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\ ___\ \ /
Israel Faxx \/ / \/ /
August 25, 1994 Volume 2, #159 / /\__/_/\
Electronic World Communications, Inc. /__\ \_____\
8916 Reading Road, Cincinnati, OH 45215 \ /
Internet: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (513) 563-7424 \/
Sheriff's deputies in North Carolina have rescued a driver who'd
been stranded for four days. 71-year-old William Setliff is
physically disabled and drives a van. When the van's battery
stopped working on Interstate 85, so did the van's electric doors
and windows. Setliff's family filed a report saying he was missing;
help arrived early Tuesday. All Setliff had to eat or drink during
his four days of waiting was a can of Diet Pepsi. When he got
home, he drank three glasses of water and two glasses of milk and
ate some cookies. Then he went to bed.
Cairo Talks Move Toward PLO Control
By Susan Sappir (Jerusalem)
Israel began transferring the education administration in the West
Bank to the Palestine Liberation Organization. It is the first move
towards Palestinian control, beyond the self-rule areas of Gaza and
Palestinians are taking charge of the education department in the
West Bank town, Ramallah. It is the first phase in the
implementation of an agreement between Israel and the PLO and early
empowerment for Palestinians in the West Bank.
In May, Palestinians established self-rule in the Gaza Strip and
the Jericho area of the West Bank. Under the agreement,
Palestinian rule is to extend to the rest of the West Bank in five
spheres: education, health, taxation, tourism and social welfare.
Israel has promised to complete the handover of the education
administration in time for the beginning of the school year,
Negotiators in Cairo are moving towards the agreement on the
transfer of the tax authority. Palestinians are eager to
complete this phase of the agreement and move on to the next--
redeployment of Israeli troops in the West Bank followed by
Syrians Take to the Polls
By Laurie Kassman (Cairo)
Millions of Syrian voters cast ballots Wednesday and Thursday for
250 new representatives in the People's Assembly. There are 7.5
million registered voters. More than 7,000 candidates -- including
512 women -- are vying for seats.
Syrians are voting for a new parliament, but results of the
balloting will not be known before the weekend. The People's
Assembly provides counsel and deals with domestic economic and
But policy decisions on foreign affairs and security remain in
the hands of the president. President Hafez al-Assad also directly
supervises Syria's peace talks with Israel. The ruling Baath Party
is expected to win more than half the parliament seats as it has
for the past five elections. Candidates from the five other legal
parties and independent candidates are vying for the remaining
seats. More than 500 women are among the candidates. Twelve women
held parliament seats in the last four-year term.
'The Politics of Miscalculation in the Middle East'
By Dan Sreebny (Washington)
An old proverb says we should "learn from our mistakes." But what
happens when the mistakes are made by nations? A recent book by a
former diplomat studies several examples of mistakes made during
events in the Middle East, and tries to understand why they took
Ambassador Richard Parker had a long and distinguished career as an
American diplomat, including assignments in Egypt, Algeria, Lebanon
and Morocco. During that time, he saw national leaders and
diplomats make serious errors of judgment.
"About 25 years ago I began thinking about the problems of foreign
policy in the Middle East and how often it seemed things went
In his new book, "The Politics of Miscalculation in the Middle
East," Parker analyzes three examples of serious mistakes by a
variety of nations. Much of the book focuses on the months
preceding the June 1967 war between the Arab states and Israel. The
author also studies errors made during the 1970 "War of Attrition"
between Israel and Egypt and the 1983 peace agreement between
Lebanon and Israel.
"I picked the June (1967) war because it seemed to me to be an
outstanding case of Egyptian and Soviet miscalculation. One of the
purposes of the book is to show that miscalculation is not
confined to the Americans or the Egyptians or the Soviets, but that
everybody does it."
Throughout the book, Parker draws on extensive research and
numerous interviews, plus his own direct experiences as a diplomat
in the Middle East. But the author says he quickly discovered how
little he really knew when he was working in the region.
The author writes that the 1970 War of Attrition was a "sideshow in
a world arena where Vietnam was the main event." However, he
believes it was a deadly and serious confrontation which set the
stage for the Egyptian offensive in 1973 and led to the first
commitment of Soviet Union troops outside of the East Bloc.
"The big thing we didn't know at the time (was that) we didn't
realize how much damage the Egyptians were doing to the Israelis.
The Egyptian army was much more effective than we realized. We
understood the Egyptian purpose to be, at the time, to make the
problem seem acute enough so that the international community would
do something about making Israel withdraw from the Sinai Peninsula.
That's what we heard from Egyptian officials. I think now, in
retrospect, that (Egyptian President Gamal Abdel) Nasser's goal
went beyond that and he was, in fact, preparing for the eventual
effort to retake Sinai by force. He continually said to people
that 'we're only going to get that land back by force.' And I
think he was right."
Parker does not provide a simple menu of recommendations for
avoiding international errors in the future. However, he suggests
that knowledge may be a key component.
"Well, I think that miscalculation is inevitable between humans,
because what's involved is judging how somebody else is going to
react. And we are forever making mistakes in this respect. But it
seems to me that if, (as) the first thing, you know something about
the other people you're dealing with -- the culture they come
from, their history, what their objectives are, what their
personalities are like, if you know something about their languages
-- (then) you're in a better position to judge how they're going to
react than if you're ignorant."
Opinion by Jochanan Bloch
(Editor's note: in 1970, Dr. Bloch, professor of philosophy at Ben
Gurion University in Beersheva, authored this essay in response to
the decision of the Israeli government to accept a ceasefire at the
Suez Canal. No Israeli newspaper would publish it.
"(...) The worse our position becomes, the more we will be
dependent upon the help of the United States. Yet the more our
situation deteriorates, the more the United States will hesitate to
come to our assistance, for fear of confrontation with our enemies,
and she will demand with greater sternness our retreat, a retreat
we have in any case agreed to and signed. If we point to the
dangers involved in a retreat, the principle of 'protection' will
be extended whether we want it or not...
What the government does not realize at this point is that we
will essentially have to retreat to the borders of 1949. A peace
treaty we won't get; we'll get guarantees. Here there will be
demilitarization; there will sit a UN force; here will be a
corridor; there a mixed police force; here shared administration;
there an enclave. Immigration will stop, for such a state will
not be able to attract newcomers. Emigration will resume and
reach dimensions which we have never known...Defense expenditures
will not decrease but grow in direct proportion to the worsening
of our situation. And peace? It is clear that the Palestinian
forces will increase their activity with the support of the Arab
states; even if for the time being states don't enter into war
with us. Our defensive capability will be desperately handicapped
in the choking collar of the 'peace borders,' and the
international guard forces. And then we shall turn to our
friendly protecting powers, and will ask for their help. And it
isn't hard to guess what they will say.
They'll tell us that they are not willing to get involved in a
world war, that we must not bring war upon the world. The process
of blackmail will begin. If immigration has not yet ceased by
itself, they'll demand that we stop it. And the guaranteeing
powers will explain to us that it is evil for us to exist on this
outdated Zionist principle that can drag us to war...We will, in
fact, be returning to the Mandate period and in two or three
years they will say in America that the 'experiment of the Jewish
state' has failed, and that it is necessary to find a reasonable
solution for the problem of Israel. And why not a Palestinian
state in which one will 'guarantee' the lives of the Jews? What
began with the silly slogan "territories for peace" is likely to
end with the liquidation of the state, unless we can retrace our
steps and escape from the nightmarish trap we have fashioned with
our own hands."
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