St a te 44- s-t-ei-C-a-l L-JLbr.3 r u 816 State Street Madison, WI 53706-0001 consul GWisn nronic 10 Vol. XIV, No. 14 April 12, 1991 28 Nisan 5751 $24 per year in Continental USA Israel warm, Arabs cool to Baker's peace ideas By Gil Sedan Jerusalem (JTA) Israel seemed to reclaim the diplomatic high ground this week as the Arabs gave a cool reception to U.S. Secretary of State James Baker's proposed regional peace conference. Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir endorsed the idea Tuesday. Egypt gave a tepid response and Syria flatly rejected it For now, Israeli diplomats can watch the rare spectacle of the United States prodding the Arabs states, not Israel, to give a positive response to proposals for advancing the peace process. Egypt and Syria, recent combat partners of the United States in the war to oust Iraq from Kuwait, continue to demand an international conference hosted by the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council. Israel opposes this idea. Baker arrived m Cairo Wednesday from Jerusalem with Israel's agreement in principle for a regional conference to be convened by the United States and the Soviet Union. The timing, locale, composition and agenda of the conference were not determined. But Israel and the United States appear to have reached an understanding that the conference would be a one-time event with no authority to impose solutions. It would serve as a ceremonial curtain raiser for Egypt and Syria push a U.N.-backed peace conference. negotiations Israel would hold separately with the Arab states and the Palestinians. Syria uncompromising The first Egyptian reaction was that a regional conference would be a "waste of time." Shortly after Baker's plane landed, the Egyptian foreign minister, Esmat Abdel-Meguid, told reporters, "We are still waiting for details about this conference and the countries that will take part in it" The reaction from Syria, next stop on Baker's latest Middle East junket, was uncompromising. Damascus accused Israel of trying to sabotage Baker's mission. It insisted upon a U.N. Security Council resolution mandating an international conference under U.N. auspices and Israel's prompt withdrawal from all "occupied Arab lands," according to news reports. The Israelis were not surprised by the Syrian position, but Justice Minister Dan Meridor said it was hard to believe that Egypt "would make things more difficult rather than easier." Egypt is the only Arab state to have a peace treaty and full diplomatic relations with the Jewish state. PLO excluded Israel and the United States, meanwhile, are reported to agree on the exclusion of the Palestine Liberation Organization from the peace process. But they were believed to have worked out a formula that would allow the participation of Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem in a delegation from the territories. That would open the door to Faisal Hus-seini of East Jerusalem, the senior Palestinian political figure in the area, whom the Israelis describe as an agent of the PLO. Baker has assured Israel, however, that there would be no U.S. dialogue with the PLO, nor would Israel be forced into such dialogue. Israel and the United States were also said to agree that the negotiations would be conducted along the lines adopted at the Camp David conference in 1978. But Israel would refrain from using the term "autonomy" in connection with the territories because it is unpalatable to the (See page 18) Diaspora pians to guarantee loans for Soviet oIiiTi Federations will vote on plan April 1 6 By Aliza Marcus New York (JTA) Diaspora Jewry is planning to underwrite a $900 million loan program to assist in the absorption of one million Soviet Jews in Israel by 1993. Arriving Soviet immigrants now receive basic absorption grants covering first-year housing and other expenses. According to the new plan, they will each receive $ 1 ,000 of that package in loans backed by diaspora Jewish communities. For what is believed to be the first time, the U.S. Jewish phi lanthropic community is resorting to a large-scale loan program to assist Israel, rather than relying solely on direct The loan program will be complemented by a $650 million fund-raising campaign, $200 million of which will go to a reserve fund, to cover loan defaults. Richard Meyer: The Milwaukee Jewish Federation supports the plan. Inside Limit backed for campus use 2 Jews urge help for Kurds 3 Editorials 4 When inaction kills Remembering Israel's fallen Letters, Viewpoint.. 4 Why Jews left Iraq 5 OBHOBEEHHE (Russian column) 6 On books 7 Spring House & Garden Guide. 8-15 Community calendar. 16-17 In business 17 Life cycle 17-18 Chronicling history 18 Classifieds 18-19 Israeli's "soft paintings" 20 "As one federation official put it: 'We're betting the ranch,'" said Charles Goodman, president of the Council of Jewish Federations, which represents about 200 North American federations and was me prime initiator of the program. Goodman and others said loans were the logical step. "It just seemed the appropriate way to finance this problem, because everyone is convinced it is well beyond our philanthropic capacity" to raise the money needed, he said The loan program, along with the worldwide fund-raising appeal, will be put to a vote April 16 in Washington during an extraordinary General Assembly of Norm American federations. Although formal approval is expected from almost all federations, CJF officials have spent the preceding weeks trying to anticipate and answer potential concerns, so as to ensure final support. The Milwaukee Jewish Federation will vote to support the plan, according to Executive Director Richard Meyer. "It is an innovative and appropriate response based upon the tremendous numbers coming in and the realization that fund-raising alone will not be able to help mem," he said. Meyer said that Alan Marcu-vitz, Louise'Eder, Martin F. Stein and possibly Alan Crawford will represent Milwaukee at the April 16 meeting. Unexpected surge The fund-raising campaign will be split between the United Jewish Appeal, the major fund-raising arm of American Jewry, and Keren Hayesod, which raises money from diaspora Jewish communities outside the United States. The UJA campaign goal is set at $450 million; Keren Hayesod is responsible for $200 million. This comes on the heels of the 1990 Operation Exodus campaign, which raised $420 million through UJA and $180 million through Keren Hayesod h if, I t, ..j i-UlQ hi? Xjf- f j - f ' mliM Andrew Muohin flocked to him Tuesday night at Gene Wilder with several of the hundreds of autograph-seekers who the Performing Arts Center. Old friends are 'kvelling' for Wilder By Andrew Muchin fTbtChroafckiMT Gene Wilder, the slender actor, screen writer and director with the curly red hair, was politely making his way through a room crowded with admirers Tuesday night when Bonnie Schwid approached him. They hadn't seen each other in about 40 years, when she was named Bonnie Luff and he Jerome Silberman, but she didn't have to remind him who she was. My first girlfriend!" he exclaimed. Schwid explained later that she dated Wilder during their junior and senior years at Milwaukee's Washington High School. Both are 1951 graduates (although Wilder claims he's several years younger). On Tuesday night, the third-floor reception area at the Performing Arts Center seemed filled with Purgolders born in 1933. They and others had come to see Wilder inducted into the Wisconsin Performing Artists Hall of Fame with jazz trumpeter Dick Ruedebusch and entertainer Bobby Lee Scherkenbach. The star of the films "Frisco Kid" and "Young Frankenstein" was remembered for more mundane activities by some of his fellow West Siders, none of whom had seen him for 40 years. "We were childhood friends," said Jerry Schumacher proudly. "We went to Camp North Star together. He bunked above me." Mel Schnoll recalled work-.. ing in Wilder's father's factory, which produced miniature bottles of whiskey and wine. When Schnoll was younger, he occasionally slept over at the Silberman home. "Even as a kid he used to like to horse around," said Schnoll, "Sword-fighting, always joking around. He was always one hell of a nice guy." Schwid remembered Wilder as pensive in high school, when his mother was ill. He also was precocious, at least when it involved driving. Schumacher and Schnoll laughed as they recalled how Wilder would chauffeur them and other members of Milwaukee AZA Chapter 39 to basketball games on Sunday mornings. Wilder, who drove his father's red Lincoln, was 14 years old at the time. But he had his father's permission, Schumacher quickly noted. Apparently Wilder fit in well with Milwaukee 39, as he was not renowned for his basketball skills, according to Schumacher. The actor's best known early film may be "The Producers," but Judy Schumacher said she is part of the select group that has seen Wilder's first films. In these, Jerome Silberman was a co-star as a guest at Jerry Schumacher's boyhood birthday parties. "He's cute" in the films, said Mrs. Schumacher. "He looks the same as he does now, with his hair." All of his old friends said they follow his cinematic career with special interest, "I see all his movies," said Judy Schumacher. "He hasn't made a bad movie that I know of," said Jerry Fishman, who attended Sherman Elementary School with Wilder. But even if Wilder made a clunker, his Milwaukee fans might be too busy levelling to notice.
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