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September 20, 1991 - Image 1

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-09-20

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

THE JEWISH NEWS

SERVING DETROIT'S JEWISH COMMUNITY

SEVENTY-FIVE CENTS

Guarantee Battle Widens
Rift Between Israel, U.S.

CLOSE-UP

ELIZABETH APPLEBAUM

Assistant Editor

B

S Ho

WHERE THERE'S

THERID
E'S

ernard Epel had
never seen anything
like it.
A Knesset member stood
up last week in Israel's
Parliament and delivered
these words: "Let's do
without the loan guar-
antees."
The speaker's comments
are representative of many
Israelis angered by what
they consider President
George Bush's jockeying for
power and his decision to
make a political issue out of
humanitarian needs, said

Dr. Epel, a former Detroiter
who now lives in Herzliya.
Faced with the option of giv-
ing in to U.S. pressure or do-
ing without American loan
support, Israelis will opt for
the latter, he said.
"There was a survey in the
paper today (Tuesday) ask-
ing whether people would be
willing to take a reduction in
salaries to make up for the
loss of the $10 billion," he
said. "More than 50 percent
are ready for salary cuts.
"But we're not ready to
give in to Bush's demands,
and everyone knows that's
what this is all about. If need
be, we'll make do without."

Earlier this month, Presi-
dent Bush asked Congress to
delay for 120 days the vote
on a $10 billion U.S. loan
guarantee to Israel. Israel is
requesting the funds, to be
provided by American
banks, for resettling new
immigrants. The President
said that approving the loan
guarantee at this time might
hinder Middle East peace
talks planned for next mon-
th.
President Bush has been
adamant about delaying the
vote, saying in a press con-
ference last week, "For the
first time in history, the vi-

Continued on Page 18

Volunteers Tread Warily
In Loan Guarantee Fight

E

Area Jews sell plastic bowls, makeup,
shampoo, vitamins, detergents
and almost anything else
part time and from home.

Page 24

ALSO INSIDE

American investors
are enjoying sweet returns
from Israel stocks.

Page 57

SEPTEMBER 20, 1991 / 12 TISHREI 5752

NOAM M.M. NEUSNER

Staff Writer

L

ocal activists, stung by
President Bush's angry
press conference last
week, said they are not fazed
by the rebuff but will tread
more carefully in their
future efforts.
"We understand we have
to defuse an explosive situa-
tion," said George Mann.
Fourteen Detroiters trav-
eled to Washington, D.C.,
last week, hoping to in-
fluence Congress to support
a $10 billion loan guarantee
for Israel's Soviet absorption
programs. President Bush
preempted debate on the
guarantees by charging that
the loan guarantee would
jeopardize the Mideast peace
process.
In addition, he claimed
"powerful political forces"
were descending on Wash-
ington to oppose his position.
He was referring to vol-
unteers from around the
country who gathered on
behalf of the National Con-
ference on Soviet Jewry, Na-
tional Jewish Community
Relations Advisory Council
and AIPAC, among other
organizations.
The loan guarantees, said
Mr. George Mann, board
member of ZOA and the
American Jewish Com-
mittee, "are too moral to be

Jeannie Weiner

George Mann

boxed into a narrow political
viewpoint like that. It was a
mistake for Bush to take
that perspective."
By receiving the loan
guarantees, Israel would be
able to borrow money from
private banks at advan-
tageous interest rates, and
the United States guar-
antees that the loans will be
repaid. The money, the
Israeli government says,
will be used to resettle
Soviet Jews in Israel. Mr.
Bush objects to the loan
guarantee because he feels
Israel will use the money to
build more settlements in
the disputed territories of
the West Bank, Golan
Heights and Gaza Strip.
"We are simply talking

about the need for Israel to
resettle Soviet Jews," said
Jeannie Weiner, president of
the Detroit Jewish Com-
munity Council.
The lobbyists met with
most of the Michigan con-
gressional delegation, with
varying results. Perhaps the
most important member of
that delegation, Rep. David
Bonior, who is the House
majority whip, was non-
commital.
"Clearly, he had not made
up his mind," said Mr.
Mann, who met with Rep.
Bonior. "He was sympathet-
ic to the president's view
that Israel has to be brought .
to heel and this was the way
to do it." Yet, Rep. Bonior
Continued on Page 22

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