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January 26, 1996 - Image 48

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1996-01-26

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

WE BELIEVE IN ECHALVI

W :hhigion

Barak Cools Debate
Regarding The Golan

I

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sraeli Foreign Minister Ehud
Barak, in his first visit to
Washington as his country's
top diplomat, sought to damp-
en speculation about a quick
breakthrough in the Syrian-Is-
raeli talks.
And in a series of meetings on
Capitol Hill, he told legislators it
is too early to argue about send-
ing American troops to the Golan
Heights as part of an interna-
tional peacekeeping force.
That issue — which resurfaced
after Defense Secretary William
Perry pledged Washington's will-
ingness to send troops as part of
any Syrian-Israeli deal —
prompted a new round of activi-
ty by hardline Jewish groups that
regard the Golan issue as their
strongest weapon in the fight
against new territorial conces-
sions by Israel, and by conserva-
tive legislators opposed to all
peacekeeping operations.

Mr. Barak, meeting with
reporters, refused to answer
questions about a possible Golan
deployment; in his message to
members of the House Interna-
tional Relations Committee and
the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee, he reported that
the peacekeeping force issue is
"not central" to the peace
process.
Mr. Barak also indicated that
the talks on the Syrian track are
not strictly tied to the elections
in Israel or in this country.
In recent weeks, some Labor
Party officials have hinted of
early elections if the Syrian talks
do not begin to produce results.
That has led to concern even
among some peace process
supporters that the Peres gov-
ernment was moving too fast in
the Syria negotiations because
of electoral concerns.

Tunisia Ties
Are Trumpeted

M

r. Barak also used his
Washington visit to an-
nounce what had al-
ready become common
knowledge — the establishment
of low-level diplomatic ties be-
tween Tunisia and Israel.
At a State Department brief-
ing, Mr. Barak and his Tunisian
counterpart, Foreign Minister
Habib Ben Yahia, announced

that the two countries will open
"interest sections" through the
Belgian embassies in Tel Aviv
and Tunis — possibly the first
step toward full diplomatic
relations. The Tunisian official
insisted that full relations would
depend on the completion of
the current Mideast peace
process.

Retirements Signal
More Work

A

s the list of House and
Sena' -, retirements con-
tinues to grow, so does
the challenge for pro-Is-
rael groups to educate large
numbers of candidates about
their core issues.
Most of the 25 House mem-
bers and 13 senators who will
call it quits after the November
elections are Democrats or mod-
erate Republicans, a fact that
Jewish leaders fear will add to
the strong conservative tilt that
is already reshaping national
policy.
The announcement by Sen.
William Cohen, R-Maine, was
typical. Mr. Cohen — who is not

Jewish — is a GOP moderate;
like many of the retirees, he cit-
ed the strident tone of the polit-
ical debate in Congress and the
unwillingness of so many of his
colleagues to compromise as im-
portant factors in his decision to
retire.
The list of Senate retirees also
includes pro-Israel stalwarts
like Sen. Bill Bradley, D-N.J.,
and Sen. Hank Brown, R-Colo.
Jewish activists who work on
domestic issues are particular-
ly unhappy about the retire-
ment of Sen. Nancy Kassebaum,
R-Kans., who has used her

RETIREMENTS page 50

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