Newsletter : 0fax0707.txt
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>JN July 7, 2000, Vol. 8, No. 117
Heat Wave Claims Life of U.S. Tourist
Meteorologists say the oppressive heat-wave that has hit eastern
Europe, originating in the Sahara Desert, is responsible for the
unseasonably hot temperatures in Israel over past days. On
Thursday, the Arad Search & Rescue Team was called in to extricate
six travelers who lost their way and were overcome by the harsh
conditions and the heat. After the rescue effort, it was learned
that one traveler, an American teenager, who tried making her way
back to the minibus on her own, was overcome by the extreme heat
and died of dehydration.
Barak: Peace is 'Toss of the Coin'
By Ross Dunn (VOA-Jerusalem)
Prime Minister Ehud Barak says there is a 50-percent chance of
success at next week's Middle East peace summit. He says the
three-way meeting with President Clinton and Palestinian leader
Yasir Arafat provides a historic opportunity to help end the Arab-
Barak says the summit, which opens Tuesday near Washington, is a
calculated gamble at making peace with the Palestinians. He says
the chances of success are 50-50 - "like the toss of a coin" and
that both sides will have to make painful decisions in order to
reach a final settlement of their conflict.
Barak warns that failure to seize this opportunity could lead to
more bloodshed. He says it is time for the parties to decide
whether they want to settle their differences now or perpetuate the
conflict for decades to come.
Barak he is not discouraged by the announcement that two right-wing
parties will leave the coalition in a bid to prevent Israel making
what they regard as excessive concessions to the Palestinians.
But Barak says even if his coalition is weakened, he will press
ahead with peace making efforts, claiming a mandate for his mission
from the Israeli public.
He recalled that when the late Prime Minister, Menachem Begin went
to Camp David in 1978, two-thirds of the Israeli public were
against his plans to hand over territory to Egypt. But when Begin
returned home with a peace agreement, the same percentage of
the people were in favor of the accord, the first between Israel
and the Arab world.
U.S. Muslims Call For Burger King Boycott
By the VOA's Candace Williams
A Washington-based Muslim group, American Muslims for Jerusalem,
says it is calling on Muslims and Arabs to immediately boycott the
fast food restaurant chain, Burger King, for a second time. In
a news conference, the group says the Miami-based fast food chain
has refused to close an outlet now operating in a Jewish West Bank
The new boycott campaign comes nearly one year after Muslim and
Arab organizations boycotted Burger King for operating its outlet
in Ma'ale Adumim, the West Bank's largest Jewish settlement. The
August boycott ended after three weeks when Burger King announced
it had instructed its Israeli franchisee, Rikamor Ltd, to remove
the Burger King brand name from the outlet. But the executive
director of American Muslims for Jerusalem, Khalid Turaani, says
that has not happened and Burger King must still meet its
"The commitment was to remove the Burger King logo and products
from a food court in the illegal Israeli settlement, Ma'ale Adumim,
in the occupied West Bank. Ma'ale Adumim is a Jewish-only colony
located three miles east of Jerusalem. It is established on
confiscated land to create demographic imbalances favoring
Israelis in Jerusalem. This has long been recognized as an obvious
attempt to consolidate control over the occupied land."
Turaani accuses the British owned Burger King of reneging on its
commitment and says it gives the impression the company is
desperate in its search for market share.
Burger King, for its part, contends the Israeli franchisee, Rikamor
Ltd, misled the company into thinking the food court would be
inside Israel proper and not on disputed territory. (EDITOR'S NOTE:
Israel considers the area part of Greater Jerusalem). In a written
statement, the restaurant officials accuse Rikamor of breach of
contract and say the matter has been referred to an international
arbitrator because they have been unable to settle the issue.
Turaani says he expects Burger King to take the boycott threat
seriously since many of its restaurants throughout the Arab world
and elsewhere have sizable numbers of Muslim and Arab customers.
Will Israel's Mossad Spooks Strike?
In light of the opening of the trial in Switzerland of Mossad agent
Yitzhak Ben-Tal, operational agents in Israel are threatening not
to carry out operations. The agents explain the trial is a
resounding statement that they do not have the support of the
government, and therefore, will not carry out operations realizing
they will be left in the field if apprehended.
Agents were quoted as saying that forcing the agent to return to
Switzerland to stand trial, realizing he will most likely be sent
to prison, is tantamount to abandoning soldiers in the battlefield
and this was unacceptable.
Government officials have confirmed the report, acknowledging that
agents have stated they refuse to set out on operational missions
at this time since they no longer enjoy the backing of the
government that sends them.
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