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April 15, 1994 - Image 63

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1994-04-15

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

The 1994 DeVille creates a
higher standard at Don Gooley Cadillac.

Syria Stays On

There was a flurry of activity
last week around the always=
volatile question of U.S. rela-
tions with Syria.
The action centered on the
annual State Department re-
port on nations that support the
drug trade. That list has im-
portant consequences; nations
tapped as drug suppliers or traf-
fickers are denied access to cer-
tain loans and other U.S.
For a long time, Syria has
wanted its name removed from
the rogue's list. And last week,
reports began to circulate in
Washington that the Clinton
administration had decided to
give the Syrians a "national in-
terest exemption" as a way of
inducing the government of
President Hafez Assad to be
more forthcoming in peace ne-
gotiations with Israel.
But when the report was re-
leased early this week, Syria
was still on the list of losers,
along with countries like Nige-
ria and Iran.
In fact, there was an initial
recommendation by lower-lev-
el officials that Syria be re-
warded for some tentative steps
in cutting back on the drug
trade. But that recommenda-
tion was rejected by Secretary
of State Warren Christopher
because of the feeling that the

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Syrian government had not
done enough to curb the illicit
Top State Department offi-
cials, according to a department
spokesman, "remain very con-
cerned about the problem of
[Syrian] government officials,
military and other, who con-
tinue to go unpunished for their
protection of trafficking activi-

Jewish Radicals
Said To Abound

American Jewish leaders may
be underestimating the dangers
Israeli extremists pose to the
Mideast peace process, accord-
ing to Yossi Alpher, acting di-
rector of the Jaffee Center for
Strategic Studies of Tel Aviv
Mr. Alpher was in Washing-
ton last week for a round of
meetings with administration
officials and a private gather-
ing for pro-Israel activists — at
which he stunned many par-
ticipants with his estimate that
Israel has more than 10,000 ex-
tremists "who are considered
capable of using violence
against Palestinians or Israelis
in order to try to prevent a
peace settlement."
The Rabin government, he
said in an interview, is trying
to defuse that ticking bomb by
postponing direct debate over
the future of the settlements
until progress in the negotia-
tions bolsters the pro-peace
process consensus in Israel.
"If we do succeed in getting
out of Gaza and Jericho," he
said, "it would be a way of iso-
lating those who oppose the
But one way or another, it's
going to be a very difficult mo-
ment of truth when Israel
comes face to face with the is-
sue of removing settlements. It
will mean dealing with some of
these people directly." Li



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gument that the children had
been traumatized when sent to
' a neighboring school district—
and that the reasons for that
trauma were not just religious.
Another Jewish lawyer who
has been following the case said
that the cultural versus reli-
gious debate was "a distinction
without a difference; the fact
that they are an insular com-
munity, with different habits
and different values, is inextri-
cably bound up with the fact
that they are Chasidic Jews,
that they're devoutly religious."
But Mr. Lewin, according to
this observer, was effective in
arguing that the establishment
of the special district was not
motivated primarily by reli-
gious factors.
"Lewin tried to get this par-
ticular fact pattern slipped in
under the existing legal frame-
work as a logical accommoda-
tion to a group of parents," this
source said. "Then he argued
the converse — that even if it
had acted on the basis of reli-
gion, the state's actions were an
appropriate and acceptable ac-
commodation. It was very well
A decision is expected in ear-
ly summer. Mr. Lewin declined
to speculate about the outcome
of the case.

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