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June 16, 1989 - Image 30

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-06-16

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

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Rise Of Anti-Semitism In Japan
Gets AJCommittee Networking

JAMES D. BESSER

Washington Correspondent

M

ore and more, the is-
sue of U.S.-Japanese
relations is causing
sleepless nights for foreign
policy planners here in
Washington.
And the American Jewish
Committee, through its
Washington representative, is
attempting to help define the
emerging debate, especially
as it relates to Japan's curious
relationship with the Jewish
community.
David Harris recently
returned from a trip to Japan
designed to open up a
dialogue between Japan and
the American Jewish
community.
The Committee's efforts
have special urgency in light
of Japan's growing dominance
of world markets — and the
recent surge in popularity of
overtly anti-Semitic books in
Japanese bookstores.
"The stories about popular
anti-Semitic books in Japan
surfaced in this country about
two years ago," Harris said.
"In retrospect, the authors
did us a service; they woke us
up to the existence of anti-
Semitism in Japan. What was
useful was our belated
realization that there is
widespread ignorance of Jews
in Japan, and that very
negative stereotypes had
been allowed to surface."
Last year, Harris began a
series of contacts with
Japanese officials, and
started building a network of
people in both countries in-
terested in developing better
ties.
Harris, along with several
colleagues, visited Japan this
spring and discussed the anti-
Semitism problem as well as
the Arab-imposed economic
boycott.
The meetings produced con-
crete results. "We reached an
understanding with the
Japanese Center for Interna-
tional Exchange," Harris
said, "to begin an annual ex-
change program. We hope the
first American Jewish delega-
tion will travel to Japan at
the end of this year; similar-
ly, we hope the first Japanese
delegation will come here in
early 1990."
The AJ Committee is also
developing the Pacific Rim In-
stitute, a Los Angeles-based
group designed to foster bet-
ter relations between Jews
and Asian Americans — and
to reinforce the kinds of con-

tacts with Asian nations
pioneered by Harris and his
colleagues.

Ex-V.P. Mondale
Won't Oppose
Rudy Boschwitz

In the world of politics,
there was good news recently
for one Jewish politician —
and a more uncertain mes-
sage for another.
In Minnesota, former vice
president Walter Mondale for-
mally ended a long period of
speculation by announcing
that he would not challenge
the incumbent Republican,
Sen. Rudy Boschwitz.
Boschwitz, a dominant figure
in conservative Jewish
circles, was considered
vulnerable in this liberal
state.
In Kansas, Democratic Rep.
Dan Glickman has a more
complex problem. Glickman
has been actively setting the
stage for a possible run
against Republican Sen. Nan-
cy Kassebaum, who had been
dropping hints that she might
not run for re-election.
But those hints were buried
by Kassebaum's recent an-
nouncement that she would
seek a new term — a decision
that bodes ill for Glickman.
"Kassebaum is a very
popular senator," said a

Dan Glickman:
Faces tough choice.

approval ratings in the state
are among the highest of any
Republicans in Congress."
This forces Glickman to
make a tough choice: should
he challenge the popular
Kassebaum, or bide his time?
If he decides to challenge
Kassebaum, he will receive
little backing from pro-Israel
PACs, despite his staunchly
pro-Israel record.
And Richard Licht, whose
unsuccessful effort last year
to depose Sen. John Chafee,
(R-R.I.), was supported by
most pro-Israel PACs, is cur-
rently considering another
run — especially if Sen.
Claiborne Pell, a Democrat,
decides to bring his Senate
career to an end.

Episcopalians
Are Lobbying
For Palestine
It is no longer news when

Rudy Boschwitz:
Seat seems safe.

political analyst with a
Jewish organization here.
"Pro-Israel political action
committees will support her,
despite her mixed record on
Israel. She was under enor-
mous pressure from the
Republican party to run; her

religious groups come to
Capitol Hill to lobby for the
rights of Palestinians.
But when representatives of
a mainstream group like the
Episcopal church come to the
Hill to press for Palestinian
autonomy, it creates ripples
with national implications.
Last week, 85 Episcopal lay
leaders lobbied in favor of an
international peace con-
ference on the Middle East
and for Palestinian self-
determination. The delega-
tion was led by Washington
Bishop John Walker, a tower-
ing figure in the city's
religious community.
"Basically, we were shock-
ed and dismayed that Bishop
Walker did this," said Buddy
Sislen of the Jewish Com-
munity Council of
Washington. "He is a person
of respect and substance; we

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