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>JN July 19, 2000, Vol. 8, No. 124

Barak Offers PA 95% of Judea & Samaria in Swap for Jerusalem

By IsraelWire

Ma'ariv reports Prime Minister Ehud Barak is offering the PLO Authority nearly 95 percent of Judea and Samaria in exchange for total Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem. PA officials indicated that PA Chairman Yasir Arafat would reject any offers that do not include PA sovereignty over at least eastern Jerusalem, including the Old City and the Temple Mount, to serve as the capital of a Palestinian state.


Down to the Wire at Camp David

By VOA's David Gollust (White House) & Ross Dunn (Jerusalem)

The Camp David Middle East summit moved Tuesday through its eighth and perhaps most decisive day, with President Clinton working almost non-stop to get an Israeli-Palestinian deal before a planned trip to Japan Wednesday.

The White House is maintaining its news blackout on the substance of talks, but it is clear from the hectic pace of Clinton's activity that the summit may be in a decisive phase.

Spokesman Joe Lockhart said Clinton had a mid-day meeting with Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat after working all night in marathon talks that included two sessions with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak -- the second of which lasted beyond four in the morning.

In a signal that Clinton might at least delay his departure on the five-day Japan trip, Lockhart said the departure of a charter flight for reporters covering the trip will be pushed back from Tuesday evening to sometime Wednesday.

Similarly, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright cancelled plans for a trip to London that was to have begun late Tuesday, though her spokesman said the decision was not necessarily linked to summit issues.

Despite the blackout enforced by the U.S. delegation, there has been a flurry of reports from the region about possible scenarios for the conclusion of the summit, including suggestions there could be a partial agreement that would include an Israeli pledge to recognize Palestinian statehood while talks continue on other issues.

But spokesman Lockhart -- using a baseball analogy to discount the reports - said the batting average of those reporting on what is purportedly going on at Camp David is not so good. Clinton wants an accord covering all the final status issues, including the borders of a Palestinian state, the rights of Palestinian refugees and probably the most difficult -- the political future of Jerusalem. A final accord is certain to mean a huge increase in U.S. aid to the parties, including contributions to an international fund for the refugees.

The Speaker of Israel's parliament, Avraham Burg, said there was a possibility that an agreement would be reached at Camp David but the outcome may not be clear until the last moments of the talks.

Burg based his comments on a conversation with Barak. He says the prime minister is cautious but highly motivated in his mission to reach a final peace accord with the Palestinians.

But Cabinet Minister Haim Ramon, a close confidante of Barak, says he doubts an agreement can be reached before Wednesday when Clinton is due to leave Camp David for a meeting of the world's leading industrialized nations in Japan.

Ramon says it will take extraordinary courage on the part of both Barak and Arafat to achieve the much-needed breakthrough to bring about an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"What both leaders have to do in Camp David is to make the decisions of their lives and the life of their nations. And they have to be very brave and they are very brave, and we are waiting if they will make the peace of the brave."

Several Israeli newspapers reported that the summit is unlikely to succeed because of the lack of progress on the key issues of Jerusalem and the rights of Palestinian refugees.

Nahum Barnea, considered to be Israel's leading columnist, predicts that Barak and Arafat will return to the region Wednesday without an agreement.


Yad Vashem and JewishGen Sign Data Sharing Agreement

By IsraelWire

Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority, which holds the largest repository in the world of names of Holocaust victims, and JewishGen Inc., an organization which represents the leading Internet site for those researching their Jewish heritage, have signed a data sharing agreement.

In the framework of the signed agreement Yad Vashem is to work with JewishGen, which will be providing a network of volunteers from special interest and research groups worldwide, to index and digitize names from about 10,000 lists. These lists, stored in Yad Vashem's archives now holding over 55 million pages of documents, will be accessible on the Yad Vashem and JewishGen websites.

The names to be digitized as part of the project will add to the more than 3 million names of Holocaust victims already digitized and stored in Yad Vashem's Hall of Names. These names were taken from Pages of Testimony, and from lists collected from different sources, and continue to be received by way of Pages of Testimony as part of the Campaign for the Collection and Commemoration of Names of Holocaust Victims.

The digitization of the names from Yad Vashem's lists will go toward the creation of the Jewish people's central worldwide database at Yad Vashem to ensure the perpetual preservation and commemoration of names of Holocaust victims.





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