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March 11, 1988 - Image 30

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-03-11

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

INSIDE WASHINGTON

WHERE DO HEALTHCARE
PROFESSIONALS GO TO
KEEP THEIR
BUSINESSES HEALTHY?

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Crockett Leads Charge Against
PLO Office Closure Measure

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)

he issue of the closing
of the Palestine Liber-
ation Organization's
U.S. offices continues to
smolder in Washington.
In the wake of the United
Nation's vote to force Wash-
ington into international ar-
bitration over the issue, there
appears to be rising senti-
ment on the Hill for a
legislative reversal of the clos-
ings — although it is far from
clear how such a move would
fare in an election year.
Rep. George W Crockett, Jr.
(D-Mich.) introduced a bill to
rescind the closing of both the
New York and the Washing-
ton offices of the PLO. The
Washington office was shut
down last fall by a State
Department action; the New
York office, attached to the
PLO's UN observer mission,
is due to be closed this month
as a result of congressional
action in December.

AIPAC Invisible

AIPAC, which is known for
being on the cutting edge of
evolving issues, has been
sluggish in responding to the
current crisis in Israel, accor-
ding to Jewish activists on
the Hill.
Moreover,' a recent AIPAC
"Action Report" and a set of
"talking points" on the cur-
rent crisis irritated some
Jewish activists by compar-
ing Israel's current disorders
to U.S. handling of "civil
rights riots and anti-war pro-
tests." Liberal members,
especially, took umbrage at
the idea that the civil rights
demonstrations of the '60s
resembled the rock-throwing
melees of the territories.
A factor in AIPAC's new-
found reticence, according to
several AIPAC-watchers, may
be the group's preoccupation
with the tangle involving the
closing of the PLO offices,
which has diverted resources
and energy from the effort to
help Israel deal with the
ongoing disorders and their
political fallout.

Peace Groups
Lobby On Hill

Prudential-Bache

Securities'

Rock Solid. Market Wise.

AIPAC's low profile may
have provided an opening for
groups representing a more
dovish point of view on the
Middle East. Recently, con-
gressional offices have been
lobbied heavily by a coalition

Rep. George Crockett:
Seeks a reversal.

of peace groups, led by the
America Israel Council for
ISraeli-Palestinian peace.
The group, according to Cor-
inne Whitlatch, their Wash-
ington representative, sent
some 70 people to canvas
House and Senate offices.
"Basically, our theme was to
promote a 'sense of the Con-
gress' resolution asking
Israel to allow municipal elec-
tions on the West Bank and in
Gaza," Whitlatch said. "We
also emphasized that these
elections could not be seen as
an end in themselves, nor as
a replacement for comprehen-
sive negotiations — probably
an international peace con-
ference."
The group also stressed its
belief that the PLO should be
part of any negotiations. To
date, the group has found no
takers in its quest for a spon-
sor of the "sense of the Con-
gress" resolution.

'Hate Crimes'
Bill Added

With two bills already in
the hopper, Rep. Peter Rodino
(D-N.J.) has added a third —
a measure designed to
establish a "commission" to
study the growing problem of
violence committed out of
racial bigotry.
Some Jewish activists here
are worried that the Rodino
measure will divert attention
from a bill offered by Rep.
John Conyers (D-Mich.),
which involves the collection
of statistics on hate crimes.
The Conyers bill has faced
tough going because it uses a
broad definition of the victims
of hate crimes; what rankles
conservatives is its inclusion
of crimes committed because
of the victim's sexual

preference, along with the
more traditional kinds of
racial and religious hatred.
The Rodino measure
focuses only on racial
violence; it would establish a
one-time commission to study
racial incidents like last
year's Howard Beach affair,
and make recommendations.
The third bill, introduced by
Rep. Dan Glickman (D-Kan.),
passed the House in the fall
but is currently stalled in the
congested Senate Judiciary
Committee. The Glickman
bill would make it a federal
crime to engage in certain
types of violence on the basis
or race or religion.

Books To
Moscow

Carl Levin, the Michigan
Democrat, is currently in the
Soviet Union on an official
visit, and his baggage con-
tains several boxes of books to
help create an informal
Jewish library in Moscow. In-
cluded is an assortment of
books in Hebrew and Yiddish,
prayerbooks and other Jewish
materials.
During his visit, which is
centered on the INF treaty
with the Soviets, Levin will
be meeting with a number of
leading refuseniks.

Bennett Wants
Vice Presidency

Secretary of Education
William Bennett, whose ad-
vocacy of school prayer and
tuition cash credits has made
him a controversial figure,
has been in the news recent-
ly for his call for military ac-
tion to stem the flow of drugs
into this country and his
sharp criticisms of condom
advertising as a response to
the AIDs crisis.
But there's a method to the
Secretary's recent media
blitz. According to experienc-
ed political tea-leaf readers,
Bennett has his eye firmly on
the Vice Presidency, especial-
ly if the GOP nominee is the
current Republican frontrun-
ner, Vice President George
Bush.
Republican strategists view
a Bush-Bennett ticket with
pleasure. Bennett enjoys
strong support from the
Christian Right, a group that
has traditionally been a weak
spot for Bush.
Paradoxically, the Educa-
tion Secretary also enjoys con-
siderable support from the
Jewish conservatives.

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