Emerging Democracies

Emerging Democracies in Eastern Europe (1990)

The sudden and swift transformation of Communist Eastern European countries into Democratic societies has produced a sea of change in East-West relations, posing new opportunities as well as new dangers. This dramatic transformation is leading to a reduction in East-West tensions, improved relations between the United States and Eastern European countries, the revitalization of Jewish life in those countries, and positive changes in relations with Israel.
Along with the democratization process, however, have emerged disturbing signs of anti-Semitism and ethnic strife. Fanatical nationalism among ethnic groups is leading to blood-letting. How the governments react to manifestations of anti-Semitism will require careful monitoring and may be a test of each government’s will to ensure freedom and protection of minorities within their borders.
The reunification of Germany, which is proceeding at a rapid pace, is of profound concern to the United States, the Soviet Union and western European allies, as well as to the Jewish people.
Most of the Eastern bloc countries have re-established full diplomatic relations with Israel. This shift in attitude could diminish Eastern European support for Arab positions in international bodies and for Palestinian terrorist organizations which historically have received training, arms and other services from some East European countries.
Women’s League for Conservative Judaism urges:
  1. Encouragement of democratically oriented movements in Eastern European countries.
  2. Monitoring and responding to manifestations of anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe.
  3. Public and private American support for these newly emerging democracies (but not at the expense of foreign aid commitments to Israel and other allies.)
  4. East European countries to join in worldwide efforts to combat international terrorism.
The Administration to encourage commitments from the two Germanys’ that a reunified Germany will educate its own population, giving high priority to teaching about the Holocaust, and strengthening their appreciation for democratic norms, pluralism and tolerance.