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July 17, 1987 - Image 32

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-07-17

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Jesse Jackson:
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Not since 1952 has the
presidential nomination pic-
ture in both major parties been
so unclear, with less than a
year-and-a-half before election
With so many already an-
nounced candidates, not-yet-
ready-to-announce candidates,
and wait-and-see candidates in
the wings, Democrats in par-
ticular have a hard time keep-
ing track of who is running.
Fortunately, with the exception
of Jesse Jackson, all the other
announced candidates —
Senators Joseph Biden, Albert
Gore, Jr. and Paul Simon, Rep.
Dick Gephardt, Gov. Michael
Dukakis and formerGovernor
Bruce Babbit — have been
strongly supportive of Israel.
A candidate's orientation
toward Israel-related issues is
easiest to judge when looking
at members of Congress. They
have ample opportunity to state
their positions on foreign policy
and vote regularly on arms
sales and foreign-aid issues. In
this respect, all four congres-
sional candidates score high
marks. It is more difficult to ap-
praise governors, who normal-
ly concentrate on running their
state and who focus on domestic
policy issues. However, here we
can evaluate the extent of their
ties to the local Jewish Com-
munity, their participation in
Israel-related events, visits to
Israel, and professional and
personal friendships. It is in-
teresting to note that, increas-
ingly, individual states are for-
ming cooperative ventures with
Israel — with the Texas-Israel
exchange perhaps the most
Here, there is good news,
because both governors rank
well with their Jewish consti-
tuents. In fact, Massachusetts


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FRIDAY, JULY 17, 1987

Gov. Dukakis' wife, Kitty, who
is Jewish, has been active for
many years on behalf of pro-
Israel and Soviet Jewry
The Rev. Jesse Jackson,
however, is another story
altogether. Never having held
elective office, he has
nonetheless made it abundant-
ly clear that he is no friend of
Israel or the American Jewish
community. Aside from the
publicity generated by
Jackson's literal embrace of ter-
rorist leader Yassir Arafat,
(which Jackson later explained
as "a cultural gesture") and his
widely-reported anti-Semitic
remarks, he has a long and con-
sistent record of associations
with extreme anti-Israel and
anti-Semitic figures. Most im-
portantly, his numerous
statements concerning the Mid-
dle East show a strong anti-
Israel bias. No wonder Jackson
is the choice of the pro-PLO Na-
tional Association of Arab
Americans, who are going all-
out for his candidacy.
Recently, with the guidance
of a Jewish professional
political consultant, Ann Lewis,
Jackson is seeking to address
Jewish audiences — and meet
privately with Jewish leader-
ship. This is part of his new
"mainstream" approach. But
hopefully, no one in the
American Jewish community
should be deceived by these
transparent attempts to mend
the political fences Jackson has
repeatedly trampled upon.
While genuine redemption is
always to be welcomed, and peo-
ple can in time change their
former opinions, Jackson's long
and dismal track record speaks
for itself.
While it will still take some
time to sort out all of the 1988
Presidential candidates (with
the possibility of having to wait
until the nominating conven-
tions more than a year away),
it is not too early for the voters
to scrutinize the candidates and
their close advisors. This is
what makes our own particular
brand of democracy so in-
teresting, if not particularly
neat and predictable.

"•••'1 NEWS I

Workers Call
Day-Long Strike

Tel Aviv (JTA) — More than
450,000 government and
municipal employees were on
a day-long strike last. Sunday
affecting most of the public
sector. Finance Minister
Moshe Nissim shrugged off
the widespread work stop-
page as a familiar tactic
employed by Histadrut when-

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