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December 16, 1988 - Image 16

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-12-16

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

I OPINION 1

Counter Agenda

Continued from Page 7

well-being did not ask their
members to write or make
calls in support of the foreign
aid package. In fact, a review
of their mailings and political
directives found not one focus-
ing on Israel. Their main
foreign policy concern? Con-
tra aid.

During that same period,
these two groups continued to
actively endorse or criticize a
number of important
domestic and foreign policy
issues, taking stances at odds
with the vast majority of the
American Jewish community.
From civil rights to school
prayer, from reproductive
rights to parental and
medical leave, the religious
right has consistently staked
out positions that can be
viewed as directly or indirect-
ly harming the American
Jewish community.

„ ...................................

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The American Jewish corn-
munity has long advocated
the principles of pluralism
and minority rights. The
religious right, however, has
sought to impose its view of a
monolithic, Christian nation
onto the American political
system.
The pro-Israel community
has been fortunate that the
U.S.-Israel relationship has
deepened over the past eight
years. During much of the
Reagan era, there have been
only a handful of controver-
sial issues involving Israeli
interest. Yet, on those occa-
sions, the religious right corn-
munity has not voiced its
suport for Israel to policy
makers in Washington. The
sale of AWAC planes to Saudi
Arabia in the fall of 1981 is
an example. Among those
members receiving the
highest voting ratings from
the religious right communi-
ty, senators Gordon Hum-
phrey (R-N.H.) and Jesse
Helms (R-N.C.) supported the
AWAC sale. Both Helms and
Humphrey have consistently
voted against the foreign aid
bill. Although they explain
their opposition to such
packages is based on non-
Israeli related provisions in
the bills, it is discouraging to
the pro-Israel community
that these allies of the
religious right are unwilling
to support an assistant
package vital to Israel's
existence.

To make matters worse, the
religious right helped defeat
a number of staunch Israel
supporters, including
senators Frank Church, Birch
Bayh and Jacob Javits, and
backed candidates more in
line with the religious right
on social issues. As the
Jerusalem Post noted, "By

their political works, the fun-
damentalists have let us
know their priorities. Ob-
viously it is more important
to them to support candidates
who will stop unwed
teenagers from getting abor-
tions than someone who will
provide Israel with the arms
it needs to defend itself."
Opposition to U.S. arms
sales to Arab nations is
crucial to the pro-Israel com-
munity. Unless the ad-
ministration senses consis-
tent and deep reservations on
the Hill to such sales, the
president will believe the pro-
posals are acceptable and will
continue to arrange them.
We must remember that
one of Israel's largest ex-
penses results from the need
to maintain qualitative
superiority over an Arab

'Obviously it is
more important to
them to support
candidates who
will stop unwed
teenagers from
getting abortions
than someone who
will provide Israel
with the arms it
needs to defend
itself.

world acquiring increasingly
sophisticated weapons from
the United States. Again, the
majority of those members
receiving the highest ratings
from the religious right have
been, at best, painfully incon-
sistent in their opposition to
arms sales to Arab countries.

many
Furthermore,
religious right leaders, in-
cluding Jerry Falwell, Pat
Robertson and Oral Roberts,
subscribe to an apocalyptic
belief — known as the
millenarianism — that the
world as we know it will come
to an end, as planned by God,
and a 1,000 year utopia of
peace, abundance, and
brotherhood reign.
As Dr. Ruth Mouly of
Midwest Research (an in-
dependent research institute
that collects and
disseminates information on
right-wing political groups
and trends) summarizes
millenarianism, this period of
utopia cannot occur until the
Jews are returned to their an-
cient homeland and the State
of Israel is restored. Once this
happens, a period of great
tribulations will shake the
world and the anti-Christ will
appear, leading to the battle
of armageddon in which the

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