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March 04, 1988 - Image 33

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

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

Jackson Is Committed
To Middle East Peace

WOLF BLITZER

Special to the Jewish News

T

ell the Israeli people
that I care," Democra-
tic Presidential can-
didate Jesse Jackson said,
"and tell the Palestinian peo-
ple that I care. Whatever I
can do, ever, to talk with both
sides, to move them to a
higher level of mutual ex-
istence, I will do."
In an interview last week,
Jackson spoke of his commit-
ment to peace between Israel
and its Arab neighbors, call-
ing for mutual recognition
between Israel and the Pal-
estinians.
Although in the past he has
angered the American Jewish
community, in more recent
years Jackson has sought to
mend fences. During his ad-
dress before the 1984 Demo-
cratic National Convention in
San Francisco, Jackson apolo-
gized for having offended
some groups during the cam-
paign. "
More recently, the 46-year-
old minister-turned-politician
publicly confronted Soviet
General-Secretary Mikhail
Gorbachev in Moscow on the
issue of Soviet Jewry. And on
Nov. 10, 1987, he wrote to
Syrian President Assad in the
aftermath of widespread re-
ports that Alois Brunner, the
Nazi war criminal, was living
in Damascus. "The heinous
acts against humanity of the
Third Reich cry out even this
day for justice," Jackson
wrote.
As President, Jackson said
that he would work for Is-
raeli-Palestinian "security,
recognition, and a chance at
prosperity and growth." The
status quo in the territories,
he insisted, involves only
"false security" for Israel.
Despite the current vio-
lence. in the West Bank and
Gaza, he outlined an optimis-
tic vision of the region follow-
ing an eventual peace agree-
ment.
"Israel, beyond war —
which seems beyond most
people's imagination right
now — beyond occupation,
could become virtually a
center of trade, culture and
commerce in the Middle
East," he said.
He insisted that the ad-
vanced U.S. arms systems pro-
vided to Israel — fighter air-
craft and missiles — were
"essentially dysfunctional" in
terms of offering long-term
security to Israel. "Security
lies in peace, not in mutual
destruction."

Israel's security would be
further enhanced following
an agreement with the Arabs,
he continued, because Israel
would then be able to reclaim
"the world support that it is
presently losing. The more
the present formula lingers
on, the more Israel becomes
isolated in world opinion.
"Israel's right authority,
ultimately, is moral authori-
ty — its right to exist, the
violations that the Jewish
people suffered under the
German persecution. The per-
secution gave the Israelis
moral authority. From moral
authority grew world support.
From moral authority grew
economic support and mili-
tary support and allies and
hope. But the present ar-
rangement is draining (Is-
rael's) moral authority, which
is its strongest authority.
"I've heard some people
argue that Israel should not
be held to a higher moral
standard than other nations.
Why not? It is the strongest
authority, and it's where
leadership comes from. That's
the great prophetic tradition.
Its existence was based on
moral authority. Its appeal is
based on that." Jackson said.

Sitting in his cramped
Washington office, Jackson
charged that U.S. policy
toward the Middle East dur-
ing the Reagan Administra-
tion has effectively collapsed.
"We did not build upon Camp
David," he said. "We allowed
it to collapse."
He said the United States
should not wait to see if it can
get assistance from Jordan's
King Hussein or the Soviet
Union even if they eventual-
ly become involved in some
sort of international peace
conference. "We should take
the initiative," he said,
"because even now we have
the credibility."
Asked who would represent
the Palestinians, Jackson
said, "The representatives of
their choice because that's
what self-determination ac-
cords. They must determine
their representatives. And
Israel must determine its
representativei. Neither side
can choose the other side's
negotiating team."
Asked if that meant the
PLO, Jackson said, "I
wouldn't say PLO. I would say
the representatives of the
Palestinian choice. Let's deal
with the principle of self-
determination . . . human
rights and law."

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The Doctors, Doctors Recommend.

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