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  Israel Faxx                                      \/ /  \/ /
  August 10, 1994 Volume 2, #148                   / /\__/_/\
  Electronic World Communications, Inc.           /__\ \_____\
  8916 Reading Road, Cincinnati, OH 45215             \  /
  Internet: ewcnews@tso.uc.edu Phone: (513) 563-7424   \/
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The Panamanian government has determined that the explosion of a plane two weeks ago that killed 18 people including 4 Israelis and 8 Panamanian Jews was caused by a bomb carried on board by a suicidal terrorist belonging to the Hamas organization identified as Ali Jamil. Zeev Shiff, one of Israel's most respected journalists, has revealed that the United States is prepared to sell hi-tech spy satellite equipment to Saudi Arabia.

Argentina Reneges on Bombing Promise

By Roger Wilkison (Rio de Janeiro)

Argentina says it will not break diplomatic relations with Iran even if Iranian diplomats are found to have been involved in the bombing of a Jewish community center last month in Buenos Aires that killed at least 95 people. Argentine officials frankly admit they are afraid a break in relations would lead to reprisals on the part of terrorists.

It was not long ago that Argentine President Carlos Menem was threatening to cut ties to Iran if diplomats from that country were implicated in the July 18th bombing.

But on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Guido di Tella and Defense Minister Oscar Camilion said in separate interviews that if investigators prove a link between Iranian diplomats and the crime, Argentina will expel the diplomats but will not break relations with Tehran.

News media in Buenos Aires have been reporting the existence of an official Iranian connection to the bombing. But, so far, investigating magistrate Juan Jose Galeano, who is in charge of the case, has refused to confirm or deny the reports.

Di Tella and Camilion both stressed the need to be cautious even if Iranian diplomats are involved. Di Tella said such an eventuality would lead to problems in relations between Argentina and Iran but not to a break. The foreign minister acknowledged the possibility of a new terrorist attack if such a break occurred. For his part, Camilion said any diplomatic move taken hastily could produce undesirable consequences.

A top foreign ministry official who asked not to be identified explained that the Menem administration's new policy of caution toward Iran is also based on economics. He said Iran is an important buyer of Argentine grain.

But the official admitted that what he called a prudent attitude has taken hold of Argentine officials because many of them are afraid of an attack by Islamic fundamentalists who, he said, have already made it known that they do not like the president's pro-American foreign policy.

A report in Tuesday's edition of the Buenos Aires newspaper "La Nacion" quotes an unnamed cabinet minister as telling the president that, if he does not proceed cautiously with Iran, he might as well live in a bunker and forget about ever again traveling abroad.

Christopher Satisfied with Progress

By Kyle King (Secretary's Plane)

Secretary of State Christopher says it is difficult to portray the progress he made on his latest mission to bring peace between Israel and Syria. But he and other senior US officials are expressing satisfaction with results of their latest shuttle diplomacy effort.

Christopher says his talks with Syrian and Israeli leaders left both sides with a lot to think about. The secretary again said the parties are no longer self absorbed and are now discussing substantive issues and what needs to be done to make progress. He says both sides are now engaged in a contentious effort to understand the needs of the other party, but he again said the issues are difficult and intertwined.

The secretary says it is difficult to portray any concrete progress that was made on the talks, because progress on one of the many issues may not in the long run be significant unless there is progress on another.

A senior State Department official traveling with the secretary said the parties want peace, but it is not peace at any price. He said the both sides are now discussing the issues and trying to determine if they are willing to pay the price they are being are being asked for by the other.

On the subject of the Palestinians, the secretary said his talks with PLO Chairman Yasir Arafat were useful and there has been progress in finding ways to speed development funds to Gaza and Jericho in the West Bank.

Donor nations have pledged more than $2.4 billion in development aid, but little of the money has been disbursed because of questions about Palestinian bookkeeping.

Christopher said he said he and Arafat discussed new ideas that will improve the procedures and streamline the process that will allow the delivery of the badly needed funds.

PLO: We Will Not Annul Covenant Without Total Israeli Withdrawal HaTikvah News Service

PLO member Farouq Kaddoumi, described as the PLO's foreign minister, said in Cairo that the clause in the PLO covenant which calls for the destruction of Israel will not be changed until Israel signs a peace treaty with all Arab countries. "Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin cannot ask the Palestinians to change or amend their charter until an Israeli withdrawal is completed from all Arab territories," Kaddoumi said.

This contradicts repeated promises by Yasir Arafat that the PLO would annul those clauses that call for the destruction of Israel.

Kach Forms Underground Police Force

The Associated Press reports that the outlawed anti-Arab Kach group has formed an underground police force that masquerades as Israeli security agents in Arab villages, a member said.

The Kach activist, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity, said the group's policemen drive cars usually associated with Israeli security forces in order to drive through police and army roadblocks barring Israelis from Arab villages. Once inside "we lift the law off the ground," the activist said. He said the patrols sought to deter stone throwers, but would not elaborate on their approach.

Israel police spokesman Eric Ben-Ruby said police were looking into the reported Kach force. "If laws are being broken, it will be dealt with accordingly," Ben-Ruby said.

The extremist Kach movement was outlawed and its leaders jailed after a Jewish settler shot and killed Palestinians in a Hebron mosque in February.

Since the massacre, just sporting a T-shirt bearing the movement's name is criminal. Kach members have sworn to continue their extremist activity under a new name.

Everything You Wanted to Know About the Veil

By Kim Reid (Cairo)

In September, more than 10,000 people will gather in Cairo for a UN-sponsored conference on population and development. Many conference participants suggest the best way to control population growth is to return control of women's bodies to women. More and more Muslim women are following Islamic dictates to cover their bodies almost head-to-toe in a head scarf and modest dress.

Islamic religious scholars say a woman's body is a temptation that a man is powerless to resist. Therefore, once a girl reaches puberty, Muslim religious texts dictate that she cover all but her face and her hands from the outside world.

This act of veiling, as it is known, fell out of vogue in Egypt as young women adopted Western dress and manner as vigorously as Egypt tried to match Western economic prosperity in the 1940s and 1950s.

But the veil has staged a comeback in the past 15 years. Omayma Abdel Latif, a 24-year-old journalist, now wears the headscarf common among devout Muslim women in Egypt. She dismisses the stereotype that women who veil are Islamic radicals, bent on propagating an Islamic revolution to sweep away Western influence in the Middle East. "It doesn't mean we're fundamentalists or extremists or whatever. We're normal people. We don't have any horn or tails."

But while proponents of the growing conservatism say they are not anti-Western, they frequently find themselves disagreeing with Western policies, such as those that will be discussed at the upcoming population conference.

For veiled Egyptian singer Yasmin el Khayyam, the idea of controlling population growth goes against Islam's notion of letting God's will prevail.

She says the West spends a lot of time and money telling developing countries to stop having children, while Western countries try to increase their population.

Islamic scholar Fahmy Howeidy says developing countries should spend their money on increasing economic growth, instead of birth control. "It (birth control) should not be imposed as a policy on society. It should be left to every family which should decide about their own life."

According to sociologist Barbara Eddin Ibrahim, resentment toward the West runs deep, inspired by centuries of colonialism. She says the emphasis on religion and resurgence of customs like veiling indicate a deeper search for a more-authentic, Arab identity.

But Egyptian scholar Fatima Farag warns of what she says are negative aspects the conservative trend, including greater male control over women, and more aggression toward women. "I do not conceive of my body as something which is something I cannot show. It is something that I control, that I can clothe or undress as I wish, which no other man has the right to cover or to uncover."

But Farag's views are considered in the minority. Headscarves continue to spread across Egypt, clothing young and old, a symbol of Islamic piety, and some women say, Islamic self-determination.


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