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November 01, 1991 - Image 38

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-11-01

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

INSIDE WASHINGTON

Where our doors
are only a short
distance from yours.

JAMES D. BESSER

Washington Correspondent

The White House
Looks The Other Way

I

srael supporters were
relieved that the ad-
ministration, in the in-
terests of holding together
the peace conference in
Madrid, had chosen not to
impose sanctions on Israel
for allowing the export of
sensitive missile technology
to South Africa.
Nobody — least of all the
administration — was happy
with the timing of the leak,
which threatened to add a
new roadblock to the already
complex Middle East peace
talks.
But several congressional
sources indicated that for

Israel's supporters, at least,
there was a measure of
reassurance in the ad-
ministration's hands-off
policy.
"Look, the administration
has chosen to look the other
way on a host of abuses by
the Syrians — including
their refusal to participate
in the regional talks," said
an aide to a Jewish legis-
lator. "We were getting con-
cerned that in the ad-
ministration's carrot and
stick approach, the Arabs
were getting all the carrots
— and all Israel was getting
was the stick."

Mixed Feelings On
1991 Civil Rights Bill

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38

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 1991

For many months, Jewish
groups have played an im-
portant role in promoting
the Civil Rights Act of 1991,
and helping steer the
legislation around ad-
ministration charges that it
was a "quota bill."
But in the end, Jewish
groups — and represent-
atives of just about every
other minority affected by
the legislation — were
shunted to the side as the
'administration and Con-
gress turned to back room
political negotiations to
hammer out a compromise
that seemed remarkably
similar to versions of the
measure that the White
House had previously re-
jected.
Officially, Jewish groups
expressed cautious satisfac-
tion at the compromise mea-
sure.
"It lays a foundation in
law for equal opportunity,"

said Judy Golub, legislative
director for the American
Jewish Committee. "It's a
necessary first step; this bill
would have died a long time
ago if not for the coalition
that pushed so hard for it."
Unofficially, there was
more ambivalence about the
compromise.
"It's a foot in the door and
a slap in the face," said the
Washington representative
for one Jewish group. "It
does address several of the
Supreme Court cases that
the bill was designed to ad-
dress; it does establish
damages for the first time
for victims of discrimination
under Title Seven."
But, this source noted, the
bill provides only partial
redress for victims of sexual
harassment and other forms
of gender discrimination,
something womens' organ-
izations hope to address in a
separate bill.

How B'nai B'rith
Hosted Vaclav Havel

How did B'nai B'rith
International snare the
visiting head of the Czech
and Slovak Republic?
President Vaclav Havel
was the most sought after
man in Washington during
his visit to the capital last
week. Several Jewish groups
had sought to honor the
visiting leader; officials at
the U.S. Holocaust
Memorial Museum had
hoped the Czech leader
would pay a visit to the
facility, now under construc-
tion.
But in the end, it was

B'nai B'rith who landed Mr..
Havel, the former
playwright and dissident.
`13asically, all we did was
ask," said Kent Schiner, the
group's president. Mr.
Schiner was part of a B'nai
B'rith delegation visiting
Prague last January. "We
told him we would like to
present him with our award.
When they announced the
schedule for his visit, we
learned that he had ac-
cepted."
The result was a hastily
arranged dinner last
Wednesday at which the

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