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January 18, 1991 - Image 29

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-01-18

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Following are responses to several of the most commonly
asked questions our readers have called us with:

August 1982: the bombing of Beirut.

state in an upcoming war.
That battle came one year
later, when Egypt and Syria
led a surprise attack against
Israel on Oct. 6, Yom
In the Golan Heights, 180
Israel Defense Forces (IDF)
tanks faced 1,400 Syrian
tanks; along the Suez,
80,000 Egyptian soldiers at-
tacked 500 Israeli men.
Though on the defensive
the first two days of the war,
Israel soon gained momen-
tum and forced the enemy to
retreat to Syria and Egypt.
Other Arab nations joined
the fight and the Soviet
Union continued to supply
the Egyptian and Syrian air
and sea forces.
Israel received support —
albeit belated — from the
United States in the form of
an air lift of arms and a $2.2
billion emergency military
aid bill. But the United
Nations, then headed by
Austria's Kurt Waldheim,
offered little assistance. Its
one act: passage of resolu-
tions 242 and 338, which
called upon Israel to
withdraw from the West
Bank and Gaza in return for
the right to secure and
peaceful borders.
Eighteen days after it
began, Israel had counter-
attacked across the Suez
Canal and held a large piece
of Egyptian territory. When
Egypt's Third Army was
surrounded, the UN stepped
in and called a cease-fire.
Three years later, when
President Sadat stunned the
world by making peace with
Israel, he confided that he
did so after realizing he
could not defeat Israel on the
battle field.


The Lebanon War

Israel's most recent battle
— the campaign into Leb-
anon — had its roots as early
as 1975. In April of that
year, civil war erupted, leav-

ing Lebanon fertile grounds
for the Palestine Liberation
For years, the PLO
operated freely out of Leb-
anon, launching numerous
terrorist attacks into nor-
thern Israel.
On June 3, 1982, terrorists
shot Shlomo Argov, Israel's
ambassador to Great
Britain. Proclaiming they
could take no more, Israeli
leaders sent forces to destroy
PLO bases in Beirut. The
PLO responded with a 24-
hour attack on northern
Called Operation Peace for
Galilee, the push into Leb-

Resolutions 242
and 338 give back
the territories in
exchange for
recognition and

anon was aimed at destroy-
ing the PLO presence in the
Syrian leader Hafez el
Assad, who described Leb-
anon and Syria as "one
country," also joined the
battle. The result was a fre-
quent exchange of fire with
Israel, and fears the fighting
would erupt into a major war
in the Middle East.
As the IDF moved into
Beirut, Lebanese leaders
told the PLO to leave the
country. Mr. Arafat refused
to comply until Aug. 4, when
Israel proceeded with heavy
aerial and artillery attacks.
After destroying numerous
PLO bases in southern Leb-
anon, Israel withdrew the
vast majority of its forces in
1985. It continues to main-
tain a limited presence in
the area to protect Israeli
citizens in the north. Syrian
forces remain in Lebanon,
where some 30,000 Syrian
soldiers are deployed in the
north. El

Under what circumstances
would a draft be revived in
the United States?

Hussein, are U.S. Jewish
organizations beefing up
their security?

spokesmen say there is no
need for a draft and that the
all-volunteer army is suffi-
cient. Some congressmen
favor a draft to create a
broader representation. If
there was a draft, those tur-
ning 20 at the time would be
the first to be called up. The
order would be determined
by lottery, based on birth
The current U.S. deploy-
ment is 370,000. Jews com-
prise 0.39 percent of the U.S.

Officials at several nation-
al Jewish organizations said
that while they believe there
is little immediate danger,
they are discussing addi-
tional security precautions.
They are reluctant to discuss
the specifics so as not to
"give ideas to any crazies
out there."

Will recent Soviet olim, or
immigrants, be drafted
into Israel's armed forces
as a result of the Gulf

No. All olim may remain
as temporary residents —
and exempt from the draft —
for three years.

What will the United
States do if Iraq attacks

Under what cir-
cumstances would Israel
use nuclear weapons?

The Israel government's
long-standing policy is that
Israel will not be the first to
introduce nuclear weapons
into the Middle East. Given
the sensitivity of the U.S.
and its coalition of Arab
states to any Israeli in-
volvement in a Persian Gulf
war, the chances of Israel us-
ing nuclear weapons is
remote. The feeling is that
such weapons would only be
used in an imminent threat
to the existence of the state.

What will happen after
the crisis?

There will be an interna-
tional conference, an at-
tempt to reach an arrange-
ment for the whole Middle
East, according to Prof.

Israel has been
asked to allow the
U.S. to respond.

Yehoshafat Harkabi, former
chief of Israeli military in-
Israel is strongly opposed
to such a conference, believ-
ing that the world will
"gang up" on her and
pressure her to make ter-
ritorial concessions to the
Palestinians that would
jeopardize Israel's security.
The United Nations recently
voted 144-2 in favor of such a
conference, with only Israel
and the United States in op-
position. Many experts
believe that the United
States would consent to an
international conference.

American officials, led by
Deputy Secretary of State
Lawrence Eagleburger,
went to Israel last weekend
to try to persuade Israeli
leaders to allow the U.S. to
respond to any Iraqi attack
on the Jewish state. But
reports from Israel indicate
that Israeli leaders insisted
on the right to respond-
militarily, if attacked.

Are there flights out of
Israel for anyone who
wants to leave?

According to a spokesman
for El Al Israel Airlines in
New York, flights have been
added to the normal
schedule and seats are
available. One to three
flights leave from Tel Aviv
to New York daily. El Al
added four flights last week.
El Al also flies to Europe.

In the wake of terrorist
threats from Saddam



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