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September 08, 1989 - Image 37

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-09-08

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

The Most Exciting
Event of the Year!

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41°1.1'

Where does all this leave
the Middle East in general
and Israel in particular?
There is, as yet, no definitive
answer, but clearly the
dimensions of the Israeli-Arab
conflict are in the process of
a radical revision in
Washington and Moscow.
Five key factors have con-
tributed to this
re-assessment:
• The threat of a full-scale
Middle East conflict has been
dramatically reduced as a
consequence of perceived
Soviet reluctance to support
its allies in any such military
endeavor.
of
positions
• The
Washington and Moscow are
now closer to each other than
to their allies on what should
constitute a resolution to the
conflict.
• Given their unity of pur-
pose and their determination
to reduce regional tensions,
the superpowers are unlikely
to be dragged to the brink of
confrontation (as they were in
the 1973 Yom Kippur War)
even if such a conflict were to
erupt.
• While militant Islamic
fundamentalism continues to
threaten the stability and
peace of a number of Middle
East states, not least Israel, it
signally failed to win a
decisive victory in the Gulf
War. Moreover, its principal
apostle, Ayatollah Ruhollah
Khomeini, is dead and his
successor, Ali Akhbar
Hashemi Rafsanjani, is pur-
suing a more pragmatic path,
seeking accommodations that
will allow Iran to return to
the community of nations.
• The highly emotive and
strategic factor of oil has
dramatically diminished as a
weapon in the Arab arsenal.
Indeed, it is the producers
rather than the consumers
who will suffer most in the
event of another full-blown
Middle East conflict.
All this does not mean that
lions are about to lie down
with lambs and that the
threat of a fresh Arab-Israeli
war has been eliminated.
It does not mean that
Syria's Hafez Assad will not
make one final, desperate, all-
out push to retrieve some of
his lost territory (and honor)
or that his hated rival, Iraq's
Saddam Hussein, will not
deploy his bloated forces
against Israel in an attempt
to "realize the Arab dream"
and, by the way, seize the
leadership of the Arab world.
Now, however, Arab leaders
will have to factor into their

equations the cold, harsh fact
that in any such future
military engagement, they
will almost certainly be on
their own. They will not be
able to count on an infusion
of "military advisers" from
their superpower patron or on
an automatic arms
re-supplies.
The only shield that will
protect them from certain,
massive Israeli retaliation
will be the inevitable, predic-
table stream of United Na-
tions resolutions.
All this is very much of a
mixed blessing for Israel:
while the new international
order might significantly
deter Arab leaders from em-
barking on direct, full-scale
military adventures, they
may now be moved to increase
their employment of proxies
and terrorists whose finger-
prints are less easy to detect.
This would have the dual ef-
fect of creating a moving,
often invisible, target which
Israel's military brass would
be unable to deal with effec-
tively and decisively; at the
same time, it would con-
siderably increase the danger
of what has become known as
the "Lebanonization" of the
conflict.
Yet another, longer term,
danger for Israeli leaders is
that unless they can somehow
come to terms with the
Palestinians and reduce the
intensity of the intifada,
which shows no sign of going
away and threatens to
broaden the conflict, they are
liable to face the combined
diplomatic pressure of the
United States and the Soviet
Union.
This could well take the
form of an international
peace conference convened by
the superpowers who, despair-
ing of bilateral or
multilateral attempts to solve
the conflict, decide to impose
a settlement on the
combatants.
Such a settlement is likely
to satisfy no one, least of all
Israel, which will undoubted-
ly be weakened territorially.
However, reinforced by the
support of the international
community and by the threat
of international sanctions, it
could prove to be irresistible.
Whether or not
Fukuyama's assessment is
correct, there is no doubt
whatsoever that the interna-
tional political order is
undergoing a quiet revolution
and that, sooner or later, the
nations of the Middle East
will feel its effects.

J

NE pi g

IMMING t i l

The Jewish National Fund Council
cordially invites you to attend our

17th Annual Auction

to be held

Sunday, September 17, 1989
Temple Beth El

7400 Telegraph Road - Birmingham
when we bestow upon

Sherman and Mary Shapiro ...

You will have an opportunity to participate in our best Auction
ever with hundreds of items to include:

• 1990 Chevrolet Lumina (supplied by Dexter Chevrolet)
• Round trip to Israel for two
• Originals by Ray Frost Fleming and Alexander Dobkin
• Tigers Fantasy Camp • Restaurant & merchandise gift certificates
• Gold & diamond jewelry • Small appliances • Shopping sprees
• Beauty services • Furs • Enchanted weekends • Designer handbags

Live Auction - 8:15
Blue Light Auction - 6:30 p.m.
Donation: Purchase of one tree ($7.00)
Auctioneer : Richard Nucian
Sweet Table

For Further Information and tickets,
Call Jewish National Fund, 557-6644

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

37

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