Newsletter : 9fax0722.txt
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>JN July 22, 1999, Vol. 7, No. 133
Madonna Heading to Safed for Kabala Event
According to Safed Mayor Yossi Ohz, pop star Madonna is planning a
visit to the holy city, including the graves of righteous
kabalists. Madonna, who is a student in the Center for Kabalistic
Teaching in Los Angeles, told her rabbi of her planned trip to
coincide with a large kabalistic event planned following the Clei
Zemer festival in August.
Barak Reportedly Agrees to a Golan Withdrawal
By Ross Dunn (VOA-Jerusalem)
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak is reported to have reluctantly
agreed to a full withdrawal from the Golan Heights, captured from
Syria during the 1967 war. Senior Israeli government officials say
Barak recognizes there is no other way to achieve peace with
Damascus. Barak is reported to have reconciled himself to
sacrificing the whole of the Golan -- long considered as crucial
to Israel's security.
The decision reflects Israel's recognition that Syrian President
Hafez al-Assad is not prepared to allow the Jewish state to
maintain sovereignty over any part of the territory.
The Hebrew newspaper Ma'ariv says Barak has recognized this
reality, and is prepared to transfer the Golan in return for a
series of security guarantees from Syria and the United States.
Under the plan, Syria would be forced to reduce the size of its
armed forces and the United States would supply Israel with a
series of high-technology early-warning systems.
The whole area would also be under US satellite surveillance,
and the information gathered would be available to Israel in the
event of any threat of an attack.
Israeli diplomatic analyst David Makovsky says Syria has also
agreed to allow Israel the right to man its own military warning
stations at Mt. Hermon in the center of the Golan -- but under
"We are talking about that the Israelis...manning the early-warning
station on Mt. Hermon, under an American or French flag. There
have been discrepancies over the question of whether [the
arrangement] is for more than 10 years or if it is indefinite.
This we don't know. But the principle that the Israelis would stay
on Mt. Hermon is very important."
Israel's apparent readiness to sacrifice the Golan Heights in order
to make peace with Syria has left thousands of Jewish settlers in
the area feeling that their time there is running out. Some of them
say they are not prepared to accept the loss of the territory.
The Shin Bet, Israel's secret police, confirms it has begun
monitoring meetings of the Golan residents. The police say they
are spying on the settlers to ensure they will not resort to
violence against the government in their campaign to keep the
area under Israeli control.
Clinton Telephones Arafat
By Deborah Tate (VOA-White House)
President Clinton has called Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat, to
brief him on his recent talks with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud
Barak. Clinton told Arafat that the Israeli leader is serious
about breaking the deadlock in the stalled Middle East peace
White House spokesman P.J. Crowley says Clinton used his half-hour
phone call to say Barak is serious and committed to moving the
peace process forward, and with looking for ways to work with
Arafat. The Palestinian leader responded he looked forward to
meeting with the Israeli leader again.
Although Arafat earlier this week rejected the 15-month framework
proposed by Barak to complete a comprehensive peace agreement, he
did not reiterate his concerns in the conversation with Clinton.
PA Plans Tourist Resort in Gaza
According to a report by Arutz-7 Radio, the PLO Authority is
planning a large tourist complex in Gaza, one that will place
serious hardships on the lives of the area's Jewish residents.
According to the report, Israeli officials indicated they were
unaware of the planned hotel and resort, which was to include a
The plans called for three hotel-complexes of 180 rooms each. What
made these "hotels" noteworthy was that each room was to be 100
square meters in size (over 1000 sq. ft.), thus that they could
easily turn into full-scale apartments and, in the end, a new
Palestinian residential area. The IDF has not yet approved or
rejected the plans.
Wakf Establishes Another Mosque Under Al Aksa
In total disregard for local building laws and codes, and the
preservation of archeological artifacts, the Muslim Wakf in charge
of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City has erected another new
mosque which occupies approximately 10,000 square feet. The
project was undertaken primarily by the Islamic Movement run by
The destruction of walls, ancient ruins, removal of artifacts and
the entire project was accomplished without any supervision of
officials of the Israel Antiquities Society, a move which experts
now admit may have disturbed or destroyed some of the most
important archeological finds in the capital.
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