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July 11, 1980     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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July 11, 1980
 

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PaoI 4, HERITAEE. Florida Jewish News July I I. 1980 00ditor's DbeSk By Gene Starn, Editor [ The Trilateral Commission Discusses the Middle East The Trilateral Commission is in agreement: the Middle East's "extreme volatility" makes it imperative that the "trilateral countries focus their attention and coordinate their policies." But they apparently cannot agree on how to go about it. The Trilateral Commission, for those unfamiliar with that organization, was formed in 1973 by "private citizens of Western Europe, Japan and North America to foster closer cooperation among these three regions on common problems." That is their own definition. The "private citizens" who belong to the commission are not people like you and me. David Rockefeller, chairman of the Chase Manhattan Bank, is one of the founders and is chairman of the North American section. Its membership roster of last November reads like a Who's Who of business, politics, government, research, labor and communications of the industrial world -- and some of its former American members are household words. Some say the Trilateral Commission is a conspiracy of sorts. They have even been accused of attempting to control politics, past and present, such as conspiring to elect Jimmy Carter as president in 1976 (Carter himself was a Trilateralite, as were a large number of his cabinet appointees). Conspiracy or not, there is little doubt that they are influential. What we found interesting in reading their own report of their last plenary session, held last March in London, was their concern with the Middle East situation. Although it was discussed at earlier sessions, several of the participants brought it up again at the final meeting on March 25, dominated by the "central nature of the Palestinian issue." Someone described only as a former high- ranking U;S. official (my guess is it coulcl have been former Undersecretary of State George Ball) said, "1 would suggest that our strong sense of compassion for the past ordeal of the Jewish people does not justify the perpetuation of injustice to the Palestinians; it does not justify | 2 years of military occupation of 1,200,000 people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip." He called for broadening the framework of the Camp David accords and asked the "nations of Western Europe -- through the European Community, for instance, -- to undertake to bring about a realistic facing-up to the Palestinian issue." And wouldn't you know it. That's exactly what the European Community did. Last month they called for this exact new, broader approach toward solving the Middle East problems and virtually embraced murderer Yasir Arafat and the PLO in the process. Conspiracy? Or influence? A former British diplomat (also unidentified) hinted of the action at these same Trilateral Commission meetings when he said, "We are trying to work on a European position to expand and reinforce U.N. Resolution 242 so that the Palestinians can see a concerted prospect for self- determination." He down-talked a form of federation with Jordan for the West Bank as being more secure for Israel. And he even said such a federation "might prove quite dangerous for Jordan.r' All the Trilateralite voices, however, were not pro-Palestinian. An American labor leader brought up the morality issue: "Yasir Arafat is what he has demonstrated himself to be." He answered the former American official by denying the relationship between the Western World evolved simply because of some guilty conscience related to the'Holocaust. "If it truel if what we are after is expiation," he "then I doubt that a mere 35-year span quite suffice to erase all the horror, all the of that Holocaust. "More fundamentally, our relationship is on the fact that Israel is a democracy, a trjing to develop a social and economic which has many affinities with our own ... Israel is a friend of the trilateral countries, friend in the deepest sense of the word, the highest values and hopes that all of us In assessing the situation in the Middle should give due regard to these and to give the benefit of the doubt to a which fears for its very security for perfectly and justified reasons ..." Another prominent U.S. expert disagreed! broad approach to solving the Middle problems, supporting the "step-by-step" of Henry Kissinger's shuttle diplomacy and President Carter's Camp David accords. warned that independent initiatives "would into a very unhealthy and dangerous where the Europeans and the Japanese the vocalists for the Arabs and the U.S. forced to be the sole advocate for Israel." " l looked for Europe and Japan to pressure PLO to rescind its commitment to the of Israel and to accept U.N. resolutions, as pressuring Israel to be more forthcoming Palestine issue." There can be little doubt that the Commission is a powerful non-government organization that carries a lot of clout in politics. But is it singularly self-serving? Is it humanistic, world statesmanlike, moralistic? combination of both -- of benevolent des The Jewish Agency and Problems, Problems, Problems by Boris Smolar (Editor-in-chief emedtus) (Copyright 1980, JTA, Inc.) The Jewish Agency Assembly: The Assembly of the Jewish Agency, which met last month in Jerusalem, is the parliament of world Jewry with regard to matters concerning humanitarian aid to Israel. It is composed Of Zionists and non- Zionists on a partnership basis. The Zionist members of the Assembly are elected by the World Zionist Congress; the non-Zionists are designated by the organized communities in the Countries where funds are raised for Israel. In the United States they are nominated by the Jewish Federations and the United Jewish Appeal. More than 100 delegates from the U.S. attended the Assembly. The American Jewish community participates through the United Israel Appeal in directing the policy and activities of the Jewish Agency in Israel. The UIA designates 30 percent of the membership of the Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency. These come from a number of U.S. Jewish communities which participate in fund-raising for the United Jewish Appeal. The Board of Governors decides on the allocations of funds for programs budgeted by the Jewish. Agency. The American members enjoy a veto dght. The chairman of the Board of Governors is Max M. Fisher, the noted Amedcan Jewish leader who is not a Zionist but is deeply devoted to the cause of Israel. The chairman of the Jewish Agency is Leon Dulzin, who is also the chairman of the Wodd Zionist Organization. It is not always that Fisher and Dulzin see eye-to-eye in internal affairs of the Agency. In most such cases the Board of Governors backs Fisher and the controversial views usually become an "internal affair." Such was, for instance, the issue of selecting qualified candidates to top executive positions in the Jewish Agency apparatus. The candidates were usually selected by the World Zionist Organization and on a "party key" system of the various Zionist groups within the movement. They- had to be not only Israelis but Israeli Zionists. Fisher, backed by the American and worldwide communal members of the Board of Governors, insisted on their being first and foremost qualified. He also insisted on full participation of the non-Zionist partners in the selection of such candidates. He, and other American members of the Board of Governors were especially in opposition to the election of a particular candidate for the important position of chairman of Immigration and AbsorpOon. They felt he was unqualified. They won. Problems; Problems; Problems: The more than 500 delegates and guests at the Assembly were presented with quite a gloomy picture on the present state of affairs of the Jewish Agency. They were told that income to meet the 1979-80 budget fell short of the $430 million projected; that the budget was cut to $395 million; that a projected three- year regular budget designed to stabilize the quality of life in Israel has been suspended; that severe economizing has resulted in a 15 percent cut in staff and the trimming of services; and that the 1980-81 projection of $523 million was cut for final approval to $385 million. The immediate results are: Immigrants expected this year -- and from previous years -- will be forced to stay in absorption centers for Pedods of up to two years. Only one new Galilee settlement -- instead of 30 -- will be established this year at a time when Israeli Arabs are already out- numbering the Jews in this heartland of Israel and despite a riot in which the Arabs attacked the Jews at a soccer game screaming "Khomeini lives, Zionists die." Only one-third, or fewer, of the Negev settlements will be established along thenew Egyptian border where it was planned to settle many of the 10,000 settlers scheduled to be withdrawn from Sinai. There will be no economic consolidation of any of the older agricultural settlements. Two thousand disadvantaged teenagers scheduled for entry into Youth Aliya this year will not be enrolled -- all of them from Israel's distressed neighborhoods. Ranned expansion of aid to the aged and other social welfare services will not take place. The Agency's anticipated income for 1980-81 from the UJA, Keren Hayesod campaigns and all other sources is $301 million. With its drastically cut budget for the year brought down to $385 million, there is a gap of $84 million. If this gap will not be covered by increased giving to the UJA in the U.S. and to the Keren Hayesod in other countries, the Agency will be forced to borrow the $84 million, at high interest. This would bring the Agency to its debt ceiling of $650' million, leaving no room for response to any emergencies that may arise. Soviet Jews in Israel: One of the major issues at the Assembly was the issue of the Soviet Jews who "drop out" en route to Israel as soon as they leave the Soviet soil and remain in Italy to await visas to the U.S., Canada and other countries. In this connection the delegates to the Assembly were presented with the result of a study of how the Soviet Jews live in Israel five years after their arrival in the country. The following picture emerges from the study, which was conducted by the Statistics Bureau of the Israel government and the Jewish Agency: Sixty Percent consider themselves to be thoroughly Israeli after five years residence. Eighty percent reaffirm their decision, to come to Israel. About 2 percent are unsure if they will remain in Israel. Nine Percent leave Israel within five years of their arrival (compared with 38 percent among immigrants from other countries). This group is composed mostly of young singles who arrived in Israel as individuals, with the number of females leaving exceeding the number of males. Ninety-six percent live in permanent accommodations and 40 percent own their own homes. Sixty-three percent are in the work force now as well as in the first year after their arrival. Most have worked on their present jobs for at years. Fifty percent employed are satisfied salary. Thirty percent private vehick Most maintain with friends and Soviet Union, with housing being major interest. Eighty percent those of the generally meet backgrounds, including Most do not frequently in social social clubs or Sixty-six percent are their go to the theater percent of all movies. Fifty percent with their leisure Shmeichel The littleboy was explaining to his teacher why he had yet returned his report card to her. "You gave me all A's, and the card is still making of all my relatives." USPS 340370 Influencing 21,000 Jewish readers each week in the greater Orlando, I Beach and Space Coast cities of central Florida. Published by Heritage Florida Jewish News, Inc., 207 O'Brien Rd., Fern Park, Fla. postage paid at Orlando, Fern Park and other mailing offices. Sub:rIplJons: $11.00 per calendar year to Florida addresses the rest of the U:S.) and pro-rated monthly. Mailing Address: P.O. Box 742, Fern Park, FL 32730. GENE STARN, Editor & Publisher EDITORIAl.= Barbara Coenson-Roth, Associate Editor. Gloria Yousha. PRODUCTION: Elaine St.arn, Rachel Scott. ADVERTISING: Jim Cottan, Marsha Hyman. MEMBERS: Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Florida Press Association, World