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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                       May 3, 1996 V4, #81
All the News the Big Guys Missed

Jerusalem Negotiations Will Start Sunday

By Ed Warner (VOA-Washington)

The status of Jerusalem promises to be one of the toughest issues to resolve in the Middle East peace process. The Palestinian point of view was explained in some depth and passion at a recent conference held at the Contemporary Center for Arab Studies at Georgetown University in Washington.

More than Jerusalem is involved in the question of who will govern it, said Walid Khalidi. A senior research fellow at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University, Khalidi said the decision on Jerusalem will affect all Islam, profoundly shaping its relations with the West.

Khalidi said Muslims consider Israel a Western proxy that has been given undue advantage in asserting its claim to Palestine. As the Israel elections approach, he did not see much difference between the contesting parties in their determination to control Jerusalem:

"Even if Labor wins, given the balance of power on the ground, so massively in favor of Israel and given the West's policies of omission and commission in perpetuating the situation, the outcome most likely to emerge will inevitably do grievous harm to the interests of Islam and Arab Christianity in the city as well as to relations between Islam and the West in general."

Khalidi said there should be a search for a middle ground fair to both sides. In his opinion, that would be, among other things, making West Jerusalem the capital of Israel and East Jerusalem the capital of Palestine.

But Israel cites history and tradition to support its control of Jerusalem, says Alan Malkovsky, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy: "Israel takes a very clear line, both the Labor and Likud Party, that Jerusalem should remain the undivided, eternal capital of the State of Israel, and I think it would be very difficult for any Israeli government politically to compromise on that position. Now there might be ways within the context of that position to play around the edges. There is probably some room for flexibility, but it will have to be credibly seen as undivided and in its entirety under Israeli sovereignty."

Malkovsky says Yasir Arafat and the Palestinians have not effectively responded to the US congressional legislation. He says they have somewhat blurred their position on establishing two capitals in Jerusalem, adding confusion to a highly complex issue. In fact, he says, it will be the hardest part of the peace process: "because Palestinians and Israelis live so close together there, because it is such an important city for economic, political and historical reasons for both sides and mainly because of the strong emotional attachment that both sides have, and it is an emotional attachment that extends beyond the feelings of those two groups themselves to the greater diaspora."

Walid Khalidi and Alan Malkovsky agree the world will be watching the settlement of the Jerusalem conflict.

Israel Faxx Medical Briefs
Relief for Slipped Disk Sufferers

A method of using lasers when operating to treat a slipped disk in the spinal column has been devised in Israel and tried at the Meir Hospital in Kfar Sava on three patients. Usually, such surgery needs full anesthetic and can take several hours. The new laser technique of removing the disk takes about 20 minutes, using a needle of 1.5 millimeter diameter and an optical fiber of 800 microns, with the laser melting the affected disk to ease quick removal.

Hadassah Develops Skin Cancer Detector

A computerized instrument for detecting skin cancer elements has been devised by Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem, in cooperation with the Hebrew University. A digital camera photographs spots on the body of the person examined where cancer might be likely and immediately detects clinical signs for the diagnosis.

Heart Disease Tracked by Ultra Sound

A new application of ultra-sound diagnosis is being used at the Hadassah Hospital and Medical Center, with the instrument usually used for checking fetuses to check the heart. It has been discovered it can do this very accurately. A tube is inserted into the patient's body with an ultra-sound device at its end and it emits shortwave transmissions and informs the computer exactly where the arteries may have narrowed to the extent that could cause a heart attack. When that is determined, an angioplasty can be performed right away.

Medication for Herpes of the Lips

A new medication, the first of its kind in the world, to treat herpes of the lips has been developed and successfully tested on living creatures before being applied to humans. Called "Utravir," it will be clinically tested on volunteers at the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, after being approved by the Ministry of Health.

The ointment is based on materials that prevent the spread of the infection, and has had 80 percent success so far in its tests. It has also prevented recurrence of the ailment.

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