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December 13, 1991 - Image 109

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-12-13

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




Crews Seek
IDF Soldiers

Tel Aviv (JTA) — As
Israelis began drying out
from the worst rainstorm in
40 years, search parties
scoured the drenched coun-
tryside for the bodies of two
soldiers missing since_ their
truck was washed away in a
flash flood.
The Israel Defense Force
identified the missing men
as Sgt. Major Nathan Russo,
38, of Kfar Sava and Cpl.
Amir Shaki, 19, of Ramat
A third soldier, who was
driving, managed to save
himself before the vehicle
plunged into a wadi, a dry
riverbed transformed into a
roaring torrent by four days
of heavy rain.
The searchers did find the
body of a Bedouin shepherd,
about 30, who drowned
while tending his flock in
the same area.
The storm of rain, hail,
thunder, lightning and high
winds that lashed Israel did
considerable damage to
public utilities, especially
the main highways.

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it's time to bury the strate-
gic argument," said Dan
Mariaschin , director of
international and public af-
fairs for B'nai B'rith Inter-
national. "Given the poten-
tial for trouble in the Middle
East — even without the
Soviets — it's even more im-
portant to see Israel as a
strategic ally."
Some have argued that
Israel's enforced quiescence
during the Persian Gulf War
was an indication that the
broader U.S. strategic inter-
ests in the region preclude
any strong military alliance
with the Israelis.
Mr. Mariaschin disagreed
with that assessment. "With
the rise in Islamic fun-
damentalism and the
dangerous proliferation of
nuclear technology
throughout the Middle East,
Israel's role as a strategic
ally may be even more im-
portant," he said.
At the same time, though,
Mr. Mariaschin suggested
that Israel's friends have to
"switch gears" and go back
to the case that Israel and
the U.S. are both
democracies who agree 86
percent of the time in the
United Nations.
"Whether these
arguments work in an era of
hardball geo-politics, we'll
have to see," he conclud-
ed. El


countries. AIPAC spokes-
men still point to the strong
strategic alliance between
the U.S. and Israel on
defense issues.
"The 'strategic asset'
zealots were very dismissive
of the moral and value basis
of the relationship," Mr.
Cohen said. "We should
have focused on the moral
relationship — plus strategic
Now that Israel is no
longer perceived as a critical
bulwark in the global
struggle with the Soviets, he
suggested, the relationship
between the two countries
has been significantly
And going back to a more
traditional definition of the
U.S.-Israeli relationship, he
said, could be hard under
today's altered cir-
cumstances. "Once disem-
bodied, this kind of thing
becomes very hard to put
back together," he said.
0•- "The consequence of televi-
sion coverage of the intifada
have tarnished Israel's
moral standing. The only
way to restore the moral
basis is for Israel to change
U.S. Jews, he said, can
help reclaim the moral high
la ground only if they clearly
pull back from the policies of
the Shamir government. "To
Ism reclaim the moral basis, we
will have to distance
ourselves from those poli-
cies," he said.

But others suggest that
the strategic relationship
concept just needs to be up-
dated to the new realities of
the 1990s.
"It's time for a more real-
istic view of what the strate-
gic relationship is — and an
appreciation of the fact that
it will continue on a realistic
basis," said the Washington
Institute's Marvin

"Most of the things we
talked about are still quite
relevant," he said, noting
that Israel is still a good
place to train U.S. forces,
repair ships, cooperate on
countering terrorism, and as
a base for defense industrial
cooperation. "These are

things that are quite boring
0.. to the average person, but
they're still very much
Regional conflicts, not the
deadly standoff with the
Soviets, will be the strategic
centerpiece of the 1990s, ac-
cording to other analysts;
because of the importance of
Om' the Middle East, Israel can
continue to play a strong
supportive role in U.S. stra-
tegic doctrine.
"I'm not convinced that

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