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August 21, 1992 - Image 20

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-08-21

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

I POLITICS I

1992 Summer Close-Out Sale!

Jewish Delegates
Storm GOP Convention

KIMBERLY LIFTON

Staff Writer

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or Andrea Fischer, one

of two Jewish dele-
gates from Michigan at
the Republican National
Convention, Houston this
week is "a political junkie's
dream."
"I'm having a ball," she
said from her room at the
Sheraton Crown Hotel,
where she was lodged among
72 delegates, 72 alternates
and a host of spouses and
friends from Michigan.
This is Ms. Fischer's first
time as a delegate for the
GOP. She has worked on
staff at previous conven-
tions, but she never was able
to attend every session.
"I'm mesmerized," Ms.
Fischer said.
The convention featured
events for Jewish represent-
atives, who appear to be pre-
sent in record numbers.
GOP officials estimate
that 2-3 percent of the
2,000-plus delegates were
Jewish. Max Fisher was the
other Jewish delegate from
Michigan.
On Monday night, the
American Israel Public Af-
fairs Committee (AIPAC),
the only registered pro-
Israel lobby in Washington,
hosted a reception featuring
Vice President Dan Quayle,
who spoke about the impor-
tance of the U.S.-Israel rela-
tionship. His speech was
interrupted by a heckler,
outspoken New York ac-
tivist Rabbi Avi Weiss.
Rabbi Weiss, an invited
guest, wouldn't stop criticiz-
ing President George Bush,
and he was escorted off of the
premises by security guards.
The National Jewish Co-
alition, a GOP think-tank,
sponsored several events at
the convention. On Tuesday,
the Coalition honored Mr.
Quayle and paid tribute to
Mr. Fisher, a close friend of
Mr. Bush and previous GOP
administrations.
Jewish activists were
working the floor of the con-
vention, many of whom were
trading buttons printed by
AIPAC, stating, "I am a pro-
Israel Republican."
"These were the hottest
items around," said Oakland
County Republican Chair-
man Jim Alexander, a con-
vention alternate, who is the
first Jewish GOP chair from
the county. "There are a lot
of pro-Israel Republicans. It
is a nice feeling."
Throughout the week,

Jewish organizational
presence wasn't expected to r'j
be as great as it was in New
York last month during the c-s"
Democratic Party's national
convention. Some Jewish
observers suggested that Mr.
Bush's widely reported prob-
lems with the Jewish com-
munity over his dealings
with Israel contributed in
part to the low-key de-
meanor.
Still, representatives from
the Union of Orthodox Jew-
ish Congregations of
America, the American Jew-
ish Committee, the Anti-,
Defamation League, the Na-
tional Conference on Soviet -
Jewry and the Zionist
Organization of America
were busy promoting their
respective agendas.
Detroit ZOA leaders were °
urging the convention to ac-
knowledge Jerusalem as the
"undivided capital of the
State of Israel" and to

"There are a lot of
pro-Israel
Republicans. It is a
nice feeling."

Jim Alexander

"legitimize Jewish presence
in all parts of the land of
Israel."
In a statement addressed'
to the Republican Platform
Committee in Houston, ZOA
District President Anne
Gonte Silver, national board
members Sidney Silverman
and board member Dr. Leon
Warshay, also praised Mr.,
Bush for approving the
delayed $10 billion loan
guarantees for Israel for the
absorption of Soviet Jews.
Aside from Michigan's few c:
Jewish delegates and one
alternate, Houston became„
home for a few days to Paul
and Marlene Borman, who '1=
have been active in the Jew-
ish and Republican corn- (I
munities; Edward C. Levy,
Jr., the former national pres-
ident of AIPAC who is close
to the current administra-
tion; former Southfield City
Council Member and Gov.
John Engler appointee
Denise Alexander, who re-
cently accepted a job in
Washington working for
Secretary Jack Kemp; and
former Circuit Court Judge
Alice Gilbert, who just made
an unsuccessful bid for Con-
gress. j
Mr. Alexander said he felt E ,
good about the convention.
The mood is higher than it
was in 1988, he said.



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