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Israel Faxx is faxed to you daily (Sunday evening through Thursday evening).

We bring you the latest news and features from Israel. We provide up-to-the-minute hard news, as well as features suitable for all students at your school.

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  Israel Faxx                                      \/ /  \/ /
  July 11, 1994 Volume 2, #126                     / /\__/_/\
  Electronic World Communications, Inc.           /__\ \_____\
  8916 Reading Road, Cincinnati, OH 45215             \  /
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All the news that your local paper missed



Soul singer Ray Charles had some strong things to say about Elvis Presley. Charles said, "Black people been goin' out shakin' their behinds, their hips and stuff for centuries. And all Elvis was doing was copying that. And he was doing our kind of music. So, what the hell am I supposed to get so excited about, man? I think all that stuff about saying he's the king....That's a piece of bunk."

Peace Talks Resume Today

By Larry James (Paris)

Israel and the PLO have agreed to continue peace talks in Cairo starting today. Two working groups are to be established for the talks, one focusing on the release of thousands of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel as well as the situation in Hebron. The other will be concerned with extending Palestinian autonomy to other areas of the West Bank in addition to organizing elections and dealing with financial matters.

Plo Chairman Yasir Arafat says he will convene the Palestine National Council in Gaza soon to win their approval of changes in elements of the PLO Charter that call for the destruction of Israel. The mutual recognition treaty signed by the two sides in Washington last September included a pledge from the PLO to remove such language from the document.

Arafat Prepares to Make Gaza Home

By Peyman Pejman (Cairo)

PLO Chairman Yasir Arafat arrived in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah Saturday where he met Saudi Arabia's King Fahd. During the meeting Arafat asked the oil-rich country for financial help in boosting the impoverished economy of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

Saudi Arabia has been a long-time backer of Arafat and his movement. But, PLO-Saudi relations have been cold since Arafat sided with Iraq after the Baghdad government invaded Kuwait in 1990.

Sunday, Arafat returned to Tunis, where he moved his headquarters in 1982 in the aftermath of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon. Today, Tunisian officials will treat the PLO chairman to a formal red-carpet goodbye. Arafat will then officially move his headquarters to the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Amnesty International Cites Israel

By Art Chimes (Jerusalem)

Amnesty International has issued its annual report on human rights violations throughout the world last year, and as usual many countries of the Middle East come in for criticism. The Amnesty report cites detention of political prisoners, torture, and both judicial and non-judicial executions in countries across the region.

Amnesty says Israeli security forces shot 150 Palestinians to death in the occupied territories last year, some of them in apparently unjustifiable circumstances. Amnesty also says the demolition of houses where fugitives were hiding may have been intended as collective punishment.

An Israeli military statement denied the charges, accusing Amnesty of ignoring the environment of "violent terrorist attacks" in which the Israeli army operates.

IDF Spokesman, Ilan Tal, said that "The Amnesty International report ignores the situation on the ground in which terrorists, armed with lethal weapons, are engaged in carrying out violent terrorist attacks. IDF activities are directed against terrorists in order to prevent and foil terrorist attacks aimed at innocent civilians." The spokesman emphasized that open-fire orders are well-defined and are in accordance with the law.

In fact, the Amnesty report does note that armed Palestinian groups committed torture and arbitrary killing, including those of more than 100 Palestinians suspected of cooperation with Israeli authorities.

Why Arafat Didn't Visit Jerusalem

By Daud Majlis (Washington)

Yossi Beilin, deputy foreign minister of Israel, says the PLO chief did not attempt to travel to Jerusalem during his first visit to the territories. Such a visit, in Bellin's view, would have been a mistake because of the high emotion and antagonism it would have generated.

Beilin said Arafat understood the situation and as such he did not visit Jerusalem. The success of what he termed the pragmatic Palestinian movement, Beilin emphasized, is Israel's success, too.

The Israeli deputy foreign minister reiterated that under no circumstance Jerusalem would be divided. It is the only capital of Israel. But, he said, anyone who would like to pray in Jerusalem will have the right to do so, including Yasir Arafat.

Considered by many as the most outspoken member of the Israeli Cabinet, Beilin emphasized that it is not and it can not be the Israeli policy to ignore 120,000 Palestinians who live in east Jerusalem. He suggested that for those people there an be some kind of self-administration by a committee elected by them who will decide about the daily lives of the community and its special needs. However, he hastened to add that he is not suggesting that Jerusalem will have more than one municipality or will be divided into boroughs.

Clinton Visits Warsaw Ghetto Memorial

By Deborah Tate (Warsaw)

President Clinton Thursday laid a wreath at one of Poland's most important World War 2 monuments--the memorial to those who died in the Warsaw Ghetto.

Clinton, accompanied by his wife Hillary, placed a wreath at the stark gray monument dedicated to the 100,000 residents who died of hunger or illness in the Warsaw Ghetto in the early 1940s, as well as those Jewish combatants who were killed fighting their German occupiers. One side of the monument is carved to depict their struggle.

Clinton, wearing a yamulke, bowed his head as a cantor chanted a prayer for the dead, recalling the death camps some Jews were sent to, including Dachau, Auschwitz and others.

Hundreds gathered at the site to watch the ceremony, including several who survived life in the Warsaw Ghetto. Sigmund Nissenbaum was among them, and he was happy about Clinton's visit to the monument. "This is very good, doing this. The president coming here is very good."

Nissenbaum recalled life in the Warsaw Ghetto when he was 15 years old. He said he smuggled food and weapons to those in the ghetto, and although he was caught by authorities several times, he managed to escape. Nissenbaum, whose mother and two sisters died in the ghetto, was profoundly moved as he recalled those dark days.

Also on hand for the wreath-laying ceremony was 19-year-old Margaret Kordowicz. She says half a century after the time of the Warsaw Ghetto, she believes there remains an undercurrent of intolerance toward Jews in Poland.

"It's not easy to be Jewish at school. For example, the majority of us (who are Jewish) don't tell everybody that we are Jewish, but only to our closest friends."

She believes Jews in Warsaw are still discriminated against and stereotyped. She is working with local organizations to try to improve the plight of Jews in her community.

In addition, she hopes ceremonies like the one Thursday will help keep alive the memory of those who perished -- so that future generations, like her own, will never forget the past.

Sinai Archaeological Finds will be Returned to Egypt

By Art Chimes (Jerusalem)

In Jerusalem, the Israel Museum has opened an exhibit of archaeological finds from the Sinai desert. The artifacts on display will soon be returned to Egypt -- more than a decade after being excavated by Israeli archaeologists.

When Israeli troops took the Sinai peninsula in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, it was an important military victory. But for Israeli archaeologists, it was an unexpected opportunity to investigate the remains of thousands of years of human activity in an important crossroads area.

The Egyptian official in charge of archaeology in the Sinai, Mohamed Abdel Maksoud, admits that before 1967, Egyptian archaeologists never gave much priority to the Sinai. "Before the Israelis, the plan for excavation of the area was completely zero because of the political situation of the area, and it was war, and political things."

Israeli archaeologists dug in the Sinai desert for 15 years, until the area was returned to Egypt following the Camp David Accords. But if the government gave back the Sinai, Israeli archaeologists were not so eager to give back the treasures they extracted from the desert. Eventually, however, Egypt and Israel agreed on a return of the artifacts, which will be concluded by the end of this year.

The small exhibit at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem is just a sample of the richness of archaeology in the Sinai. Take the Nawamis -- circular stone burial structures more than 5,000 years old. Archaeologist Avner Goren says these ancient tombs were clustered, as many as 200 in one cemetery.

"Very well built, very nicely, though they had no mortar in between the stones it still stands up so nice because of the quality of the work, and also you can see a lot of aesthetics. The people were buried there with all of their goods. Tools like arrowheads (and) scrapers, or jewelry with the women. Maximum number of people that we found inside were seven. Like I said it was a nuclear family, so it was always man and woman, and the rest were children."

The exhibit at the Israel Museum also includes material from extremely well-preserved homes in Qasrawet, from the late Roman period, around the 4th century of the Common Era. Curator David Mevorah says among the objects found there were well-preserved oil lamps decorated with Christian, Jewish and pagan symbols.

"All in the same house. So population was mixed and lived together happily. Maybe we find a way to get back there sometime to the same mode of life."

The ancient Egyptians loved jewelry made with turquoise, and some of the stone came from a place called Serabit el-Khadem in the southern Sinai. The museum exhibit shows molds for making metal tools used in the mining process. Also on display is a stone inscribed 34 centuries ago with the name of the chief Canaanite god, in one of the first alphabetic writing systems that eventually replaced complex pictorial writing systems such as hieroglyphics. Again, David Mevorah. "It begins in this region, and we find it in the turquoise mines of Serabit el-Khadem, with very symbolically the word 'El' -- God -- on this stone."

These and other artifacts will be handed over to Egyptian authorities by the end of the year. There is hope that the smooth handover of the Sinai material will pave the way for increased archaeological cooperation between the two countries.

NAACP Debates its Future

By Paul Francuch (Chicago)

The oldest civil rights organization here in the United States, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, is holding its 85th annual convention in Chicago. The convention's focus is on how to improve the economic status of African Americans.

Saying the quality of life of African Americans needs to be improved, NAACP Executive Director Benjamin Chavis told reporters that economic issues, specifically economic "empowerment," to use the word favored by the NAACP will be at the forefront of this year's convention.

In his effort to try to broaden cooperation between the NAACP and other black civil rights groups, Chavis has run into some controversy. An invitation Chavis extended to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan to speak last month at another NAACP meeting generated national newspaper headlines. Farrakhan has frequently been the target of Jewish groups which have been highly critical of his derogatory remarks about Jews.

While never endorsing the views of Louis Farrakhan, Chavis's invitation to the Black Muslim leader to join the dialogue on the goals for African Americans has raised concern, not only among Jewish groups which have traditionally supported the NAACP, but also within the civil rights organization itself.

Some directors of the organization fear the action is a signal that Chavis will redirect the NAACP away from its traditional mainstream course. One director who requested he not be named told reporters that some corporate foundations and labor unions which support the NAACP are reconsidering their support in the wake of the Farrakhan speech.


Monks Want Millions

Two former Benedictine monks who say that they scored the music on a CD of Gregorian chants that was a Top 10 best seller in the US claim that they are entitled to $5 million in royalties.

The CD was recorded by monks in a monastery in northern Spain in the 1970s and 1980s. It was released in the US in March under the title "Chant." The former monks served as directors of the choir before they left the monastery more than 10 years ago.

The record company says that the chants are in the public domain, so are not protected by copyright. The chants, it says, are simply what the monks have sung seven times a day for hundreds of years.



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