Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Jewish Groups Split over Newspaper Ad Welcoming Shamir

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Jewish Groups Split over Newspaper Ad Welcoming Shamir

Article excerpt

Yitzhak Shamir was able to avert a confrontation with President Bush and Secretary of State James Baker when he met with them in November to discuss Israel's proposal for talks with non-PLO Palestinians. But Israel's prime minister was not so adept at preventing an open split in the mainstream Jewish community over his adamant refusal to trade land for peace with the Arabs.

The trouble started when some liberal Jewish organizations refused to sign a newspaper ad drafted by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations welcoming Shamir to Washington. According to The Washington Jewish Week, the initial draft was written with the assistance of Shamir's top aide, Yossi Ben Aharon, and supported two of the hard-line conditions Shamir has placed on proposed talks with a Palestinian delegation.

The Israeli prime minister has insisted that the PLO have no influence on the make-up of the Palestinian delegation. He also demands that talks with the Palestinians be limited to West Bank-Gaza elections, and not a final settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict. …

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