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August 31, 1990 - Image 7

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-08-31

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

CONTENTS

If Only The U.S.
Listened To Israel

M.J. ROSENBERG

Special to The Jewish News

ou would think Ku-
wait was pre-war
Czechoslovakia or
even France from all the tears
being shed over its demise.
The media talks about "tiny
Kuwait" the way it once
spoke of Israel, evoking im-
ages of a small people strug-
gling against the mighty Ira-
qi oppressor rather than of a
wealthy corporation that hap-
pens to have a flag.
It's hard to believe, but on-
ly a few weeks ago, neither
Washington nor the Ameri-
can people at large cared
much about Iraq and the
threat Saddam Hussein posed
to other Mideast countries.
Certainly there was very lit-
tle reaction (outside of the
pro-Israel community) to Sad-
dam's threat to use poison gas
on Jews as he had used it on
Kurds and Iranians. And
there was even less reaction
when Israeli officials warned
that Saddam was not bluffing.
The Bush Administration
was singularly unmoved, test-
ifying against Congressman
Howard Berman's bill to im-
pose trade sanctions on
Baghdad and fighting hard
against efforts to have the
Senate consider sanctions.
Right up to the last minute,
Mr. Bush and company be-
lieved that sweet talk rather
than tough actions would
bring Saddam Hussein
around.
But that changed overnight
when Iraq ' swallowed up
Kuwait. The sanctions bill
sailed through Congress and,
with the President leading, a
total embargo of Iraq was im-
posed. George Bush now
could hardly be tougher,
swearing that Iraq's conquest
of Kuwait "will not stand"
and putting military muscle
behind his words.
Mr. Bush's stand has wide
public support and it should.
But few bother to point out
that this whole crisis could
have been avoided if the
President had taken Sad-
dam's threats — and Israel's
warnings — seriously right
from the start. American boys
are now in Saudi Arabia in
large part because this Ad-
ministration chose to devote
more effort to threatening
Israel over the presence of
Soviet Jews in Jerusalem —
and over Prime Minister
Shamir's refusal to accept the
"Baker plan" — than it did to
standing up to Saddam Hus-
sein. And now all of us, and

y

particularly those American
boys who have been shipped
over to the Middle East, will
have to pay the price.
It's unlikely that Mr. Bush
will learn from his mistakes.
The top echelon of his Ad-
ministration (with the excep-
tion of Vice President Dan
Quayle) are fierce adherents
of the idea that Israel is part
of the Middle East problem —
not part of its solution. That
is why the President chose to
ignore Saddam's threats to in-
cinerate Israel and why Ad-
ministration figures never
mention Israel as an asset
that is of strategic value in
any Middle East conflict.
It is also why you haven't
heard a single Administra-
tion figure give Israel credit
for taking out Iraq's Osirak
nuclear reactor in 1981.
Menachem Begin's action
prevented the Iran-Iraq war
from going nuclear just as it
prevents the Iraqis from
utilizing the ultimate weapon
in the current climate. But no
U.S. official will mention that.
Meanwhile, Yitzhak Sha-
mir remains the one Mideast
leader not to receive a re-
assuring telephone call from
George Bush since Iraq
moved into Kuwait. If the Ad-
ministration has any under-
standing of the fear Israelis
rightly have of Saddam Hus-
sein and of an Arab world
that largely backs him — they
are keeping it to themselves.
But the Administration pro-
bably won't be quiet for long.
As soon as things calm down,
and maybe even before, Mr.
Bush or Secretary Baker will
come out with a statement
saying that the current situa-
tion only adds urgency to fin-
ding a solution to the Palesti-
nian problem. They will say
that the lesson of Iraq's ag-
gression against Kuwait is —
you guessed it — that Israel
should negotiate with the
PLO and get rid of the West
Bank.
But, of course, the lesson
Iraq's aggression teaches is
something very different. The
first is that territorial depth
does matter, even in this age
of missiles. For years, critics
of Israeli policy have been
saying that the West Bank is
an irrelevancy in an age when
missiles can span the desert
in minutes. But Israelis have
surely noticed that Iraq did
not conquer Kuwait with
missiles. Tanks, armored
vehicles, and troops were
necessary to do the job. If ter-
ritory with the depth and hil-
Continued on Page 12

r."--

15

DETROIT

Deaf Yeshiva

PHIL JACOBS
Two Detroit rabbis plan
a deaf school in Baltimore.

22

FOLLOW UP

Afterglow

ALAN HITSKY
PHIL JACOBS
KIMBERLY LIFTON
RICHARD PEARL
STEVE WHITELEY
The Youth Games athletes
have left, but the glow remains.

40

CLOSE-UP

Reclaiming
Lost Jews

22

MICHAEL POUSNER
The subtle effort to mix
Soviet emigres and Judaism.

At Home
In Detroit

Aro

I OPINION

SUSAN GRANT
Detroit has several programs
to make the emigres feel at home.

OUTLOOK

A Good Death

ELIZABETH APPLEBAUM
This group doesn't fear death,
only the way they might die.

40

ENTERTAINMENT

Good News

MIKE ROSENBAUM
Columnist Laura Berman
heads straight for success.

EDUCATION

Ethical Students?

9

IRA RIFKIN
A consultant believes
day schools are failing.

DEPARTMENTS

48 Synagogues
95 Weddings
102 Births

105 Single Life
110 Classified Ads
133 Obituaries

CANDLELIGHTING

69

7:51 p.m.
Friday, August 31, 1990
Sabbath ends September 1 8:52 p.m.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

7

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