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>PD OCTOBER 14, 1994, V2, #188
MISS AMERICA WEARS ISRAEL HEARING AID
Heather Whitestone, the new Miss America, who is deaf, received an
Israeli-made hearing aid for her left ear three months ago,
enabling her to hear some music accompanying her dancing, and the
voices of interviewers. The device was developed and produced in
Israel by the I.V.R. Co.
Kidnapping Not Affecting Syrian Negotiations
By Ron Pemstein (Tel Aviv)
Secretary of State Warren Christopher has flown to Damascus, the
next stop on his Middle East peace shuttle. The Israel-Syria
negotiation will remain unaffected by the kidnapping of an Israeli
Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin says the breakoff of
Israeli-Palestinian talks because of the kidnaping of an Israeli
soldier will not affect progress with Jordan and hope for progress
Christopher told reporters in Tel Aviv, the kidnaping by the Hamas
organization is a desperate action carried out because of progress
in the peace process. "The area is changing, things are improving
and in a sense Hamas is fighting a desperate rear-guard action.
Things are changing, things are improving and Hamas will not be
permitted to kill these hopes, to kill the prospects for peace."
Christopher says he understands Rabin's concentration on recovering
the soldier and the decision will be up to the Israeli prime
minister on when to restart talks with the Palestinians.
Palestinians Search Gaza for Kidnappers
By Al Pessin (Jerusalem)
Police of the Palestinian Autonomy Authority rounded up hundreds of
suspected radicals in Gaza overnight, in an effort to learn the
whereabouts of a kidnapped Israeli soldier.
The Authority spent Wednesday trying to convince leaders of the
radical group, Hamas, to release the captured soldier, Nachshon
Waxman. When that approach did not work, the authority ordered its
forces to move against Hamas activists. In addition, Palestinian
leader Yasir Arafat made a speech Thursday in which he vowed to
crack down on his opponents and he indirectly criticized Iran for
meddling in Palestinian affairs through its support for groups such
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin says he made
another telephone call to Arafat, demanding that he find Corporal
Waxman and have him released. "I described the severe consequences
if this will not happen to the continuation of the implementation
of the Declaration of Principles between the Palestinians and
Israel has already suspended talks on the expansion of Palestinian
autonomy, although both Rabin and Arafat say they want their peace
accord to succeed in the long term.
US Secretary of State Warren Christopher met with Rabin in Tel Aviv
on Thursday, and is scheduled to meet with Arafat in Cairo today.
The secretary says the Hamas kidnapping is an act of desperation,
and, like Rabin, he placed the responsibility for finding the
soldier on Arafat and the Palestinian Autonomy Authority.
"It seems to be common ground now that Corporal Waxman is probably
in the Gaza Strip. That's an area under the jurisdiction of the
Palestinian Authority, and therefore they bear a heavy
responsibility in that territory. And that is why both the prime
minister, who, of course, is the primary actor here, but also the
United States, for all the emphasis that we can bring, have
emphasized to Chairman Arafat his responsibility for the resolution
of this matter."
The group, Hamas, which is holding the Israeli soldier, opposes
the Israeli-Palestinian peace accord signed last year, and some
Palestinian Autonomy officials say it is not reasonable for
Israel to threaten to stop the peace process or to expect
Arafat to arrange Corporal Waxman's release. Israel says the
Palestinian Authority must control terrorism, or its territory
will not be expanded.
Hamas says it will kill the 20-year-old Israeli soldier tonight
(Israel time) unless Israel releases 200 of its members and
supporters now in prison.
One of them, the elderly and ailing Hamas founder, Sheikh Ahmed
Yassin, apparently called for Waxman's safe release in an Israeli
television broadcast Wednesday night. But the tape appeared to be
heavily edited, and similar appeals by detained radicals have not
stopped their comrades from killing Israeli hostages in the past.
Clinton to Arafat: Use Your Influence
By Deborah Tate (White House)
President Clinton is strongly condemning the kidnapping of Israeli
soldier Nachshon Waxman by Hamas. Clinton is calling on Yasir
Arafat, to use his influence to seek the release of Waxman.
According to White House Spokeswoman Dee Dee Myers, Clinton is
condemning the abduction as cruel and cowardly. Myers said the
president is urging Arafat to help seek the release of Corporal
Waxman -- who holds dual US and Israeli citizenship -- and she says
Clinton is pledging US support for the effort.
"The president expects Chairman Arafat to do all in his power to
ensure that Corporal Waxman is returned safely to his family. The
United States government will continue to work closely with the
Israeli government and the Palestine authorities until Corporal
Waxman is returned unharmed."
The Dichotomy of a Peace Prize and a Kidnapping
By Al Pessin (Jerusalem)
The winners of the Nobel Peace Prize are expected to be officially
announced today. News reports say the recipients will be Israeli
Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and the Palestinian leader, Yasir
Arafat. With more than a little irony, today is also the day
Palestinian radicals say they will kill an Israeli soldier they are
holding hostage -- a situation Rabin has called on Arafat to
resolve. Meanwhile, talks on further implementing the peace accord
they reached last year have been suspended. A variety of factors
are coming together in today's events.
It is ironic to begin with that the Israeli and Palestinian leaders
could become Nobel Peace Prize winners on a day when the talks
aimed at implementing their historic peace accord are suspended.
It would be still more ironic, indeed tragic, if Palestinian
radicals kill a kidnapped Israeli on that same day, as they have
threatened to do.
That is what it appears could happen, as reports from Oslo say
the Nobel jury has decided to give the Peace Prize to Rabin
and Arafat, and the radical group Hamas has set tonight as the time
it will kill 20-year-old soldier Nachshon Waxman if Israel refuses
to release some 200 of its members.
The two prospective events draw attention to several forces at
work in the Middle East today. Rabin and Arafat are determined
that their peace accord will succeed, and they have worked hard to
make sure earlier terrorist attacks, from both sides, have not
stopped its implementation. Indeed, to allow that would give the
terrorists exactly what they want. Hamas disagrees with Arafat's
decision that a Palestinian entity will live side-by-side with
Israel. Hamas still wants to destroy Israel and take all its land
for a Palestinian state.
Arafat is in a delicate political position. He does not want to
start a Palestinian civil war, so he has not cracked down too
hard on Hamas and other groups which oppose him. In addition,
Arafat is planning to hold Palestinian elections, and a tough move
against the radicals, if it succeeds, could alienate many
The radicals' adherence to the old Palestinian goals, and their
willingness to risk their lives for them, gives them a certain
romantic appeal among some Palestinians. That, combined with
frustration over continuing economic problems under autonomy,
have left Arafat somewhat weakened. But if he gives his
opponents free rein, they could destroy the Palestinian state he
is trying to build in Gaza and on the occupied West Bank.
Rabin is also in a delicate political position. He knows
Arafat cannot control every move Hamas and similar groups make.
And he knows implementation of the peace accord must continue in
spite of some violence. But he is under intense political
pressure not to continue giving land to the Palestinians if he
would be, in effect, enlarging the terrorists' base of
operations. That is why he has suspended talks on expanding
autonomy pending the outcome of the kidnapping.
The Israeli prime minister must also worry about his talks with
other Arab leaders -- particularly those in Jordan and Syria. But
those talks do not appear to be threatened by the
Hamas terrorism. US Secretary of State Warren Christopher is
continuing his Israel-Syria shuttle, and Rabin and Foreign
Minister Shimon Peres made their first official visit to the
Jordanian capital, Amman, on Wednesday for talks with King
Hussein. Rabin said those talks helped better define the key
remaining issues of borders and water rights.
So as the day progresses in the Middle East today, many people will
be thinking about Gaza and about Oslo -- Gaza, the headquarters
of the Palestinian Autonomy Authority and of Hamas, and possibly
the place where Nachshon Waxman will be killed, and Oslo, where
Israeli and Palestinian officials held the secret talks which led
to their peace agreement and where their leaders could be given
the Nobel Peace Prize.
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