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January 19, 1990 - Image 32

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-01-19

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

CAPITOL REPORT

East Europe's Aid Gain
Could Be Israel's Loss

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n a move that could have
major economic and
military ramifications for
Israel, the Bush administra-
tion has called on Congress
to stop earmarking foreign
aid allocations to specific
countries in order to give
President George Bush more
flexibility to move funds
from one country to another.
Separate statements last
week by the White House
and the State Department
followed an Op-Ed Page arti-
cle in the New York Times
by Sen. Robert Dole, R-Kan.,
proposing a 5 percent cut in
aid to Israel and four other
major U.S. foreign-aid reci-
pients to free up funds for
Eastern European and other
countries struggling to
achieve democracy.
Israeli officials, American
Jewish leaders and pro-
Israeli congressmen im-
mediately expressed their
deep concern over the
statements by the ad-
ministration and Dole.
In recent days, there have
been other indications that a
new effort to reduce the $3
billion in annual U.S.
economic and military
assistance to Israel could get
off the ground.
Congress, in passing the
foreign aid legislation in re-
cent years, has always ear-
marked, or mandated into
the law, that specific sums
be provided to Israel, Egypt,
the Philippines, Turkey and
Pakistan. These five coun-

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34

FRIDAY; JANUARY 19, 1990

1

Robert Dole:
5 percent cut?

tries receive more than two-
thirds of the entire
worldwide U.S. foreign
assistance program.
State Department
spokeswoman Margaret

Tutwiler confirmed that
Secretary of State James
Baker has already discussed
the earmarking issue with
Dole. More meetings with
other members of Congress
are expected, she said, "to
see what can be done to give
the president and the
department the flexibility
that is needed to meet their
constitutional obligations to
conduct the foreign policy of
the nation."
She said the administra-
tion has been "pointing out

Rabbi Hier:
Complained bitterly.

for some time that earmark-
ing has reached the point
that we have very little
flexibility left to respond to
the changing circumstances
in the world. This is aimed
at the system, not at any
country."
Asked whether the ad-
ministration was now sen-
ding a message specifically
to Israel to be more flexible
in the peace process, Tut-
wiler replied: "I'm not sen-
ding a message to anyone, to
any country."
Israel's friends in Con-
gress have pressed hard to
make sure that the funds for
Israel are earmarked
precisely because they have
feared that the administra-
tion would eventually
reduce the levels or use the
assistance as a form of polit-
ical leverage.
Dole, the outspoken
Republican minority leader
in the Senate, wrote in the
Times: "What I am sug-
gesting is to re-examine
some of the huge aid pro-
grams in a few countries .. .
Does it make sense, at this
historic moment, to provide
these countries practically
all of our aid at the cost of
foreclosing dramatically
promising new aid in-
itiatives in Eastern Europe
and other important coun-
tries? What about, for exam-
ple, those Latin American

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