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October 23, 1997 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-10-23

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8A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 23, 1997


Netanyahu comments offend

JERUSALEM (AP) - As if a bogged-
down peace process, a spy scandal and a
looming political crisis weren't enough, Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was weathering
a new storm yesterday for saying his dovish
opposition has "forgotten what it means to be
Netanyahu appeared unaware his comments
were being picked up by a live microphone
during a synagogue service Tuesday night.
Within hours, they were broadcast as the lead
item on TV and radio newscasts, raising a
"The people on the left have forgotten
what it means to be Jewish," Netanyahu told
Rabbi Yitzhak Kadouri, the Sephardi spiritu-
al leader whose blessing was crucial for
Netanyahu's razor-thin victory over Shimon
Peres in 1996.
The rabbi leaned toward the prime min-
ister and nodded slightly, and Netanyahu
continued sardonically: "They think that if
we place our security in the hands of
Arabs, the Arabs will look after us. We'll
give them part of the land and they will
look after us. Who has ever heard anything
like it?"
Having just survived an outcry over his
government's failed attempt to assassinate
a leader of the militant Islamic group
Hamas in Jordan, Netanyahu found himself

once again facing questions over his judg-
Opposition leader Ehud Barak said the
prime minister's latest blunder called into
doubt his fitness to be prime minister.
"More and more people among
Netanyahu's supporters are saying the job
is two or three sizes too big for him," Barak
Newspaper editorials yesterday excoriated
"Here, the prime minister can fall flat on his
face an infinite number of times and still
spring back to life. ... Netanyahu continues to
be the Humpty Dumpty who always manages
to put himself back together again," wrote
commentator Gideon Samet in the Haaretz
The prime minister fought back, saying
his words were taken out of context and
portraying himself as a victim of the
"The incitement against the government
and the prime minister continues incessant-
ly and without restraint," he told Israel
Many blame Netanyahu for the bitter
seven-month breakdown in the peace
process, which restarted only earlier this
month under the auspices of U.S. envoy
Dennis Ross.

When he was the right-wing opposition
leader, Netanyahu strongly opposed the
1993 Oslo Accords granting the Palestinians
autonomy in the West Bank and Gaza. As
prime minister he has continued the peace
process, but his policies contributed to its
The prime minister trails opposition
leader Barak in most polls. Elections are
scheduled for 2000, but many predict his
fractious parliament coalition might col-
lapse sooner.
Earlier this month, Israeli president
Ezer Weizman canceled a trip to China
scheduled for December because he
reportedly believes Netanyahu's govern-
ment won't survive Parliament's winter
session, which will tackle critical debates
over the annual budget and a controversial
religious law.
Netanyahu has promised to back pro-
posed legislation that would formalize
Orthodox control over conversions to
Judaism and ban non-Orthodox Jews from
serving on religious councils. That promise
came after religious parties which keep
Netanyahu in power threatened to topple his
The move is likely to alienate American
Jews, who predominately belong to the
more liberal streams of Judaism.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shakes hands with people In the Jerusalem crowd after acci-
dentally uttering some controversial remarks about Judaism during a synogague service Tuesday night.

China warns U.S.
to stop meddling
as Jiang visit nears

before Jiang Zemin meets President
Clinton at the White House, the
Chinese warned the U.S. government
yesterday against meddling in domestic
dealings from Tiananmen to Tibet.
"We oppose any interference in
China's internal affairs," Embassy
spokesperson Yu Shuning told reporters
at a news conference.
Yu also cautioned the government to
provide a safe environment for Jiang's
week-long visit beginning Sunday in
Honolulu. His itinerary includes sever-
al speeches, including one at Harvard
University where protests are expected.
Human rights groups have promised to
follow Jiang, whom Yu insisted is look-
ing forward to "extensive contacts with
all American people."
"We are guests of the American gov-
ernment, so we hope the U.S. govern-
ment will do a good job so their so-
called dissidents will not realize their
aim of disrupting this state visit and dis-
rupting U.S-Sino relations," Yu said.
"Everything should go smoothly."
State Department spokesperson
James Rubin said Jiang would get ade-
quate protection, but he noted that peo-
ple have a right in the United States to
openly protest.
"America is a democracy, and we are
not seeking to infringe in any way on the
rights of Americans to have their voice
be heard in whatever way is permitted by
a local jurisdiction," Rubin said. "And
the fact that the Chinese president is here
doesn't change that principle upon
which this nation was based."
In one area of contention, Yu said
China objects to Secretary of State
Madeleine Albright's plan to appoint a
U.S. coordinator to Tibet, possibly by
Nov. 1. The coordinator would encour-
age the Chinese to hold autonomy talks
with Tibet's exiled leader, the Dalai
Lama, who fled his mountain region in
1959 after the communist government
crushed a rebellion by his Buddhist fol-
"I think it's a problem for us," the
embassy spokesperson said in an
unusually candid exchange about

Chinese views on irritants in the U.S.-
China relationship. "That kind of
appointment constitutes a sort of inter-
ference into our internal affairs, so we
are opposed to that."
On Tiananmen Square, Yu defended
the Chinese military crackdown on
democracy demonstrators in 1989. He
said Jiang doesn't plan to talk about it
with Clinton during their Oval Office
meeting on Wednesday, although the U.S.
administration brings up human rights at
most every meeting. This will be the first
U.S.-China summit since the bloody
episode, which Jiang once described as
"much ado about nothing" angering the
West. Hundreds of people may have been
killed and thousands jailed.
"I'm afraid that particular issue
will not be discussed before the two
presidents,"Yu said when asked about
Tiananmen. "Facts have shown the
Chinese government was forced to
take radical measures to maintain
order and society stability so that our
economic development would not be
"And the facts have shown that
since then China has opened even
wider to the outside world, and our
economic development has realized a
high rate of growth. So those mea-
sures have been successful."
Indeed, the Chinese economy has
grown by an average of almost 10 per-
cent a year for several years. At the
same time, the U.S. trade deficit with
China was widening, reaching $39.5
billion in 1996 and an expected $44 bile
lion this year.
Yu promoted a Chinese trade mission
currently in New York, which hopes to
negotiate up to $4 billion in U.S. deals
ahead of the summit.
Putting a positive spin on the sum-
mit, Yu said China and the U.S. govern-
ment should focus on areas of coopera-
tion, particularly global security.
U.S. officials have been delivering
the same message. Negotiations contirn
ue in Beijing, with the United States
hoping to obtain written certification
that China is not helping others develop
nuclear weapons.

A Healthy Investment in Your Future
Health Care. Those two words have
been the source of much discussion {
recently. Probably because we as a
nation know the importance of
investing in a healthy future.
So do millions of patients who
choose chiropractic as their
preferred source of health care.
The chiropractic beliefs in fitness,
nutrition, prevention, and natural
maintenance make good sense.
Wellness, you see, is the normal
state of being.
New York State government
agrees. They have recently passed
the Insurance Equality bill that
mandates insurance coverage for
chiropractic care.

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