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June 23, 1989 - Image 34

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

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

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34

FRIDAY, JUNE 23, 1989

1

ashington — The
Bush administra-
tion was pointedly
reminded last week that
Israel's standing in
Washington is still quite im-
pressive despite all of the bat-
tering its image has taken
since the outbreak of the
Palestinian uprising in the
occupied territories.
A round-robin letter, signed
by 95 of the 100 U.S. senators,
urged Secretary of State
James Baker to support
Israel's peace initiative, in-
cluding its call for Palestinian
autonomy elections. A similar
letter has been gaining steam
and signatures in the House
of Representatives.
"The administration must
promote clear policies which
insure that our desire for
peace in the Middle East is
not obscured by developments
that are confusing to our
friends, and send the wrong
message to the enemies of
freedom," said Daniel Patrick
Moynihan (D-N.Y.) in
response Baker's controver-
sial speech on May 22 before
the American Israel Public
Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
But Israeli officials in
Washington, while clearly
delighted by the letter and
the $3 billion in aid slated for
the Jewish state, recognize
that there are still plenty of
pitfalls ahead. They know
that getting the Israeli peace
plan off the ground is by no
means certain.
They also know that ten-
sions between Washington
and Jerusalem can intensify
if negotiations do actually
begin. As the Baker speech
underscored, there are long-
standing differences between
the United States and Israel
that are not going to
disappear.
Writing recently in the
Washington Post,
Dr.
Zbigniew Brzezinski, who
served as President Jimmy
Carter's national security ad-
viser, said that the emergence
of the U.S.-PLO dialogue of-
fers the Bush administration
"opportunity as well as major
challenge."
"The challenge might in-
volve a phase of unavoidable
difficulties in relations with
Israel, especially once the
peace process gets under
way," he said. "The accep-
tance of some form of
statehood for the Palestinians
— the inevitable formula for
any peace settlement — will

Zbigniew Brzezinski:
U.S. must sponsor negotiations.

certainly be a bitter pill for
those Israelis who have been
committed to territorial ex-
pansion."

But Brzezinski went on to
insist that "fortunately, the
more moderate elements in
Israel realize that an accom-
modation with the Palesti-
nian nation is a necessity.
The only alternatives to that
are either a permanent and
debilitating subjugation of
the Palestinians, or a moral-
ly repugnant expulsion of the
Palestinians from their
homes.
"The former would cripple
Israel and the latter would
isolate it. This is why increas-
ingly the Israelis are coming
around to a grudging accep-
tance of negotiations even
with the PLO. Before too long,
the United States will have to
sponsor such negotiations,
budging the parties into sit-
ting down together at the
bargaining table."
And even while Brzezinski
was predicting a U.S.-Israeli
rift, other experienced voices
in Washington were sug-
gesting that the Israeli-
proposed election scheme was
merely a waste of precious
time.
In a letter published in the
New York Times a former
State Department official
who participated in the ill-
fated Camp David autonomy
negotiations between 1979
and 1981 dismissed the
possibility that Prime
Minister Yitzhak Shamir's
election proposal will get
anywhere.
David A. Korn, a former
director of Israel and Arab-
Israeli affairs at the State
Department, recalled the col-
lapse of the earlier autonomy
negotiations and noted that
the same pitfalls are likely to
emerge now and block any

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