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April 12, 1991 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-04-12

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APRIL 12, 1991 / 28 NISAN 5751

Israelis Doubt Conference
Will Bring Mideast Peace


Assistant Editor

oel Finkelman, a
member of the Israel
Defense Forces, has
often stood on the Golan
Heights and watched the
Israeli troops stationed
there, the tense Syrian
forces nearby.
Now, he tries to imagine
Israel returning the Golan
Heights to Syria —a re-
quirement Hafez el-Assad
has said is necessary before
any peace with Israel. He
considers the Palestinians,
who cheered Iraqi Scud mis-
siles landing in Tel Aviv
during the Golf war. And he
asks, does anyone believe
these parties can negotiate a
peace treaty with Israel?
An international con-
ference on Middle East
peace, to which Israel agreed
earlier this week, "sounds in
theory like a good idea," said
Mr. Finkelman, formerly of
Oak Park. But making it a
reality is a different story.
For a conference to be suc-
cessful, Syria, Jordan, Egypt


and Saudi Arabia must par-
ticipate, Mr. Finkelman
"To get Syria to sit down
at the table would be
difficult," he said. "To get
Syria to seriously discuss
issues would be next to im-
Former Detroiter Sharona
Kotzen, who now lives in
Jerusalem, said she is pleas-
ed that Israel had made a
move toward peace by an-
nouncing it would join an
international conference.
But she expressed doubt
that either Israel or Syria
would come with an open
mind to the negotiating
table. Neither, she said, are
willing to relinquish the
Golan Heights.
"We've seen the Syrian
army shooting at the kibbut-
zim," she said. "We know we
need the Golan Heights."
"It's a good sign," Dr. Leon
Warshay, president of the
Detroit Zionist Federation,
said of Israel's announce-
ment. "But I don't hold out
hope for anything happen-
ing. I think there's going to

be a stalemate for a long
Among the issues that will
be next-to-impossible to
solve are the Golan Heights,
the establishment of a Pales-
tinian state and the status of
Jerusalem, he said.
Israel's announcement
that it would participate in a
one-time conference, to be
convened by the United
States and the Soviet Union
and followed by direct talks
between Israel and the Arab
nations, came on the heels of
talks between Israel and
U.S. Secretary of State
James Baker.
Mr. Baker is in the Middle
East to discuss possible
peace negotiations with
Israeli and Arab leaders. He
also is meeting with Palesti-
nians in the West Bank.
Though Israel's Foreign
Minister David Levy said
Israel and the United States
agree on all points for con-
vening the international
conference, a senior U.S. of-
ficial who briefed reporters
said the United States and

Continued on Page page 18



tinv er

It's not always easy,
but most Downriver Jews
wouldn't live
anywhere else.


The Oakland Hills Office Building.

JWF Considering
Bloomfield Site


Staff Writer

he executive com-
mittee of the Jewish
Welfare Federation of
Detroit and the board of
United Jewish Charities
voted unanimously Tuesday
to move the bulk of Federa-
tion offices from the Butzel
Building in downtown
Detroit to a site in Bloom-
field Township.
The property now under
negotiation is the Oakland
Hills Office Building, a
beige, three-story structure
on Telegraph Road south of
Maple Road.
A final decision will be
made by Federation's board
of governors on April 19, ac-
cording to Federation Exec-
utive Vice President Bob
"One of the most attrac-
tive aspects of the Oakland
Hills building is the fact that
it's an existing building, re-
quiring little renovation,
and won't impose extra fi-
nancial burden on the Jew-
ish community," Mr. Aron-
son said.
"We've been planning to
move closer to the heart of
the Jewish community for a
long time," he said. "We've
just been waiting until we
found the most efficient and
effective means possible!'
The Butzel Building at 163
Madison would probably be
sold, said Federation Presi-
dent Mark Schlussel, but that
has not yet been decided.

If the Federation moves to
the Oakland Hills building, it
probably won't be before the
fall, said Mr. Schlussel. He
said the Federation will like-
ly occupy the first two floors
and some of the third.
There are about 20 busi-
nesses currently occupying
space on the first two floors
of the building. Tenants like
Drs. Richard Feldstein and
Harvey Rosenberg said the
building has been about 40
percent empty for the last 18
months. While they have not
been officially notified by
the landlord, they say there
have been strong rumors
floating about a Federation
"We've been here for 10
years, and up until now have
signed two five-year leases,"
Dr. Feldstein said. "Now,
we're on a month-to-month
The Jewish Community
Council, which has shared
office space with the Jewish
Welfare Federation for
almost 30 years, is awaiting
word from its strategic plan-
ning committee before mak-
ing any decisions regarding
its future.
David Gad-Harf, president
of the Jewish Community
Council, said the committee
was formed last winter to
study several long-range
issues, including moving
away from downtown
"If the Federation moves
to the suburbs, we'll have to

Continued on Page 19

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