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March 02, 1990 - Image 31

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

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

Sherwood can
make the difference...

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
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-
"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-
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
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

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