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November 13, 1992 - Image 116

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-11-13

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

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them to the front line to keep
the police at bay.
It, therefore, naturally
seemed that there was a
hidden agenda to the pro-
tests, something that would
prompt the settlers to con-
sciously place their young in
jeopardy — and it's not
difficult to guess what that
is.
In the oft-noted symmetry
between Arab and Jewish
extremists in this region,
both want precisely the
same thing: to have it all —
be it all of Eretz Yisrael or
all of Palestine. And to that
end, one means of weaken-
ing the forces of compromise
is as good as another.
So it was easy for Mr.
Rabin to dismiss last week's
demonstrations as a
"legitimate" (as he later
allowed) but pointless tactic
of his political foes. Yet the
fact remains that the prime
minister is saddled by a
"read-my-lips" type of cam-
paign promise on which he
cannot deliver.
Mr. Rabin led his coun-
trymen to believe that a
Labor government would

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page 115

enhance their personal
security by finally moving
the region toward a political
settlement.
Now, paradoxically, it
turns out now that just the
opposite is true: the closer
the sides come to reaching a
compromise, the worse the
violence is likely to get in a
die-hard effort to foil it. Last
week the military com-
mander of the West Bank,
Brigadier General Moshe
Ya'alon, went so far as to
predict that political
violence would continue in
the territories even after an
agreement had been reach-
ed, for "there will always be
someone who feels that the
peace settlement is not to his
liking."
Thus the lesson that is
only slowly, and very pain-
fully, beginning to dawn on
Israelis is a bitter one. Not
only are they going to have
to pay a territorial price for
making peace (and probably
close to what they would
have paid 25 years back), but
no matter what an extra
human cost may well be
tacked on.



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Israeli Measures
To Boost Economy

Jerusalem (JTA) — In mea-
sures designed to stabilize
the economy and create new
jobs, the Israeli government
this week devalued the
shekel slightly and ordered a
1 percent decrease in the
value-added tax.
A gradual four-year reduc-
tion in the tax on corpora-
tions was also announced by
Finance Minister Avraham
Shohat and Bank of Israel
Governor Jacob Frenkel.
The value-added tax was
cut from 18 to 17 percent.
The measures represent
what economists believe to
be a sounder response to
growing unemployment
than the large-scale public
works programs urged even
from inside the government.
The government is seeking
to increase profitability of
exporters by decreasing
taxes and giving them more
shekels for their dollars.
This, in theory, should help
create more jobs.
Devaluation was achieved
by raising the "medium
exchange rate" of the shekel
vis-a-vis the basket of inter-
national currencies by 3 per-
cent.

The basket is a measuring
unit, determined by the
Bank of Israel, that includes
all major currencies. The
"medium rate" is a fixed
exchange rate that the cen-
tral bank is authorized to
fluctuate up or down by 5
percent. The medium rate
rose vis-a-vis the basket
from 2.8632 to 2.9250.
This does not necessarily
mean an immediate
devaluation, since the
exchange rate can go down 5
percent, as well as up.
However, by this week the
shekel was already devalued
by 0.5 percent.
All major economic sectors
welcomed the new measures.
The Histadrut labor federa-
tion promised to be flexible
when the agreements on
cost-of-living increases are
renewed early next year.
The business sector said the
government was taking the
high road toward combat-
ting unemployment and
securing economic stability.
But opposition politicians
were critical. Likud Knesset
member Dan Tichon de-
scribed the measures as "too
little and too late."

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