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February 28, 1992 - Image 24

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-02-28

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

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Zuckerman

Continued from Page 22

minister responded, 'Yes,
but the Jews killed Christ.
Why should Jews want to
have a close relationship
with them?' "
Mr. Zuckerman described
the foreign minister as a lit-
erate, intelligent man — un-
til he spoke of Israel and
Jews, "at which point he
went into a level of rage and
prejudice."
The day after the foreign
minister charged that Israel
had started each of the
Israeli-Arab wars, the Wash-
ington Institute contingent
met with Jordan's King
Hussein, "who acknowl-
edged," said Mr. Zuckerm-
an, "that it was the Arabs
who started the 1967 war."
But in Jordan, Islamic
fundamentalist members of
Parliament displayed
"zealotry and intensity" in
predicting a jihad (holy war)
and the recovery of all lands
that had at any time in the
past been ruled by the
Moslems.
The fundamentalists also
asserted that Jews control
America, created Commu-
nism and ran the Soviet
Union before destroying it.
Yet Mr. Zuckerman came
away from the journey
"more hopeful about the
peace process than I was
before." Fostering this op-
timism was Syria's loss of its
military and economic
patron, the Soviet Union;
and Jordan's perception that
Israel can be a buffer bet-
ween itself and Iraq. The
Hashemite Kingdom, he
said, is ruled by some "very
realistic people" who believe
that Israel might bolster the
Hashemite Kingdom's
"vulnerability to both Syria
and Iraq if either should try
to take over Jordan."
Yet, at the same time, Mr.
Zuckerman is highly wary of
Palestinians ("They inhibit
the desires of the Jordanians
in the current Mideast peace
talks because they have a

.

different agenda") and of the
White House of George
Bush, whose policies regar-
ding Israel the columnist
has compared to those of
Neville Chamberlain and
Czechoslovakia in 1938:
"The Bush Administration
takes every occasion to
batter Israel publicly and
resists every occasion to
praise it. The fact that
George Bush never thanked
the Israelis (for not respon-
ding to Iraqi Scud missile at-
tacks) when he spoke to
Congress after the Gulf War
was quite astounding to
them, as is his policy change
on West Bank settlements."
These suspicions do not de-
ter Mr. Zuckerman from
championing his brand of an
Arab-Israeli peace.
"I don't think Israel can —
or should — maintain con-
trol over the lives of so many
Palestinians in the West
Bank," he said, while noting
that Israel took control of
the West Bank in a defen-
sive war in 1967.
The higher ground on the
West Bank should remain in
Israeli hands, he said, while,
in "large areas of the West
Bank where the bulk of the
Arab population lives,
perhaps 70 percent, espe-
cially around Hebron and
Nablus, essentially the Pa-
lestinians should run their
own lives in every way."

But after his trip to the re-
gion, Mr. Zuckerman was
not sure just who would
yield their land to Israel. "I
asked the Syrian foreign
minister whether he shared
Bush's view of territorial
compromise. He said, 'Not
on your life. This doesn't
apply to us. Maybe to the
West Bank, but not to the
Golan Heights.'
"And of course, the Pales-
tinians felt the same way: 'It
might apply to the Golan
Heights, but not to the West
Bank.'

The Image

As a columnist, Mor-
timer Zuckerman knows a
lot about the power of an
image. So his views on the
image of Israel and its
Arab neighbors should be
heeded.
Both, he said, suffer
from image problems.
Israel's, he said, stems
from its knack for
"presenting its case too
often in negative terms
and not in positive
terms."
The Arab states' poor
image is somewhat

ameliorated, he said, by
the historical amnesia of
Americans.
"This country," he said,
"forgets things quickly.
We forget what the Pales-
tinians and the Jorda-
nians did in the Gulf War
alone. They are not
friends of the West in the
sense that we would like
to consider our allies.
Israel is a true ally, yet
this Administration views
it as the enemy and the
Arabs as our friends." ❑
A.J.M.

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