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>Israel Faxx
>JN Sept. 11, 2000, Vol. 8, No. 155

Gambia Issues Pope-Rabbi Stamp

By Arutz-7

The West African country of The Gambia has decided to eternalize the historic meeting of Pope John Paul II with Israel's Chief Rabbis in Israel earlier this year. A photograph of the meeting has been turned into a 25D Gambian postage stamp.

Palestinian-Israeli Contacts to Continue

By Arutz-7

The negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians will continue over the coming weeks, despite the dead end reached in New York last week. Acting Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami and Atty. Gilad Sher will represent Israel in the relatively low-level talks, and their PA counterparts will be Muhammad Dahlan and Saeb Erekat.

Ben-Ami's announcement of the talks contradicts Saturday's claims by official spokesmen of Prime Minister Ehud Barak that further contacts are not foreseen, but are in line with predictions by Arafat's aides.

Ben-Ami hinted that on the agenda at present is no longer a final-status, end-of-conflict agreement, but rather a limited agreement that will leave Jerusalem for later; the Palestinians will not announce an "end to the conflict," but rather "an end to their demands on Israel, except for Jerusalem."

Arutz-7 reported Sunday that although Barak is personally against such an arrangement, and continues to insist on a conclusive agreement that will put a final end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, "there is tremendous internal party pressure upon him to reach some sort of agreement, even if not a final one - call it an 'expanded third withdrawal.' The question is whether Barak will be able to stand up to the pressure emanating from within his party to do this."

The PLO Central Council convened Saturday to vote on the postponement of the declaration of a Palestinian state. The probable next target date for the declaration: Nov. 15. Council Chairman Sal'im Za'nun says that a date no later than Jan. 1, 2001 must be chosen, for if not, "this will mean the permanent perpetuation of the autonomy."

Correspondent Huberman reports that Arafat always likes to choose meaningful dates for his deadlines: Sept. 13, the original date for the declaration, is the seventh anniversary of the first Rabin-Arafat handshake on the White House lawn at the signing of the first Oslo agreement; Nov. 15 will be the 12th anniversary of the PLO's declaration of a state-in-exile in Algiers; while Jan. 1 is the 35th anniversary of the first Fatah terrorist attack in 1965.

Leah Rabin: Yitzhak Would Turn Over in His Grave

By IsraelWire

In yet another blow to Prime Minister Ehud Barak, Leah Rabin, the wife of slain Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, stated last week that "Yitzhak would turn over in his grave" over the concessions Israel is willing to give to the PLO Authority.

In an interview with Yediot Ahronot, Mrs. Rabin was quoted as saying that Barak was no longer carrying on in her husband's path since he is willing to make large concessions that her late husband would never have supported, even in the name of peace.

She explained that the relationship between her husband and PA Chairman Yasir Arafat was one of mutual respect but added that Barak is moving ahead, willing to make large concessions, and receiving nothing in return.

Barak, a former IDF chief of staff and the most highly decorated soldier/officer in the history of the IDF, was seen as the successor of Yitzhak Rabin, having rose up through the ranks of the IDF while Rabin was a senior officer and chief of staff. Barak was seen as Rabin's protege and the natural successor after an assassin killed him in 1995.

Israelis Who Violated Pork Law Won't be Prosecuted

By IsraelWire

The Attorney General's Office announced that it will not enforce laws banning the sale of pigs and pork by-products in Israel. The law today permits local municipalities to make their own decision regarding the sale of "Basar Lavan" (white meat) as it is known in Israel.

In what is being hailed another pro-secularist victory, stores wishing to sell pork and related by-products no longer must fear legal ramifications. The ruling by Attorney General Elyakim Rubinstein's office results from a request by the attorney for the municipality of Carmiel who requested permission from Rubinstein's office to file charges against 13 persons for the sale of pork.

The current pork law permits local municipalities to make their own decision vis-a-vis pork stores. Some areas permit it while most still enforce the ban.

'Israel Day' to Take Place in Olympic Park

By IsraelWire

An Israeli cultural festival will be held in the Olympic Park in Sydney during the Olympic games. "Israel Day," scheduled for Sept. 18, will include live performances by Israeli musicians, Israeli video clips, and art exhibits as well as appearances by athletes from the Israeli delegation to the Olympic games. Israel is one of 15 countries organizing a national day at the Olympics.

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