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>Israel Faxx
>JN March 1, 2000, Vol. 8, No. 39

Clinton Remains Optimistic About MidEast Peace

By David Gollust (VOA-White House)

President Clinton says he is not giving up hope of achieving a breakthrough in Middle East peace-making during the remainder of his term, and says the return to Washington of envoy Dennis Ross should not be seen as a sign of failure.

Clinton insists that "important headway" has been made in Middle East diplomacy, and he's not giving up on the possibility of breakthroughs this year despite Ross' inability to restart direct negotiations on his just-completed mission to the region.

In a White House talk with reporters as he left for a day of political fund-raising in Florida, the president said he is working harder than ever to overcome remaining "stumbling blocks," and he cautioned against making too much of the return of Ross to Washington for consultations:

"It would be a great mistake to over-read the significance of his coming home. He's coming home because we need to talk about where we are now and where we're going. But there's no throwing in the towel here."

The president said despite the latest difficulties, Israel and the Palestinians have not abandoned their stated goal of concluding peace talks by mid-September. He also said Israel and Syria are not far apart on matters of substance, and might still be able to reach peace during his term in office.

"I don't think there's as much difference there as is commonly assumed. I think it is more likely that we'll have success if we have it this year than if we put it off. But they're not operating on my timetable. They're operating on theirs. And I'm just doing what I can to help them get the job done as quickly as possible."

Holocaust Trial Receives Eichmann Memoir

By Meredith Buel (VOA-Jerusalem)

Executed Nazi Adolf Eichmann wrote in his memoirs that the Holocaust was the worst crime in human history. The Nazi bureaucrat historians say played a key role in the genocide of 6 million Jews wrote his account of the Holocaust while in an Israeli jail.

Israel's State Archives released the Eichmann memoirs after keeping them secret for nearly 40-years. Eichmann wrote the 1,300-page document in the months leading up to his 1962 execution by Israel. Eichmann says the Holocaust was the worst crime against humanity in history, but portrays himself as only a small cog in the Nazi death machine. The Nazi bureaucrat organized the trains, which took millions of Jews to their deaths in concentration-camp gas chambers. He was kidnapped from a hideout in Argentina by Israeli Mossad agents and brought to trial in Jerusalem in 1960. During the trial, Eichmann sat in a bullet-proof glass booth as more than 100 witnesses testified against him.

Israel's Attorney General, Elyakim Rubinstein, says he hopes the memoirs will confirm important details of the Holocaust. "We see it as part of Israel's obligation and commitment as a Jewish state, all of us being survivors, in fact, of the Holocaust, and we also see it as our obligation to help in fighting Holocaust denial."

The Eichmann memoirs will be introduced as evidence during a libel trial in a British court. Controversial British historian David Irving is suing American professor Deborah Lipstadt. Irving says a 1995 book by Lipstadt -- "Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory" (Penguin Books) -- maintains that he denies the Holocaust and distorts statistics. Lipstadt's legal team asked Israel to release the Eichmann document so it could be used as evidence in her defense. Irving has said he does not deny Jews were killed by the Nazis during World War 2. but challenges the number of people who died and the methods used in the concentration camps.

In a recent interview with Reuters, Irving said the notorious Auschwitz concentration camp was a sort of "Disneyland" built by Polish communists after the war to attract tourists.

The director of Israel's Holocaust memorial, Avner Shalev, says Eichmann's writings will prove that those who deny that the Holocaust happened are wrong. "In some parts of the diaries, Eichmann tells parts of this history itself in a way that depicts what has happened, and Irving is denying all those facts."

The Eichmann memoirs were released on computer disks and they are available to the public free of charge. The original hand-written document will be put on display at the state archive.

Irving brought the suit against Lipstadt, who in a 1995 book called him "a dangerous spokesman for Holocaust denial." Lipstadt's book is a study of attempts to argue that the Nazi campaign to exterminate Jews never took place.

A London court has been hearing Irving's suit against the American history professor since January. The case is expected to last three months. Irving was convicted by a German court in 1990 for telling a public meeting in Munich that there were no gas chambers at Auschwitz, which he described as "a very brutal slave labor camp" where around 100,000 people died.

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