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September 16, 1988 - Image 32

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-09-16

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Dukakis Says Ties With
Israel Will Be Tightened



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Off •'..... .....

Offer expires December, 1988 •

altimore — The U.S.
Secret Service agents
kept talking into their
sleeves, saying things like
"Panda to base. Where's Flip-
The advance team of cam-
paign staffers made certain
that Democratic presidential
candidate Michael Dukakis
and his wife, Kitty, shook
hands and were photograph-
ed with all the appropriate
people in the VIP lounge at
the huge Convention Center
here in Baltimore.
Dukakis had just delivered
a lengthy speech before the
international convention of
B'nai B'rith. He spoke most-
ly about Israel, pledging to
strengthen the American-
Israeli connection if elected.
He and his wife, who is
Jewish, were very warmly
Now, it was time to drive
back to the airport. He and
his entourage would be flying
in a chartered plane to
Louisville, Ky., for another
round of events the next day.
In his speech, Dukakis had
touched on many of the key
Middle Eastern issues. In the
more casual atmosphere of
the limo, he elaborated on his
Why has he refused to
categorically come out
against a Palestinian state —
as George Bush has done.
Why has he left the door
slightly open to such a
"I think it's up to Israel and
her neighbors to work out
that relationship," he replied.
"That's what the Camp David
Accords were all about."
Dukakis spoke of the need
for an interim agreement, as
envisaged at Camp David.
Any agreement, he said, will
probably have to be "phased.
I mean you start with limited
autonomy; what relationship
(the West Bank) will have
with Jordan. It seems to me
that this is something that
will evolve over time and that
it's not for the United States
to impose a settlement but to
create an environment within
which direct negotiations can
take place."
The candidate was willing
to signal his readiness to
accept any final settlement
acceptable to Israel. "Now
obviously, if Israel is opposed
to an independent Palesti-
nian state, and/or Jordan is —
and the likelihood is that
both will — then there isn't

going to be an independent
Palestinian state," he said. "It
seems to me that it's Israel
and her neighbors that have
to work out those relation-
ships. I think that's the best
course of action."
In his speech, Dukakis
pledged to appoint a special
envoy to the Middle East to
press ahead with the peace
process but refused to name
anyone other than Lloyd
Bentsen, his running mate.
He did, however, elaborate on
the qualities the sensitive
position would require.
"I think you're looking for
someone who is mature, ex-
perienced, tenacious, patient,

"If there is a point
at which the
active and
intervention of the
president can help,
then you do so."

preferably with experience —
not only in diplomacy — but
in the region, if possible," he
said. "Somebody who has the
ability to win the confidence
of the leaders in the region so
that we can get to the point
where the Arab leadership is
prepared to sit down and
negotiate directly."
The special envoy would, he
said, report to the secretary of
state. The secretary, obvious-
ly, is going to be in overall
charge. We're talking about
somebody who does nothing
but pursue this .. .
We've had special envoys in
the Middle East. We've had
special envoys to Latin
America who work directly
with the secretary and have a
special portfolio."
Dukakis said that although
he would be involved in the
process, he would only inten-
sify his personal role if ab-
solutely necessary. The can-
didate noted that former
President Jimmy Carter's in-
volvement in the Camp David
accords was highly unusual.
If there is a point at which
the active and personal in-
tervention of the president
can help, then you do so. But
I think you do so with the ad-
vice of your secretary of state
and your special envoy?'
In the interview, Dukakis
aligned himself with the posi-
tion of Secretary of State
George Shultz and Foreign
Minister Shimon Peres on the
sensitive matter of an in-
tenrational conference. He
clearly distanced himself

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