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March 16, 1990 - Image 30

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-03-16

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

(10M+

INSIDE WASHINGTON

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Jerusalem Statements By Bush
Set Off Activists' Panic Buttons

JAMES D. BESSER

Washington Correspondent

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M

ajor pro-Israel
organizations here
were pushing the
panic buttons early this
week in the wake of the ad-
ministration' s unwill-
ingness to back out of its re-
cent suggestions that the
whole issue of Jerusalem is
now up for grabs in the peace
process.
The most optimistic analy-
sts were suggesting that
President George Bush and
Secretary of State James
Baker have finally lost pa-
tience with the chaotic
Israeli government and
decided on a policy of blunt
pressure.
"They've made the critical
decision that pressure on the
Israelis works," said one
leading pro-Israel activist

The Simon Wiesenthal
Center held its first-ever na-
tional leadership conference
in Washington last week,
and the group had a lineup
of speakers that made some

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_ 30

FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 1990

"Remember," Dine added,
"that Israel's friends in this
city reside on Capitol Hill."
In recent days, pro-Israel
activists have been all over
the Hill, sounding this
theme. Administration at-
titudes toward Israel are
changing, they are telling
legislators — and Congress
is the only body that can
prevent these changes from
becoming official U.S. policy.

Dubinin sent a stand-in —
who irritated the crowd be-
cause of his lack of expertise
in matters relating to Soviet
Jewry.
This first-ever Washington
conference was the opening
move in the California-based
group's effort to open its own
Washington office.
"Of course that is some-
thing we hope to do in the
next year or two," said
Rabbi Marvin Hier, the

group's dean. "We want to
have the ability to speak out
on a wide range of issues."
The group is also attemp-
ting to line up support for
legislation that would pro-
vide some $5 million in fed-
eral money for its Museum
of Tolerance in Los Angeles,
which will be introduced by
Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-
Mass.), the featured guest at
a Wiesenthal Center recep-
tion last week.

U.S. 'Peace Now' Group
Heightens Hill Activity

Yizo

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and very unwelcome is going
on."
Dine referred to Bush's re-
quest last week for an exten-
sive briefing by the National
Security Council on the East
Jerusalem question, which,
in Dine's view, was
"presented to him in a
manner highly critical of the
policies of both the Labor
and the Likud governments
for the eastern half of
Israel's capital."

Wiesenthal Center
Boosts Capital Presence

MA100.
U. *?

tyfizatt& 6j aat<

here. "Unfortunately, we
can expect that kind of
pressure to intensify."
And the pessimists were
spreading the word that the
flap revealed the "true"
George Bush, under the ve-
neer of his campaign prom-
ises.
It was a bleak week for the
once-vaunted
"administration lobbying"
shop at the American Israel
Public Affairs Committee
(AIPAC).
In an angry speech to the
UJA Young Leadership
group on Sunday, the nor-
mally unflappable Tom
Dine, AIPAC's executive di-
rector, laid out a bleak
scenario.
"Unfortunately, the ad-
ministration has in the past
10 days made a series of
mistakes and mis-steps that,
taken together, suggest that
something new and different

Dan Quayle:
On Wiesenthal dais.

other Jewish groups green
with envy.
The group heard from Vice
President Dan Quayle, At-
torney General Dick Thorn-
burgh and White House
chief of staff John Sununu.
But the all-star schedule
was not without its prob-
lems; GOP chairman Lee
Atwater, scheduled to ap-
pear with a panel of politi-
cians, was in the hospital,
and Soviet Ambassador Yuri

"Friends of Peace Now,"
the American branch of the
big Israeli peace group that
opened an office in Washing-
ton last year, is trying to
beef up its presence here.

The group is changing its
name to Americans for
Peace Now; the Washington
office will be known as the
Center for Israeli Peace and
Security — an effort to
separate itself from groups
like the Jewish Peace Lobby,
which focus more on Pales-
tinian rights than on Israeli
security.
More importantly, the
group has signed up an ex-
perienced Capitol Hill ad-
vocate. David Cohen, one of
the founders of Common

Cause and a veteran of the
legislative wars, begins
working half-time for the
group as its Capitol Hill
representative.
Paul Scham, the group's
Washington director, will
focus on efforts to build up
the group's national mem-
bership. Currently, the
group has 9000 members;
the short-term goal is to
boost that number to 50,000.
"We're very excited about
these changes," Scham said.
"It's been a difficult process,
building a Washington
organization. With the addi-
tion of David Cohen, we feel
that we will be able to make
our point with more profes-
sionalism and more effec-
tiveness."

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