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October 30, 1987 - Image 48

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-10-30

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I I\JI, W 5 - 1

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'No Progress' On Peace
Talks, Shultz Reports


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FRIDAY, OCT. 30, 1987

Washington (JTA) —
Secretary of State George
Shultz indicated last week
that he was unable to get the
Soviet Union to go along with
a new proposal for negotia-
tions between Israel and Jor-
dan under the auspices of the
United States and the USSR.
"We haven't made any par-
ticular progress in the vary-
ing concepts we have about
that," Shultz said at a press
conference in Moscow follow-
ing talks with Soviet Foreign
Minister Eduard Shevard-
nadze and Soviet leader
Mikhail Gorbachev. The press
conference was seen here as it
was held over the Cable News
Network (CNN).
Shultz was apparently
referring to the latest pro-
posal to have Moscow and
Washington jointly host
negotiations between Jordan
and Israel, as well as the
earlier proposal for an inter-
national conference which
would include the five perma-
nent members of the United
Nations Security Council.
The Soviets have backed
Jordan and other Arab coun-
tries in pressing for the inter-
national conference. The
issue has divided the govern-
ment of national unity in
Israel with Foreign Minister
Shimon Peres and his Labor
colleagues supporting the
concept as the only way to
bring Jordan into the negotia-

tions while Prime Minister
Yitzhak Shamir and Likud
are vehemently opposed
because of a belief the Soviets
would use it to press anti-
Israeli actions.
During Shultz's visit to the
Middle East en route to
Moscow, Shamir and Peres
apparently agreed to allow
Shultz to raise the new con-
cept with the Soviets.
However, Shultz has never
publicly acknowledged that
there is such a proposal.
Shamir told Israel Army
Radio that it was agreed not
to disclose the plan while the
U.S. official was in the Soviet
The proposal is aimed at
avoiding the term interna-
tional conference since it calls
for direct talks between Israel
and a Jordanian-Palestinian
delegation under U.S-Soviet

But the existence of the pro-
posal became public in Israel
and has already drawn fire
from some members of Likud
and the right-wing Tehiya
Party which has submitted a
no-confidence motion in the

Shultz's response on the
Mideast process came in an
answer to a question from a
Soviet reporter. The Secretary
stressed that the U.S. has
been a "helpful partner" in
seeking peace in the Mideast.

Conference Ponders
Demographic Trend

Jerusalem (JTA) — Israel,
which faces serious
demographic problems
because of the disparity be-
tween the Jewish and Arab
birth rates, is responsible
nevertheless for offsetting
demographic losses among
Diaspora Jews, according to
material presented here last
week at a conference on the
demography of the Jewish
Some 200 scientists and
Jewish community leaders
from 20 countries attended
the conference.
Conference participants
were told that it is doubtful
how long Israel can hold the
line in the "demography
crisis," which is aggravated
by their high incidence of in-
termarriage and assimilation
in the two largest diaspora
communities — the United
States and the Soviet Union.
At present, the world
Jewish population is about
12,881,000 including

3,521,000 Jews living in
Israel. But by the year 2000,
the global Jewish population
is expected to decline to
12,212,000 and regress to the
growth rate of the 1960's.
If these trends are not
reversed, the demographers
warned, the limited natural
increase of Jews in Jsrael will
not suffice to compensate for
losses in the Diaspora
Prof. Mordechai Atshuler of
the Hebrew University told
the conference that close to
half of Soviet Jews marry
non-Jews and the vast majori-
ty of the children of these
mixed marriages choose to
register as non-Jews.
Alshuler estimated the
number of Jews in the USSR
as no more than 1.5 to 1.6
million. Higher numbers
often cites reflect either
wishful thinking or politics,
he said.
The situation is not much
better in the United States.

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