some 20 percent of the
respondents were willing to
give up all of the West Bank,
except Jerusalem, while 52
percent were ready to re-
linquish at least part of the
occupied territories.
The outcome of an election,
however, will hinge not only

on the extent of support for
such a deal but also on the
nature of the person who will
be cutting it. In short, the
result of the election — and
the future of the peace pro-
cess — may be determined by
the issue of trust.
The question that is loom-
ing large in the minds of
Israeli voters — including
grass-roots Labor voters — is
whether they can confidently
allow Shimon Peres and his
coterie of ambitious, bright
young men to decide the
future shape of their country.
And, perhaps, the fate of
generations to come.

Austria Gets
Waldheim
Evidence

Vienna (JTA) — U.S.
Justice Department officials
last week presented to
Austrian Justice Minister
Egmont Foregger the docu-
ments that led to Austrian
President Kurt Waldheim's
ban from the United States.
U.S. Ambassador Ronald
Lauder said the "extraor-
dinary and unprecedented"
action of explaining a U.S. in-
ternal decision was taken at
Austria's request.
The U.S. Justice Depart-
ment placed Waldheim on a
"Watch List," barring his en-
try as a private citizen into
the U.S., on April 27. Presi-
dent Reagan has pledged not
to invite him as a head of
state.
Waldheim, a former United
Nations Secretary General,
has admitted that he conceal-
ed part of his service as a
Nazi officer, but claimed he
took no part in war crimes.
Yet in barring Waldheim, the
Justice Department cited
evidence that while serving in
Yugoslavia, Waldheim or-
dered the murder of Jews,
Gypsies, Serbs and resistance
fighters.
The Austrian Parliament
approved a resolution champ-
ioning Waldheim against his
U.S. ban. The declaration sup-
ports the government's rejec-
tion of the U.S. decision and
its subsequent recalling for
consultations of the Austrian
Ambassador to the U.S.
Presenting a Jewish view of
the Waldheim affair, Paul
Gross, president of the
Austrian Jewish Communi-
ties, said he did not advocate
Waldheim's resignation since
it could lead to accusations
that Jews caused his fall. But
he did urge Waldheim to ad-
mit his mistakes.

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