LOS ANGELES (Oct. 2)
If Michael Dukakis is elected president he will never accept a unilaterally declared Palestinian state nor a role for the Palestine Liberation Organization, unless it fully renounces terrorism.
The assurance was given here by Kitty Dukakis, often described as her husband’s closest confidante. She was addressing 1,600 enthusiastic listeners at Wilshire Boulevard Temple.
“I have been married to Michael for 25 years and 2 months, and I can tell you that he has never wavered in his support of Israel,” Dukakis said. “He feels that Israel’s fate is our fate and if Israel is threatened, all of us are threatened.”
Dukakis’ voice rose as she declared emphatically that her husband “has never made and will never make a secret deal with anyone.”
The remark apparently sought to reassure the predominantly Jewish audience that Michael Dukakis had not enlisted the support of the Rev. Jesse Jackson by truckling to the black leader’s pro Palestinian views.
Kitty Dukakis, who is Jewish, told guests at a closed reception preceding the talk that she and her husband should not be looked upon as role models on questions of intermarriage.
She did not expand on the statement, but some participants interpreted it to mean that her marriage to a non-Jew was a matter of personal choice that should not be generalized to serve as guidelines on the pros and cons of intermarriage.
Dukakis has a son, John, from her first marriage, who is Jewish. Two other Dukakis children, Andrea and Kara, have been exposed to both her Jewish and the governor’s Greek Orthodox upbringings.
But Rabbi Harvey Fields, religious leader of the host Reform congregation, was more struck by his guest’s obvious pride in her Jewishness and her fond recollections of her grandparents, who came to America from a small shtetl near Kiev.
“She emphasized how proud she would be to hold the first seder in the history of the White House,” he said.