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Most Americans approach the problems of the Middle East with a pro-Israeli bias - and rightly so. The desire of a dispersed people for a homeland cannot help but enlist the sympathy even of those with no Jewish roots, nor can any sensitive man or woman fail to be moved by the countless tales of valor and self-sacrifice in the years both preceding and following the creation of Israel. The brave Beauharnais with its desperate human cargo challenging the British destroyers, the poignant sage of the Exodus-47 - these and many similar incidents must recall for all Americans proud chapters from our own earlier history. Set against the grim background of the Holocaust, the story of Israel is a continuing chronicle of grit and enterprise, in which the Entebbe foray is only the most recent footnote. Yet the wonder of it all is that, while engaged in a seemingly endless struggle, the Israelis have managed to turn a desert into a garden.
For 30 years, members of the League of Arab States (Arab League) have engaged in a boycott of Israel, a country with which they have been at war and remain in a state of hostility. As an instrument of this state of war, the boycott is intended to prevent Arab states and discourage non-Arabs from directly or indirectly contributing to Israel's economic and military strength.
In the next five to ten years, the industrial world's demand for oil from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is likely to catch up with the amounts that OPEC countries will be able or willing to make available for export. The leading oil exporter, with more than a fourth of the world total, is Saudi Arabia; the world's largest consumer of oil - and since the lifting of import quotas in the spring of 1973 its leading importer - has been the United States. At what exact point the ascending curves of global demand for oil imports and of available OPEC exports will intersect will therefore depend in large measure on policies adopted by the United States in the next year or two, and by Saudi Arabia in the next five to ten.
With great fanfare, representatives of the United States and the Soviet Union signed a trade agreement in Moscow in October 1972. By this point, trade between the two countries, starting from a very low level ("trivial," Aleksei Kosygin called it in 1971), was already beginning a rapid rise. It continued to grow over the next few years. The total trade turnover between the two countries was almost four times greater in 1972-74 than in 1969-71. Much higher levels yet and still more intense cooperation seemed shortly in store. Then, in January 1975, the Soviet Union announced that it would not agree to put the trade agreement into formal effect. It said that the conditions attached by the U. S. Congress to the development of trade - specifically, the Jackson-Vanik Amendment on emigration and the Stevenson Amendment on export credits - violated the terms of the 1972 agreement, and so effectively voided it.
During the almost six decades that have passed since the Russian Revolution of 1917, two contradictory qualities have distinguished the international communist movement. One has been the persistent Soviet effort to subordinate the interests of foreign communist parties to those of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU); the other has been the equally persistent effort of these parties to resist such "Sovietization" and, in the process, to question Moscow's leading role in world communism. Now, in the aftermath of last summer's Conference of European Communist Parties in Berlin, a third tendency may be observed in the international relations of the communist movement - the prospective export of what has come to be known as "Eurocommunism" from West to East, signifying a historic shift in the direction of influence and initiative within world communism.
The French Left is at the gates of power. Long impotent in the face of Gaullist or conservative rulers, it has for a good many years now achieved an intellectual, programmatic and, above all, a popular renaissance that upsets the rules of the French and European political game.
The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is a political and economic anachronism.
In the developing relationship between China and the United States, the spotlight has been on official visits, trade and exchanges, and on the issues surrounding a possible normalization of relations. However, many crucial questions concerning relations between the two countries have received less public attention; they concern military-security and arms control issues, which involve fundamental questions of war or peace.
The negotiations at the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea, aimed at concluding a comprehensive and universally acceptable Convention on the Law of the Sea, are deadlocked over three critical issues: the legal status of the agreed 200-mile economic zone, a regime for exploiting the resources of the deep seabed, and the rights of landlocked and geographically disadvantaged states. Five arduous sessions of the Conference have produced a negotiating text that promises agreement on other issues of considerable importance to the United States as well as to other nations. However, the achievement of a convention consolidating these gains turns upon the resolution of the deadlocking issues.
Reviews & Responses
Of all the public figures of twentieth-century Europe, Jean Monnet is one of the most sympathetic and inspiriting. He can justly be called a great man who, in a life guided by a pragmatic idealism, has done his best to heal the deep wounds which Europe has inflicted on itself and to place international relations on a basis of reason and the recognition of a common interest among nations. He has been called the founding father of the European Community, and, if not everything has turned out as he foresaw, that is the normal fate of political innovators.