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October 30, 1998

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ii !ili !fi00j 8 t  Book Review The Process chronicles three years of secret meetings in Oslo between two diverse people The Process By Uri Savir Random House, New York, 1998 315 pp $27.95 By Hal Sacks Book Review Editor Your reviewer, struggling to meet a deadline, had hoped the recent negotiations in Washington would have been concluded. It would have made a great lead-in to our strong endorsement of a very readable, uncharacteristically unself-serving chroni- cle of three years of secret meet- ings in Oslo between two peo- ples who basically denied each other the right to exist. Uri Savir, Israel&apos;s chief nego - tiator with the PLO from 1993 to 1996, and his Palestinian coun- terpart, Abu Ala, spent some 35,000 hours in the effort to bring understanding and prag- matic achievement to a process mired in the litany of past hatred, past terrorism, past abuses of human rights. At this writing, the negotiat- ing teams are at loggerheads, each threatening to walk out, yet today brings hope that by the time this review is published some progress will have been made. So it was at the time of the Oslo negotiations, which took place on a parallel track to what was purported to be negotiations taking place in Washington, but what was in reality an extended opportunity for puffery and bom- bast. The issues were clear. Israel had had enough as an occupier. The people were ready to get their sons and daughters out of the corrupting and thankless job of policing Gaza, and the Palestinians .real- ized they could never get their people out of the circle of poverty without true freedom and an economic part- nership with Israel. At the same time, tow "lions in winter," the septuagenarian Rabin Hal Sacks and Peres, after half a century of opposition to teach other, joined hands for one last effort to create a legacy of peace. Introduced to each other as "Enemy Number One," Savir, the dove who nevertheless thought of his counterparts as diabolic murderers, and Abu Ala (Ahmed Qurei) had reached a point of dialogue after years of bitter conflict, bloodshed, hatred and little experience with peace. It took patience, faith, tenacity and a sense of equality. That these negotiations could take place in secret over three years, with participation, eventu- ally, by a dramatis personae that included Hassan Asfour (a reformed Communist who had spent time in a Syrian jail), Maher al Kurd (an economic advisor to Yasser Arafat) is amazing. The initial Israeli team included Ron Pundak and Yair Hirschfeld. Terje Larsen, a social Southeaern'Vrgmta Jewish News scientist and his wife, Mona Juul, a successful diplomat in her own right, hosted and parented the sometimes fractious group, leav- ing ample space, but remaining available to help overcome seemingly insurmountable prob- lems. In due course, Yoel Singer, an attorney whose experience in peace negotiations traced back to Camp David, became a principal in the negotiations, which, every step of the way, led back to Tunis and Arafat, to Jerusalem and Rabin/Pares. The extraordinary events that followed, the secret meetings between a disguised Peres and Jordan's King Hussein, the involvement of Dennis Ross and the American side of the equa- tion make for a fascinating and in many ways brilliant book, almost novelistic, certainly one which is critical for those who have a genuine interest in what is really required for the peace effort to succeed. Israel is such a young country still, and the intimacy we share with its few "hall-of-famers" is remarkable. Uri Savir is assured- ly a "hall-of-famer," yet those of us who sat on the floor of the Israeli consulate, eating our deli sandwiches while a young con- sul-general briefed our "Cam- paign workers mission to New York" didn't realize we were in the presence of a shaper of histo- ry. Impact of Stock Market Volatility CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3 Octobet.u,Juuo l Take a closer look Let's examine how a balanced sale works. Suppose GeorgeShamus owns stock worth $20,000. He invested $5,000 ten years ago. He believes that the stock is unlikely to increase in value in future years and he would like to sell it. He does not, however, wish to paj capital gains tax of as much as $3,000, leaving him with net sale proceeds of no more than $17,000. Mr. Shamus is also interested in making a charitable gift of approxi- mately $6,000 while enjoying the greatest tax savings in his 36% tax bracket. IF MR. SHAMUS ONLY SELLS HIS STOCK: FMV $20,000 (a) BASIS < 5,000> GAIN $15,0OO TAX RATE 20% TAX $ 3,OO0 (b) NET 17.000 (a-b) I BALANCED SALE: Gift Sale $6,000 $14,0OO (a)i 3,500 $10,500 36% 20% $2,160 (c) $ 2,1OO (b) Savings Cost WASH + $14000 (a-b+c \\; NET COST t / 3.OO0 Here is how a balanced sale would help him accomplish both of his objectives. Let's examine the chart above. Note that the $2,160 in tax savings from the gift more than offsetS the $2,100 in capital gains tax due on the securities he sold. The tax liability on the portion of the securities that are sold is thus "balanced" by the tax benefit for the charitable gift portion. Mr. Shamus is able to enjoy cash proceeds of $14,000 and the satis- faction of making a $6,000 gift, a total of $20,000 in value to him, while effectively bypassing a portion of the capital gains tax liability. Had he sold all of the securities, he would have netted just $17,000 after paying $3,000 in taxes. Converting gains to income In today's environment, many donors may wish to use securities that have increased in value in recent years to fund gift annuities, charitable remainder trusts, and gifts that provide additional income for them- selves and/or loved ones for life or another period of time. This can be an excellent way to unlock Value from appreciated securities while reducing tax liabilities and providing an additional source of income for the future. Communication is the key While these strategies are obvious to thechantable gift planners at the Tidewater Jewish Foundation, our goal is to communicate to our donors the possibility of combining their personal and philanthropic planning. These strategies may offset the potential negatives of stock market uncertainty and show our donors the many positive alternatives that present themselves in today's environment. 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