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August 12, 1988 - Image 28

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-08-12

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

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Israel May Have Initiated
Meeting With Jesse Jackson

JAMES D. BESSER

Washington Correspondent

W

hen former presi-
dential candidate
Jesse Jackson met
with Israel's ambassador in
Washington on Sunday to
discuss the troubled state of
black-Jewish relations, of-
ficial word was that the
meeting came at the request
of the Jackson team, which is
working hard to set the stage
for the civil rights leaders'
continuing role on the na=
tional political scene.
But according to several
sources close to the Israeli
embassy,' the Jerusalem gov-
ernment was at least as eager
for the meeting — in part
because officials were con-
cerned about the lack of
dialogue between American
Jewish groups and the Jack-
son forces.
The meeting, which partici-
pants described as intense
but amicable, addressed
issues including the quest for
peace in the Middle East,
Israeli-South African rela-
tions and the controversy over
the Black Hebrews rights to
Israeli citizenship.
According to some, the
meeting will be a big plus for
the Democrats in the Novem-
ber election by neutralizing
the "Jackson factor" — the
belief, encouraged by Jewish
Republicans, that the
Democrats have surrendered
to anti-Israel forces.

Jewish Groups
Pushing Hate
Statistics Bill

g ivin g

than' your time, Vi

giving life,

Gabriel Kapla
Nationat cria



TIME••

LOCAL CF CHA

This space contributed as a public service.

,

2R

FRIDAY AUGEIST 1-2. 1988-

The bill to mandate the col-
lection of statistics on crimes
motivated by religious or
racial bigotry — a high
domestic priority for a wide
range of Jewish groups — has
run into another potential
roadblock.
But a number of Jewish
groups are playing "beat the
clock" to ensure that a
rumored amendment to the
bill by Sen. Charles Grassley
(R-IA) does not make it into
the final legislation.
Grassley supposedly wants
the bill to include statistics
on labor violence, a move that
most Jewish groups say is ex-
traneous to the bill.
"We're very much opposed
to this kind of change," said
one congressional staffer who
has been working on the bill.
"The whole point has been to
sharpen the focus of the leg-
islation. This potential

Moshe Arad: Eager.

amendment dilutes the bill
by introducing an entirely dif-
ferent category of crime."
The American Jewish Com-
mittee, the American Jewish
Congress and the Anti:
Defamation League of the
B'nai B'rith will be pressing
hard this week to nip the
Grassley amendment in the
bud.

How Is Israel
Faring On Hill?

According to the popular
thinking, constituent mail to
congressional offices can be a
good measure of changing
sentiment in the country.
Despite claims by some
speakers on the pro-Israel cir-
cuit that anti-Israel mail is on
the upswing, most offices
report little mail on the Mid-
dle East.
"Back in January, we were
seeing a tremendous increase
in mail critical of Israel," said
one Jewish activist who
works for a member of Con-
gress. "Many of (letters) were
coming from Jews. But it
tapered off; in the last few
months, there's been very lit-
tle of it." What we do get
seems to be more pro than
anti — by a small margin."
Jewish senators and
representatives seem to be be
receiving more mail critical of
Israel from Jewish consti-
tuents than their non-Jewish
colleagues. But no offices con-
tacted indicated any kind of
significant upsurge in critical
mail.

Accords
Amendment
Defeated

As expected, Sen. James A.
McClure (R-ID) last week
tried again to toughen the re-
quirements for between
Washington and Moscow.
The McClure amendment

would make full Soviet com-
pliance with the Helsinki
accords on human rights a
pre-condition of improved
trade relations between
Washington and Moscow.
Most Soviet Jewry activists
object to McClure's proposal
because they feel it would set
unrealistically high stan-
dards on the Soviet
government.
Last week, McClure's
attempt to tack the amend-
ment on to the trade bill fail-
ed by a resounding vote.
Soviet Jewry activists were
surprised Sen Arlen Specter's
vote for the amendment. In
the past, Specter has voted
with the conservative hard-
liners — a move that some
analysts see as an attempt to
win points with conservative
constituents on a measure
that had little chance in the
first place.

AJC Supports
Scientologists'
IRS Appeal

In one of the stranger
alliances of recent days, the
American Jewish Congress
has gone to bat before the
Supreme Court for the
Church of Scientology.
The AJC has filed a "friend
of the court" brief supporting
the church's appeal of an IRS
ruling which will not allow
tax deduction of payment for
courses offered by the church.
"This could have implica-
tions for other religious
groups," said Steve Silbiger,
AJC Washington represen-
tative. "If you rule that these
courses are not tax deducti-
ble, you open up a door."
The ruling, he said, may
create problems for Jews who
deduct the cost of High
Holidays tickets.
The Court is expected to
take up the Scientology mat-
ter soon after its return to
Washington in October.

z

Kuwait Sale
Set To Pass

Washington (JTA) — The
Reagan administration said
Monday it was pleased that
its prposed $1.9 billion arms
sale can now go ahead, since
the 30-day period by which
Congress could have blocked
the sale expired Sunday.
State Department
spokeswoman Phyllis Oakley
said that Kuwait has ac-
cepted the compromise reach-
ed between the administra-
tion and Congress.

N

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