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June 23, 1989 - Image 20

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-06-23

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Israel Loses Supporters
In European Elections

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Paris (JTA) — Pink and
green, with a swath of black,
was how one commentator
here described the complex-
ion of the European Parlia-
ment after last weekend's
Socialists, environmentalist
Greens and smaller leftist
parties captured a working
majority of 270 seats in the
518-member parliament,
which sits in Strasbourg,
France, as the European
Community's legislative
The same bloc had 233
seats in the outgoing parlia-
ment. Extreme right-wing
parties in France and West
Germany made unexpectedly
strong showings in the elec-
tions, which are held every
five years.
The overall outcome was
disturbing to supporters of
The Socialists and Greens,
who will comprise the largest
bloc, have been consistently
sympathetic to the Palesti-
nian cause.

The center-right coalition
they displaced was basically
pro-Israel, despite reserva-
tions many of their deputies
have about Israel's handling
of the Palestinian uprising.
Avi Primor, Israel's am-
bassador to Belgium and
liaison with the Brussels-
based European Community,
did not conceal his disap-
pointment with the results.
"We will need to put in
more energy and work, more
imagination and good will, if
we are to preserve our former-
ly cordial relations with the
new chamber," Primor said.
One of the best known,
Simone Veil of France, an
Auschwitz survivor, headed a
conservative, center-right
bloc. It garnered only 8.41
percent of the vote, well short
of the 10 percent she had said
was "the minimum needed to
make her party credible."
British Conservatives, who
generally back Israel, also
lost influence. Their represen-
tation was reduced from 45 to
31 seats.

Rabin Declines PLO
Message From France

Paris (JTA) — Before leav-
ing France last week, Israeli
Defense Minister Yitzhak
Rabin made a goodwill
gesture by ordering the
release of a Palestinian
woman in custody in Israel
for alleged membership in a
terrorist organization.
Rabin, refused, however to
receive a verbal message from
the Palestinian Liberation
Organization, conveyed by
Marie-Claire Mendes-France,
widow of the late French
Jewish premier.
Rabin ordered the release of
Terry Boulatta at the per-
sonal request of President
Francois Mitterand's wife.
Boulatta will come to Paris
for medical treatment.
Mendes-France, who sym-
pathizes with both Israel and
the Palestinian cause, met
with Rabin and conveyed a
message from Arafat saying
that he would like to meet
with the defense minister.
Mendes-France had met with
Arafat in Tunis last Friday.
Rabin replied that he did not
want to receive the message
"officially," according to the
Israeli daily Yediot Achronot.
Rabin spent three days in
Paris, mainly to attend the
annual air show at Le
Bourget. Mitterrand, still
smoldering over the way he

was vilified for receiving
Arafat, refused to meet with
Rabin. He had meetings with
Prime Minister Michel
Rocard and Defense Minister
Jean-Pierre Chevenement.
Mitterrand also was said to
be upset by Israel's refusal to
receive the French am-
bassador for a briefing on
Arafat's meetings in Paris on
May 2 and 3. The Israelis, in
fact, declined French Foreign
Minister Roland Dumas' offer
to come to Jerusalem per-
sonally to brief Israeli
Foreign Minister Moshe
Arens on Arafat's remarks.

Mazon Aids
Ethiopian Jews

Los Angeles — A mission of
volunteer medical profes-
sionals and lay people will
provide medical care,
agricultural supplies and food
to Ethiopian Jews, thanks to
a $20,000 grant to the North
American Conference of
Ehtiopian Jewry announced
this week by Mazon, A Jewish
Response to Hunger.
The allocation was one of 51
grants made by Mazon total-
ing $330,000 to organizations
that feed the poor and pro-
mote long-term solutions for
hunger and poverty.

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