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January 31, 1992 - Image 34

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-01-31

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

1 BACKGROUND

Loan Guarantees

Continued from preceding page

•GMAC LUXURY SMART LEASE 36 Months. First pymt. plus $475 ref. sec. dep., and plate or transfer due on delivery
4% state tax additional. 36,000 mile limitation. 15' per mile excess charge over limitation. Lessee has option to pur-
chase at lease end for $17,263. To get total pymts. multiply pymt. by 36 months.

Roadside
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OGER RINKE

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COME IN AND SEE THE
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with coupon . . . expires 2/15/92

one per person please
excluding specially priced items, valid at Berkley location only JN

L

34

FRIDAY, JANUARY 31, 1992

highly sensitive issue as
well?
Or what, on a rather more
mundane level, constitutes a
"building start"? Is it the
breaking of ground (which
can be verified by the
satellites monitoring con-
struction in the territories)?
Or does the issuance of a
building permit or the ap-
proval of blueprints by a
planning commission qual-
ify as a "start," as various
officials are now arguing?
More confusing yet is the
flood of conflicting claims on
how just many dwellings are
presently under construction
in the territories. As a rule
the Housing Ministry has
kept mum on this matter,
leaving the field open for an
information war by non-
government bodies.
Just last week the Judea,
Samaria, and Gaza Council
(a settlers' organization) was
trying to play down the
number of building starts
and spoke of 12,000 units
under construction. At the
same time, Peace Now
claimed that 13,650 units
are currently being built
(and cited its astonishing
finding that $2.5 billion had
been invested in the set-
tlements in 1991 alone).
Now each side is reported
to have changed its tack,
with the right inflating the
number of building starts
and the left minimizing
them.
Government figures are no
more illuminating. Last
week one paper quoted a Fi-
nance Ministry figure of
6,435 building starts in the
territories during the first
nine months of 1991. This
week the Housing Ministry
released word that work had
begun on 16,000 units since
April 1991.
Yet there is still no
reliable account of just how
many dwellings are under
construction today — to say
nothing of how many
building starts will be ex-
ecuted before Israel gives
Washington its answer.
Meanwhile, reports from
the field are that the activity
of countless bulldozers is
more feverish than ever.
Ultimately, though, no
amount of obfuscation will
be able to cover the fact that
what Israel faces is really a
Hobson's choice. For if we
are to take the Lifschitz
document seriously — and
not dismiss it, as some set-
tlers recommend, as just
hype cooked up to impress
the Americans — then the
days of serious settlement in
the territories are numbered
whether Israel avails itself
of the guarantees or not.

Put bluntly, the choice for
Mr. Shamir's government is
either to take up the Ameri-
can offer, halt further set-
tlement in the territories,
and concentrate on creating
jobs to absorb the immi-
grants; or forgo the guar-
antees and lead the country
into such dire economic
straits that it will lack the
wherewithal for either new
settlements or new immi-
grants.
On one front, events are
already moving in the latter
direction. According to a re-
cent report, 300,000 immi-

Without the loan
guarantees, Israel
faces a bleak
economic future.

grants were budgeted for in
1991, but only 100,000
arrived because, as one
commentator explained,
"they realize that the Israeli
national effort is aimed in
another direction, and what
awaits them is a life of pov-
erty and hardship."
The more Israelis realize
that they may be headed for
the same, the more the
champions of settlement at
any cost will have to weigh
their own prospects of polit-
ical survival. This is, after
all, an election year. Thus it
would appear that what
must be worked out between
Jerusalem and Washington
now is less a formula to rec-
oncile opposing policies than
a way to help Mr. Shamir
both save Israel from hard-
ship and save face. ❑

NEWS

Lost Archives
In Moscow

Amsterdam (JTA) — The
long-lost archives of Dutch
Jewish institutions seized by
the Nazis during their oc-
cupation of Holland in World
War II have been discovered
in Moscow, where their
return has been promised, it
was reported here.
Anatoly Prokopenko,
deputy chairman of the
Committee for Archives of
the Russian Government,
said he was prepared to
return the entire archival
collections to the Nether-
lands.
They now repose in the so-
called "special archives" es-
tablished in Moscow in 1945
to contain material retrieved
from the Nazis. Originally
stored in Berlin, it was mov-
ed to Poland and
Czechoslovakia in 1943 to
escape Allied bombings.

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