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June 9, 1995     Jewish News
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June 9, 1995
 

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., 2:-UJF--June 9, 1995 News Analysis I Organized Jewish community debate moving U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem By Matthew Dorf WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Although publicly supportive of con- gressional initiatives to begin building a U.S. embassy in Jerusalem next year, many in the organized Jewish community are privately frustrated that their stance could damage the fledg- ling peace process. Although some major organizations expressed immediate approval of moving the embassy from Tel Aviv, others voiced a more tepid response -- followed by very carefully-worded state- ments. The varied reflections signaled the struggles many pro-Israel activists have gone through in the past week since presidential hopeful and Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (R-KA) unveiled his legislation at the annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the pro-Israel lobby. Dole and Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-GA) intro- duced the Jerusalem Embassy Relocation Implementation Act into their respective Houses of Congress. The measure is likely to pass both houses easily, but not neces- sarily before Congress recesses in August. The bill would force the State Department to begin building an embassy in the capital city of Jerusalem next year. The ambassador would have to move in no later than 1999. In a flurry of activity over the past few weeks, Jewish organiza- tions have staked out their positions on the bill. Several powerful groups, including AIPAC, were quick to go on record supporting the initiative but others, such as the National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council, were more cau- tious. Most Jewish groups support the idea of the U.S. Embassy being located in a unified Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty. But some, echoing the position of both the Israeli government and the Clinton administration, are concerned that such a move could undermine already troubled peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Under the Declaration of Principles signed in September 1993, Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization agreed to put off the issue of Jerusalem until the final-status talks, which are scheduled to begin next year and end in 1999. The reluctance of many normally vocal activists to speak on the record about the organized community's grappling with the issue is telling. "Our grass roots and policy say we have to support the bill, but they can't say how strongly," said one activist who requested anonymity. Another activist said, "We can't oppose the bill, but sometimes silence speaks volumes. The last thing we want is to give the PLO an excuse to walk away from the table." For its part, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee not only publicly supported the move, it als0 instructed its delegates to push actively for the bill during Capitol Hill visits. "The question of if the U.S. moves its embassy is for the U.S. to decide," said Neal Sher, AIPAC's executive director. "We believe it should not have a negative impact on the peace process." "The only bill out there is the Dole bill and we're supporting it," Sher said. Unlike AIPAC, NJCRAC, an umbrella group of local communi- ty relations councils and national Jewish organizations, did not endorese the Dole bill. "We support the goal of the legislation," NJCRAC said in a deliberately worded statement agreed to after three conference calls. "We also support the Middle East peace process and reconcilia- tion between Israel and her Arab neighbors," the statement said. In its press release accompanying the statement, NJCRAC fur- ther stated, "The umbrella body also cautioned the congressional leadership against engaging in a debate now on the timing of such a move." Member agencies and local community relations councils were urged to share the statement with their members of Congress. But unlike some issues, they were not asked to lobby aggressively on behalf of the initiative. Supporters of the embassy move lashed out at NJCRAC for not supporting the bill. "It's outrageous, if they went to their membership and asked what they think about it, they might all be out of their jobs," said one activist who requested anonymity. But NJCRAC stood by its statement. "We are perfectly confident that we went through as full a con- sulative process as possible," said Martin Raffel, NJCRAC's asso- ciate executive vice chairman. Dole's move, which forces the relocation of the embassy by cut- ting off State Department funds if it does not comply, caught many in the Jewish ommunity and in Congress by surprise. Dole's bill comes on the heels of a congressional letter to Secre- tary of State Warren Christopher sponsored by Sens. Daniel Sen. Specter targeted by anti-Semitic mail By Jennifer Batog WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Hate mail sent to Republican presidential hopeful Arlen Specter has warned the "Penn- sylvania senator that he would pay in ""blood of Jews, every man, woman and child" if he continues his bid to "take over" America. In addition to about a dozen hate letters, Specter has received two physical threats, his campaign office revealed. Specter, a moderate Republi- can, is the first Jew to make a serious run for the White in decades. Specter's campaign office has released copies of several or the letters, some of which are rid- ded with obscenities, others which espouse anti-Semitic rhetoric. But officials refused to dis- cuss the nature of the physical threats. "It's real nasty, negative, per- sonal hate mail," campaign spokesman Charles Robbins said. Specter has received "unpleasant letters in previous campaigns, but they are more prevalent in this campaign because it is national," Robbins said, adding that his office does not respond to such letters Most of the letters released focused heavily on Specter's pro-choice stance on abortion one meandering letter that was released was glaringly anti- Semitic. A nine-page diatribe against Israel and Jews from M. Win- field of.San Francisco named about 30 prominent Jews on a list of things the writer was "so sick of." "We are entering a period of unprecedented anti-Zionist, anti-Jewish public sentiment that no amount of labeling, threats, rhetoric, etc will allay," the handwritten letter read. Winfield singled out film director Steven Spielberg; World Jewish Congress Presi- dent Edgar Bronfman and his family; and Martin Indyk, the U.S. Ambassador to Israel. Mr. and Mrs. W.D. Ferugson of Applegate, OR, called the senator a baby killer and said, "It's time pro-life, Christian America takes over." They signed it: "Filled with revulsion." A postcard from Richard Wagener of Dubuque, IO, depicted an aborted fetus, and Shabbat Candles i!iiiiiii!i:i:: June 16/8ivan 18 Light eandles at 8.@6 p.m, One unsigned, obscenity-ridden letter suggested that Specter choose "that other Russian Jew Allen [sic] Dershowitz" as his running mate ... quoted an article on Specter's campaign trip to the area. It was addressed to "Adolph Specter." Jupiter, FL, resident Ray "Shall" Beesch asked Specter to "please drop dead." One unsigned, obscenity-rid- den letter suggested that Specter choose "that other Russian Jew Allen [sic] Der- showitz" as his running mate and lambasted the senator's campaign announcement. Rob- bins said the letters had not prompted any extra security precautions, though the physi- cal threats were reported to the "proper authorities." "Clearly, attempts and attacks on the president and presidential candidates are not unheard of," he said. "We're just moving aIong, business as usual," Robbins said, adding that the campaign would continue to report addi- tional threats if they are received. OP-ED Israel Bonds attractive features no longer an 'emotional' investment By Michael Glasser Greater Tidewater Israel Bonds General Chairman At one time, Israel Bonds were purchased purely in an emotional context, offering bond buyers an opportunity to do a mitzvah for Israel. But today, to think of Israel Bonds exclusively in emotional terms is to overlook their avail- able rates of return and attrac- tive features. Israel Bonds may be suitable for many invest- ment needs, including retire- ment plans or portfolio diversi- fication. There's even a new instru- ment -- the State of Israel $100 Certificate -- that makes for a meaningful gifts for births, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, and other special occasions. Many purchasers have found the zero coupon bond, now in its fourth issue, to be especially popular. The bond matures at $6,000 on Jan. 31, 2005. The purchase price and effective yield to maturity change quar- terly. Through July 17, 1995, the bond can be obtained for $2,893, which represents an effective yield to maturity of 7.75 percent. Individuals seeking the assurance of a fixed return may be interested in the Economic Development Issue Bond (EDI). When purchased, the EDI's annual interest rate is locked in for the life of the bond. Interest is payable by check mailed on June 1 and Dec. 1 Among the EDI's key fea- tures is early liquidity. While the bond matures April 30, 2005, retirement plans have the option of redeeming the EDI four years from the issue date on 120 days notice, which may be given prior to the expiration of the relevant holding period. All others may redeem the bond five years from the issue date, also on 120 days notice. The minimum purchase for the EDI is $25,000. The Israel Bonds organiza- tions sells a variety of other instruments as well, including variable rate instruments and current income bonds. Each bond has rates and features that may make them appropri- ate for a number of investment requirements. In sum, Israel Bonds may be regarded as important addi- tions to retirement plans and investment portfolic$. Taking into account the needs of today's investor, Israel has introduced securities that can compare favorably in today's financial markets. And yes -- they still repre- sent an important source of cap- ital for Israel, with total sales of bonds and other securities hav- ing passed the $15 billion mark. Those proceeds have been used to develop and strengthen the nation's economic infrastruc- ture, and recently were utilized to help provide housing and jobs for new immigrants. Bonds are also reliable. The ongoing debate over foreign aid underscores the need for Dias- pora Jewry to continue its sup- port of Israel through Israel Bonds. Those wishing more informa- tion about securities sold by the Israel Bonds organization may contact the Israel Bonds office at 800-795-6675. UJF VIRGINIA NEWS Published by The United Jcv,sh Fcdmtion of Tidcwr, Inc.. 7300 Newport Ave, Norfolk, VA 23e.j ' ' ,' Phone (804) 48t8040 . FAX(804) 4892 8tore Sandier ........................................... President Mark L. Goldstoin ....................... EH. Vice PrN. Patrick Moynihan (D-N'Y) and Alfollse D'Amato (R-NY). 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