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June 01, 1990 - Image 24

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-06-01

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

(

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354.6060

ed, and we are proceeding on
that assumption."
Hoenlein pointed to one
positive consequence of the
week's furious succession of
crises. "This week really put
everybody to the test," he
said. "And people really
came through. The Jewish
community was virtually
unanimous in its response to
this."
During the weekend U.N.
session in Geneva, the Arab
initiative fell apart in the
wake of vigorous Israeli op-
position and an American
position that once again
seemed nebulous. On Mon-
day, Secretary of State
James Baker again in-
dicated U.S. support for
some kind of U.N. investiga-
tion into the treatment of
Palestinians in the occupied
territories — but suggested
that this country would only
support a mission sent by
the secretary general, not by
the Security Council.
But the American position
remained deliberately am-
biguous; despite the fact that
the international body was
hamstrung in its effort to
send some kind of interna-
tional team to the occupied
territories, the underlying
message from Washington to
Jerusalem was delivered in
a style that is by now becom-
ing a diplomatic hallmark of
the Bush administration.
Many of Israel's leading
defenders here were deeply
disturbed by the week's wild
emotional roller coaster.
"I don't see anything good
in the near future," said one
leading pro-Israel activist. "I
don't really know how
Baker's statement came
about; I'm not sure that it
matters. But it's very evi-
dent that the administration
continues to feel that these
kinds of signals can put
pressure on the Israelis to
move forward on the peace
process. Anybody who knows
anything about Israeli
politics knows that such
statements only provoke a
negative backlash."
In a number of meetings
on Capitol Hill, pro-Israel
legislators have been soun-
ding the alarm, as well. In a
number of cases, pro-Israel
activists have been given a
very direct, very private
message: Congress is in an
unsettled mood when it
comes to the Middle East.
"From the conversations
I've had on the Hill, the ma-
terial support for Israel re-
mains strong," said Warren
Eisenberg, director of B'nai
B'rith's International Coun-
cil. "But people are sending
private messages. What
you're beginning to see is a

recognition by Jewish sup-
porters of Israel that the
climate has changed across
the board."
There is also a sense that
the administration, which
has consistently tried to put
itself at the center of the
Middle East peace process,
may be dealing itself out by
continuing to make
statements that only pro-
voke an internal political
backlash in Israel.
But there is a sense in
many quarters on Capitol
Hill that events in
U.S.-Israeli diplomacy are
on a downward spiral. And
so far, there are few ideas in
Washington about how to
reverse this disturbing pro-
cess. CI

NEWS

L.A. Cranks Up
For Gala
Jewish Festival

Los Angeles (JTA) —
Every year, the organizers of
the Los Angeles Jewish Fes-
tival put their heads
together and dream up novel
attractions to entice jaded
Angelenos to the outdoor
event. For Sunday's massing
of the faithful, the publicity
handout promises:
The first L.A. Jewish
Mother's Chicken Soup
Challenge in which
housepersons will submit a
quart of their best clear
chicken broth (no matzo
balls, noodles or kreplach
permitted). All entries will
be reheated in traditional
microwave ovens and tasted
by an all-star panel of
rabbis, elected office-holders
and the ubiquitous commun-
ity leaders.
The champion will win two
free roundtrip business class
plane tickets from the Big
Orange to Tel Aviv.
For those who like to slurp
their Jewish penicillin for
non-medicinal purposes, a
contest will determine how
fast and how much soup each
contender intakes.
Those still on their feet
after the contest will dance
and revel the hours away to
the music of the Rockin'
Rabbi Review, a doughty
band of high- spirited spiri-
tual leaders, the Simcha Or-
chestra, the Promised Land
combo, and Israeli songstress
Hedva.
The 1990 festival is
dedicated to Operation Ex-
odus, a community-wide
campaign to raise $36 mill-
ion for the absorption of
Soviet Jews into Israeli
society. Some 40,000 people
are expected to attend.

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