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June 01, 1990 - Image 3

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

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

I NEWS I

LA BRIAN

Hard-Line Arab States
Gain At Summit Meeting

GIL SEDAN

Special to The Jewish News

I

srael found much cause
for concern in the warlike
rhetoric emanating this
week from the Arab summit
meeting in Baghdad.
In addition to open talk of
military attacks against
Israel, there were calls for
coordinated action to stop
the immigration of Soviet
Jews to Israel and the ad-
ministered territories.
The harsh tone of the
public statements appeared
to signal that the hard-line
Arab states, led by Iraq,
were gaining strength over
the more moderate forces,
led by Egypt, which have
argued that it is in the
Arabs' interest to pursue the
peace process, rather than
the military option.
Tough words also were
directed against the United
States for what the Arabs
contend is its uncompromis-
ing support for Israel.
The Arab leaders re-
portedly were furious over a
16-page letter the U.S. State
Department sent last week
to the Arab League, urging
Iraq to "moderate both its
action and its rhetoric" and
refrain from using
"excessively ardent lang-
uage."
In recent weeks, Iraqi
President Saddam Hussein
has made several statements
threatening war against the
Jewish state.
His words this week were
little different, and they set
the tone of the proceedings
in Baghdad, which Hussein
personally hosted.
"If Israel attacks, we will
hit back strongly, and if it
uses weapons of total
destruction against our
nation, we will use against it
the weapons of total destruc-
tion which we have," Hus-
sein told the heads of the 15
Arab countries participating
in the summit.
Iraq is said to be in the
process of amassing a deadly
stockpile of chemical and
biological weapons. There
also have been reports that
Iraq is building an
underground nuclear reactor
to replace the one destroyed
by Israel nine years ago.
Hussein's tough stance at
the summit was echoed by
Yassir Arafat, chairman of
the Palestine Liberation
Organization. In an ag-
gressive speech at the
summit's opening ceremony,

Arafat seemed to part with
his previous declarations
about making peace with
Israel.
Arafat also called for the
Arab nations to impose sanc-
tions against countries that
abet the immigration of
Soviet Jews to the Israeli
territories.
"We are duty-bound to use
all weapons — including
sanctions, economic
boycotts, and political and
psychological pressures —
against states, estab-
lishments and companies
that participate in aggres-
sion against Arab territory,"
the PLO leader said.
"The ordeal of the Pales-
tinian people under Israeli
occupation is an intolerable
strain on its patience," he
said.
He called for the revival of
the Arab Joint Defense
Council, which he said
should meet within a month
to confront Israeli
"challenges and threats" to
Arab security.
The council, made up of
the foreign and defense min-
isters of the Arab nations,
was formed in 1950 but has
scarcely been used since. It
was last convened, unsuc-
cessfully, by Hussein during
Iraq's eight-year war with
Iran.
Arafat chided the U.S.
Congress for its resolution
declaring Jerusalem to be
Israel's capital, and said
that East Jerusalem "is part
of the Palestinian territory
under Israeli occupation. It
is the capital of the state of
Palestine."
President Hosni Mubarak
of Egypt, the only country to
have diplomatic relations
with Israel, reportedly urged
the Arab states to deliver "a
humane and rational mes-
sage" on the immigration
question. ❑

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

3

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