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August 14, 1992 - Image 1

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-08-14

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

750

Celebrating 50 years of growth with the Detroit Jewish Community

THE JEWISH NEWS

15 AV 5752/AUGUST 14, 1992

oseUp

Will Jews Be Swayed By
Loan Guarantees?

George Bush's change of heart may not heal wounds within
the Jewish community.

KIMBERLY LIPTON STAFF WRITER

Growing Pains

or years, many
considered the
New Israel Fund
one of Jewry's
best-kept secrets.
A small, low-profile organi-
zation that supports civil
rights work and liberal caus-
es in Israel, it comprised
mostly volunteers and sub-
sisted on small donations.
All that is changing. The
New Israel Fund is remaking
its image. It is hiring profes-
sionals and expanding by
five-fold its donor list. It has
taken up new issues and
seen its budget top the $7.2
million mark.
But are the changes worth
it? Early supporters, attract-
ed specifically by the New
Israel Fund's grassroots fo-
cus, feel alienated.
Mainstream Jewish groups
remain skeptical about the
fund; in the words of one
Jewish leader, "I'm just un-
comfortable with them."

Story on page 28

resident George Bush's de-
cision this week to push
through $10 billion in loan
guarantees to Israel will
not help him gain support
among angry American Jews, polit-
ical and community leaders said this
week.
The American Jewish community,
observers said, was mad at the pres-
ident when he refused last
September to guarantee loans to re-
settle Soviet Jews in Israel without
conditions. Although most leaders
view the change of heart as positive,
many — Republicans and Democrats
alike — said too much damage al-
ready is done.
"This is an important positive
step," said U.S. Rep. Sander Levin,
D-Southfield. "But it should have
happened a year ago. The president's
action Tuesday shows how grievous-
ly wrong he was last September

when he criticized the Jewish com-
munity for exercising its American
right to lobby on Capitol Hill for a
position the president himself has
now embraced."
Mr. Bush unveiled his change of
position at a joint press conference
Tuesday with newly elected Israeli
Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who
met with Mr. Bush at his family
compound in Maine. Mr. Bush's
change follows Mr. Rabin's agree-
ment to freeze settlements on the
West Bank and Gaza — something
his predecessor, Yitzhak Shamir, re-
fused to compromise.
But American Jews are still "prin-
cipally angered by the way the pres-
ident has handled the whole issue
since last September," according to
David Gad-Harf, executive director
of the Jewish Community Council of
Metropolitan Detroit.
"President Bush has so many

Religion and Politics

A new Vatican-Israeli commission is expected to bring full
diplomatic relations.

ELIZABETH APPLEBAUM ASSISTANT EDITOR

I

n 1904, Theodor Herzl traveled
to Rome on what he considered
a critical mission. He was
meeting with Pope Pius X,
whose support he hoped to ob-
tain for the Zionist cause. In turn,
Mr. Herzl was prepared to guaran-
tee safeguarding Catholic sites un-
der Jewish control in Israel. "We
should form a Guard of Honor about
these sanctuaries, answering for the
fulfillment of this duty with our ex-
istence," he wrote in Der Judenstaat.
The pope was not interested.
"We cannot be in favor of it," he
told Mr. Herzl. "The Jews have not
recognized our lord; therefore, we
cannot recognize the Jewish people."
Almost 90 years after Mr. Herzl
traveled to Rome and more than 40
years since the establishment of the
State of Israel, the Vatican still
hasn't recognized the Jewish state.
But it appears that is about to

change.
Late last month, the Vatican an-
nounced it had established a per-
manent commission aimed at
normalizing relations with Israel.
Observers regard the decision as
much more than an empty gesture.
"This is real," said American
Jewish Committee Interreligious
Affairs Director Rabbi James Rudin.
"The Vatican is moving to full and
formal diplomatic relations with
Israel."
"It's a very hopeful sign," added
Harvey Weisberg, past president
and board member of Detroit's
Ecumenical Institute for Jewish-
Christian Studies.
The new commission, which held
its first meeting July 27 at the
Vatican, will comprise representa-
tives from Israel and the Holy See
and hold talks in both Jerusalem

VATICAN/page 38

problems with so many groups that
the loan guarantees in and of them-
selves will not save his sinking ship
with the Jewish community," said
Michigan Sen. Carl Levin, a
Democrat.
When Mr. Bush refused to approve
unconditional loan guarantees for
Israel to resettle immigrants from
the former Soviet Union, he said he
was just one man dealing with
hordes of Jewish lobbyists.
"It was more the tenor of his re-
marks that upset the community,"
Mr. Gad-Harf said. "I doubt if that
will ever be erased from their minds.
I think Bush and his advisers un-
derestimated the impact of his state-
ment last September and did some
long-term damage that may not be
mitigated with approval of the loan
guarantees.
"American Jews will take into ac-
count the big picture and will not
vote on one issue alone," Mr. Gad-
Harf said. "The agreement to offer
loans will not significantly shift vot-
ers to his side.
"Everybody anticipated that in the
aftermath of the Israeli election
there would be an agreement before
the November elections," Mr. Gad-
Had said. "Now the United States
and Israel need to get into the nitty-
gritty to see what other strings will

LOAN GUARANTEES/page 32

Inside

RELIGION

ntermarriage
s it possible to meld two

eligions?

age 22

SPORTS

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Meet the only Torah-true race
horse trainer.

age 53

y Choice

Convincing
the skeptics two's
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of necessarily better than one.
p age 94

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