Newsletter : 4fax0825.txt
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Israel Faxx \/ / \/ /
August 26, 1994 Volume 2, #160 / /\__/_/\
Electronic World Communications, Inc. /__\ \_____\
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Internet: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (513) 563-7424 \/
Some 5,000 people a day visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in
Jerusalem daily, according to the first survey organized by the
institution. The museum and memorial is visited by about 1.3
million people annually, making it the most visited site in the
country after the Western Wall.
Palestinians Take Over School Systems
By Al Pessin (Jerusalem)
Israeli officials handed over control of schools in much of the
West Bank to Palestinian officials under an agreement reached last
week. Israeli and Palestinian officials decided to begin the
expansion of Palestinian autonomy with education because it
appeared to be easy and relatively non-controversial. But the
handover has instead been a magnet for controversy -- just like
almost everything the Israeli government and the Palestinian
authority try to do.
A Palestinian education official called it "a great feeling"
Thursday when he formally took control of a school in the West Bank
town of Nablus from Israeli officials, who shook his hand and
wished him "good luck." After the Israelis left, the Palestinians
raised their flag over the school.
That brief ceremony was a small part of a much larger process
going on throughout the Israeli-occupied territories -- a process
some call peacemaking and nation-building and others call injustice
Under an agreement reached on Wednesday, the handover of the
education system throughout the West Bank -- except in Israeli
settlements -- is to be followed by the expansion of Palestinian
autonomy to cover other aspects of life in the occupied
territories. Officials on both sides thought education would be an
easy place to start because much of the system was run by
The Israeli government is eager to implement the peace accord
although it says the Palestinian authority is not organized or
financed well enough to move as quickly as many want.
Other Israelis want to slow or stop the expansion of Palestinian
autonomy. For them, what some call the "peace process" is
Yehudit Tayar is a member of the Council of Jewish Communities in
Gaza and the West Bank. She sees a threat in the handover of
education authority to the Palestinians -- a move officials on
both sides believed would be a decidedly non-threatening way to
begin expanding Palestinian autonomy.
"For us, it's a flashing red light to hand over authority for an
educational system to a group that calls (for) our destruction.
We're dealing with a group that is bent on educating toward the
destruction of the State of Israel. So, our reaction of course
would be: How can you give the reins of educating to a group that
is bent on destroying us? We feel that it's a continuation of the
steps of capitulation of the government, and, of course, we object
to it most strenuously."
What Early Empowerment Grants Palestinians
Yediot Ahronot describes the specific responsibilities which the
early empowerment agreement grants to the Palestinians. In
education, the Palestinians will have sole authority in staff
and curriculum matters. In addition, Palestinian schools may fly
the Palestinian flag and display pictures of PLO Chairman Yasir
Arafat. The Palestinian Authority will be responsible for the
salaries of 8,500 teachers and education officials. The
Palestinians will have authority over all aspects of health care,
including authority over 10 hospitals in the West Bank. In tax
matters, the Palestinians will be responsible for the collecting
income and sales taxes.
The newspaper emphasizes that the Palestinians face difficulties in
this area since they have no system for collecting taxes.
Palestinians will now be responsible for certain tourism matters,
including infrastructure and travel planning. In addition, the
Palestinians will be responsible for social welfare matters, such
as public assistance programs.
Clinton Promises to Compensate Israel for "Strategic Advantages"
Given Up for Peace
President Bill Clinton told a B'nai B'rith convention in Chicago
that Washington would compensate Israel for any strategic
advantages it may choose to relinquish for peace. Clinton spoke to
the group via a satellite hookup.
What Hath Camp David Wrought?
By Matthew Schneider (Washington)
On September 5, 1978, President Jimmy Carter, Egypt's President
Anwar Sadat and Israel's Prime Minister Menachem Begin began a
series of meetings that produced the keystone to the spread of
peace in the Middle East. Carter acted as a mediator for 13 days of
intense talks at the presidential retreat called Camp David.
When the three leaders returned to Washington, D.C., they announced
that they had agreed on conditions that would permit Egypt and
Israel to pursue peace. President Sadat and Prime Minister Begin
embraced the measure and called the Camp David Accords, a
"framework of peace in the Middle East."
At an internationally broadcast White House ceremony, the Egyptian
president and the Israeli prime minister praised Carter for his
role in their talks. Carter spoke of the victory of peace over
war: "Two leaders who will loom large in the history of nations,
President Anwar al-Sadat and Prime Minister Menachem Begin, have
conducted this campaign with all the courage, tenacity, brilliance
and inspiration of any generals who have ever led men and machines
into the field of battle."
Carter also said the Camp David agreement was one of the supreme
highlights of his presidency. Sadat and Begin shared the 1978
Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts.
A Day Traveling with Hizbullah
By Edward Yeranian (Beirut)
Israeli troops patrol an area of southern Lebanon which Israel
calls its security zone. The area is the frequent site of
shelling, both by Israeli forces and the Israeli-backed South
Lebanon Army militia and by an Islamic guerrilla group,
Hizbullah. Edward Yeranian visited southern Lebanon this past
week and reports about what remains the last open war front
between Israel and her Arab neighbors.
Hizbullah in Arabic signifies the Party of God. Its name is etched
in the memories of most Americans for holding hostages and blowing
up the US Marine Barracks in 1983.
Since Syrian troops wrested control of Lebanon from rival militias,
Hizbullah has revised its strategy. Today, with Syria's approval,
it focuses on fighting Israel in southern Lebanon.
The August heat is choking in Tyre, the Lebanese port city 10 miles
north of israel. Here we meet up with Mustafa, a bearded, smiling
Hizbullah activist, who will take us to the battlefront.
A convoy of UN trucks passes along the serpentine country road from
Tyre inland. Only a mountainside separates us from the Israeli
lines and that part of Lebanon, inaccessible to us, called the
Speed bumps and a road block mark the UN Fiji battalion checkpoint.
We query the Fijian captain: "Are we far from Israeli lines?" "Not
too far. You can see them." "Have they been shelling recently?"
"Yesterday." "And what do they usually shell?" "Villages. People.
Sometimes they shell us."
Our car struggles up a narrow road before entering the village of
Kafra. The distant thump of shell fire comes from positions
several miles away, perhaps in Tibnine, another Hizbullah
stronghold. Fig trees, olive trees, and pomegranates grow along
terraces framed by neat stone walls. Buildings to the right of
us are dotted with shrapnel marks from recent shellings.
Abou Ja'afar leads the resistance in Kafra. His balcony shaded by
grape vines overlooks the valley. Here, he shares his feelings
with us over a cup of Turkish coffee. "We have two choices, no
others, either to die resisting or continue life fighting."
Ja'afar condemns Israel for occupying parts of his country.
Yet he promises peace will come if Israel pulls out. "They come
carrying guns, killing our children and occupying our lands. Just
let them leave and we have nothing against them."
Everyone, however is not willing to make peace with Israel, if
and when it withdraws from Lebanon. Sheik Soubhi Toufayli, the
former head of Hizbullah, explained to me in Beirut. "We will
continue to fight the Israeli enemy, even if Lebanon makes an
agreement, because Lebanon's signature on such a treaty does not
In Ya'atar, the village next to Kafra, we meet up with resistance
fighters. Ali, a bearded guerrilla carrying an RPG, sports a
headband proclaiming he belongs to a suicide unit. I ask him if
he is prepared to die. "Fighting brings us courage and exaltation
to resist on our land. We will never abandon our land. We'd
In a display of bravado, ali offers to shoot his RPG at Israeli
lines for us to witness. I tell him "No thank you. I myself am
not eager to die."
Three Hizbullah fighters were killed later that day trying to
ambush an Israeli patrol.
The Romanian Police returned stolen Jewish relics and art worth
more than $200 million to Hungarian Jewish officials Wednesday.
Ion Pitulescu, Romanian chief of police, said nearly all of the
gold and silver religious objects, relics, carpets and paintings
stolen from the Budapest Jewish Museum last December have been
recovered. Romanian police recovered the trove in mid-June in the
village of Dascalu, near Bucharest. Two Romanians, Nicolae Chirita
and Emilian Stefan, are being held in Germany and Austria in
connection with the theft.
Faruk Kadumi, the secretary of foreign affairs of the PLO,
announced that the High Committee of the PLO has agreed not to
change its charter which calls for the destruction of Israel, until
the PLO has established its state of Palestine with Jerusalem as
its capital. The PLO had agreed to change its charter last
September -- but, to date, has not honored that agreement. (The
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