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May 25, 1990 - Image 31

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-05-25

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

INSIDE WASHINGTON

JAMES D. BESSER

Washington Correspondent

A

s the United States
and the Soviet Union
prepare for next
week's summit here in
Washington, Soviet Jewry
groups are scrambling to
keep the plight of Soviet
Jews near the top of the ad-
ministration's agenda for
the talks.

And according to several
top Soviet Jewry activists,
this effort has benefited from
the administration's recent
difficulties over Middle East
policy.

"It may be that they're
almost over-compensating
for all the negative attention
they've received as a result
of their statements on the
Middle East," said one top
Soviet Jewry activist. "Now
seems like a particularly
auspicious time to be press-
ing on a number of impor-
tant issues."

Shoshana Cardin:
Pleased with Baker.
Those issues include a
possible relaxation of
Jackson-Vanik trade restric-
tions on the Soviet Union,
and the logistical problems
posed by the new exodus.
"We want a reaffirmation
of the president's position
that there can be no trade

agreement and no waver
prior to the passage of the
Soviet emigration legisla-
tion," said Shoshana Cardin,
chairman of the National
Conference on Soviet Jewry.
Late last week it was reveal-
ed that final passage of the
critical legislation had again
been postponed by the
Supreme Soviet.
"Secondly, we want to
make sure that human
rights, including the right to
emigrate and the right to
live freely as Jews, will have
as high a place on the agen-
da as in previous summits, "
Cardin said.
Cardin indicated that she
was pleased with the atten-
tion Secretary of State
James Baker has given to
the human rights issue dur-
ing preliminary meetings for
the summit.
NCSJ officials have also
requested a meeting with
Soviet president Mikhail
Gorbachev himself, or at
least with one of the top offi-
cials accompanying him; so
far, there are no indications
that they have succeeded.

Jews Backing Opponent
Of Senate KKK Aspirant

2

As David Duke, the former
Ku Klux Klansman and
founder of the National
Association for the Ad-
vancement of White People,
continues his longshot at-
tempt to win a Louisiana
seat in the United States
Senate, a nervous Jewish
community is bolstering the
fund-raising efforts of his
opponent.
According to numerous
reports, Sen. J. Bennett
Johnston, a Democrat, has
benefited handsomely from
worries about Duke's ascen-
dance. Recent direct-mail
efforts have targeted the
Jewish community and em-
phasized the dangers posed
by Duke's candidacy.
The campaign builds on
Johnston's already-
considerable support from
pro-Israel activists.
"The important thing to
remember is that since 1982,
Johnston has had a perfect
record of support on arms
sales and foreign aid for
Israel," said Morrie Amitay,
a leading force in the pro-
Israel community. "He's on
the foreign operations sub-
committee and the defense
appropriations subcom-
mittees, two key subcom-
mittees as far as Israel is
concerned. And he's also
chairman of the energy
committee, which also has

some bearing. So he's an im-
portant guy for us, even
without David Duke."
Few observers expect that
Johnston, an 18-year veter-
an of the Senate, can be
unseated. Duke is currently
running for the Republican
nomination to oppose
Johnston. The primary takes
place on October 6.
But Duke's rise since his
successful campaign for a

slot in the Louisiana state
legislature two years ago
has stunned political ex-
perts, and generated a feel-
ing of unease.
"It would be a major
mistake to underestimate
this guy," said one Dem-
ocratic party activist.
"That's exactly what a guy
like this capitalizes on; peo-
ple don't want to take him as
seriously as they should."

Jews' Fears Of Germany
Confronted By Alliance

B'nai B'rith International
is teaming up with the
Konrad Adenauer Founda-
tion in West Germany to
create a new exchange pro-
gram that may deal with
Jewish fears over the issue
of German unification.
"In 1990 and 1991, we will
be sending ten Jewish
American political figures to
Germany," said B'nai
B'rith's director of public
policy, Dan Mariaschin.
"These will be city coun-
cilmen, mayors, state repre-
sentatives, city attorneys.
They'll spend ten days in
Germany for a series of
meetings and dialogues."
The following year,
Mariaschin said, B'nai
B'rith will host a similar

group of German officials.
The emphasis of the
exchange will be on the
nitty- gritty of government.
"It will be an opportunity to
discuss the whole range of
issues, ranging from the
practical details of politics —
how do you handle snow
removal? — to the Jewish
agenda, including the Holo-
caust," Mariaschin said.
There will also be an em-
phasis on Israel. "What we
want to explore is the oppor-
tunity that the changes in
Europe offer to have a
reunified Germany act as
Israel's strongest supporter
in Europe," Mariaschin said.
"We like this because it
deals in the political realm;
the program builds bridges."

Pro-Israel Congressman
Was 'Love Boat' Actor

Before he came to Capitol
Hill, Rep. Fred Grandy (R-
Iowa) played the role of
"Gopher" on the long runn-
ing television series, "The
Love Boat."
But his analysis of the
Middle East is more drama
than situation comedy. In
recent months, Grandy has
emerged as a rising star on
the pro-Israel circuit.
"My thesis is that there
are two areas to consider in
assessing America's rela-
tionship with Israel," he
said in a recent interview.
"We have a tendency to look
at Israel as an individual,
isolated country; what we
need to do is view it as part
of a larger political puzzle."
The intifada, he argued,
has narrowed the focus of
the world to Israel's internal
dilemmas. In Grandy's view,
a media bias against the
Israeli government has ac-
celerated this narrowing
process. "From this bias, you
would assume that Israel's
only problem, their only
scenario of conflict, is the in-
tifada."
But Israel's internal prob-
lems are inextricably tied to
the broader Middle East
situation.
"You have an external
military force that out-
numbers the standing army
of Israel by more than 20 to
1," he said. "The analogy I
use is this: imagine that
New Jersey was at war with
Pennsylvania, New York
and Delaware — and Penn-
sylvania had chemical
weapons. That is very often
left out of the picture."
Grandy also points out
that while the rest of the
world witnesses the stunn-

ing demise of authoritarian
regimes, the Arab world
shows signs of moving in the
opposite direction.
"In the Arab nations that
surround Israel," he said,
"they're giving way to
Islamic fundamentalism,
which is even more hostile."
American policy makers —
including fellow Repub-

Fred Grandy:
Media is biased.

licans —tend to mix up their
priorities in dealing with
Israel.
"We seem to think that the
most important considera-
tion is the real estate deal
that involves the West
Bank, Gaza and possibly
Jerusalem," he said. "I'
think that sequence is out of
whack; you have to begin by
getting the Arab nations
that have not declared a
peace with Israel to at least
begin to make some of the
diplomatic overtures that
would give internal Israeli
government forces some con-
fidence."

Schumer Pins Peace
Undermining On Arafat

Rep. Chuck Schumer
(D-N.Y.) has been brooding
about the growing percep-
tion that the Palestine Lib-
eration Organization has
abandoned its role as a ter-
rorist organization.
Last week, the outspoken
legislator decided to do
something about it. Along
with Rep. Ileana Ros-
Lehtinen (R- Fla.), Schumer
has put together a kind of
legislative talk- a-thon
designed to make the case
that PLO chief Yassir Arafat
has routinely violated the
pledges made in Stockholm

in late 1988, which provided
the basis for the ongoing U.S.-
PLO dialogue.
Schumer and Ros-
Lehtinen assembled a group
of congressmen to enter into
the record a number of
pieces of evidence detailing
the PLO's ongoing connec-
tion to violence in the Middle
East.
"There was a feeling that
this information was being
overlooked, both in Congress
and at the State Depart-
ment," said a spokesman for
Schumer. "We want to set
the record straight."

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

.

31

ATIONA

Soviet Jewry Groups
Prepare For Summit

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