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March 02, 1990 - Image 31

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-03-02

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

Sherwood can
make the difference...
f

wait for word from
Jerusalem on when that
government will break off
remaining military con-
tracts with South Africa.
Before Mandela's release,
there were conflicting
stories suggesting that
Israel would formally an-
nounce that all remaining
contracts with the South
Africans would be broken
within anywhere from one to
seven years; now, there is
concern that the release of
Mandela may encourage the
Israelis to simply ignore the
issue.
Last week's meetings of
the National Jewish Com-
munity Relations Advisory
Council (NJCRAC) saw Rep.
Howard Wolpe (D-Mich.), the
leader in efforts among Jew-
ish congressmen to convince
Israel of the seriousness of
the issue, sounded a warn-
ing.
"Let me say that if this
issue is not resolved in the

Howard Wolpe:
Issues warning.

next two or three months, we
could have a major problem
on our hands on the house
floor," Wolpe told a meeting
of the group's ad-hoc corn-
mittee on apartheid.

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Jews Caught In Squeeze
As Soviets Stop Flights

The Soviet Jewry puzzle
continues to develop new
wrinkles as a growing
number of Jews are caught
in a squeeze between rising
anti-Semitism and the
Kremlin's decision to scrap
the agreement for direct
flights to Israel.
And the result is a complex
dilemma for Soviet Jewry
activists here in Washing-
ton.
One dimension of this
problem involves the possi-
bility that the United States
could increase the number of
refugee slots and the fun-
ding for Soviet Jews seeking
to escape from that country.
Changes in U.S. refugee
policy last year had the
effect of deflecting most
Soviet Jews to Israel; be-
cause of the breakdown of
the direct flights agreement,
many are now effectively
trapped.
So far, most mainstream
Soviet Jewry groups are not
calling for more numbers
and slots — a position that
mirrors the position of the
Israeli government, which is
eager for as many Soviet
Jews as possible. The em-
phasis remains on finding
new ways to get more Soviet
Jews to Israel, despite the
breakdown of the direct
flights agreement.

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A second piece of the puz-
zle involves a possible
waiver of the Jackson-Vanik
amendment linking
favorable trade status for
the Soviets with their per-
formance on emigration.
In the event of the direct
flights breakdown, a waiver
was considered imminent.
Now, some legislators are
contemplating congressional
action linking a waiver to
the direct flights issue; if the
Soviets do not agree to begin
direct flights, their Most
Favored Nation status
would be withheld.

The possibility of formal
linkage is a troubling one for
many Soviet Jewry activists.
"On one hand , it would be
a hard thing to resist," said
one top Soviet Jewry activist
here. "But we have concerns
that it could weaken the en-
tire Jackson-Vanik process
to add considerations at this
late date."
Soviet Jewry activists
worry that such a measure
might lose in a Congress
dazzled by the tremendous
changes taking place in
Eastern Europe. A loss, they
suggest, would diminish
their power to negotiate
with the Soviets on ways to
increase the flow of Jewish
refugees.

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

31

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