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April 15, 1988 - Image 14

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-04-15

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

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'Fear Breeds Peace' In Mideast
Israeli Scholar Schueftan Says

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14

FRIDAY, APRIL 15, 1988

mi or

ELIZABETH KAPLAN

Staff Writer

ternal optimists must
have been shifting
uncomfortably in their
seats when Dr. Dan Schuef-
tan began to speak.
The author, lecturer and
scholar, who also serves as a
member of the Israeli prime
minister's think-tank on
Arab-Israeli affairs, stated
outright that he had some
bad news.
That news, he said, is that
for the past 100 years, "very
little, if anything, has chang-
ed favorably about what the
Arabs think of Jews and what
the Arabs think about the
legitimacy and the accep-
tability of the Jewish state."
Furthermore, he added, "I
cannot see a major change in
the Arab world in terms of
what they think of us and
what they would like to do to
us . . . If anything, there is
more hatred today toward
Israel in the Arab world than
there ever was before!'
Schueftan was the featured
speaker at the Zionist
Organization of America's
Einstein Luncheon Forum,
held late last week at the
Zionist Cultural Center.
Schueftan's "bad news" was
tempered, however, by his
comment that how Arabs feel
about Jews is not what is
most important. Arab motiva-
tion cannot be changed, he
said. But Arab behavior can
be affected — and that is what
is most critical.
For Schueftan, it is of the
utmost importance that
Arabs understand that they
cannot destroy Israel. The
Arabs must "realize they
have no chance whatsoever in
undermining our existence!'
he said. "And this is called
peace!'
Violence in the Middle East
is of a particular nature,
Schueftan said. In Lebanon,
"'Kill thy neighbor' is a na-
tional sport. Everybody kills
everybody all the time."
He also said that the Iraqis
murdered with cyanide and
mustard gas a group of their
own citizens, whom they
feared might conspire with
the Iranians.

E

"If this," he said, "is what
Arabs do to each other, what
do you expect them to want to
do to Israel?"
Schueftan scoffed at the no-
tion that the late Egyptian
President Anwar Sadat was
once a foe of Israel who sud-
denly awoke one morning a

Dr. Dan Schueftan:
Behavior, not motivation.

great lover of Zion.
Rather, he said, Sadat
realized that the Egyptians
could not afford "the conse-
quences of not having a set-
tlement with Israel."
"Fear," he said, "breeds
peace."
Yet it is not enough. Israel
must "carry a big stick,"
Schueftan said, "but it is on-
ly the beginning!' It also
must offer a carrot of sorts:
the West Bank.
That carrot is topped by a
wilted growth of political
discussions for which Schuef-
tan has little patience.
Questions like "Do the
Palestinians have a right to
self-determination?" are not
the ones Israel should focus
on, he said. The real issue is,

"Can we -afford to incorporate
most of the West Bank into
Israel?"
About 1.5 million Arabs
live in the West Bank, Schuef-
tan said. And these are Arabs
with whom Jews share
nothing in common but
mutual hatred. "I simply
believe we don't deserve to be
stuck with such a large Arab
population inside the Jewish
state," he said.
Schueftan's own solution to
the Middle East conflict is to
incorporate the West Bank in-
to Jordan. Any peace talks
would not include the
Palestine Liberation
Organization.
But this would be a slow
process, and consequently
might not prove popular with
Americans. Americans, he
said, "want to have
everything now," and pursue
a peace plan of "Let's do
something, whatever it is!'
This led to such "well-
intentioned but ill-advised"
moves as Secretary of State
George Shultz's recent Mid-
dle East peace initiative.
Many people believe they
have a solid working
knowledge of the area. "But
there are very, very, very, very
few who have the ability and
the background to unders-
tand a complex issue" like the
Middle East, he said.

Carl Levin, Rabbis Have
'Satisfactory' Meeting

STAFF REPORT

A meeting April 7 between
Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.)
and the executive board of the
Detroit Council of Orthodox
Rabbis (Va'ad Harabbanim)
was described as satisfactory
by all parties.
The 45 minute meeting was
requested by the Va'ad. It
followed a letter from the rab-
bis to the senator expressing
"confusion and dismay" over
Levin's March "Letter of 30"
to Secretary of State George
Shultz.
Levin's letter, cosigned by
30 U.S. senators, criticized
Israel Prime Minister Yit-
zhak Shamir for his rejection
of the land-for-peace option,
and condemned Jordan for
backing away from its earlier
support of a Jordanian-
Palestinian delegation to
negotiate with Israel.
"The emphasis of the
meeting was on the next step

to be taken in the peace pro-
cess," said William Blacklow,
Levin's press secretary. The
senator met with the six rab-
bis "primarily to listen and to
learn."
Describing the meeting, the
Va'ad's director, Rabbi
Chaskel Grubner, said "the
importance of emphasizing a
positive public image of Israel
was clearly agreed upon!'
Israel's public image was on
the rabbis' minds when they
wrote to Levin March 18.
Their letter expressed con-
cern that the senator's
criticism of Shamir could
hurt the State of Israel and
the Jewish people.
The Council of Orthodox
Rabbis primarily is engaged
in overseeing Orthodox
religious practice in the
Detroit area, but its foray in-
to foreign policy issues is not
outside the Va'ad's purview,
according to Rabbi Grubner.
"We're interested in Israel,"
he said.

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