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February 10, 1989 - Image 32

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

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

I MEDIA MONITOR I

ROBERT MAPPLETHORPE
POSTER

AVAILABLE ONLY AT

:=WORNOUT CB

Created by:
Robert Mapplethorpe
For:
'WORKOUT Co

ONLY

$25

855-1033

Sold exclusively at
WVORKOUTC13.

Telegraph & Maple Rd.

Proceeds to benefit
The Juvenile Diabetes

Foundation.

Goa) HE/0" G°
ExelosEmc'
rikalEs
„,a0.a

s"-'

v

Aocorw9bs

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;, `

-i(

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,

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32

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 1989

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Bush Administration
Sends Mideast Signal

ARTHUR J. MAGIDA

Special to The Jewish News

T

he Bush administra-
tion's refusal to back a
proposed United Na-
tion statement slightly
critical of Israel has "seemed
to indicate certain basic at-
titudes that will guide the
new administration in its ap-
proach to the United Nations
and the Arab-Israeli conflict."
That assessment came in
the New York Times from
Thomas L. Friedman, the
paper's veteran Mideast cor-
respondent who is now based
in Washington.
The State Department,
wrote Friedman, viewed the
proposed Security Council
declaration as "a test inspired
by the Palestine Liberation
Organization."
State Department officials
told Friedman that the PLO
wanted to see whether the
Bush administration would
support a declaration that
was "harshly critical of
Israel's treatment of Palesti-
nian demonstrators in the oc-
cupied territories while fail-
ing to call for restraint by
Palestinians!'
One senior State Depart-
ment official said that Presi-
dent Bush and Secretary of
State James Baker's response
to the PLO initiative sent
"out two messages. They were
telling the PLO not to have
any illusions that there has
been a dramatic shift in
America's approach to the
Arab-Israel conflict, simply
because we have begun a
dialogue, and they were sen-
ding a message to the United
Nations that this admini-
stration does not want to see
the Security Council debased
as a club for beating this or
that country over the head
every Monday, Wednesday
and Friday?'
Maneuvering over the U.N.
statement began on Jan. 18,
when the PLO proposed that
a declaration be issued by the
Security Council president
condemning Israel's handling
of the Palestinian uprising.
Statements by the Security
Council president are often
used to express the sentiment
of the council's members, but
are not binding. But since on-
ly U.N. member states can in-
troduce such motions and the
PLO only has observer status
at the international body, the
council's seven nonaligned
nations agreed to sponsor the
draft.
The State Department con-
sidered the first draft of the

statement to contain very
harsh language, according to
Friedman. It referred to
Israel's "killing and wound-
ing of innocent civilians in-
cluding children" and called
the West Bank and Jerusa-
lem "Palestinian territory!'
When the United States
said it could not back such
language, the nonaligned na-
tions presented a slightly
softer version to American of-
ficials on Jan. 23. This was
also deemed unacceptable by
the State Department.
Another version "with even
more muted language" was
presented to the Americans
two days later, reported Fried-
man. It urged "all parties to
the Mideast situation to
recognize the need for mutual
understanding and respect as
a contribution toward the
peace process."
At this point, wrote Fried-
man, a difference of opinion
developed within the State
Department. Richard S. Wil-
liamson, assistant secretary
of State for International
Organizations, "insisted"
that the statement call on all
sides for "mutual restraint"
and not just "mutual under-
standing!'
But Friedman wrote that
Paul Hare, the acting assis-
tant secretary of the Bureau
of Near Eastern and South
Asian Affairs, argued that the
language "did not really con-
stitute a condemnation of
Israel and that if it were
adopted, it would be quickly
forgotten?'
The conflicting positions
were submitted to Baker on
his first full day as secretary
of state. Baker reportedly con-
cluded the draft's language
was "unbalanced" and that
the phrasing urged by the
State Department "should
have been acceptable to all
sides." When he informed
Bush of his position, the
president backed him.
The United States Mission
to the United Nations inform-
ed the seven nonaligned na-
tions on Jan. 30 of the Baker-
Bush position. Responding
they they could not corn-
promise any further, the the
next day they announced they
were halting, for the time be-
ing, efforts to get the state-
ment adopted.

Anti-Orthodox
'Smear'

Protested

In recent months, the news
media and Reform, Conser-
vative and Modern Orthodox
Jews have been waging a

I

-4

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