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September 27, 1991 - Image 32

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-09-27

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Newspapers Divided
On Loan To Israel


Special to The Jewish News

resident Bush's re-
quest that Congress
delay voting on $10
billion in loan guarantees
for Israel has divided the
press as much as everyone
The New York Post had
perhaps the most anti-Bush
editorial on the fracas. The
paper declared that Mr.
Bush had intended "to stage
a head-on confrontation with
Israel at this very juncture"
of just a few weeks before a
possible Middle East peace
"From the standpoint of
fundamental American in-
terests," stated the tabloid,
"the administration's ap-
proach seems decidedly
misguided. Its moral
implications speak for them-
selves. We can only hope the
president reconsiders this
new policy — before the
rhetoric gets so explosive it
becomes difficult to turn
By demanding that Israel
freeze new settlements on
the West Bank and telling
Syria that Washington
backs its demand to regain
the Golan Heights, "it's
difficult to avoid wondering
whether the conference itself
isn't something of a sham."
The Post speculated that
Mr. Bush is giving Israel "a
taste of what life would be
like if the White House
decided to treat her as an
adversary." And it wondered
whether Mr. Bush "means to
persuade Americans that
authoritarian Arab states —
many of which continue to


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sponsor terrorism — are
likely allies?"
New York Times columnist
A.M. Rosenthal was outrag-
ed that the president's de-
termination to put "a price
on guarantees for Soviet
Jews . . . implies a confron-
tation with the purpose of
Israeli existence, a purpose
anathema to its enemies: the
open door and a place in
society for any Jew, from
anywhere, eternally."
But Times editorial
writers were convinced that
delaying action on the loan
guarantees was in the "best
interests" of both Americo
and Israel because it makes
"a successful peace con-
ference" the president's "top
Middle East priority.

"From the
standpoint of
interests, the
approach seems

"Soviet Jews are not really
the issue here," stated the
Times. "The U.S. and
western Europe, which
pressed long and hard for the
right of these Jews to
emigrate, recognize an
obligation to help Israel ab-
sorb them. The four-month
delay Mr. Bush seeks would
not jeopardize continued
immigration . . . The
showdown is really about
the Shamir government's
policy of rapidly and pro-
vocatively expanding Jewish
settlements . . ."

Special Is Flawed

"A Line in the Sand: What
Did America Win?," an
hour-long ABC news special
on Sept. 12 assessing U.S.
gains from the Persian Gulf
War, was an ambitious —
but flawed — venture.
Hosted by ABC anchor
Peter Jennings, the program
showed rare videotapes of
Iraqi officers refusing to co-
operate with a UN arms in-
spection team, incriminated
western nations for their
arms sales to the Mideast
since the war, and portrayed
George Bush as a myopic
global visionary much in
need of an eye doctor.

But four minutes in par-
ticular made John
Lawrence's otherwise enter-
prising segment on Israeli-
Palestinian tensions
suspect. This portion of Mr.
Lawrence's report began
with a West Bank settler's
overtly racist diatribe about
"your average idiot Arab"
who allegedly can't count
and spends 12 mind-
numbing hours each day
cutting wheat in his fields
with a scythe.
Mr. Lawrence then cut to a
rather elegant and mild-
mannered Palestinian
leader who said she refuses

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