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February 10, 1989 - Image 31

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-02-10

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

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.4111111.11111,11.0111110001WPOW

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that the votes are there in the
Foreign Affairs Committee if
it came down to an up or
down vote on a move by so-
meone to cut aid to Israel,"
Bloomfield said.
"With the pie shrinking
and the size of the slice
shrinking, and Israel and
Egypt alone taking 40 per-
cent of worldwide aid, wholly
apart from Israel and the
merits of voting for Israel,
there's a question of how does
Congress distribute limited
funds," Bloomfield said. Last
year, some countries, even
those with U.S. military base
commitments, received no
foreign funding.
But even if the full $3
billion is authorized by the
Committee, serious problems
could still come when the
legislation reaches the full
House floor.
Bloomfield said he would
not be surprised to see efforts
made at reducing aid to
Israel. Some lawmakers will
propose across-the-board
budget cuts, citing the deficit.
"In the past," Bloomfield
recalled, "an effort was made
to write in an exemption for
Israel and Egypt, and I'm
sure that effort will be made
again this year."
"I think certainly you have
to admit that these are very
troubled times in Israel," he
said, citing the most recent
strain in Israel's special rela-
tionship with American
Jewry. "The 'Who is a Jew'
issue was very, very damag-
ing because it very much
upset the grass roots political
activists in this country who
feared that both parties in
Israel were ready to disen-
franchise them in their own
negotiations with minority
extremist parties in order to
gain power in the govern-
ment. Neither one of them
came off well and that cer-
tainly undermined the base of
support."
Bloomfield pointed out that
Congressional support for
Israel is strong because its
constituents are active sup-
porters. "When those consti-
tuents are troubled and look
like they may be drifting
away, then the support of
members of Congress begins
to weaken because they are
being responsive to grass
roots," he said.
Israel has to respond more
creatively and positively to
the Palestinians. "It can't
dismiss all Palestinians as
terrorists," he said. "That's of
another era. That argument
will not wash any more."

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

31

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