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November 06, 1987 - Image 10

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-11-06

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

I OPINION

For The

UNBEATABLE DEAL
see LARRY KAPLAN

New Cars - Trucks • Used Cars - Leasing
_ Am010,

Israel Debate

man

Continued from Page 7

THE UNBEATABLE DEALER

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(313) 355-6414

Across from Tel-12 Mall

28111 Telegraph Rd. & 1-696

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UST
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UNBEATABLE DISCOUNT , $1.500

Now $10,810`

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OINERAL MOTORS

cotoosanow

government. I have no doubt
that America's support of
Israel — economic, military,
diplomatic and every other
way — ultimately depends on
calculations of American na-
tional interest. Yet at the
same time the desire to ac-
commodate the position of a
united American Jewish com-
munity has played and will
play a powerful role in shap-
ing American thinking about
Israel.
The wisdom of this policy
is clear. Conflicting signals
from American Jews might
give legitimacy to policies
that pose a threat to the
security of the Jewish State.
I recall one case in point
from my own experience as
chairman of the Conference of
Presidents. Immediately
following the announcement
by President Reagan on Sept.
1, 1982 of a new Middle East
peace initiative, which would
have foisted on Israel a PLO-
Jordanian federation in
Judea and Samaria, Secre-
tary of State George Shultz
invited the leadership of the
American Jewish community
to his office to seek our views
on the matter.
Before entering the State
Department, our group met
privately. At that meeting we
agreed — doves and hawks
alike — to present to the
Secretary a united position.
We all understood the
negative consequences that
would inevitably flow from a
divided opinion expressed by
the Jewish community at a
meeting with the Secretary of
State. Whatever influence
American Jews might have in
the formulation of our govern-
ment's policy in the region
would, we felt, be eliminated
totally if our meeting with
Mr. Shultz represented a
house divided. And the fact is
that, for whatever reason, our
meeting with Secretary
Shultz was followed by the
efective neutralization of the
Reagan initiative.
Viewed in this light, the
actions of the American
Jewish Congress and the ef-
forts by Foreign Minister
Peres were unfortunate. Both
have stated that the division
and deadlock within Israel on
this issue justified and, in-
deed, required the taking of
public positions. In my judg-
ment, such taking of positions
weakens Israel's case, divides
its friends and encourages its
enemies. It is the assumption
of authority without respon-
sibility, in an area that affects
human lives and could deter-
mine the very future of the
Jewish State.
Another unfortunate by-
product of this open debate is
the erroneous implication

that the reason for lack of pro-
gress in the Middle East
peace effort is Israel's failure
to agree to an international
conference. The overwhelm-
ing public emphasis on this
issue threatens to overshadow
the true reason for the failure
to achieve peace — the refusal
of the Arab states to follow
Egypt's lead, recognize Israel
and enter into bilateral
negotiations leading to a
long-overdue peace treaty.

See related story, Page 55

iiimm"11 LETTERS

Continued from Page 6

that their support of Israel in-
terferes with the search for
peace, and that the Arabs
who identify as "Palesti-
nians" deserve Jewish sym-
pathy, understanding and
support in their war against
Jewish rights of self-
determination. It is apparent-
ly not enough that on na-
tional television, in print
media, and higher education,
that Abourezek's attacks on
Israel receive widest
circulation.
The bland comment by
Jewish Book Fair organizers,
that "we looked at the book
(by PLO-advocate Abourezek)
and found nothing offensive,"
underscores the empty-
headedness of the sponsors.
Should it be called political
naivete and ignorance, the
use of the Book Fair to fur-
ther Labor and Peace Now
politics, or just plain
incompetance?
It is not true, however, as
the same Jewish Center of-
ficial claims, that "we never
shy away from controversy."
(The Committee for the
Jewish Idea) has tried
repeatedly to get Rabbi Meir
Kahane, Member of Knesset,
as participant of the Jewish
Book Fair. Our calls are not
returned, and when finally
cornered, it is the same lie:
Sorry, we're all booked up . . ."
Let the Arabs sponsor their
own advocates. Tell the so-
called Jewish Book Fair, the
Jewish Center, and the

Continued on Page 12

Let Us Know

The Jewish News
welcomes concise,
typewritten, double-
spaced letters. Cor-
respondence must be
signed and include the
writer's daytime phone
number.
Our address:
20300 Civic Center Dr.
Ste. 240
Southfield, MI 48076

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