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November 24, 1995 - Image 56

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1995-11-24

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

The Sports Club is a

G r eat
Dea l...
Bett e r

than other fitness clubs

Nevvly Expanded &
Renovated Locker Rooms

Individual Memberships just

$50/month

Couple Memberships just $85/month

The

ei

aports

"Club

of West Bloomfield

8343 Farmington Road, just north of Maple

G28-9880

56

Above monthly rate is for a three-year fitness membership.
Monthly dues and initiation fee vary for shorter term memberships.

PLO Aid In Limbo
Once Again

JAMES D. BESSER WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT

L \

R

enewal of the Middle East
Peace Facilitation Act
(MEPFA), the law allow-
ing American aid to Yas-
sir
Arafat's
Palestinian
Authority, is still not a done
deal, despite months of fierce
lobbying by pro-Israel forces and
a truce by anti-PLO aid legisla-
tors in the wake of the Rabirps-
sassination. t..... _
Recently, Congress passed 3iet
another temporary extension of
the law, which expired in June.
But passage of a new, some-
what more restrictive MEPFA
was held up by a series of unre-
lated parliamentary maneuvers.
The measure is now part of the
foreign operations appropriations
bill., which recently emerged from
a House-Senate conference com-
mittee.
But final approval is in limbo
because of controversial provi-
sions introduced by anti-abortion
legislators — legislation that has
nothing to do with the question
of aid to the Palestinian Author-
ity.
That reflects a strategy that
is driving Democratic lawmak-
ers to distraction — the pen-
chant of the new Republican
majority, and especially the
highly conservative freshmen,
to attach anti-abortion language
and other elements of their do-
mestic agenda to the spending
bills that are now backlogged on
Capitol Hill.
Ironically, the last real oppo-
sition to MEPFA — from Rep.
Michael Forbes, R-N.Y. — dried
up after the Rabin assassination
when the legislator decided not
to press forward with a much
more restrictive version of MEP-
FA.
The only remaining contro-
versy has to do with a last-minute
deal that extended the term of
the new MEPFA from 12 to 18
months, a change that incensed
groups that had been fighting
PLO aid.
But there is talk that when the
measure finally does return to
the House and Senate floors for
final approval, the Republican
leadership will split the differ-
ence and pass MEPFA for a pe-
riod of 15 months.

Choking Off Jewish
Extremist Groups?

In the days after the Rabin as-
sassination, administration of-
ficials hinted they were looking
for ways to crack down on Amer-
ican Jewish groups that raise
money for right-wing extremists
in Israel — the kinds of groups

implicated in the apparent plot
to kill the prime minister.
But while mainstream Jewish
leaders applaud the concept, few
believe the government will be
able to dry up the flow of Amer-
ican dollars to right-wing Israeli
groups.
Early this year, the adminis-
tration froze the American assets
of a number of groups associated
with Mideast terrorism and
banned outright contributions to
those groups from American sup-
porters.
Included on the list were
Hamas, Islamic Jihad — and two
Jewish organizations, Kahane L--`
Chai and Kach, which represent
the followers of the late Rabbi
Meir Kahane.
Yigal Amir, the confessed killer
of Yitzhak Rabin, was a member
of the Eyal group — a shadowy
organization reportedly influ-
enced by Rabbi Kahane's philos-
ophy.
But the executive order has re-
sulted in only a partial cutoff of
funds to these groups because
much of the money is raised
through other organizations not
directly tied to Mideast politics.
And it doesn't affect the groups
in New York that are currently
collecting money for Mr. Amir's
defense — a function that is not
included under the presidential
authority.
The anti-terrorism bill passed
by the Senate but hung up in the
House would impose additional
prohibitions. But those provi-
sions, already watered down in c ,
the Senate and facing an uncer-
tain future in the courts, will still
allow numerous loopholes for in-
direct fund raising.
"The reality is that while these
kinds of measures reduce the pos-
sibility that honest givers will be
duped into inadvertently giving
money to terror groups, they can-
not stop the flow of money from
dedicated supporters who are
willing to work to get around the
law," said a Jewish activist here
who has been working on the
anti-terrorism package. "It might
eat into perhaps 30 percent of the
U.S. funding for these groups.
But hardcore supporters will al-
ways find a way around the law." c--\
This week, the Anti-Defama-
tion League asked the Treasury
Department to add Eyal to the
list of banned groups — a large-
ly symbolic move, observers here
conceded, but one that could
help shape the tone of the
emerging debate over ties be- /
tween Israeli and American L\
Jewish extremists.

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