Newsletter : 5fax0511.txt
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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan
May 11, 1995, V3, #87
All the News the Big Guys Missed
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Jerusalem Acreage Becomes Issue
By Laurie Kassman (Cairo)
The issue of the status of Jerusalem is once again sparking anger
and consternation in the Middle East. The future status of
Jerusalem is the most explosive issue of the peace process. Jews,
Muslims and Christians consider the city as one of their holiest
sites. The 1947 UN partition plan that created the State of Israel
called for putting the city under international rule.
Israel has occupied the whole city since the 1967 Arab-Israeli war
and considers Jerusalem as its unified capital. The Palestinians
see east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.
Palestinians continue to complain that Israel has steadily expanded
Jewish settlements in the occupied areas and slowly put more Jews
than Arabs in traditional Arab areas. Palestinian negotiator Nabil
Shaath has warned that allowing Israel to redesign the city's
demography is endangering the peace process.
Israel says the latest confiscation of 131 acres of land in east
Jerusalem is a municipal decision to provide much-needed housing
for residents. Israel insists more than 60 percent of the land
belongs to Jews. The Palestinians dispute that claim and argue
that confiscation of occupied land violates international law and
the 1993 Declaration of Principles that guides the peace talks.
Egypt and Jordan -- the only two Arab states to sign a peace treaty
with Israel -- have condemned the move. Morocco's King Hassan --
who heads the Organization of Islamic Conference Committee on
Jerusalem -- wrote an angry letter to Israeli Prime Minister
Yitzhak Rabin warning that their bilateral relations could suffer.
The message described the land confiscation as a bombshell for the
peace process with serious repercussions for Israel's future
relations with the Arab world.
On behalf of the Arab League, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates
formally requested a UN Security Council debate on the issue. But
US Ambassador Madeline Albright already has warned her colleagues
that the United States will oppose any resolution on the issue.
The United States sees the matter as a dispute for Palestinians and
Israelis to work out.
Arab commentators say the United States is losing its credibility
as an impartial mediator. To make matters worse, in their opinion,
the US Senate is now due to discuss a bill that would require the
US Embassy to be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by 1999.
Some critics said it was a thinly-disguised political move by
Republican presidential hopeful Senator Robert Dole to court Jewish
votes ahead of next year's election.
Most governments have refrained from transferring their diplomatic
missions out of Tel Aviv until the status of Jerusalem has been
The city's final status is supposed to be put on the negotiating
table next year. The Palestinians want to talk about it right
Yediot Aharonot: Iran Training Palestinian Terrorists
Iran has increased its efforts to derail the Middle East peace
process over the past six months and has reportedly been training
Palestinian terrorists at camps in Iran, Yediot Aharonot reported.
According to a senior American official, the U.S. government has
information linking Iran to January's Palestinian suicide bombing
at Beit Lid in which 21 Israelis were killed.
According to the newspaper, this is the first time since the
signing of the Declaration of Principles in September 1993 that
evidence has been found directly linking Iran to terrorist attacks
Shamir Speaks at Ohio State University
Yitzhak Shamir does not see peace for Israel. "All of us want
peace, true peace, real peace," he said Tuesday at Ohio State
University. "We desire a peace that will enable the Jewish
people to continue our life with full security...and be able to
continue the development of the country."
But the former Israeli prime minister characterized the current
peace process as a "failure. I don't agree to this peace process,"
Negotiations to establish borders and resolve the question of
Jerusalem are to begin in about one year.
The 1996 Knesset elections will be a test for Yitzhak Rabin's Labor
administration, he said.
Shamir predicts the Israeli voter will reject the current
leadership and its push for a self-rule agreement with PLO Chairman
Yasir Arafat Such a change likely will bring an end to negotiations
with the PLO, Shamir said, adding he shuns concessions that would
keep Jews out of some parts of Israel.
Shamir said he'll work to see his party--the Likud party--in
control again with a policy promoting peace and prosperity.
Shamir was prime minister twice; from 1983 to 1984, and from 1986
to 1992. He started his ascension as a member of the Knesset, then
its speaker, then foreign minister and then in 1983, prime
Shamir is visiting the United States on a lecture tour and was
brought to Columbus by the Schottenstein Chabad House at OSU.
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