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March 08, 1991 - Image 28

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-03-08

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

WAR'S E N D

Israel's Backers
Seek Clues
To Bush's
Mood

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With attention focused on
settling the Israeli-Arab
conflict, concern mounts
over what route
Washington will take.

JAMES D. BESSER

Washington Correspondent

Does
War's End
Mean Mideast
PEACE?

Special Report

For Israel, the next front
is diplomatic, as
pressure mounts to deal
with the Arabs.

28

FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 1991

W

ill Saddam Hus-
sein's crushing
defeat give rise to a
new cooperative era in
U.S.-Israel relations? Or will
it just lead to another — and
even more dangerous
—round of bickering bet-
ween Washington and
Jerusalem?
With the Persian Gulf war
over, American pro-Israel
forces appear caught bet-
ween the conflicting emo-
tions — jubilation and dread
— that accompany those
vastly different possibilities.
The pro-Israel camp rejoic-
ed over Saddam's defeat and
the abrupt end of the
military threat to Israel pos-
ed by Iraq's once-immense
and well-armed army.
But those who read polit-
ical tea leaves also discern
signs that the Bush ad-
ministration, having flexed
its muscle with such success
in the recent military con-
flict, is ready to do the same
in the diplomatic arena — a
prospect that Israel's Likud
government and the Jewish
state's American supporters
find chilling.
The dizzying succession of
conflicting administration
signals about its plans for
the future of the Middle East
has only added to the uncer-
tainty.
"Everyone is just flapping
around trying to think about
what peace really means,"
said Warren Eisenberg, di-
rector of B'nai B'rith's
International Council. "We
all know it's going to be a

very complex process, and
there are a lot of unknowns.
So it's a very unsettling
period."
But even the optimists see
abundant portents of trou-
ble.
"I am fairly optimistic,"
said Rep. Ben Cardin
(D-Md). "But let me throw in
some reality. This is the
same administration that
led the United Nations in
adopting an outrageous
resolution condemning
Israel for the Temple Mount
incident.
"It is the same administra-
tion that mentioned East
Jerusalem as being
negotiable. It's the same
administration that, against
the advice of Israel, provided
arms to Arab states," said
Mr. Cardin. "So I don't want
to get too optimistic about
the U.S. role in any negotia-
tions we're likely to see."
"The indications are bad,"
added Rep. Charles Schumer
(D-N.Y.). "With Congress
and the people, there is a
renewed feeling of sympathy
for what the Israelis have
gone through. But it's clear
that this does not exist in the
State Department or the Na-
tional Security Council.
"The question is, where
does the President stand?
Things like the Baker-
Bessmertnykh statement
(suggesting linkage between
Kuwait and the occupied
territories) and the criticism
of Ambassador Shoval do not
encourage me."
Pro-Israel activists
celebrated the decision to in-
clude Israel in Secretary of
State James Baker's current
Middle East swing — and,

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