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June 24, 1988 - Image 30

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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Mideast Chemical Arms Growth
Brings Urgency To Congress

JAMES DAVID BESSER

Washington Correspondent

T

he corpulent Depart-
ment Defense Author-
ization Bill, now in
House-Senate conference, is
turning into a kind of Battle
of the Bulge for Jewish
activists.
Some of the fireworks stem
from a provision introduced
by Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.)
and Phil Gramm (R-Tex.) as a
response to the growing
threat of chemical and
biological weapons in the
Middle East.
The Levin-Gramm amend-
ment deals with arms sales to
Saudi Arabia, which recently
installed Chinese CSS-2
"East Wind" missiles capable
of hitting targets throughout
the Mideast.
Under the proposal, the ad-
ministration would have to
certify that Riyadh has not
taken steps to equip its new
missiles with non-
conventional warheads.
The Saudi embassy is lob-
bying to delete direct mention
of Saudi Arabia from the bill.
According to conferee Rep.
William L. Dickinson
(R-Ala.), such language would
be "humiliating" for Riyadh.
There have been hints that
Dickinson may try to
specifically include Israel in
the bill. The Jewish state is
widely assumed to have - a
nuclear warhead arsenal.
The debate comes in the
wake of a growing sense
among policymakers that the
coupling of chemical weapons
with missiles that is spread-
ing throughout the Middle
East brings a new urgency to
the peace process.
"The administration is very
sensitive about offending the
Saudis, especially with
American ships now in the
[Persian] Gulf," said
Shoshana Bryen, director of
the Jewish Institute for
National Security Affairs
(JINSA). "Upsetting the
Saudis is the last thing we
need now."
"On the other hand, the
proliferation of these things
in the Middle East is very,
very bad news for the United
States — and very bad news
for Israel."

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FRIDAY, JUNE 24, 1988

Talks Devoted
to Missiles

In a related story, Israeli
Defense Minister Yitzhak
Rabin is coming to town next
week, and the deadly mix of

missiles and chemical
weapons will be one of his ma-
jor topics.
One goal of the visit is to
put the finishing touches on
another "Memorandum of
Understanding" between the
two countries. The memo will
involve research and develop-
ment of anti-tactical ballistic
missiles (ATBMs).
Sources say Secretary of
Defense Frank Carlucci is
pushing hard for the memo.
Pro-Israel activists expect
agreement to speed develop-
ment of several key Israeli
projects, including the Arrow
missile and a new gun de-
signed to knock down
missiles like the Chinese-
made "East Winds" that is
now in the hands of the
Saudis.

also favors the House bill
because it provides more
benefits for families in which
both parents are present in
the household, "but the
primary breadwinner is
unemployed. This is essential
to help deal with family in-
stability."

Bush The
'Velcro Veep'

When Natan Sharansky
visited Vice President George
Bush last Monday, the Jewish
activist grapevine immediate-
ly began speculating that the
meeting was a gesture of sup-
port for Bush's presidential
aspirations.
According to White House

Duberstein
Suddenly Jewish

The White House has been
quietly spreading the word
that its new chief of staff,
Brooklyn-born Kenneth
Duberstein, is a practicing
Jew with an active interest in
the collective interests of the
Jewish community.
Duberstein was appointed
last week to replace Howard
Baker.
During his tenure as White
House congressional liaison
and deputy chief staff,
Duberstein had not been
associated with Jewish
causes. There were even signs
that he had distanced himself
from Jewish Republican
circles so he could increase
his political reach.

Jews Back
Welfare Reform

As House and Senate con-
ferees are about to hammer
out a compromise between
the House and Senate ver-
sions of welfare reform,
several Jewish groups are
siding with the lower
chamber's efforts.
Among these are the Na-
tional Council of Jewish
Women and the American
Jewish Committee. Appeal-
ing to these groups is the
House bill's funding and
philosophy. The House ver-
sion provides almost $7
billion for welfare; the Senate
only $2.8 billion. Plus, the
Senate bill's requirement for
people for people to get off
welfare are "more punitive,"
according to Beth Sparber,
program coordinator for the
National Council of Jewish
Women.
Sparber said the Council

George Bush:
Effusive praise.

sources, Sharansky requested
the meeting. Sharansky was
reportedly effusive in his
praise of Bush's efforts on
behalf of Soviet Jews.
Meanwhile Marc Pearl,
head of Americans for Demo-
cratic Action, had a different
view of Bush. "People call
Reagan 'the Teflon presi-
dent: " he said, referring to
the recent wave of scandals in
official Washington. "Bush is
`the Velcro Vice President.'
Everything sticks to him.
Democrats are delighted."

Trying To Aid
Third World

At the Capitol Hill home
last week of Warren Robbins,
founder of the Smithsonian's
Museum of African Art, the
topic was Jewish
volunteerism in addressing
Third World countries' prob-
lems.
The fund-raiser was the of-
ficial kickoff to the effort to
increase the Washington

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