Newsletter : 4fax1004.txt
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>PD OCT. 5, 1994 V2,#181
High Court Refuses to Review Demjanjuk Ruling
By Jane Berger (Washington)
Justice Department officials say they will continue to press for
the deportation of accused Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk to his
native Ukraine. The Supreme Court this week refused to review a
lower court ruling which said the Justice Department fraudulently
deceived the courts, Demjanjuk and his lawyers in original legal
For the past 17 years, officials at the US Justice Department have
been fighting to deport retired auto worker John Demjanjuk on
grounds that he was a Nazi war criminal.
In 1986, Demjanjuk was stripped of his US citizenship and
extradited to Israel on grounds that he was Ivan the Terrible --
a notoriously brutal Nazi guard at the Treblinka concentration camp
during World War 2. Demjanjuk has always insisted he is innocent
of the charges -- claiming he was a Red Army soldier who spent most
of the war in a German prison camp.
After a long trial in Israel, Demjanjuk was sentenced to death in
1988 for crimes against humanity. Last year, the Israeli Supreme
Court reversed the death sentence. The court said new evidence
suggested that another man named Ivan Marchenko -- who has not
been seen since the end of the war -- was actually Ivan the
A US federal appeals court last September ordered the return of
Demjanjuk to the United States. In a court ruling late last
year, a panel of federal judges accused the Justice Department of
misconduct -- saying prosecutors had fraudulently withheld
evidence during the original deportation proceeding that could
have helped Demjanjuk in his own defense. The Justice
Department appealed that ruling to the Supreme Court, but lost
Justice Department officials say there is firm evidence that
Demjanjuk served as a Nazi guard at other death camps, including
Sobibor, Flossenburg and Regensburg. Officials say they intend
to continue pressing for Demjanjuk's deportation because --
in violation of US law -- he lied about his Nazi past on his
original immigration papers.
Despite the statements of Justice Department officials, many
legal experts believe the Supreme Court's decision to let the
lower court ruling stand has effectively destroyed the government's
campaign against Demjanjuk. Most experts say they believe the
74-year-old retired auto worker will now be allowed to permanently
remain in the United States.
Supreme Court Oks Israel's Haiti Unit
By Al Pessin (Jerusalem)
Israel's Supreme Court has cleared the way for the dispatch of 30
Israeli police officers to join the international force in Haiti.
The ruling late Tuesday rejects a suit which claimed Israel's
government does not have the power to send troops overseas,
except in the direct defense of the country. Five justices,
convened as a special panel, did not explain their ruling, but
will do so in a formal opinion at a later date.
The government argued that it could send the officers to Haiti in
part because it is operating under a United Nations resolution.
Speaking before the court on Tuesday, the government attorney
said Israel has benefitted from the creation of international
forces in the past, and must now make its contribution to such
This will be the first time Israel is joining an international
force. It has not done so before in part because other
countries, particularly Arab countries, would have refused to
participate if Israel did.
Speaking after the ruling was announced, the spokesman for the
Israeli police said the 30 volunteers would be leaving soon,
perhaps as early as today, to help with the training of a new
Haitian police force.
Rabin Meets with Chinese VIP
By Al Pessin (Jerusalem)
Chinese Vice-Premier Zou Jiahua met with Israeli Prime Minister
Yitzhak Rabin in Tel Aviv Tuesday for talks which officially
covered mainly economic issues. There was no word of much
discussion of some of the most interesting and contentious aspects
of Israel-China relations.
The Chinese Vice-Premier is traveling with a delegation of
economic officials and is planning to visit several Israeli
factories, farms and corporate headquarters during his four-day
visit. Officials say he is looking to expand economic relations
with Israel in agriculture, transportation, telecommunications
and the chemical industry.
Israel and China had civilian trade of $87 million last year --
which was their first full year of diplomatic relations. In
addition, the two countries have long been reported to have
substantial and secret military trade.
At the same time, they disagree over China's military relations
with Iran and Iraq. China has been reported to have sold missiles
to both countries -- which could pose a threat to Israel. China
denies the reports. And Rabin's spokesman -- Oded Ben Ami -- says
the question of Chinese missile sales did not come up
specifically in Tuesday's meeting. But the spokesman says Rabin
did mention to Zou what he sees as the most significant danger in
the Middle East today, even as many of its nations pursue peace.
"Prime Minister Rabin said that in the Middle East, or in this
region, as he said, there are two trends -- a trend for peace, but
at the same time there is a trend of terrorism carried (out) by
extreme Islamic fundamentalist organizations supported and inspired by Iran."
The prime minister's spokesman says Rabin also thanked China for
its support of the peace process and for the Palestinian autonomy
areas in Gaza and Jericho. The spokesman says Zou expressed
satisfaction with the progress toward peace in the Middle East and
pledged that China's support will continue.
Palestinian Talks Continue
By Peyman Pejman (Cairo)
Palestinian and Israeli negotiators continued their talks in Cairo
Tuesday in hopes of agreeing on a timetable for elections in the
Palestinian-held areas of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Talks between the Palestinian and Israeli teams are in their second
day, but it is not yet clear how much success negotiators have
had so far. The main point they are discussing is when to hold
local elections in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The Palestinians
want them held by November 1, but Israel says that would be too
The two sides also hold different views on the size and nature of
the council which the Palestinians will have to elect. The
Palestinian side wants the legislative council to include 100
members. Israel says the Declaration of Principles Agreement
signed last September calls for a small cabinet-style
Still in dispute is the timetable for Israel to finish withdrawing
its troops from the West Bank. The Palestinians want a quick troop
withdrawal. But Israel argues it will take a long time because
there are more Jewish settlements in the West Bank that still need
protection from Israeli security forces.
Symbolic Handshakes Continue with Tunisia
By Ron Pemstein (State Department)
Tunisia and Israel have publicly declared their willingness to work
together for a comprehensive peace in the Middle East. The event
was staged at the State Department where Secretary of State Warren
Christopher is preparing his fifth trip to the Middle East since
This was another of those symbolic handshakes that have almost
become routine since September of last year when Israel and the PLO
made the first one. In the latest version Tuesday, Tunisia's
Foreign Minister Habib Ben Yahia shook hands with Israeli Foreign
Minister Shimon Peres at the State Department as they met with
The Tunisian and Israeli ministers had already completed their
business behind closed doors in New York on Saturday when they
agreed to set up economic liaison offices in Tunis and Tel Aviv.
The public handshake for reporters here in Washington was an
acknowledgment that full diplomatic relations between them are
not far away. Foreign Minister Ben Yahia says a new chapter has
"Today we look forward to a new chapter in the history of the
region. It is our hope that this chapter will witness the
establishment of a climate that fosters cooperation and mutual
understanding in the whole region, promotes ties of trust and
cooperation and leads to establishment of ties based on respect and
Tunisia has followed Morocco in building on the Israeli-Palestinian
agreement to establish the beginning of diplomatic ties with
Israel. On Friday, Saudi Arabia and five other Gulf states
partially lifted their economic boycott against Israel. On Monday,
Peres was at the White House with Jordan's Crown Prince Hassan to
announce their intention to work toward a full peace treaty.
The next step is Syria. Christopher will meet Syrian Foreign
Minister Farouk al Shara here on Thursday before Christopher leaves
for the Middle East on Saturday. He will visit Israel, Syria,
Jordan and Egypt on his fifth trip to the Middle East since May.
Christopher says once again not to expect breakthroughs. "We'll
be working to narrow the gaps. We'll be working to try to help the
parties reach common ground. I don't want to create an
expectation that would lead to disappointment if we just make
steady progress. My whole goal in this is to help the parties make
steady progress. In the last weeks and months I believe it's
fair to say that we have been making good sequential progress but
please don't get your expectations up too high."
US officials say there are real gaps between Israel and Syria on
the basic issue of Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights.
After achieving progress between Israel and the PLO and Israel
and Jordan, the United States now sees more progress between
Israel and Tunisia following the steps by the Gulf states last
Friday weakening the boycott.
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