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>Israel Faxx
>JM Nov. 20, 2001, Vol. 9, No. 193

PA TV Broadcasts Abu Dhabi Anti-Semitic Series


Palestinian Authority TV is broadcasting, direct from Abu Dhabi, a satirical series containing anti-Semitic themes.

The series, prepared by Kuwaiti satirist Daud Hussein, centers around the image of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and portrays him, among other things, as persistently sacrificing Arab children and sharing a drink of bottled Arab blood with another Jewish man, dressed in Hasidic garb.

The popular series will run during the month of Ramadan, which started last Friday.

U.S. Announces New Mideast Peace Mission

By Meredith Buel (VOA-Jerusalem)

Secretary of State Colin Powell has outlined the U.S. vision for the Middle East, saying Israelis and Palestinians must learn to live side by side in two nations as peaceful neighbors.

In a major policy speech Monday, Powell said the Bush administration wants to see two free, prosperous states, Israel and Palestine, coexist within secure borders. But he said both sides must face up to fundamental truths about what they must do to end violence.

Powell called on Palestinians to put an immediate end to anti-Israeli attacks and on Israel to stop building Jewish settlements in occupied territory.

He also said U.S. Assistant Secretary of State William Burns will go to the region this week in a new U.S. bid to revive the negotiating process. Powell also said retired Marine Corps General Anthony Zinni will be his special advisor and will help to bring about an Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire.

Israeli and Palestinian officials welcomed Powell's speech, each emphasizing the demands made on the other side. Leading Palestinian official Nabil Shaath says he is happy the United States is finally speaking about the need to end Israeli occupation. However, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon released a statement saying all violence must cease before negotiations resume.

A political advisor to Sharon, Zalman Shoval, called Powell's speech important, saying it showed the continuing commitment of the United States to promote peace and stability in the Middle East. Shoval, a two-time Israeli ambassador to the United States, pointed to Powell's call to the Palestinians to end more than 13 months of violence and arrest militants responsible for terrorist acts. "The violence has to stop. There has to be a ceasefire. The Palestinians will have to live up to the commitments, which they made about that in the past."

In his speech, Powell said the current Palestinian uprising is "mired in the quicksand of self-defeating violence and terror against Israel."

Powell said in his policy address that Israel must be willing to end its occupation of the Palestinian territories captured during the 1967 Middle East war.

He also said Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip have undermined chances for peace, and that settlement activity must stop. Powell said Israel must accept a viable Palestinian state where people can live with dignity and security.

In violence in the West Bank Monday, Israeli soldiers killed a Palestinian and three Jewish settlers were injured in a drive-by shooting. Later Monday, President Bush said it takes what he called "willing parties" to make peace.

Druze Soldiers No Longer Required to Serve in Separate Unit

By Amos Harel (Courtesy of Ha'aretz)

The IDF is expected to inform the High Court on Thursday that Druze combat soldiers will no longer be required to serve in an all-Druze infantry unit. The IDF's statement will come in response to a High Court petition submitted by a soldier in the Druze unit, Sergeant Husam Janam, demanding transfer to another unit.

Janam argued in his petition that the army has no right to compel him to serve with fellow Druze in the infantry unit. This IDF policy violates standards of equality, the petition maintained.

Janam, who enlisted in the army two years ago, repeatedly requested transfer to a non-Druze unit. He says that he was subjected to intense pressure to remain within the Druze squad. After his induction, Janam was imprisoned temporarily before he agreed to begin service in the Druze unit. Last April he went AWOL, shirking duty in the unit for a month. He was subsequently sentenced to a month's term in an IDF jail.

His request to serve in a non-Druze unit, re-submitted last June, was denied on two grounds: "operational necessities" and a recommendation filed by his commanding officers against his transfer.

In exchanges of letters with Janam and his IDF lawyers, the General Staff's Personnel Directorate claimed that a Druze soldier who wants to serve in a non-Druze unit has the right to do so. Janam alleged in his High Court appeal that this General Staff directive has not been upheld in practice; to corroborate his claim, the IDF sergeant added testimony furnished by two other Druze soldiers from the unit.

Today, a majority of young Druze who are conscripted in the IDF prefer to serve in heterogeneous units such as the Border Police or various infantry battalions. But the IDF pressures many of them to sign up for the all-Druze unit, to ensure that "its ranks are full."

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