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February 03, 1989 - Image 20

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-02-03

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

ANALYSIS I

OPHTHALMOLOGY

ASSOCIATES, P.C.






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• •
• •
• •
• •
• •
• •
"An Evening on Broadway"
• •
• •
Cabaret Concert
• •
• •
featuring
• •

Company Five

• •

singing the music of

Berlin - Gershwin - Bernstein
• •
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Saturday, February 11, 1989.
8:00 p.m.
• •
• •
Jewish Community Center, Maple/Drake Building
• •

• •• • • Tickets: $10.00
For information call 661-1000, ext 348
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The Julius Chafes Music Fund Concert Series &
The Jewish Community Center of Metropolitan Detroit
present

3rd Annual

Date:

Time:

Place:

Losing Clout?

Continued from Page 18

real dilemma; Jewish voters
began to see some things in
the political process that
caused them some unease?'
Finally, there is a
demographic factor that
threatens Jewish political
clout — a factor that was
clearly visible when the
ballots were counted last
November.
Electoral power continues
to shift to the South and the
West — away from the tradi-
tional strongholds of the
Jewish community.
"In 1976, the Jewish com-
munity could say it helped
elect a president," says Marc
Pearl, executive director of
the Americans for
Democratic Action and
former Washington represen-
tative for the American
Jewish Congress. "I doubt if
that's ever going to happen
again. By 1992, the
equivalent of the entire state
of Michigan will have moved
South and Southwest, in
terms of electoral votes. Half
a dozen congressional seats
will be lost in the big in-
dustrial states. From a
political perspective, there is
a clear diminution of power?'
The plain fact is that the
Jewish vote played a relative-
ly insignificant role in the
election of 1988, despite many
predictions to the contrary.
This is the kind of lesson that
few national politicians are
likely to ignore.

Minority
Competition

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Another factor threatening
Jewish political influence is
the growing competition from
other minorities.
Arab-American groups have
come into their own in the
last year, in many cases using
strategies borrowed from the
Jewish organizations of a
generation ago.
"You can't laugh these
groups off any more," said
Hyman Bookbinder, longtime
Washington representative
for the American Jewish
Committee. 'They have been
very good at learning the
lessons of our own ex-
periences in the political
area. They are becoming
much more of a force on the
national scene."
Today, groups like the
American-Arab Anti-
Discrimination Committee
and the National Association
of Arab Americans are show-
ing a new expertise in public
relations, and a new apprecia-
tion of the intricacies of power
politics, Washington style.
In the recent presidential
campaigns, Arab Americans
became a key part of the coali-
tion that helped propel Jesse

A
Hyman Bookbinder:
Minorities are more sophisticated.

Jackson to the forefront of the
Democratic Party. At the
same time, they began to
develop strong ties to the
Republican hierarchy, using
the "cover-all-bases" strategy
basic to pro-Israel political ac-
tion groups.
In the past year, Arab-
American groups have
become adept at finding and
exploiting opportunities to
score points for their- cause.
They have mounted a concen-
trated attack on the pro-Israel
lobby, especially the
American Israel Public Af-
fairs Committee (AIPAC);
unlike earlier attacks, which
emphasized crude rhetoric
unlikely to appeal to
American decision makers,
these latest thrusts have
showed a growing understan-
ding of the vulnerabilities of
the pro-Israel community.
"If you're looking for ex-
amples of the growing
sophistication of these groups,
you only need to look at the
decision to include Israel in
the U.S. Trade Represen-
tative's investigation of labor
abuses in a number of coun-
tries;' said one official with a
major Jewish organization
here.
"The USTR decision to in-
clude Israel was the result of
a petition from Arab groups;
the point is, they understood
the complexities of the system
well enough to find an
obscure area where Israel
might be vulnerable, and to
pursue it in a way that would
embarrass Israel no matter
what the outcome of the in-
vestigation. This should be a
warning to all of us; these
groups are not in the minor
leagues any more."
Even more significant is the
fact that groups like the
Arab-American Institute,
under the direction of the
astute Jim Zogby, are
devoting a good proportion of
their resources to local issues,
Continued on Page 22

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