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June 01, 1990 - Image 31

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

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

INSIDE WASHINGTON

JAMES D. BESSER

Washington Correspondent

M onths of nail-biting
tension for Soviet
Jewry activists ap-
parently came to an end last
week when the Senate put
the final touches on the $4.4
billion supplemental ap-
propriations bill that pro-
vides a vital lifeline for
Soviet Jews.

The measure, which had
struggled against an
avalanche of amendments
and bitter controversies over
abortion, the death penalty
and aid to El Salvador, con-
tains the $400 million in
loan guarantees to help

resettle Soviet Jews in
Israel.

It also includes some $70
million in emergency funds
to make up for shortfalls in
programs to resettle refu-
gees in the United States;
almost $30 million of that
will go to the Hebrew Immi-
grant Aid Society (HIAS)
and the Joint Distribution
Committee, which operate
programs to resettle Soviet
Jews in this country in part-
nership with the govern-
ment.
Despite widespread
rumors of amendments to

cut or limit the $400 million
in loan guarantees, the mea-
sure survived intact —
almost.
During final debate, Rep.
David Obey (D-Wis.) attach-
ed language boosting the
loan origination fee that
Israel must pay for the
package. The Senate had
lowered the fee to $1 million;
Obey proposed that the fee
be increased to $2.8 million.
Obey's addition — $1.8
million — was the exact
amount granted by Israel's
housing ministry to the set-
tlers who moved into
Jerusalem's Christian
Quarter last month,
touching off a controversy
that continues to re-
verberate around Washing-
ton.

Hate Crimes Bill
Strikes Another Snag

Only a month ago, Jewish
activists here were
celebrating the final passage
of the Hate Crimes Statistics
Act, the bill mandating the
collection of national
statistics on crimes based on
the victims' race, religion,
ethnicity or sexual orienta-
tion.
But now, members of the
hate crimes coalition are
furiously trying to avert a
bureaucratic move that

was distressing news;
although it was not spelled
out in the legislation, it had
been assumed that the UCR
would provide the
mechanism for collecting
hate crimes statistics, as
well.

According to sources close
to the discussions, the
Justice Department is play-
ing the old game of budget
brinksmanship; the Justice
Department, anticipating
large cuts, took a popular
and effective program and
held it out as a prospective
victim of the cuts — a

strategy designed to get the
budget-cutters to back down.

But this game of bluff and
counter-bluff does not im-
press Jewish activists, who
see the fate of a critical pro-
gram for combating bias-
related crimes hanging in
the balance. The American
Jewish Committee and the
Anti- Discrimination League
have written to Attorney
General Dick Thornburgh,
urging him to press for full
funding for the UCR pro-
gram — and for the hate
crimes data to be collected
by the unit.

Emigres' Experiences
May Ease Culture Shock

The rising tide of immigra-
tion to the United States,
primarily from Latin Ameri-
can and Southeast Asia, is
posing a number of complex
challenges for medical au-
thorities.
And according to an
American University
historian who specializes in
the medical aspects of im-
migration, the experiences
of Jewish immigrants in the
early years of this century
can provide important
guidelines for easing the
medical problems posed by
mass immigration.
"My argument is that
understanding the cultural
tension between alternate
systems of medicine is some-
thing that needs to be taken
into account in dealing with
new groups of immigrants,"
said Alan M. Kraut.
Immigrant groups — in-
cluding the Jews in the early
part of this century — expe-
rience a kind of medical cul-
ture shock. People ac-
customed to folk medicine
are suddenly thrust into a
system of impersonal
modern medicine, which
makes their transition to the
new society all the more
difficult.
"Like the Italians, the
Chinese and so on, the Jews
practiced folk medicine,"
Kraut said. "They were
steeped in the Western
medical tradition — but very

often, there were economic
factors that meant they were
not able to participate in the

complained to AIPAC's
leaders that this policy tends
to diminish the contribu-
tions of pro-Israel represent-
atives.
Despite the minor flap,

there appears to be wide-
spread satisfaction that
AIPAC has shifted to a more
effective style as the crisis
over U.S.-Israeli relations
intensifies.

Alan M. Kraut:
Cultural sensitivity.

care. So they had enema
women, cuppers, midwives."
Kraut stressed the impor-
tance of providing health
care in a culturally sensitive
context.
The historian gives
American authorities high
marks for their treatment of
the medical needs of recent
Indochinese refugees — an
improvement that stemmed,
in part, from the lessons
learned by the Jewish expe-
rience.
Kraut's analysis appeared
in a recent issue of the Jour-
nal of the American Medical
Association.

AIPAC Alters Its Style
To Lobby Better On Hill

Dick Thornburgh:
Pressed for full funding.

could derail the implemen-
tation of the bill.

The hitch came during a
recent budget confab, when
Justice Department officials
indicated that they might
try to meet official budget
guidelines by cutting one of
the department's most suc-
cessful programs — the
FBI's Uniform Crime
Reports (UCR) unit, which
keeps tabs on crimes of all
sorts.
For Jewish activists, this

With U.S.-Israeli relations
riding a frightening roller
coaster in recent months,
congressional sources in-
dicate that the American-
Israel Public Affairs Com-
mittee (AIPAC) has been en-
joying something of a
renaissance.
"What we're seeing is that
AIPAC is turning back to
what it does the best —
lobbying Congress," said one
congressional aid who has
close contact with the big
pro- Israel lobbying group.
"There's a less confronta-
tional style, a greater will-
ingness to work with mem-
bers at their levels."
Recent indications of a
sharp shift in administra-
tion Middle East policy, and
signs that the "special rela-
tionship" between Israel and
the United States has fallen
on hard times, have shifted
the big group's priorities

back to Capitol Hill; in re-
cent years, AIPAC's critics
have accused the group of
focusing too heavily on
building ties to the ad-
ministration.
But the shift has not gone
far enough to suit some
legislators. Several top pro-
Israel congressmen — in-
cluding Rep. Larry Smith (D-
Fla.) and Rep. Mel Levine
(D-Calif.) —are reportedly
unhappy that the upcoming
AIPAC policy conference
banquet will once again
feature two senators as
speakers — and not a single
member of the House.
Traditionally, the banquet
— which features the famous
AIPAC "roll call," an ac-
knowledgement of the
dozens of congressmen and
senators in the audience —
has been keynoted by two
senators. Some strongly pro-
Israel congressmen have

Jewish Activists Create
Model Brochure On AIDS

Jewish activists continue
to grapple with the issue of
Acquired Immune Deficien-
cy Syndrome (AIDS) — and
with the perception that the
Jewish community has been
slow to recognize its own
connection to the AIDS
crisis.

Recently, several national
Jewish AIDS activists team-
ed up with a regional office
of the American Jewish
Congress to produce a Jew-
ish AIDS resource pamphlet
that may serve as a model

for Jewish groups around
the country.
"We think this is one of
the best brochures that's
been done on a local level,"
said Dan Najjar, a founder of
the National Jewish AIDS
Project. "We're hoping that
it will be replicated in a
number of other com-
munities."
The brochure stresses the
fact that AIDS is not lfmited
by religious or ethnic boun-
daries — and focuses on the
Jewish commandment to
care for the sick.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

31

IMD]kM

Congress Okays Money
To Resettle Soviet Jews

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