Clinton Nominates Jew
As New Ambassador
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Washington (JTA) — As expect-
ed, the White House has nomi-
nated Martin Indyk, an
Australian-born Jew, to be the
next U.S. ambassador to Israel.
Mr. Indyk, 43, is known as a
staunch supporter of Israel and
would be the first Jew to serve in
the coveted post.
If confirmed, Mr. Indyk will re-
place Ambassador Edward Djere-
jian who resigned as ambassador
last summer to head a public pol-
icy institute at Rice University in
Mr. Indyk's nomination is "not
expected to draw opposition" in
the Senate, said a senior aide to
Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., the in-
coming chairman of the Senate
International Affairs Committee,
formerly called the Foreign Re-
Mr. Helms committee will
oversee Mr. Indyk's confirmation
"But we're withholding judg-
ment until we see his papers," the
aide added, referring to research
that the committee staff puts to-
gether after nominations become
No hearings have yet been
scheduled, but action is expected
early in the new year.
Mr. Indyk, who worked as a
consultant for the pro-Israel lob-
by, the American Israel Public
Affairs Committee, for about a
nine-month stint in the mid-
1980s, currently serves as the Na-
tional Security Council Adviser
on the Middle East.
He also served as the founding
executive director of the influen-
tial Washington Institute for
Near East Policy, a pro-Israel
AIPAC President Steve Gross-
man lauded Mr. Indyk for what
he termed his "virtual encyclo-
pedic knowledge" of the U.S.-Is-
rael relationship and the Middle
East in general.
"Martin will be an invaluable
asset to this administration and
this country," Mr. Grossman said
in a telephone interview.
Mr. Grossman predicted broad
bipartisan support for the nom-
ination in the Senate.
In announcing the nomination,
President Clinton said in a
statement, "I am confident his ex-
tensive background and experi-
ence in the region, as well as his
commitment to furthering the
peace process and the role he as
played as my adviser on these is-
sues, will serve to promote Amer-
ican interests in the Middle East."
Mr. Indyk has served as the
administration's point man for
the Middle East peace talks. He
is well-known for his dual con-
tainment approach toward Iran
and Iraq, which advocates a
strong U.S. policy against each
He served as
of a pro-Israel
Mr. Indyk became a U.S. citi-
zen immediately before he was
appointed to the Clinton admin-
Although the expected an-
nouncement has garnered wide-
spread praise in the Jewish
community, Mr. Indyk's loss at
the White House comes at a crit-
ical time in the Middle East peace
Jerusalem (JTA) — The council
of ministers of the European
Union has approved, in principle,
a new trade accord with Israel.
German Foreign Minister
Klaus Kinkel, the current head
of the council of ministers, in-
formed Foreign Minister Shimon
Peres of the decision in a phone
call this week.
Mr. Kinkel said the agreement
would be signed in a matter of
The agreement, which came
after a long period of negotiations,
will broaden Israel's ties with the
E.U. It updates a 1975 trade
agreement between Israel and
the former Common Market.
In recent years, Israel has tried
to elevate its trading status to
gain better access to the Euro-
pean market. Israel is currently
suffering a $5 billion trade deficit
with the E.U., which is its main
The E.U.'s 12 member nations
decided to strengthen their rela-
tions with Israel after it signed
the Palestinian self-rule accord
in Washington last year.
At a summit conference of the
leaders of the E.U.'s 12 member
countries, the organization de-
The White House began con- clared that Israel should be
tacting Jewish leaders in August granted a "privileged status" in
to inform them of Mr. Clinton's its relations with the organiza-
decision to nominate Mr. Indyk. tion's member states.