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June 17, 1988 - Image 28

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-06-17

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

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Over A Decade of Professional Experience

AMERICAN JEWISH CONGRESS

Cordially Invites You to the

ANNUAL ROSE FRENKEL MEETING

Israel's Dilemma . . . And Ours

Peace in the Middle East —
A Role for American Jews

Featuring

PHIL BAUM

NATIONAL ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR
AMERICAN JEWISH CONGRESS

Throughout its 70 year history American Jewish Congress
has exhibited leadership and dedication to the Zionist
dream. As the political realities in the Middle East change,
the relationship of the Diaspora Jewry to Israel has also
been changing.

Phil Baum participated in American Jewish Congress's
Middle East Mission earlier this year and met with Egyp-
tian President Hosni Mubarak, Jordanian King Hussein and
Israeli leaders. He will discuss his impressions from these
meetings, the American Jewish Congress position on the
Middle East Peace Process, and the role of American Jews
in furthering the quest for peace.

Wednesday, June 29, 1988
7:00 p.m.
8:00 p.m.
Reception and
Program
Refreshments
Congregation Shaarey Zedek
27375 Bell Road, Southfield
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC • NO CHARGE
Reservations:
557 - 4228
357 - 2766
Ida Burstein
Leave a Message

28

FRIDAY, JUNE 17, 1988

Jewish Lobbyists Head Off
Regressive Human Rights Bill

JAMES D. BESSER

Washington Correspondent

ewish activists worked
up a good sweat last
week in a parliamen-
tary wrestling match over an
amendment to the Depart-
ment of Defense authoriza-
tion bill. And lobbyists for two
Jewish organizations — in-
cluding a newcomer to the
Jewish political scene —
played a pivotal role in the
brawl. At issue is an amend-
ment offered by Sen. James
A. McClure (R-Idaho) in the
waning moments of Senate
debate on the gigantic auth-
orization measure, an amend-
ment supported by a number
of conservative hardliners.
At first blush, McClure's
proposal sounded like a step
forward for the Soviet Jewry
movement. If passed, it would
require "full or substantially
full compliance" with the
Helsinki Accords provisions
on human rights as a prereq-
uisite for the granting of Most
Favored Nation status to
Soviet bloc countries.
But most Soviet Jewry
groups quickly realized that
the provision would have the
effect of gutting the Jackson-
Vanik amendment, the cor-
nerstone of U.S. efforts to ease
the plight of Soviet Jews.
The problem, according to
Steve Silbiger, the new Wash-
ington representative for the
American Jewish Congress, is
the fact that the Helsinki
agreement deals with a wide
range of human rights issues,
not just the question of
emigration. "Jackson-Vanik is
`do-able; " Silbiger said. "It's
specific. But if the McClure
amendment becomes law, the
Soviet Union would have no
incentive to let Jews out,
because they wouldn't be like-
ly to meet all the provisions
of the agreement."
The far broader, more nebu-
lous demands of the McClure
amendment, according to
Silbiger, would throw U.S.
human rights policy into
disarray — and undo the
gains of the last few years.
Silbiger, along with Mark
Levin of the National Con-
ference on Soviet Jewry,
worked with a number of con-
gressional offices to slow
down McClure's amendment.
The DOD bill is now in
House-Senate conference; a
critical skirmish involved an
effort to prevent a "motion to
instruct" on the amendment,
a technicality that could add
to the amendment's momen-

j

turn.
Thanks in large measure to
their lobbying, a motion to in-
struct was not offered. The
measure now moves to the
full conference committee,
where a vigorous debate is
expected.

last minute — a defection that
political observers see as tied
to his tough battle for reelec-
tion against Cleveland Mayor
George Voinovich. And Mary-
land's Paul Sarbanes cast a
surprising vote in favor of the
death penalty bill.

Drug Death
Penalty Opposed

AJCommittee
Sounds Alarm

In an election year,
crusades like the current
"war against drugs" are
almost irresistable to cam-

The American Jewish Com-
mittee's energy committee
met in Washington last week
to reawaken congressional in-
terest in an issue that has
slipped between the cracks of
American public policy — the
nation's continuing
dependence on foreign
sources of oil.
"Because of the positive
situation now with respect to
supply, there's a growing com-
placency about oil imports,"
according to Judy Golub, the
group's assistant Washington
representative. "And there's
complacency about the alarm-
ing trend of Arab interests ac-
quiring financial interests in
American refineries."
The group also looked at
the heavy impact of oil im-
ports on the U.S. trade deficit,
and on the implications for
Israel of the recent slowdown
in energy conservation pro-
grams.
"There was real concern at
the meeting that these issues
are being ignored," Golub
said. "The facts are pretty
clear; we could have oil sup-
ply problems not too far down
the road — and the United
States is doing nothing to pre-
vent it."

Sen. Alfonse D'Amato:
Just say no.

paigning politicians and
political action groups.
But Jewish groups are "just
saying no" to one piece of
election-year drug legislation.
An array of Jewish organ-
izations, including the
American Jewish Congress,
the American Jewish Com-
mittee, the Union of Ameri-
can Hebrew Congregations
and the National Council of
Jewish Women cooperated in
a lobbying blitz last week in
opposition to the bill spon-
sored by Sen. Alfonse
D'Amato (R-N.Y) calling for
the death penalty for certain
drug offenses.
The unsuccessful effort to
derail the D'Amato measure
was based heavily on the fact
that most mainline Jewish
groups are staunch opponents
of the death penalty — and on
their concern that all the
election-year grandstanding
on drugs is focusing almost
exclusively on punishment,
and ignoring the causes of
drug abuse.
Jewish groups were stung
by the votes of two of their
favorites in the Senate. Sen.
Howard Metzenbaum (D-
Ohio) changed his mind on
the D'Amato measure at the

Will Shultz
Stay On?

Among Jewish activists in
Washington, even Democrats
give the highest marks to
Secretary of State George
Shultz because of the secre-
tary's unswerving commit-
ment to the Jews of the Soviet
Union.
So the question has been
the subject of growing mur-
murs in Jewish political
circles: If George Bush wins
the presidency in November,
will Shultz have a place in the
new administration? And
could promises of a continued
role for Shultz play a part in
luring the critical Jewish vote
away from the Democrats in
November?
The answer appears to be a
negative one. According to
sources in the Bush cam-
paign, the vice-president — if

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