Newsletter : 6fax1107.txt
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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan
Nov. 7, 1996 V4, #203
All the News the Big Guys Missed
Egyptians Receive Agricultural Training in Israel
Twenty-one Egyptian trainees began an agricultural course sponsored by
the Foreign Ministry's Center for International Cooperation
which is being held at Rehovot's Center for Development Studies.
The 55-day training program will concentrate on developing rural
How the Election Affects Israel
By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)
Israeli and Palestinian officials welcomed the US election results
Wednesday, but have opposite hopes of what President Clinton's
re-election might mean for the Middle East peace process. Depending
on whether you ask Israeli or Palestinian officials, the US
election either means new energy for the peace process, or no
change in the plodding negotiations.
Asked whether he wants the newly re-elected president to put
pressure on Israel's new government to moderate its demands in
the current negotiations, Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat said
he prefers to say he wants Clinton to give the peace process
a push forward. His chief negotiator, Sa'eb Erakat, put the
Palestinian view this way.
"President Clinton, who has been the sponsor of the peace process
-- all agreements have been signed under his auspices -- we hope
that he will look at the situation in terms of those who are
pro-peace, and those who are against peace."
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said almost the same
thing, with the opposite meaning. He also said he does not
expect any new US pressure, and it would not be effective anyway.
"I think the United States, and President Clinton in particular,
has made it very clear that the negotiations have to be conducted by
the parties. They will have to live with the results. And
therefore the US role is one of facilitator, and not one of
The ambassador to Israel, Martin Indyk, who is one of the
mediators, agrees. But he also says Clinton wants to see results
from the current talks.
Whether the Clinton re-election energizes the Israeli-Palestinian
negotiations or just results in more of the same, analysts on
both sides point out that at least now the election is over -- it
can no longer be used as an excuse to wait or a target date after
which things might change.
They say the Palestinian Authority and Israel's new government
can return to the negotiations and deal with the issues before
them, issues which did not suddenly get any easier or more
difficult on Tuesday.
Arab Reaction to Clinton's Election
By Laurie Kassman (VOA-Cairo)
Congratulations have gone out from Mideast leaders to Washington on
the conclusion of Tuesday's election, along with expressions of
hope that President Clinton in his second term will do more to push
the peace process forward.
On the streets of Cairo, Egyptians and other Arabs offer mixed
reactions to Clinton's re-election and what it means for the peace
"I think the sure way to make peace is with Mr. Clinton. I'm quite
sure he will help a lot...I don't like President Clinton's policy
in the Middle East because he always says yes to Israel and this is
completely not fair...Clinton's winning mostly because he focuses
on the internal affairs. So I'm not sure he'll be doing
something different for the Middle East.
One Saudi businessman is optimistic about a second Clinton term.
"He can be more relaxed and he can see the problems of the Middle
East in a more even manner. That he is not faced with any
pressure from any side. I think he will help."
The editor of the Syrian Times agrees and underlines Clinton's
stated commitment to the peace process. Political analysts say
Clinton has to put more pressure on Israel's prime minister
to restart the peace talks, based on the principle of land for
Egyptian political analyst Mohamed Sid Ahmed says Clinton now has
the mandate to get results. "There is good reasons to believe he
will be building for the 21st century if he can prove that he is
able to do something outstanding. I think he has always been
concerned with this crisis in the Middle East. Now he will have
very hard nuts to crack. The question is to see to what extent he
will take advantage of this opportunity."
Egypt's president has sent his congratulations and hopes that the
peace process benefits from Clinton's victory. Jordan's
information minister says Arab leaders now are waiting to see a
more active US role in the stalled peace process.
Several Egyptians point out that Clinton should not waste time,
because he already knows the players and the issues and what's at
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