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April 13, 1990 - Image 6

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-04-13

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

EDITORIAL

See No Evil
In Bush Statements?

A

number of American Jews are
becoming increasingly
frustrated with the Bush Ad-
ministration's Mideast dealings, and
non-dealings.
Several weeks ago, Tom Dine, ex-
ecutive director of the American Israel
Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC),
publicly voiced his displeasure with
what he perceives as a shift in balance
away from Israel in the Administra-
tion. The President's criticism of Jew-
ish settlements in East Jerusalem was
the focus of the complaints, but equally
disturbing was the State Department's
formal report card on the Palestine
Liberation Organization.
As mandated by Congress, the Ad-
ministration must assess the PLO
three times a year and report on
whether it is complying with its
December 1988 guarantee to give up
terrorism. The verdict, according to the
State Department's first report, issued
last month: "The PLO has adhered to
its commitment to renounce terror-
ism."
While acknowledging that at least

nine of the 30 attacks launched by Pa-
lestinians against Israel since the
guarantee involved "constituent
groups of the PLO," the report con-
cluded, lamely, that there is no
evidence "that the actions were ap-
proved by the PLO executive com-
mittee or by [Yassir] Arafat himself."
Since when was Arafat's personal
approval, or that of his executive com-
mittee, the criteria by which such ter-
rorism is assessed? The U.S. agreement
is with the umbrella group known as
the PLO, and rather than acknowledge
repeated violations of that agreement,
the Administration has chosen to look
the other way and continue the dia-
logue, for what it's worth.
The message is clear, though.
Either Arafat can't control the various
factions of the PLO, in which case it is
pointless to deal with him, or he is
lying about his intention to forswear
violence. Either way, the U.S. should
call Arafat's bluff and make good on its
threat to stop talking to him — unless
and until his rhetoric is backed up by
his actions.

Glasnost Fails
Soviet Jewry

I

t is doubtful that glasnost has so

revolutionized the Soviet Union
that nationalist movements are
completely free to blame Soviet Jews
for every economic and political
change.
From the czars to the communists,
Russian rulers for two centuries have
treated the Jews as a resident alien
population, providing a handy
scapegoat. Deflecting attention away
from internal problems and politics has
saved more than one Russian ruler
from the wrath of the masses.
The third great mass exodus of
Soviet Jews within the last 110 years is
now under way. Like the migrations of
the 1880s and post-World War I, the
exodus of the 1980s and 1990s will go
down in history. But, like the earlier
migrations, a significant Jewish
population will remain in the Soviet
Union.

6

FRIDAY, APRIL 13, 1990

Soviet Jews have been the focus of
Passover for decades. The parallels
between the exodus from Egypt and the
bondage of our brethren in Russia are
very strong. As the Jews of the Soviet
Union begin a new effort to reach
freedom, the Jews of the Diaspora have
undertaken a massive effort to help
them resettle and be more fully in-
tegrated into the world Jewish com-
munity.

At the same time, we cannot forget
the real danger that exists for the hun-
dreds of thousands of Jews who remain
in the Soviet Union, trapped by their
government or their own fears, but
trapped nevertheless. We must keep up
the pressure on Mikhail Gorbachev to
ensure that glasnost and perestroika
apply to Jews and other Soviet
minorities, and are not empty words for
internal and external public relations.

RATiO N INWR

lit-PE ARE AA IRActES THEWIW/s. THEY ARE JUST A4tRe erRatilt,.. ROSE gap./

LETTERS

History Recalled,
Article Corrected

How quickly, though in-
advertently, history can be
re-written!
The Philomathic Debating
Club was formed in 1898 by
Jewish students at Central
High School, not Northern.
That according to Spencer S.
Fishbaine, one of its founders,
who himself taught English
and journalism at Central
when I went there. Besides,
official school records disclose
that Northern first opened its
doors on Jan. 29, 1917!
I am confident that my
friend, Dr. Ralph Raimi, will
correct the other, less
egregious (and unintentional)
errors of fact that appeared in
the editorial comment about
the Philomathic in your issue
of March 30.

Norman I. Leemon
Southfield

Bush Policies
Harmful To Israel

Words cannot expregs how
greatly disappointed I am in
the Bush Administration's re-
cent treatment of Israel and
the Middle East in general.
The White House has held
up desperately needed bank
guarantees for housing loans
for new immigrants in Israel
arguing that the funds are
"fungible." At the same time
the administration went
ahead with hundreds of
millions of dollars in loans to
Iraq, knowing full well (the
FBI investigation has been
going on for over a year) that
this impoverished nation is
diverting a substantial por-
tion of its meager budget
towards the development of
nuclear weapons.
Are we to understand that
in President Bush's eyes it is
better for Iraq to divert food
loans for nuclear weapons

than for Israel to shift some
funds in their budget towards
settling Jews in Jerusalem?
The Bush administration
has closed its eyes to PLO ter-
rorist activities which clearly
violated the terms for U.S.
dialogue. This approach
(developments which do not
fit the Bush model cannot by
definition be real) has taught
both sides an important
lesson vis-a-vis America's at-
titude towards the Middle
East.
The Arabs have learned
that once American policy is
set they have a free hand to
pursue their ultimate goal —
namely the destruction of the
Jewish State — without fear
of rebuke from Uncle Sam.
The Israelis now must realize
that any peace arrangement
which relies on international,
and in particular, American
guarantees, is an agreement
with no teeth.
The White House has con-
demned Israel to rely on
costly military strength
rather than treaties to sur-
vive beyond the millennium.
President Bush has also ig-
nored deteriorating condi-
tions elsewhere in the Middle
East. When Jordan moved its
U.S.-made Hawk missiles, in
clear violation of the supply
agreement, onto mobile laun-
chers, the administration re-
mained silent.
Developments in Libya (use
of French technology to allow
mid-air refueling and thus ex-
tension of attack radius to
Israel, development of poison
gas, etc.) have been met with
lip service from the White
House.
In addition, no efforts have
been made to persuade Mr.
Bush's good friends the
Saudis to dismantle their
Chinese-made missiles
threatening the Jewish State.

Aaron Lerner
Oak Park

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