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>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
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
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
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
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
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