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March 03, 1989 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-03-03

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The Soviets Become
New Mideast Player


Foreign Correspondent


Detroit's Palestine Aid Society is one
of several U.S. groups that sends
money to the West Bank and Gaza.
Although their offices are small, the
groups are making their mark both
financially and politically.

Page 24

The Bush administration might
regard Mikhail Gorbachev's Soviet
Union with a degree of skepticism,
but when Secretary of State James
Baker and Foreign Minister Eduard
Shevardnadze meet for the first time
on Monday, they will find a large
measure of mutuality on at least one
issue: the Middle East.
Both superpowers are anxious to
resolve the seemingly intractable
Arab-Israeli conflict, which has
brought them to the brink of confron-
tation in the past and threatens to do
so again in the future.
Despite the lukewarm response by
both Bush and Baker to Shevard-
nadze's flurry of diplomacy in five
Arab capitals last week, it is widely
believed that Moscow's moves — on
the Middle East issue, at least — are
closely coordinated with Washington.
One hint of this coincidence of
views emerged in a statement by
Shevardnadze at the end of his swing
through the region: "Never before," he
said, "has there been such a broad in-
ternational consensus — not just
about the need for a political solution
but also about the means for reaching
such a solution!'
While Shevardnadze held fast to
the major procedural and substantive

issues that are anathema to Israel —
negotiations under the auspices of the
United Nations Security Council
leading to the establishment of an in-
dependent Palestinian state — these
are regarded as little more than open-
ing gambits.
At the same time, United States
officials, while sharing Israel's reser-
vations on these two particular
points, are not displeased that
Shevardnadze exposed Israeli Foreign
Minister Moshe Arens to a scenario
that is far more threatening than the
relatively benign U.S. decision to open
a dialogue with the PLO.
According to Middle East
observers, Washington is hoping that
the combined psychological effect of
Moscow's tough line, coupled with its
own arms-length posture, will inject
a note of chilly reality into the debate
and contribute to a softening of
Israel's hard-line positions in advance
of Arens's visit to the United States
next week.
Noting that Baker's two abiding
passions are working and hunting
turkeys, one observer pointed out that
the Secretary has a habit of hiring so-
meone else to cut down the maize
before he leisurely shoots the turkeys
while they are eating: "There is," he
said, "a lesson for Israel here!'
Whatever Shevardnadze did or
Continued on Page 20

JWB Experts Study
JPM Enhancements


Associate Editor

Senior wood
carvers create
more than

MARCH 3, 1989 / 26 ADAR I 5749

The Jewish Community Center
has commissioned the Jewish Welfare
Board to conduct a study of the
enhancement proposal for the Jimmy
Prentis Morris building in Oak Park.
Plans before the JCC board and
the Jewish Welfare Federation call for
up to $3 million in improvements to
be made at JPM, including construc-
tion of a swimming pool and multi-
purpose room.
An initial meeting of JCC staff
and researchers led by JWB Assistant
Director Mitch Jaffe will be held
Mort Plotnick, JCC executive
director, said the study will provide "a
more scientific base" of information
on whether people "will use the facili-

ty and how do they want to use it?'
He said the study will "give the
community a solid base on which to
make a decision" and will be based on
random sampling and meetings with
focus groups. JWB is the umbrella
organization for Jewish centers in the
United States and has made many
similar studies.
The study will cost "under
$10,000" and be completed in less
than four months, Plotnick said.
JCC President Richard Maddin
said a JWB study was seen by the
JCC board and the staff of the Jewish
Welfare Federation "as the best way
to move this issue forward.
"We're committed to the JPM pro-
posal," Maddin said. "We are going to
work it through because we think it
is the right thing to do and it is right
for the area!'

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