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February 04, 1994 - Image 74

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1994-02-04

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

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As Positive Force

Washington (JTA) — Deputy
Secretary of Defense
William Perry, President
Clinton's latest nominee to
head the Pentagon, is view-
ed by various American Jew-
ish leaders and Israeli offi-
cials as a solid professional
who would make a good
defense secretary.
While Mr. Perry does not
have a high-profile image on
Middle East issues and some
observers here were not
clear about his record on
Israel, others praised Mr.
Perry this week for his at-
titude toward the Jewish
state.
Mr. Clinton chose Mr.
Perry to replace outgoing
Defense Secretary Les
Aspin, after retired admiral
Bobby Ray Inman, the pres-
ident's first choice, pulled
himself out of consideration
last week.
Israeli officials here de-
scribed Mr. Perry, 66, as pro-
fessional, fair-minded and
efficient on U.S.-Israeli
issues.
One former high-ranking
Pentagon official said Mr.
Perry would bring to his new
post a "positive force and a
continuation of Mr. Aspin's
positive attitudes" toward
Israel.
Dov Zakheim, an adjunct
scholar at the Heritage
Foundation who served as a
Pentagon deputy
undersecretary during the
Reagan administration, said
Mr. Perry "in professional
terms is certainly not anti-
Israel by any stretch of the
imagination."
He mentioned that Mr.
Perry had recently attended
a concert at the Israeli Em-
bassy.
Mr. Zakheim said that Mr.
Perry, a high-technology
specialist, is aware of the
importance to Israel of
U.S.-Israeli technology coop-
eration and other defense
cooperation.
Israeli officials said they
had positive dealings with
Mr. Perry this past year on
the touchy issue of possible
changes in how Israel buys
its military equipment from
the United States.
And the officials said that
embassy and Israeli defense
officials had also thought
well of Mr. Perry during his
previous stint at the Pen-
tagon during the Carter ad-
ministration.
Mr. Perry is "well-
regarded as a capable man-

ager within the Pentagon,"
said James Colbert, director
of communications for the
Jewish Institute for Nation-
al Security Affairs.
Malcolm Hoenlein, ex-
ecutive vice chairman of the
Conference of Presidents of
Major American Jewish
Organizations, said he felt
Mr. Perry would "carry out
the policies of Les Aspin."
Mr. Aspin has long been
viewed by Jewish organiza-
tions as a staunch supporter
of Israel.
Mr. Inman, Clinton's
previous nominee, had
clashed with pro-Israel New
York Times columnist Wil-
liam Safire over policies
relating to Israel during the
Reagan administration,
when Mr. Inman was a high-
ranking CIA official.
Among the reasons Mr.
Inman gave for his decision
to withdraw last week was
what he considered unfair
criticism from Mr. Safire
and other columnists.
Mr. Perry, who holds a
doctorate in mathematics,
was sworn in as deputy sec-
retary last March. He
previously served as
undersecretary of defense for
research and engineering
from 1977 to 1981.
He was also a professor at
Stanford University's engi-
neering school and held high
positions in technology-
related companies in
California's Silicon Valley.
Mr. Perry is not expected
to have trouble in upcoming
Senate confirmation hear-
ings.

Madagascar
Renews Ties

Washington (JTA) — In an-
other addition to Israel's
growing network of diplo-
matic ties, Israel re-
established relations this
week with Madagascar, a
large African island nation
in the Indian Ocean.
The two countries' ambas-
sadors to Washington held a
ceremony at the Israeli Em-
bassy here and released a
joint communique stating
that Israel and Madagascar
"have decided to re-establish
diplomatic relations at am-
bassadorial level from today,
the 27th of January 1994."
The two countries have not
had diplomatic relations
since 1973. 0

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