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September 20, 1991 - Image 6

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

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The Swirling Politics
Of Loan Guarantees

First, a definition. The loan guarantee
Israel is seeking does not mean U.S. tax
dollars will be loaned to Israel.
Guarantees are simply guarantees,
nothing more. Israel needs $10 billion, and
it has approached institutions based in the
United States for the money. By approving
the loan guarantees, the U.S. government
would qualify Israel for a better interest
rate and commit to paying the funds back if
Israel did not. But the chances of Israel
failing to repay are virtually non-existent.
Israel's track record on paybacks is im-
maculate, so the guarantee is seen as a
President Bush and his counselors, Sec-
retary of State James Baker and White
House Chief of Staff John Sununu, want to
postpone for 120 days any decision on the
loan guarantee. What is going on here?
This is the same government that excused
billions of dollars of loan debt for Egypt be-
cause of Egypt's cooperation in Operation
Desert Storm. _
We wonder what direction this ad-
ministration is taking in its relationship
with Israel. We wonder what about the
symbolism of the president's hard line? We
have heard Jewish groups, nationally and
locally, express everything from concilia-
tion with the president to rage at his pro-
What we wish is two-fold. First, we hope
that this is not, as one Knesset member
said, "the darkest period in 40 years of
Israel-U.S. relations."
We also want the president to under-
stand that his or Mr. Baker's or Mr.
Sununu's idea that the loan guarantee will
upset the peace conference apple cart is un-
founded. None of the Arab countries to our
knowledge has made the loan guarantees
an issue. If anything,_ the United States
should grant the loan to make it absolutely
clear to the Arab nations that when it
comes to the bottom line — and we're not
talking just Money' — Israel is its only
rooted-without-condition ally.
The administration acts in a peculiar
fashion. It denies Israel special friendly

aircraft codes, then delivers Patriot missile
systems to Israel. The president takes
credit for the latter, but doesn't mention
the former in his now-famous press con-
ference last week.
At times, Mr. Baker et al. have bypassed
Israel in shuttle trips while in the Middle
East. Then there are the times they arrive
in Jerusalem with demands.
Yes, Israel is a country that still relies on
billions of dollars of American aid. While
this is the situation, Israel will be faced
with the changing inclinations of differing
We suggest that Israel do whatever it
takes to rid itself of its dependency on the
United States. Wouldn't it be great if Israel
could act without having to put up with the
Bakers and Sununus of this world?
At the Council of Jewish Federations'
General Assembly last November, a
plenary session focused on the future in-
dustrialization of Israel. But what came
out of that session was not entirely con-
clusive, only that Israel had an insurmoun-
table job ahead if it was to change its econ-
We've published stories about how Israel
is a third-world nation when it comes to its
national medical system. We've written
stories about the need for industrialization.
We've also written about Israel's high-tech
defense forces, perhaps with the world's
most efficient air force. -
With hundreds of thousands of new im-
migrants coming to Israel, it's time for
Israel to change its economy. It's time to
heavily recruit industry from all over the
world, to provide jobs and to revamp this
economy away from socialism into capi-
talism. It's time for Israel to move from
dependency on the United States toward
Israel needs to be in a position to tell the
United States that it doesn't need the
money anymore. Then Israel won't find
itself in the position of being pressured or
humiliated by a president and his staff who
are supposedly on its side.

Dry Bones







The U.S., Soviets,
Israel and 'Peace'

Given the turmoil in
Russia, its cruel history of
pogroms, its biased support of
Arab countries, its refusal to
establish diplomatic contacts
with Israel, the open sale of
anti-Jewish propoganda on
the streets of Moscow and,
particularly, in the Ukraine,
the question constantly arises
of why the Bush administra-
tion insists on the Russian
cosponsorship of this alleged
Middle East "peace"
I believe the answer lies in
George Bush's personal feel-.
ings of hostility to Israel and
to Prime Minister Shamir
and his goal, at the con-
ference, to use the promise of
aid to command the Soviets to
do the coercive and
malevolent acts to Israel that
Bush really wants to do
As an illustration, consider
the administration's black-
mailing delay on the loan
guarantees until it sees how
Israel will "behave" during
the conference — not how
Syria, the country club haven
for all serious terrorists, will
"behave," just Israel. Such

Abe Medwed






Bush, GOP's
flue Colors

To those among the Jewish
community who tout the vir-
tues of the Republican Party
and their insistence that it is
"best" for Israel, how do you
feel about President Bush's
delay of the loan guarantee
needed so desperately by
Does it really have to be
pointed out that without a
Jimmy Carter Israel would


have Egypt on its back as well
as other Arab states?
It was a Ronald Reagan
who went to Bitburg. It is now
another Republican who is
kowtowing to the Arabs
under pressure from James
Baker. All of this despite the
fact that they approved and
urged emigration from Russia
to Israel and now are refusing
or delaying in the assistance
Israel needs to support those
Do the Max Fishers of our
community concern them-
selves mainly with Israel like
their pronouncements or do
reduced income taxes, lower
inheritance taxes and the
possibility of a cut in Capital
gains taxes have some bear-
ing on their strong support of
the Republican Party?

Eve Garvin

AIDS Quilt

I would like to thank The
Jewish News for running the
article (Sept. 13) concerning
the AIDS Quilt to be
displayed at the Maple-Drake
JCC on Dec. 1-14. The
Michigan Jewish Aids Coali-
tion (MJAC) arranged this
display but needs financial
help and active support from
the entire Jewish community.
MJAC is a broad coalition of
Jewish organizations. It is not
based at Temple Israel as
stated in the article. Temple
Israel has provided generous
support in the form of clerical
help and meeting space. But
MJAC is a true coalition of
temples, synagogues and
community organizations
providing a unified Jewish
response to the growing AIDS
Anyone wishing to make

Continued on Page 30

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