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June 07, 1991 - Image 30

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-06-07

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

BACKGROUND

Pearls!

Mixed Message

Continued from preceding page

limitation regime when its
essential precondition —
peace — is still just a mirage
on the Middle Eastern hor-
izon.
It is, they say, totally
unrealistic for Washington
to seek agreement on arms
control in the absence of a
political settlement, par-
ticularly when suspicion and
distrust remain as deep, as
persistent and as intractable
as they ever were.

For the month of
June all cultured
and fresh water
pearls are specially
priced at Robert
Alexander Jewelers.

Many of our cultured
pearls are strung with
hidden clasps, making
multiple lengths possible. For
example, a 36" strand can
be broken up into a 7 , 1 ' 16,"
18',' 24'; 29" and double
strand 18'.' We have a large
selection of pearls in all
sizes, qualities and prices
from $25.00 to $90,000.00.

The pervasive Israeli at-
titude was summed up by
one political source in
Jerusalem who told me that
the proposal "represents yet
another triumph of American
optimism over regional reali-
ty."
The best explanation
available in Jerusalem is
that the Bush initiative on
arms control, like the Baker
initiative on the peace pro-
cess, indicates that the Gulf
war experience has raised
unrealistic expectations in
Washington about the
readiness of the protagonists
for a settlement of the Arab-
Israeli conflict.
Despite 10 weeks of in-
tense activity, noted the
source, the shuttle diploma-
cy by Secretary Baker had
produced no more than
minor procedural conces-
sions which came nowhere
close to bridging the gap

between the parties.
Whatever carrots and
sticks President Bush holds
out, it is doubtful that he
will succeed in persuading
Israel to freeze its nuclear
program as long as war re-
mains the dominant motif of
Arab-Israeli relations and
the balance of conventional
weapons remains heavily
weighted in the Arabs'
favor.
One positive course Wash-
ington might pursue is to
channel its enthusiasm for
arms limitation in the direc-
tion of a unilateral weapons
freeze by suppliers, with or
without a political set-
tlement to the Arab-Israeli
conflict.
Jerusalem, of course,
would be a major casualty if
such a freeze were to be im-
posed. But then again, as
Israelis never tire of re-
peating, in the world of dip-
lomatic posturing, talk is
cheap.
Or, in the words of a slogan
posted prominently in an of-
fice at the Foreign Ministry
in Jerusalem: "A diplomat is
a person who can tell you to
go to hell in such a way as to
make you look forward to
the trip."
Israel's diplomats are
sincerely hoping they will
not be invited to visit exotic
places in the foreseeable
future. ❑

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20

PRIMY .1111\1P 7 1QC11

How realistic is the pro-
posal by President Bush
for limiting the prolifera-
tion of weapons in the
Middle East?
Military analysts note
cynically that the pro-
posal came only after
Washington had received
orders for some $18
billion worth of arms from
Middle East customers
since the end of the Gulf
War.
The president has called
a meeting of the five per-
manent members of the
UN Security Council, who
collectively account for 85
percent of the interna-
tional arms trade, and the
cynical analysts believe
that any such meeting is
more likely to discuss how
to divide up the rich
market than how to limit
sales.
Kuwaiti secretary of the
Gulf-Cooperation Council
Abdullah Bishara, they
say, put it most succinctly
when he declared that
"cash on the barrel will
decide who gets arms."
Saudi Arabia, which

last year overtook India
as the largest Third
World arms purchaser,
this year allocated some
$20 billion for fresh ac-
quisitions.
The silence from Cairo
about Secretary Cheney's
announcement of addi-
tional military support for
Israel is considered to be
not unconnected with a
U.S. package for Egypt
involving 46 F-16s, 80 air-
to-ground missiles, 48
glide bombs, 240 cluster
bombs and 2,000 bombs of
over 1,000 pounds.
Syria, too, is spending
heavily on weapons once
again after receiving a $2
billion windfall from the
Gulf states as a reward for
its participation in the
alliance against Iraq.
Iran has also embarked
on a military spending
spree, while three Gulf
states — Kuwait, Oman
and the United Arab
Emirates —are reported
to be investing in the
most sophisticated
weaponry in the Western
arsenals. ❑

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