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November 04, 1988 - Image 14

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-11-04

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

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Dems, 'GOP Debate Jewish
Issues As Campaign Ends

DAVID HOLZEL

Staff Writer

T

he 1988 presidential
candidates are similar
in three respects, their
supporters said this week.
Both George Bush and
Michael Dukakis are friends
of the American Jewish com-
munity, both are strong sup-
porters of Israel, and neither
has a position on the fate of
Jonathan Pollard, the
American Jew sentenced to
life in prison for passing U.S.
military secrets to Israel.
Aides to Dukakis and Bush
concentrated on the dif-
ferences between the can-
didates' platforms on issues of
Jewish concern at a political
forum held Sunday. The pro-
gram was sponsored by the
Labor Zionist Alliance.
Jim Alexander, Michigan
chairman of Jews for Bush,
told some 100 listeners that
Jewish issues cannot be
separated from American
issues. He said the continua-
tion of the prosperity of the
Reagan years would benefit
all Americans, Jews included.
"We want to build on the
largest peacetime recovery in
American history," he said.
Hal Kwalwasser, consti-
tuency director of the
Michigan Dukakis campaign,
said that a Bush victory
would usher in an ad-
ministration that does not
understand the needs of
religious minorities in the
United States.
Bush would not have to
adopt the legislative agenda
of his Christian fundamen-
talist supporters, including
support of prayer in public
schools and the pledge of
allegience as a litmus test of
loyalty, Kwalwasser said. "All
he has to do is appoint one
more (conservative) member
to the Supreme Court. That
would put the rights of
minorities in this country in
jeopardy."
Alexander said the Repub-
lican platform demands the
end of discriminatory prac-
tices against minorities in the
Soviet Union and calls for the
recision of the United Nations
resolution equating Zionism
with racism.
The Democratic platform is
short and sketchy on such
issues, he said.
Alexander decried the
negative campaigning used
by the Dukakis camp and by
Kwalwasser. He held up a
black book he said contained
negative information about
Dukakis. "I don't want to use

Re l ig ious News Service

DETROIT'S
HIGHEST
RATES

FRONTLI NES

George Bush and Michael Dukakis: Their supporters debated at a local
forum last weekend.

it. I want it to be a positive

debate!'
Kwalwasser said the public
does not know the real
George Bush.
"Bush talks about a thou-
sand points of light. But who
has come forward with a
plans for long-term health
care for the elderly — Bush or
Dukakis?" he said.
On the Middle East,
Kwalwasser said, "Dukakis
favors moving the U.S. em-
bassy to Jerusalem. Bush
does not. Dukakis is against
selling anti-aircraft and anti-
tank weapons to the Arabs.
Bush supports it.
"Bush is not an enemy of
Israel," Kwalwasser added.
"But he is willing to placate
the Arabs in a way that
Dukakis is not!"
Both parties have been ac-
cused of tolerating anti-
Semitic and anti-Israel in-
dividuals within their ranks.
Alexander and Kwalwasser
agreed that political parties
are home to millions of people
and said only the candidates
deserve scrutiny.
Said Alexander: "You have
to look at the record and look
at the candidate. George
Bush is a friend of our com-
munity."
Kwalwasser defended Ro-
bert Farrell, a Democratic
National Committee member
whom Detroit industrialist
and Bush supporter Max
Fisher called an anti-Semite.
"As the principal lobbyist

for the Los Angeles Jewish
Federation, I've known Far-
rell for 16 years. He is
welcome in my house. He is
welcome at the Jewish
Federation in Los Angeles.
He is our friend!"
One audience member ask-
ed the speakers to comment
on the candidacy of
Republican Sen. Dan Quayle
for vice president.
Moderator Irving
Bluestone, retired first vice
president of the United
Automobiles. Workers, aban-
doned his position of impar-
tiality to recall that Quayle
once described the Holocaust
as "one of the worst parts of
American history."

When it was pointed out
that Americans were not par-
ticularly affected by the Nazi
genocide, Quayle responded,
"You have to remember that
I was born in this century!"
In the senator's defense,
Alexander said that AIPAC,
the pro-Israel lobby, "calls
Quayle a leader in strategic
cooperation between Israel
and the United States!'

He dismissed Quayle's fami-
ly ties to the allegedly racist
John Birch Society. "You can-
not paint the son by associa-
tion!' Alexander said.
Kwalwasser said the choice
of Quayle, "whose record in
Congress in undistinguished
at best, makes it reasonable
to question Bush's judge-
ment."

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