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August 8, 1980     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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August 8, 1980
 

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Page 4. HERITAGE, Florida Jewish News. August 8, 1980 Editor's Desk By Gene Starn, Editor & Publisher Jordan IS Palestine! We spotted a short little "Letter to the Editor" in a general publication newspaper recently that read: "What is all the clamor about? Palestine has already been divided into Arab and Jewish States. The Arabs were given their state way back in 1922 when they chopped off more than three-fourths of Palestine and formed Jordan. Why don't the Arabs change the name of "'Jordan" to "Palestine" and solve their problem themselves?" I also saw a small little advertisement in another paper that read: MEMO TO JIMMY CARTER: Jordan -- 76.9% of Palestine Israel -- 17.8% of Palestine West Bank and Gaza -- 5.3% of Palestine Who should solve the Palestinlan problem? And then I heard about a new campaign brewing that brought all of this into focus. It is an effort by a group of Israelis to let the world know that a Palestinian state already exists. Their slogan and purpose is to get the people of the world to realize that ,Jordan IS Palestinel With a shoestring budget of just $2,000, the Jordan IS Palestine Committee based in Natanya, has been placing a few advertisements around the world. They have found the response overwhelming. The hope is that small, simple, truthful ads (and letters), placed strategically in newspapers, on billboards, in pamphlets -- anywhere it can be seen -- will eventually change some thinking about the West Bank and the cry for a Palestinian homeland. Here are some other examples of their ads: MEMO TO GISCARD D'ESTAING: Jordan comprises 76.9% of Palestine. Majority population .of Jordan are Palestinian Arabs. Doesn't that make Jordan a Palestinian State? MEMO TO BRUNO KREISKY: 79.6% of the original British mandate of Palestine is under Arab control in Jordan. Why don't they give some of it back to the Palestinians? MEMO TO RONALD REAGAN: "A" in history. "A" in geography. 'Transjordan (now called Jordan) was established in 1922 and is nearly 80% of historic Palestine' (Reagan in San Francisco, May 9, 1980). Go to the head of the class! the American Jewish [ CAPITAL leadership was taking the high road in avoiding any needless breastbeating, a potentially I comm00Nr00v very important byproduct helping Israel did emerge -- namely, the affair opened up a , hyWolf Blit.zer great floodgate of anti-Libyan and anti-Arab reporting in the U.S. news media. Billy Carter and American Jews WASHINGTON -- The deep resentment towards President Jimmy Carter building up over the past three-and-one-half years in the American Jewish community has now reached a dramatic new climax with the shocking disclosures -- one after another -- involving his brother Billy's sordid relationship with Libya. Simply put, it all boils down to the unfair but still very real perception of many Jews here in Washington that "Billy says what Jimmy thinks," in the words of one respected observer. Irrespective of the President's persistent help in achieving the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty and his record recommendations of eco- nomic and military assistance for Israel, most American Jews at this point are not supporting Carter's re- election, according to a recent New York Times/CBS News poll. Jews did vote overwhelm- ingly for Carter in his 1976 campaign against Republican President Gerald Ford. But even then, the votes were cast only reluctantly. Many Jews, it seems, never felt very comfortable with a southern, born-again Christian. Those initial suspicions were rapidly reinforced by Carter's 1977 flirtations with the PLO and his other statements and actions which were seen as representing a pro-Arab tilt. The Billy Carter fiasco has hurt the President's image and popularity among all Americans -- but especially among Jews. Those Jews still publicly defending the President are finding themselves increas- ingly more lonely. But New York lawyer Leon Charney, who represents Ezer Weizman in the United States, is in that category. "1 have met with Carter personally, and there's no question in my mind that there's not a scintilla of anti- Semitic feeling in that man," said Charney, who served as an informal go-between with Carter when Weizman was Defense Minister. Robert Lipshutz, the former White House counsel who now practices law in Atlanta, also remains totally loyal to the President. "Based upon my close relationship with him for over 14 years, and my personal insight, I have great confidence in him," he said. But such comments are becoming more remote as the Billy Carter affair, already dubbed "Billygate," continues to unfold, piece-by-piece. So far, the Jewish leadership has deliberately taken a low profile on the story. On the first day it broke, the American Jewish Committee uncharacteristically rushed out with a press release urging President Carter to "reject publicly and unequivocally this flagrant attempt to misuse the office of the President of the United States." Maynard K. Wishner, President of the Committee, said: "It is obvious that the Libyan government did not pay Billy Carter to act on its behalf because of his knowledge of public relations or his business acumen." But since then, there appears to have been a deliberate decision taken by the organized Jewish leadership to stand aside. They did not want the scandal to turn into just a so-called "Jewish issue." "It was much more than that," said Maxwell E. Greenberg, Chairman of B'nai B'rith's Anti-Defamation League. "As an American citizen, I'm not sure there ought to be a 'Jewish' reaction as distinct from another reaction." Greenberg, in an interview with me, made the point that it was "unseemly" for a President's brother to be on the Libyan payroll. That was also the reaction of other responsible American Jewish leaders, nearly all of whom insisted at the same time that it was unfair to indict the President merely because of his brother's misdeeds. There were bigger issues at stake. "The broader lesson is that it clearly demonstrates America's vulnerability to oil -- in this case Libya's oil," commented Rabbi David Saperstein, the Washington representative of the Union of American Hebrew Congrega- tions (reform). "It was merely symptomatic of how vulnerable our economy is." But while it was clear that Now, more than ever, it seems that Libya and its leader, Mummar Qaddafi, have become "dirty words" in the United States. Those politicians even remotely associated with pro-Libyan endeavors in the past, such as Republican Representative Steve ymms of Idaho, were quickly finding themselves in deep political trouble. For Israel and the Jewish community, this had an added dividend. It represented a badly-needed boost for Democratic Senator Frank Church of Idaho, facing an extremely stiff challenge from Symms. Church, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, is one of Israel's best friends in Congress. Symms, a rightwing conserva- tive, is one of Israel's worst. Under more "normal" circumstances, Israel's standing in the United States would probably have improved even more, considering the fact that Libya is one of Israel's most implacable foes. But Prime Minister Menachem Begin's decision to move his office to East Jerusalem and the Knesset's action on the Geula Cohen Bill reconfirming Jerusalem as Israel's capital are managing to share the headlines with the Billy Carter scandal -- clearly limiting the public relations benefit for Israel. As usual, Israel is coming across in the news media as needlessly provoking Egypt during a delicate moment in the autonomy negotiations. And many American Jews as well as some of Israel's best friends on Capitol Hill were having a difficult time understanding why. Thus, Howard Squadron, Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organiza- MEMO TO YASIR ARAFAT: Question: What was a Jordanian before 19,8? Answer: A Transjordanian. Question: What was a Trans called before 1923? Answer: A Palestinian. Why don't the Arabs change the name "Jordan" to "Palestine" and solve problem themselves? Most people in the world, for some reason, believe that Israel is to blame for the Palestinian problem and stands in the way of solution. That is not so. We should join the Jordan IS Palestine Committee in its attempt to shift the where it belongs. Israel, with 17.8 percent of Palestine, does l a moral responsibility in participating in the resolve of the Palestinian problem, but the preponderant burden belongs on Jordan percent of Palestine), on King Hussein, on Arab world. If you want to help, send a contribution to Jordan IS Palestine Committee, P.O. Box Netanya, Israel. Or better yet, do some of the work Jordan IS Palestine into the local news not only here in central Florida, but With some help from you, this just on. tions, emerged from a meeting on July 30 with Secretary of State Edmund Muskie indirectly criticizing those Israeli steps, which he described as "symbolic rather than real." He said it was "unfortunate" that they were receiving "so much attention," adding that it would be "more important if all the parties concentrated" instead on reaching an auto agreement. Meeting with Squadron the Jewish currently "divided" on] policies -- "as are the in Israel." But he Muskie had asked hirn five other Jewish present to Begin. Influencinq 21.000 Jewish readers each week in the Orlando. Daytona Beach and Space Coast cities Florida. Published by Heritage Central Florida Jewish Inc. 207 O'Brien Rd.. Fern Park, Fla. 2nd class al Fern Park and other mailing offices. Subscriptions: $ I 1.00 per calendar year to ($1.00 more to the rest of the U.S) and pro-rated thel after. Mailing Address: P.O. Box 742. Fern Park, FL 32730. GENE STARN, Editor & Publisher EDITORIAL: Barbara Coenson-Roth, Associate Editor;, Yousha PRODUCTION: Elaine Starn, Rachel Scott ADVERTISING: Jim Colton, Phones: (305) 834-8787 or Members: American Jewish Press Jewish Telegraphic Agency Religious News Services