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March 25, 1994 - Image 68

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1994-03-25

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he debate over a United
Nations resolution that
appeared to challenge Is-
rael's claim to an undi-
vided Jerusalem provided an
electric undercurrent to this
year's policy conference of the
American Israel Public Affairs
Committee (AIPAC).
Many AIPAC members were
also concerned about a White
House effort to separate out the
paragraph referring to
Jerusalem from the rest of the
resolution so that it could be vot-
ed upon separately. At mid-
week, Washington's tentative
plan was to abstain from the
vote on the paragraph about
Jerusalem, while going along
with the rest of the resolution
as part of a package deal in-
tended to bring the Palestine
Liberation Organization back

ed the policy conference in
Washington this week.
Dr. Mendell Ganchrow, an
Orthodox activist and a long-
time AIPAC leader, introduced
a proposal urging the adminis-
tration to veto the full resolu-
tion. Dr. Ganchrow's proposal
sparked intense debate at the
executive committee's meeting
on Sunday, but in the end was
defeated — although by a
smaller margin than AIPAC of-
ficials had expected.
AIPAC's position also pro-
duced some boos when presi-
dent Steven Grossman took
questions from the AIPAC au-
dience. In addition, when House
minority whip Rep. Newt Gin-
grich, R-Ga., and Sen. Alfonse
D'Amato, R-N.Y., demanded an
administration veto of the pro-
posed resolution in speeches to


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to the bargaining table in the
wake of the Hebron massacre.
AIPAC leadership — taking
its cues from an Israeli govern-
ment that had decided not to
press for an American veto of
the full resolution as long as the
package produced a new round
of negotiations — went along
with the plan, which also in-
cluded a U.S. declaration after
the vote that the Clinton's ad-
ministration's oft-stated posi-
tion on Jerusalem had not, in
fact, changed.
That decision was hard to
swallow for many of the
AIPAC's members who attend-

the gathering they both re-
ceived rousing ovations.
"The [Jerusalem] issue took
on a life of its own," said one
AIPAC lay leader.
"The leadership made a de-
cision based on the long-term
strategies being pursued by the
Rabin government and the ad-
ministration. That produced a
great deal of confusion among
activists who have always been
told that you never talk about
However, Mr. Grossman ar-
gued that there was nothing
unusual about the intense de-
bate over Jerusalem.

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