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The Bush Administration's reluctance to grant Israel's request for $10 billion in housing-loan guarantees may not be just a ploy to press the Shamir government to talk peace with its Arab neighbors. Some of Bush's advisers make an economic argument: they see little difference between Israel's economy and the state-run mess in the Soviet Union. "We've had some suggestions -- including some from Israelis -- that the worst thing we can do is send a $10 billion loan guarantee to the socialist system in place in Israel," says a senior official. Bush is considering a plan that would channel any new...

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