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March 04, 1988 - Image 32

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-03-04

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

INSIDE WASHINGTON

GROUP FOR PEOPLE COPING
WITH CHRONIC ILLNESS OR
PHYSICAL LIMITATIONS

I

Learn assertiveness training and attitudes
to help you cope with illness.

Led by Shirley Berman, M.S.W. and
Seth Warschausky, M.A.

from the Wayne State University Psychology Clinic

Weekly group meetings beginning April 4, 1988,
5.7 p.m. at 3535 W 13 Mile Rd., Royal Oak. Fees
based on ability to pay. Call 577-2840.

People with multiple sclerosis, asthma, back problems, blind-
ness, spinal cord injuries, cancer, epilepsy, and migraines have
benefited from previous groups.

PLO Closure Measure May
Provoke Crisis With The U.N.

JAMES D. BESSER

Washington Correspondent

T

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he pyrotechnics result-
ing from the effort to
close the New York
offices of the Palestine Libera-
tion Organization continue to
blaze in Washington.
Last Friday, according to
sources close to the issue, a
meeting of the White House's
national security staff endors-
ed a decision by Attorney
General Edwin Meese to shut
down the PLO's U.N. observ-
er office. Legislation passed in
December requires the Jus-
tice Department to close
down the PLO by the middle
of this month.
But an official announce-
ment of the decision will be
withheld until Secretary of
State George Shultz returns
from his peacemaking quest
in the Middle East.
The White House meeting
apparently flattened the last
obstacle to the controversial
measure, which faced strong
opposition from the State
Department. Officials at the
Foggy Bottom, led by the
department's legal advisor,
Abraham Sofaer, argued that
the action could drag the
United States into a messy
legal battle before the World
Court.
Despite the White House
meeting, the issue is far from
dead. At an emergency ses-
sion on Monday, a succession
of speakers at the U.N. Gen-
eral Assembly denounced the
expected American move as
violating the 1947 U.N. head-
quarters agreement.
According to several
sources, some factions at the
Reagan White House expect
the PLO issue to precipitate
a major crisis in this country's
troubled relationships with
the UN.

Is Israel
Anti-Caribou?

The question of the U.S.-
Israel relationship came up
last week in the least likely
of forums — the hotly con-
tested congressional debate
over the future of the Arctic
National Wildlife Refuge.
Big oil companies seek to
open vast tracts of northeast-
ern Alaska to oil exploration
and development. They are
staunchly opposed by en-
vironmental groups.
What does Israel have to do
with the caribou of Alaska?
One argument of the pro-

Edwin Meese:
State Dept. opposition.

development position has
been that new oil from Alaska
would be a big step towards
U.S. energy independence.
This, in turn, would help in-
sulate the U.S.-Israel relation-
ship from oil blackmail by
Persian Gulf states.
In recent weeks, a bill to
open 1.5 million acres on
Alaska's coastal plain to
oil exploration squeaked
through the Senate Energy
Committee. One factor in this
vote, say angry environmen-
talists, was the widespread
assumption that the bill to
allow exploration in the
wildlife refuge was favored by
the pro-Israel community.
"We've been hearing a lot of
this talk," said Tim Mahoney
of the Sierra Club. "The argu-
ment about Middle East pol-
icy is a superficially charm-
ing one, but it's flawed. We
can't out-produce OPEC."
He said he has been assured
by major pro-Israel groups
that they have taken no part
in the debate.
Mahoney attributes the
widespread reports of involve-
ment by the pro-Israel com-
munity to two factors:
• The effort by pro-develop-
ment forces to tie the need for
new domestic production to
Israel's security.
• The primary lobbyist for
the pro-development forces is
Morris Amitay, dean of pro-
Israel lobbyists. Amitay has
not represented himself as a
pro-Israel lobbyist in the
Alaska controversy, but en-
vironmentalists state that
most people perceive a con-
nection — and one that car-
ries a potent punch in an elec-
tion year.

Anti-Anti-PLO
Lampoonery

Some anonymous political
satirist has been at work on

the PLO closing issue. Elab-
orately engraved invitations
have turned up at several con-
gressional offices, including
that of Rep. Jack Kemp (R-
N.Y.), who spearheaded the
anti-PLO bill in the House.
The "invitations" are
signed by the "International
Committee to Save the PLO
Offices in the United States."
Listed as honorary chairmen
of the fictitious group are
State Department legal ad-
visor Abraham Sofaer and
U.N. Ambassador Vernon
Walters.
The front of the invitation
is emblazoned with a picture
of Yasser Arafat.

Battle Over
Another Judge

Last week, several Jewish
groups plunged into the fray
in a battle over a judicial
nominee. The man in the hot
seat is Bernard Siegan, ap-
pointed by President Reagan
to the Ninth Circuit Court of
Appeals in California.
"There are a lot of problems
with this nomination," said
Mark Pelavin, Washington
representative of the Amer-
ican Jewish Congress. Jewish
groups that will testify
against the Siegan nomina-
tion include the AJCongress,
the Union of American He-
brew Congregations and the
National Jewish Community
Relations Advisory Council
(NACRAC).
Chief among Pelavin's res-
ervations of Siegan's nomina-
tion is his interpretation of
the "establishment clause" in
the First Amendment. Siegan
has maintained that the
clause does not apply to state
governments.
Conceivably, said Pelavin,
Siegan's interpretation could
allow a state to declare a cer-
tain religion as its official
faith.
Siegan is also under fire for
his stands on several social
justice and environmental
issues.

According to most observ-
ers, Siegan's extreme views,
and the breadth of the opposi-
tion, will make for tough go-
ing in the Senate. Hearings
are now underway in the Ju-
diciary Committee.
"This is a man whose opin-
ions are far more extreme
than those of Robert Bork,"
said a representative of the
Alliance for Justice, the group
leading the charge against
Siegan.

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