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September 17, 1993 - Image 9

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-09-17

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

A DAY OF PEACE

sional budget cutters. At the
same time, they will work
with the administration to
find ways to finance the
rejuvenation of Gaza and
Jericho, a key element in
making this week's land-
mark agreement work.
"Imagine, AIPAC [the
American Israel Public
Affairs Committee] lobby-
ing for aid to Israel — and
for assistance to this new
administrative entity in
Gaza and Jericho," said one
longtime Washington pro-
Israel activist. "It is a mea-
sure of just how remarkable
this week's events have
been that this is a real pos-
sibility."
But beyond the short-
term demands of supporting
a peace process that
remains extraordinarily
fragile, support will have to
be based less on fear and
more on a broader emotion-
al attachment. It's not going
to be easy. Just as it's a sea
of change in terms of Israel
and the Middle East, it's a
sea of change in American
Jewish life."
The
organizational
impact of the changes in the
Middle East could be com-
pounded by what many
observers see as a decline in

the goal of "pushing Israel
into the sea."
Is such an organization, he
asks, now likely to be satis-
fied with Gaza and Jericho?
"Just think about your
own values — something
for which you would kill
in cold blood, you believe in it
so strongly — then ask
yourself, 'Would that really
change just because a
piece of paper was signed?'
"The whole thing was just
too fast. And the fact that it
was done without bringing it
to the public, without any
voting, should make every-
one wonder."
Mr. Schaefer said Jewish
settlers in Gaza and Jericho
are understandably frustrat-
ed with the Israeli govern-
ment. Both the Likud and
Rabin's Labor Party have
supported the idea of
Greater Israel — namely,
Jewish sovereignty over the
West Bank (Judea and
Samaria) and Gaza. This
has included reduced taxes
and major subsidies to
encourage settlement in the
territories.

anti-Semitism and by
the easing of restric-
tions on Jews in the
former Soviet Union.
"For too long, the
dynamics of Jewish
life in this country
were fueled by the
idea that Jews were
threatened in Israel
and the Soviet Union,
and in this country by
anti-Semitism," said
Mr. Siegman.
"That will no
longer animate
Jewish organizational
life. That's all to the
good — but it's going
to be difficult for us to
turn our attention to
the substance of
American Jewish Steve Grossman with Rabin
"An explosion in Investment."
existence. We have to
work at giving Jewish life
a revolution that Jewish
nomic progress in that part
an integrity that is not
leaders hope will keep pro-
of the world, in which Israel
dependent on the tragic and
Israel activity strong in this
will be at the center of the
vulnerable situation of
country.
board. AIPAC is going to
Jewish communities else-
"It will be a tremendously
play a very active role in
where."
exciting period," said Steve
that."
The prospect of change
Grossman, president of
Another theme in the
has forced Jewish groups to
AIPAC. "We face the
readjustment process is the
think more seriously about
prospect of an explosion in
search for new ways to rein-
a very different kind of
investment in the entire
force the complex connec-
future. One emerging theme
region by both public and
tion between Israelis and
of that re-evaluation process
private entities. If these
diaspora Jews.
is the idea that the prospect
changes in the peace process
"These two communities
of peace will ignite an eco-
become reality, you're going
have been drifting apart
nomic revolution in Israel —
to see unprecedented eco-
almost inexorably," said

-

Yet the key issue, Mr.
Schaefer and Mr. Herczeg
agree, is not really giving up
the territory but the manner
in which it was done.
Israel took control of Gaza
in the 1967 Six-Day War,
and the area has been
plagued by economic and
social problems ever since.
"Yes, we can give up Gaza —
but under other circum-
stances," Mr. Herczeg said.
"It's not a question of Gaza
or not Gaza. It's a question of
appeasing terrorism.
"I couldn't even watch the
signing of the treaty. It was
too painful."
Mr. Neuvirth, meanwhile,
said he fears Palestinian
independence in Gaza and
Jericho will only inspire the
Arabs to push, however long
it takes, for what they really
want.
"The Arabs are very
patient," he said. "For them,
it's nothing to wait five years
for a state. Then they'll come
after us." ❑

David Harris, executive
director of the American
Jewish Committee. "For
many Jews, it's been the
threat to Israel that has
kept the bond as strong as it
has been. Will the prospect
of peace accelerate that
growing gap?"
Mr. Harris expressed
optimism a new balance can
be found, but suggested it
will require a serious effort
by the Jewish leadership. ❑

c)

CD

A Palestinian woman waves her ID card and asks Israeli
solders to be permitted to leave Gaza.

9

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