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May 19, 1989 - Image 38

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-05-19

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

I

I BACKGROUND I'm

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WHAT DO YOU MEAN
THEY'RE NOT REAL?

Reports Say Israel, S. Africa
May Jointly Develop Missiles

HELEN DAVIS

Foreign Correspondent

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Mcwm Cord

ust as Jerusalem was
enjoying a respite from
the welter of interna-
tional diplomatic and media
pressure, a fresh ghost has
risen to haunt it: the old
South African Connection.
British intelligence sources
revealed in London at the
weekend that Israel and
South Africa are cooperating
closely on the acquisition of
missile technology.
More seriously, according to
one authoritative report,.
Israel's Mossad intelligence
agency was deeply involved in
an abortive attempt to ex-
change arms for technology
with a terrorist movement
operating in Northern
Ireland.
The deal led to the arrest of
four men — a South African
diplomat and three members
of the outlawed Ulster
Resistance movement — in a
Paris hotel room earlier this
month. Three diplomats at
the South African Embassy
in London were subsequently
ordered to leave Britain.
According to security
sources in London, South
Africa and Israel were hoping
to acquire a dummy Blowpipe
missile, recently stolen by ter-
rorists from an arms depot in
Northern Ireland. The dum-
my, say the sources, would
have enabled South Africa
and Israel to jointly develop a
range of state-of-the-art, high-
velocity missiles.
British security sources
believe that Israel played a
key role in the deal by procur-
ing weapons, including
rocket-propelled grenades, for
the Northern Ireland ter-
rorists in exchange for the
missile technology. According
to the sources, the weapons
were bought with South
African funds and procured
by Israel from militias
operating in Lebanon.
The Blowpipe missile is the
progenitor of the British
Starstreak missile, which is
in an advanced stage of
development and is reputed-
ly the most sophisticated
weapon of its kind in the
world.
The Starstreak is intended
to be deployed on attack
helicopters, though it will be
portable and capable of being
used by ground forces.
Its revolutionary design
enables each missile to ac-
commodate a cluster of three
supersonic explosive darts,

each equipped with high-tech
guidance systems.
Israel is known to be
critically short of modern air
defenses for its ground forces
and was apparently pinning
high hopes on obtaining the
British missile technology,
which is considered superior
to its counterparts in both
United States and Soviet
arsenals.
The American Stinger and
Soviet SAM-7 missiles employ
infra-red heat-seekers to iden-
tify and strike their targets,
while the British missile
relies on an optical system
that cannot be deflected by
flares and or other devices
designed to imitate the ex-
haust heat of an aircraft.
Israel has acquired exten-
sive experience in deflecting
the Soviet SAM-7 missiles
and has expressed a

preference for investigating
alternatives to the American
Stinger missile systems.
While the Israelis have not
hidden their intense interest
in the British Starstreak
missile, security officials in
Jerusalem have refused to
comment on Israel's alleged
involvement in the South
African operation.
What is known for certain,
however, is that Israel would
not even be considered as a
potential customer for the
conventional sale of such
British weapons.
London has consistently
refused to sell arms to Israel
since the 1982 invasion of
Lebanon. Last week this em-
bargo was given new mean-
ing when Britain extended
the ban to include the sale of
gas masks for Israel's civilian
population. ❑

UI

4

I NEWS I

Oprah Winfrey Show
Riles Jewish Viewers

New York (JTA) — Not all
Jewish leaders are satisfied
with the apology made last
week by Oprah Winfrey, host
of the popular talk show, for
featuring a mentally ill
Jewish guest who claimed
Jews practice ritual
infanticide.
Winfrey introduced the
guest, "Rachel," as someone
who was in psychiatric treat-
ment for multiple personali-
ty disorders. "Rachel" said
that ritual sacrifice takes
place in "other Jewish
families across the country.
It's not just my family."
Inclusion of a mentally
troubled guest whose
responses could not be pre-
dicted has drawn criticism
and was the heart of the
discussion between Winfrey
and representatives of Jewish
organizations when they met
last week. •
Barry Morrison, director of
the Chicago ADL office, said
he hoped the meeting produc-
ed a greater understanding of
Jewish sensibilities on the
part of the show's staff. "It
hopefully created a greater
commitment to scrutinize in-
vited guests for potential to
exacerbate relations between
groups," Morrison said.
The talk show host and her
producers agreed to call
Jewish groups in the future if
a similar situation appeared
likely to arise.

After the meeting, Winfrey
and her production company,
Harpo Productions, made a
statement of their own, and
Jewish representatives drew
up a joint statement in
response.
Signing the Jewish state-
ment were representatives of
the ADL, the Jewish Com-
munity Relations Council of
Chicago, Jewish Federation of
Metropolitan Chicago,
Greater Chicago Board of
Rabbis, American Jewish
Committee and the American
Jewish Congress.
On Monday, however, • the
AJCongress released a state-
ment expressing dis-
satisfaction with Winfrey's
apology.
The statement, made by the
group's associate executive
director, Phil Baum, found
"inadequate" the program's
response "to the harm done
by the dissemination by one
of her guests of religious
canards about Jews and
Judaism."
Baum said the statement
expressing awareness of
"group sensibilities" is not
adequate, that "it is a matter
of maintaining the integrity
of her program and the quali-
ty of the comments it elicits."
Baum, saying Winfrey's
regrets "cannot possibly
reach any significant part of
the massive audience" that
watched the program, sug-

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