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June 24, 1988 - Image 22

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-06-24

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

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22

FRIDAY, JUNE 24, 1988

I UP FRONT I

Ambassador

Continued from Page 5

peace, Shamir "listens very
carefully to Shultz and has
great respect for him as a
friend," Arad said. "And it
can be more difficult to say no
to a friend!'
A case in point was a pro-
posed meeting last year bet-
ween Shamir, King Hussein
and Palestinian represen-
tatives. While King Hussein
cancelled the talks at the last
minute, Shultz talked Shamir
into participating, Arad said.
Arad addressed with equal
political savvy another issue
grabbing headlines in many
papers these days — Mubarak
Awad.
Awad, director of the Center
for Nonviolence in Jerusalem,
claims to be an advocate for
peace. His supporters liken
him to Mahatma Gandhi and
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Israeli officials think other-
wise. Israel's Supreme Court
recently upheld the ouster of
Awad for legal and political
reasons.
The legal argument
centered on the fact that the
Jerusalem-born Awad chose
to become an American
citizen and lived outside
Israel for more than seven
years.

The political objections con-
cerned the role Awad may
have played in the recent
uprisings in the territories
and his alleged support of the
PLO's call for the destruction
of Israel.
It is the political position
Ambassador Arad spent most
of his time discussing since,
as he pointed out, few are tak-
ing issue with the legal argu-
ment against Awad.
Arad said Awad "has suc-
ceeded in creating the image
of himself as dedicated to non-
violence," while advocating
non-violence as "supplemen-
ting other means of struggle
against Israel!'
He quoted Awad as saying,
"For me, the PLO represents
the Palestinian people and if
they want Akko or Acre or the
whole of Palestine, that's fine
with me!'
"When he says something
like that, we can't expect him
to be the apostle of non-
violence," Arad said.
The ambassador takes par-
ticular offense to any com-
parison between Awad and
Dr. King, the late civil rights
leader who, unlike Awad,
"didn't intend to destroy the
United States or to establish
a new order!"
He also noted that Awad
never described himself as a
spokesman for the Palesti-
nians. "Had he assumed upon
himself a mantle of leader-
ship ... dialogue might have
been possible."

No place might dialogue
have been more desirable
than in the territories, engulf-
ed for the the past seven
months in violence.
Arad choose his words
carefully when addressing
the recent problems on the
West Bank and Gaza.
Palestinians in the ter-
ritories have "acquired for
themselves self-respect in the
eyes of others for the way they
confronted Israel," he said.
They have become the
"Davids," and Israel, the
"Goliaths."
Arad cited the incongruity
of this by noting that many
Israel Defense Force soldiers
are 18 and 19 — just several
years older than their Palesti-
nian opponents.
The soldiers are not trained
in dealing with civilians, and
are. limited by a self-imposed
moral code. Had Israel acted
swiftly and more harshly, it
might have silenced the
uprisings much earlier, Arad
said.
Yet it may be that even the
Palestinians have wearied of
their latest battle.
In the past two weeks, Arad
has seen "a certain fatigue,
tiredness and exhaustion"
because the Palestinians have
not been able to translate
their frustrations into
political action, nor have they
held media attention and
sympathy.
Arad blames the Palesti-
nian leadership who, he said,
"have been telling their own
people things they wanted to
hear and not addressing pro-
blems in the real world." They
claim rights to "the whole
loaf," and have refused to con-
sider any pragmatic
solutions,
"The tragedy of the Palesti-
nians has always been that
they didn't want to settle for
anything less than total vic-
tory or less than total suc-
cess," he said. "This is the
case today, too."
While not exactly a phoenix
rising from the ashes, a new
leadership will emerge from
the bloody violence in the ter-
ritories, Arad said. He
described the new leaders as
ones who "don't think they
have to get a green light from
(PLO leader Yassir) Arafat to
negotiate with Israel."
And don't expect Arad to ex-
press new sentiments about
Arafat. The ambassador
quickly brushes aside any
possibility that Arafat is
ready to make peace with —
in the PLO chief's oft-
repeated phrase — "the
Zionist enemy." Nothing
Arafat has said counters basic
tenets in the PLO charter
that call for the destruction of
Israel, Arad said.

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