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July 23, 1993 - Image 64

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-07-23

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

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he Clinton administra-
tion's latest failed
effort to revive the
flagging Mideast peace
talks has sparked a new
high-level debate over how
-.-‘1.ch diplomatic and politi-
,.
sho-uld invest in negotia-
tions that seem to be going
nowhere fast. Last week,
peace process coordinator
Dennis Ross and his team
returned from a mission to
the Mideast with little to
report other than the fact
that all parties want to keep
the faltering process going.
The delegation did come
back with hints that Syria's
President Hafez Assad has
something he wants to say
directly to Secretary of
State Warren Christopher.
The announcement that
Mr. Christopher will travel
to Israel, Jordan, Syria and
Egypt early next month
was, in part, a response to
those hints.
But even while making
that announcement, State
Department officials tried to
lower expectations by sug-
gesting that Mr.
Christopher does not antici-
pate any quick break-
throughs.
Mr. Ross' frustrating mis-
sion has renewed talk about
the costs-and-benefits of a
continuing American

emphasis on the talks.
Although State Depart-
ment sources suggest that
pressure is mounting on the
administration to deempha-
size the talks, some of this
noise may be designed to
scare the parties into acticn.
"Some Cliplomatg view the
possibility of redUced U.S.
involvement in the talks as
a tactic to compel the par-
ties to make concessions,"
said Jess Hordes, Washing-
ton director for the Anti-
Defamation League.
"Others may be genuinely
questioning whether there
is enough of a risk-reward
ratio to justify a continuing
American involvement. It's
difficult to tell where this
discussion is heading."
The U.S. team also
returned with concerns
about the tactical disagree-
ments between Prime
Minister Yitzhak Rabin and
Foreign Minister Shimon
Peres. In recent weeks, as
Mr. Peres made it clear that
he favors more Israeli flexi-
bility to satisfy Palestinian
concerns, the prime minis-
ter insisted on a more mea-
sured approach. These dif-
ferences, say State Depart-
ment insiders, could compli-
cate matters as Washington
looks for a formula to break
the current stalemate. ❑

Battling Over Elders

f:times politics is driven
as much by who's on the other
side as by the content of a
particular issue.
That may be the case in
the furious battle over the
nomination of Dr. Joycelyn
1Prs as surgeon general.
groups have
jumpeu
fray, partly
because of Ms. Elders' posi-
tions on such issues as abOr-
tion and AIDS education,
partly because her selection
by President Bill Clinton
has sparked an all-out
assault by the Christian
Right.
Evangelical groups have
called Ms. Elders a "condom
queen" because she advocat-
ed programs to combat
teenage pregnancy and
AIDS while director of the
Arkansas Department of
Health.
"We are impressed by her
outspokenness and willing-
ness to talk about these dif-

LAI

ficult issues," said Mark
Pelavin, the American
Jewish Committee's
Washington representative.
"But another factor is the
need to rise to the challenge
posed by the religious right.
It's important to show that
they do not speak for the
religious community and
that they cannot torpedo
nominees."
Jewish groups are also
eager to deplonstrate that
they are not reluctant to
support black women, a sen-
sitive subject after Jewish
concerns helped scuttle the
nomination of Lani Guinier
as the Justice Department's
chief civil rights enforcer.
But questions have also
surfaced about Ms. Elders'
acceptance of a consulting
fee from the Department of
Health and Human Services
while preparing for her con-
firmation fight even though
she
- till receiving her

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