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August 12, 1988 - Image 29

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

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

Why monkey around? Trust your watchmaker

UNIVERSAL WATCH REPAIR

IS YOUR WATCH REPAIRED ON YOUR JEWELERS
PREMISES OR DOES HE SEND IT OUT?

Hussein Can't Avoid The
Peace Process

WOLF BLITZER

Special to The Jewish News

W

ashington — King
Hussein's dramatic
retreat from the
West Bank has not up-ended
the U.S. peace initiative in
the Middle East. That's
basically because the drive
was not really going
anywhere in any case.
U.S. officials privately have
acknowledged for some time
now that there was little
likelihood that some sort of
dramatic breakthrough
would be achieved in advance
of the U.S. and Israeli elec-
tions in November.
The most the Americans
realistically could hope for
was that all of their heighten-
ed diplomatic activity of
recent months, including the
series of visits to the region
by Secretary of State George
Shultz and the most recent
one by Assistant Secretary for
Near Eastern and South
Asian Affairs Richard Mur-
phy, could pave the way for a
revived American-led peace
drive immediately following
the elections.
Irrespective of a Michael
Dukakis or George Bush vic-
tory, the State Department
believes it has a responsibili-
ty at least to set the stage for
a fresh American diplomatic
offensive.
"The Administration is
really trying to lay down
markers for the next Adnain-
istration," said former Under
Secretary of State for Political
Affairs Joseph Sisco.
In any case, the Americans
have not taken Hussein's
speech as necessarily repre-
senting his final word. They
believe that he will be
prepared to re-enter the peace
process if some sort of
negotiation should actually
get off the ground. And they
point to references in Hus-
sein's speech of his continuing
commitment to the peace pro-
cess and the. Palestinian
cause.
Hussein's language may be
"ambiguous:' said Sisco, but
"the reality is less so?' The
former official, today a priv-
ate consultant in Washing-
ton, insisted that Hussein
cannot completely disengage
from the West Bank. His
speech did not amount to "a
categorical cut off:' Sisco add-
ed.
"He may be on the sideline
procedurally, but in the long
run there really can't be a set-
tlement in the West Bank
unless King Hussein is part

of it, because the wrong kind
of a solution would mean that
the guns could readily be
pointed eastward against
Hussein, as they can west-
ward against the Israelis!'
Hussein, according to other
American specialists on the
Middle East, had some im-
mediate and practical objec-
tives in announcing his
readiness to sever his links to
the West Bank. For one thing,
he wanted to make sure that
the continuing Palestinian
uprising on the West Bank
would not spill over into the
East Bank. At least 60 per-
cent of the residents of his
kingdom, after all, are
Palestinians.
Many Hashemites have
long urged the King to simp-
ly walk away from the West
Bank.
In addition, Hussein
wanted to offer both a carrot
and stick to those Jordanian
citizens of Palestinian
ancestry living on the East
Bank. Remember, he told
them, Jordan is not Palestine.
The Palestinians in Jordan
are • full citizens with full
obligations to the Kingdom.
Don't get any ideas about
changing that situation.
In stating that Jordan is
not Palestine, Hussein was
also sending a message to
those Israeli leaders, like
Minister of Commerce and In-
dustry Ariel Sharon, who
have long argued that a
Palestinian state already
exists — and its name is Jor-
dan. Hussein and many of his
key Hashemite advisers do
not want to hear that kind of
threatening talk.
Hussein also has sent a
stark challenge to the PLO
and to the Palestinians on the
West Bank: If you don't want
to be part of Jordan, good
luck. See if you can do any
better than me in improving
your overall condition.
"What he's really saying is
that he's frustrated;' Sisco
said, "irritated with the
United States, irritated with
Israel, irritated with the West
Bankers — as well as with
[PLO Chairman Yasser]
Arafat!'
American officials suspect
that the PLO will once again
fail to seize a potentially
historic moment that could
turn around the political
situation in the region. They
doubt that the PLO leader-
ship, as embodied in the
Palestine National Council
(PNC), will be able to take the
painfully divisive but neces-
sary steps.

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THE.DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

29

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