Contingent declares opposition to U.S. aid for Israeli-Syrian deal

Although negotiations between Israel and Syria have broken down, those opposed to Israel giving up the Golan were not taking any chances.

In a briefing before the office visits, Herbert Zweibon, chairman of Americans for a Safe Israel, told the amateur lobbyists which lawmakers' office to visit and what to say.

"No money, no troops," Zweibon said. "If Israel wants to do this they can, but the United States should not support" a deal.

Breaking into small groups, the amateur lobbyists from across the country headed out to their 100 appointments with House and Senate staffers. They planned, during the lobbying blitz on Jan. 8 and 9, to drop off information packets at every one of the 535 offices that make up the maze on Capitol Hill.

They were armed with a number of talking points:

*U.S. troops stationed on the Golan would be open to terrorist attacks.

*Polls show that Americans oppose U.S. taxpayer money going to support a peace deal.

*Syrian President Hafez Assad is a criminal who can't be trusted.

They also carried videotapes depicting the strategic importance of the Golan Heights to Israel and wore bright orange buttons saying: "No U.S. troops in the Golan!"

Dr. Harvey Finkelstein, a radiologist from near Louisville, Ky., said he believes Israel is making a mistake in negotiating with the Syrians about a potential withdrawal from the Golan Heights.

"I have been very disturbed, very upset by the prospects of a deal with Syria," he said. "It's just a monumental folly."