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December 30, 1988 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-12-30

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Round Two For
Unity Government


Special to The Jewish News

PLO leader Yassir Arafat has in-
advertantly saved the political hide of
the Likud's Yitzhak Shamir and
Labor's Shimon Peres.
By making the declarations that
won him a measure of respectability
in Washington and a host of Western
European capitals, Arafat has
presented Israel with the diplomatic
challenge of its life.
The two political archrivals in the
Israeli political firmament agree on


few of the major political issues —

most notably, the need for a ter-
ritorial compromise over the occupied
territories — but both, for the mo-
ment, are united in rejecting a
dialogue with Arafat.
After seven weeks of horse-
trading with the minor political par-
ties, Shamir and Peres had reached
the end of the road.
Shamir appeared set to form a
narrow-based government with a far-
right/religious coalition, which had
exacted an extortionate price for its
support. Such a coalition, Shamir

feared, would have propelled Israel
onto a perilous course in its interna-
tional relations and its relations with
the Diaspora.
At the same time, Peres was gaz-
ing into the political wilderness. Hav-
ing suffered four straight electoral
defeats, unable to match Shamir's
concession to the clutch of small par-
ties, and facing the prospect of four
years in opposition, he must have
known that his days as party leader
were numbered.
But the sense of crisis engendered
by Arafat's declarations in Geneva
and the positive response from
Washington changed all that.
It concentrated the minds of
Israel's political leaders on the two
issues, albeit negative, which
transcended personal and ideological
antagonisms: a refusal to negotiate
with the PLO and a rejection of an in-
dependent Palestinian state in the
West Bank and Gaza (though Labor
would sanction a Palestinian
homeland in confederation with Jor-
The crisis conveniently allowed
the leaders of both major political
blocs to draw a veil across their con-
siderable differences.
Indeed, the main task of the new

DECEMBER 30, 1988 / 22 TEVET 5749

'Machiavellian • Dove'

ehoshafa ar = a •
intelligence, asserts that for the Jewish state
to survive it must negotiate with the PLO to
establish an independent Palestinian state.


Continued on Page 14

Israel Urges Hussein
To Join Peace Talks

Jerusalem (JTA) — New in-
itiatives in the Middle East peace pro-
cess seemed to be brewing in Cairo
and Jerusalem this week.
President Hosni Mubarak of
Egypt said he is ready to visit Israel
if it will have some "positive results."
And Prime Minister Yitzhak
Shamir said in several interviews
that he is working on a new peace
plan believed to be based on the 1978
Camp David Accords.
The prime minister said on televi-
sion early this week that he will be
glad to welcome Mubarak to Israel. "I
am sure that if we meet and talk, we
shall reach 'positive results; " he said.
In addition, Israel is urging Jor-
dan's King Hussein to get involved in
the peace process without
The message to the king was to be
delivered this week. It reportedly was
from Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir

or Foreign Minister Moshe Arens and
was to be forwarded to the king by
U.S. Sen. John Rockefeller IV (D-WV),
who is visiting the Middle East.
Shamir, who favors direct talks
between Israel and its neighbors as a
means of resolving the Arab-Israeli
conflict, has made similar overtures
to Hussein in the past, according to
William Pierce, a spokesman for the
State Department's Bureau of Near
East and South Asian Affairs.
"This would not be the first time
the prime minister has said that,"
Pierce said. He has conveyed such a
message "at least one or two times
over the past year."
If Mubarak comes to Israel, he
will be the first Arab leader to visit
Israel since the late Egyptian Presi-
dent Anwar Sadat made his historic
trip to Jerusalem in November 1977.
In the past, Mubarak has condition-

Continued on Page 18




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