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August 16, 1991 - Image 39

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-08-16

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

DETROIT'S ORIGINAL DISCOUNTER

Levin's

stacle," he said. "You can
decide that anything is an
obstacle. There are some
profound questions involved.
Do Jews have the right to
live anywhere, anyplace, as
a question of principal — or
should they be prohibited
from living in certain places
just because they're Jews or
Israelis? Should we, or
should any enlightened per-
son, agree that Jews must be
excluded from living in any
part of the world just be-
cause they're Jews?"
To his own government, he
reflected the independent-
minded political pragmatism
that has always been his
hallmark in public life;
regardless of the princi-
ples involved, continuing
Israeli settlements activity
will almost certainly jeopar-
dize badly needed aid from
the United States, he warn-
ed.
But to American Jews and
to official Washington, he
tried to minimize the set-
tlements controversy, to
shift the focus to Arab in-
transigence.
"If the Arab states re-ally
cared about the settlements
and about the Palestinians,"
he said, "they would make
some moves to get to the
peace table."

Often, Mr. Shoval is put in
the difficult position of
interpreting what his
government really means —
especially in cases where
Foreign Minister David
Levy says one thing, his
Likud rival Prime Minister
Yitzhak Shamir says some-
thing different.
"It's a matter of deciding
where you put down your
markers," Mr. Shoval said.
"I try — not always suc-
cessfully — to understand
and decide where the inter-
ests and the policies of the
government of Israel as a
whole stand. And I try my
best not to get caught up in
any secondary considera-
tions."

Not so easy to avoid is one
of the emotional dangers of
being an Israeli ambassador
— the fact that the emissary
to Washington often serves
as a kind of punching bag for
the frustrations of American
policy-makers.
Mr. Shoval learned about
this aspect of his job the hard
way in February, when he
spoke out against the ad-
ministration's obvious foot-
dragging in the matter of
$400 million in housing loan
guarantees, promised by
Congress but delayed by an
administration interested in
using the guarantees as a
lever to elicit changes in the

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

39

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