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November 29, 1991 - Image 60

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-11-29

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

NEWS

HOW MUCH
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BUY HUGO BOSS
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IN SOUTHFIELD?

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C. 20% SMARTER

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60

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FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 1991

CLASSIFIED
GET RESULTS!

Call The Jewish News

354-5959

Egyptian Wins Slot
As U.N. Secretary

United Nations (JTA) —
The selection of Boutros
Ghali to be the next U.N.
Secretary General has led
to expressions of concern
from Jewish organizational
officials.
Mr. Ghali will be the first
Arab to assume the post, if,
as expected, his vote of con-
fidence in the Security
Council is ratified in the
General Assembly.
In addition to concern that
the Egyptian Deputy Prime
Minister for Foreign Affairs
may have difficulties play-
ing an impartial role in
mediating the Arab-Israeli
dispute, the Jewish
observers take strong excep-
tion to his lead role in oppos-
ing repeal of U.N. resolution
3379, equating Zionism with
racism.
And the fact that he is a
member of Egypt's Christian
Copt sect, and that his wife
was born Jewish, has been
interpreted by some as giv-
ing him even more incentive
to demonstrate his corn-
mittment to the Arab line.
"The test will come in
whether he will support the
repeal," said Malcolm
Hoenlein, executive director
of the Conference of Presi-
dents of Major American
Jewish Organizations.
"He ought to proclaim, as
did Javier Perez de Cuellar,
his intent to support the
effort to repeal," said Mr.
Hoenlein.
De Cuellar will conclude
his second five-year term as
secretary general December
31, having chosen not to
seek reelection.
Mr. Ghali was born in
1922 to a family with a
strong tradition of govern-
ment service. He earned a
law degree at Cairo Univer-
sity and was a Fulbright
fellow at Columbia.
He met his wife Leah
Nadlar, the daughter of
Romanian Jews, while earn-
ing a doctorate in interna-
tional law in Paris. She later
converted to Christianity.
Mr. Ghali taught interna-
tional law at Cairo Univer-
sity for 30 years, heading its
political science department
when he was tapped by An-
war Sadat to join the Egyp-
tian cabinet in 1977.
Three weeks later Mr.
Ghali accompanied Sadat on
his flight to Jerusalem.
Before that visit, Mr.
Ghali did some research on
Israeli Foreign Minister
Moshe Dayan, whom he
knew he would be spending
time with. Mr. Dayan's in-

terest in archaeology was
legend, and Mr. Ghali
brushed up on the field to
make small talk.
As recounted in a recent
profile of Mr. Ghali in the
Israeli daily Yediot
Achronot, the Egyptian min-
ister waited for Mr. Dayan to
start the conversation dur-
ing the ride from the airport.
Finally, Mr. Ghali began.
"I understand we have a
common interest," he said.
"Yes, I know that hobby
very well," replied Mr.
Dayan. "We both have
blond, Jewish wives."
After the visit, Mr. Ghali
remained intimately in-
volved in the peace process,
through the Camp David
talks and the signing of the
peace treaty.
And it is Mr. Ghali who is
credited with coining the
phrase "cold peace" to de-
scribe Egypt's relations with
Israel, which, since the out-
break of the Lebanon war in
1982, never reached the
level of full normalization
called for at Camp David.
Mr. Ghali has kept the Pa-
lestinian problem high on
his public agenda with the
Israelis, leading some in
Jerusalem to dub him "the
bad man," even as this year
he hosted Likud foreign
Minister David Levy and a
coterie of junior Likud
Knesset members.
But Egypt's fundamenta-
list, and anti-Israel, opposi-
tion press likes him less.
"In the office of the U.N.
Secretary General your
loyalties and obligations to
your homeland vanish," he
assured Yediot. "And on the
Israeli issue, it's definitely
possible that I can improve
the ties between Israel and
the U.N. From my position
the past 14 years, I recognize
well the problem of the Mid-
dle East."
Mr. Ghali's role at Camp
David puts him at odds with
past U.N. sentiment; the
General Assembly has con-
demned the Egyptian-
Israeli accords.
In remains to be seen how
the presence of an Egyptian
secretary general —
together with a Saudi in the
more ceremonial role of pres-
ident of the General
Assembly — will affect the
U.N.'s response to the cur-
rent peace process, in which
both countries are playing
an active role.
As Secretary General,
Ghali would be responsible
for U.N. forces in Lebanon
and on the Syrian border.

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