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July 11, 2003 - Image 19

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-07-11

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

idewalk

Recently Kucinich, the most
enthusiastically liberal contestant in
the 2004 Democratic nomination
race, won the endorsement of Ben
Cohen, one of the founders of the
Vermont-based chain. Cohen there-
by joins an elite circle that includes
country singer Willie Nelson.
"While others discuss incremental
change, only Dennis Kucinich advo-
cates changing the way our govern-
ment is run in order to reflect the
values of America's people," Cohen
said in his endorsement statement,
adding that he made no promises to
the candidate about creating a
"Kucinich Kreme" ice cream flavor.
Cohen cited Kucinich's promise to
pay for expanded education, envi-
ronmental and poverty programs by
shaving 15 percent from the
Pentagon budget.
But Kucinich, the former "boy
wonder" mayor of Cleveland, is
unlikely to win much support in
mainstream pro-Israel circles. The
feisty lawmaker has frequently
clashed with Israel's supporters here
— most recently when he voted
present" on a resolution
expressing solidarity with
Israel in the wake of
recent terrorism.
In a statement,
Kucinich called that vote
a "missed opportunity"
and criticized the resolu-
tion for equating "Israel's
dilemma, which is the
Guiliani
outcome of the
Palestinian's struggle for
self-determination, with the United
Stares' campaign against the criminal
organization, Al Qaida."

"

Guiliani: Anti-Semitism Foe

Jewish leaders are hoping former
New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's
performance at the recent Vienna
summit on European anti-Semitism
was just a warm-up for a bigger role.
Giuliani was appointed by
Secretary of State Colin Powell to
head the U.S. delegation to the con-
ference, the first official multina-
tional meeting specifically dealing
with the growing anti-Semitism
problem. The meeting was held
under the auspices of the
Organization for Security and
Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
Delegates from 55 nations, mostly in
Europe, agreed to begin developing
formal systems to monitor anti-
Semitism and to beef up anti-hate
education programs.

Delegates also agreed to hold a fol-
low-up meeting in Berlin next year.
That almost got derailed at a sepa-
rate meeting of OSCE parliamentar-
ians in Rotterdam when some dele-
gates sought to broaden the focus to
include other types of bigotry.
"But we were able to deal with
that, and now it looks like the Berlin
meeting is back on track," said Rep.
Ben Cardin, D-Md., who attended
that meeting.
Giuliani's high-profile presence at
the Vienna conference was a major
reason for its success, several Jewish
leaders said this week.
"It was a big plus," said Mark
Levin, executive director of NCSJ, a
Soviet Jewry group. "He made a big
push on the Europeans to track anti-
Semitic acts and hate crimes; he
effectively used his experience in
New York to show these countries
that are ways to get a handle on the
problem."
Jewish leaders are making it clear
they would like Giuliani to continue
his role as U.S. representative in the
continuing effort to come to terms
with rising European anti-
Semitism — sort of a roving
ambassador on anti-
Semitism.
"Both Giuliani and the
Secretary of State would like
to see him have an ongoing
role," said Abraham Foxman,
national director of the Anti-
Defamation League. "In my
conversations with him, he's
ready and willing."
Foxman, who attended the Vienna
meeting, attributed Giuliani's success
to his "celebrity status, and the fact
that he is a law enforcement and
because he's not Jewish. And he
knew the subject; it got everybody's
attention."
Foxman predicted that the acceler-
ating international effort to fight
anti-Semitism could be a "vehicle for
rapprochement" as U.S. and
European leaders try to ease strains
over the U.S.-led war against Iraq.
Dan Mariaschin, executive vice
president of B'nai B'rith, said the
meeting produced new momentum
for Jewish groups to keep up the
pressure within the OSCE frame-
work.
"There are a number of upcoming
(OSCE) meetings, and I think there
will be a very high Jewish profile at all
of them," he said. "We want to keep
the issue in the public eye, we want to
convince these nations to begin to
institutionalize this process." ❑

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