10 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, April 20, 1998
d i ffer
TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) - It all
comes down to a simple formula. But
Former prime minister Shimon
Peres believes peace is Israel's most
pressing need and a price must be
paid in land to attain it.
Yitzhak Shamir, Israel's other
surviving ex-premier, argues land
is the Jewish state's most sacred
commodity, and nothing, not even
peace, can justify giving up terri-
The views of the two men, who for
several years governed together in a
rancorous coalition of necessity, mir-
ror the deep divide in Israeli society
as the country nears its 50th birthday
Both withdrew from politics
after losing national elections -
Shamir in 1992 and Peres in 1996
- but still campaign tirelessly for
Peres tries to arrange financing
for Israeli-Arab joint business
ventures. Shamir lobbies for
Hebrew schools in other countries
to encourage more Jews to immi-
grate to Israel.
Welcoming a reporter to his Tel
Northern Ireland not
welcoming Clinton visit
The Washington Post advice would be that he not come president who has been even-handed
DUBLIN - Some have been down- before the referendum. I would not on the issue.
right rude about it and some have been want people here to feel they are being He is likely to get the same message
respectful, but Irish politicians of all dictated to by some foreign power." next week from Paul Quinn. a
stripes seem to have reached consensus The same view seems to prevail in Washington lawyer active in Irish-
on the idea of a presidential visit here the opposite political camp - that is, American affairs, who traveled to
this spring: Clinton, stay home, among the "nationalists," those who Ireland, north and south, last week. "It's
With the electorate in the Republic of want to see Northern Ireland form a a somewhat delicate issue, because peo-
Ireland and in the British province of single nation with the Republic, and ple here like the president," Quinn said.
Northern Ireland scheduled to vote May end the northern counties' tie to "But the general consensus is that he
22 on the historic peace plan settled on. Britain. should not come."
Good Friday, there has been speculation "Personally, I think Clinton has been The interesting point here is that
that President Clinton will visit this nothing but positive so far in what he's those urging Clinton to stay away
misty green island to campaign for done on the Irish question," said Joe include many leaders who agree*
approval of the plan. Reilly, a local Sinn Fein party leader in with him on the basic question: That
But as the political situation sur- Ireland's County Meath. "But a lot of is, they hope to see the peace agree-
rounding the peace referendums people will wonder why an American ment approved in May. But since the
grows clearer, key political leaders is suddenly campaigning in an Irish political momentum now indicates
both in Northern Ireland and here in election, so I think perhaps he'd best strong approval among the elec-
the Republic now are saying publicly stay away." torate, local leaders don't want to
that a Clinton visit would not be wel- By virtue of the office, any American upset their apple cart by bringing in
come. president is an important figure in an outsider.
David Trimble, the most popular Ireland. Virtually every Irish family has Not surprisingly, Irish politicians
politician in the Northern Ireland relatives who have settled in the New who oppose the peace plan also hav
"unionist" camp - that is, those resi- World. In fact, 44 million Americans urged Clinton to stay away. "We don't
dents who want to maintain the claim Irish descent; that's about nine need any outsiders coming here to
province's union with Britain - times as many Irish people as there are advocate something that will mean the
expressed that view this weekend. "Of on the whole island of Ireland. destruction of our country," said the
course the president will be welcome," Clinton's clout may be particularly Rev. lan Paisley, a fiery unionist who is
Trimble said, "but for the moment, our strong because he is regarded here as a battling to defeat the peace plan.
menu in both houses
Former Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Shamir, shown here in May 1991 in
Jerusalem, argues land is the Jewish state's most sacred commodity.
Aviv office, among a vast collec-
tion of books and mementos, Peres
was busy corresponding with col-
leagues and working on projects
for his newly established peace
"Peace is a must," said the
Nobel Peace Prize laureate who
still puts in 20-hour days and --
with his perfectly combed silver
hair and tanned skin - radiates
Israel mtst withdraw from most of
the West Bank and Gaza Strip - -
home to more than 2.5 million
Palestinians and 150,000 Jewish set-
tlers - if it wants to avoid ethnic
strife of Bosnian dimensions, he said.
Ruling another people violates
Jewish beliefs, lie added.
Democrats see chance for
House gains amid GOP split
The Washington Post
WASHINGTON - Democrats are
salivating over the possibility of turning
deep divisions among Republicans into
toppling the majority party from its pre-
carious perch atop the House of
But while Republicans are show-
ing ideological splits over every-
thing from whether to change the
nation's campaign finance laws to
how to use the budget surplus, histo-
ry and statistics say they are likely to
hold on to the House majority they
wrested from the Democrats in
Historically, the party that con-
trols the White House loses seats in
off-Year elections. That fact leads
Republicans to claim they will gain
seats in the fall, not lose them, to
bolster their 227-205 House margin.
(Two seats are vacant, and there is
one independent). lhe Republican
hold on the Senate, now 55-45, is
not thought to be in question. Still,
this year's congressional elections
may prove the exception, with a
scandal-plagued. yet immensely
popular Democratic president in the
White House and an agenda-sparse,
vet incumbent Republican leader-
ship in the louse.
The Washington Post
WAS IINGTON --While Senate leaders say they disap-
prove of the sort of rampant pork-barrel spending that marks
the House-passed version of new federal highway and mass-
transit legislation, Republican and Democratic senators will
bring plenty of pork of their own to the table when the two
sides begin negotiating a compromise bill this week.
The House bill - which earmarks about $9 billion for
1,467 individual highway, bridge, bike path and economic
development projects and another $9 billion for hundreds of
mass transit and bus projects -- has drawn stinging rebukes
from House Budget Committee Chair John Kasich (R-Ohio),
congressional conservatives and a raft of groups concerned
about fiscal discipline.
"The era of big government is not over,"John Berthoud of the
National Taxpayers Unin complained last week of the 5217
billion measure. "The :ra of really big government is here:'
But the slightly less costly Senate version of the legislation,
approved early last month with little controversy, includes
scores of earmarks or special provisions that would funnel
billions of dollars' worth of highway, bridge and mass-transit
projects to favored states and special interests.
There is nearly S1 billion in the bill to develop and con-
struct high-speed magnetic levitation trains throughout the
country. State officials and private developers in Nevada,
California, Florida, Maryland and Pennsylvania have
expressed interest in the program for developing passenger
trains that can travel in excess of 240 mph.
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chair
John Chafee (R-R.l.) added the funds for the project after
personally inspecting-and driving -a MAG-LEV train in
Germany last year, according to an aide.
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) inserted language that
would make San Mateo County, Calif., eligible to receive
emergency funding for a proposed S146 million highway tun-
nel project at Devil's Slide.
The bill also contains funding for road construction in and
around Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, and $72 mil-
lion to construct a dozen new transportation research centers
on college and university campuses to promote different
facets of the transportation industry.
Another $420 million was added for an "Interstate 4R and
Bridge Discretionary Program." According to a Senate aide,
that would give states more discretion in spending funds for
resurfacing and restoring portions of interstate highways.
Pork-barrel spending - and how much is too much - is
among a dozen or so critical issues separating House and
Senate transportation committee negotiators as they attempt
to iron out a final bill before a May I deadline for authoriz-
ing new highway projects.
The principal combatants will be House Transportation and
Infrastructure Committee Chair Bud Shuster (R-Pa.), who
championed a huge increase in pork and overall highway and
transit spending, and Chafee, who cautioned moderation
even as the Senate virtually matched the House in overall
spending and loaded up the bill with special-interest provisions
and last-minute deals to placate recalcitrant states.
A key dispute is over the formula for allocating the vast
majority of highway funds to the states. Both the House and
Senate have approved formulas that eliminate or minimize
many of the inequities of the 1991 formula that largely bene-
fited states from the Northeast and upper Midwest to the*
detriment of Southern, Western and Midwestern states.
However, the new House formula would be slightly more
advantageous to more heavily populated states with larger
highway systems, while the Senate approach would favor
more sparsely populated states with smaller highway net-
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