Newsletter : 4fax1117.txt
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>PD NOVEMBER 17, 1994, V2, #206
Austrian President Apologizes for Holocaust
Austrian President Thomas Klestil, during his address to the
Knesset, asked the Jewish people for forgiveness for the part that
Austrian Nazis played in the Holocaust, calling them "the worst
executioners" of the Nazis. "No forgiveness can ever erase the pain
caused by the Holocaust. On behalf of the Austrian Republic, I
lower my head in honor of the victims of those days."
Rabin: Syria Not Serious About Peace
By Alan Silverman (Los Angeles)
Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin says Syria's president has not
shown he is serious about seeking peace. Speaking to Jewish
organization leaders Wednesday in Los Angeles, Rabin also blasted
what he called Iranian support for international terror.
Rabin says Israel and Syria remain far apart on significant issues.
According to the Israeli leader, Syrian President Hafez Assad wants
what Egyptian President Anwar Sadat received in return for peace,
especially total Israeli withdrawal from occupied territory. But
Rabin maintains Syria's president is not willing to go as far as
the late Egyptian leader did to achieve peace: "President Assad has
not done one percent of what President Sadat did to convince the
people of Israel that he interested in peace. We are a democracy.
In a democracy, government has to lead, has to decide, sometimes,
to take very unpopular decisions. But on vital issues that call for
sacrifices, for taking calculated risks, there is a need for a
partner who plays his role not only vis-a-vis government, but
vis-a-vis people. This is the problem with Syria."
While generally optimistic about eventual accords with Israel's
neighbors and coexistence with Palestinians, Rabin says Middle East
peace is threatened by the current wave of terror attacks which he
blames squarely on Islamic extremists supported by Iran: "These
today are the enemies of peace, not Syria, Lebanon, Jordan or the
PLO. It is the extreme Islamic terror groups. Iran is behind
them. This is the source of inspiration and assistance to most of
these movements some more, some less. What they want is to stop
the peace process. It is not easy for me when I am asked by the
People of Israel: 'You promised us peace and you bring terror.'
But terror by whom? Not by our partners for peace, but by the
enemies of peace: the extreme, Islamic radical terror groups."
Rabin pledges his government will fight these terror groups "by all
means within the limits of the law."The Israeli prime minister's
one-day California agenda also included talks with entertainment
industry leaders and a Beverly Hills ceremony to receive the third
annual Ronald Reagan Freedom Foundation Award, an honor he shares
with Jordan's King Hussein and PLO Chairman Yasir Arafat. Today
Rabin travels to Denver for a national General Assembly of American
Jewish organizations before heading to Washington to meet with
administration officials and congressional leaders. The prime
minister says he doubts the Republican takeover of Capitol Hill
will jeopardize Israel's $1.2 billion in foreign aid from the
King Hussein Warns Fundamentalists
By Mohamed Ghuneim (Amman)
King Hussein of Jordan warned groups opposed to the Jordan-Israel
peace treaty he will not tolerate the use of Jordanian territory as
a springboard for attacks against Israel. He says he will not allow
disruption of what he calls a peace won with honor. The Jordanian
monarch has strongly criticized Arab countries for their negative
Marking his birthday late Tuesday, King Hussein delivered a
hard-hitting speech against fundamentalists, radical groups and
Arab countries opposed to the peace treaty.
The king, who turned 59, delivered a clear warning against
terrorism. He says Islam cannot side with darkness and against
peace or with death against life. He also made it clear he will
no longer allow the use of mosques for what he calls irresponsible
expression and mental terrorism in the name of Islam.
King Hussein's warning is understood to target the Muslim
Brotherhood movement, whose members occupy 16 seats in the
parliament, Hamas movement and radical Palestinian groups. He
reiterated Jordan's commitment to peace and hinted for the third
time in as many weeks he will quell any attempt against his policy by
force, as he did against the Palestinians in 1970.
Palestinians Celebrate Independence
By Al Pessin (Jerusalem)
Tuesday, Palestinians marked their first official Independence Day
since gaining autonomy in Gaza and Jericho, with a celebration in
Gaza; clashes with Israeli troops in the West Bank; and an
unsuccessful attempt to convene the PLO's Executive Committee.
Thousands of people marched through Gaza and attended a rally where
Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat vowed to continue working to make
Jerusalem the Palestinian capital. Arafat blames Israel and donor
countries for the continuing widespread poverty in Gaza, which he
says drives people to radical groups.
Tuesday evening, Arafat was not able to convene a planned meeting
of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation
Organization. Half of its 18 members did not attend, to protest
Elsewhere, celebrations were low key to mark the sixth anniversary
of the PLO's declaration of Palestinian statehood. At a small
celebration in the West Bank town, Nablus, Israeli troops fired on
stone-throwing Palestinians -- wounding two of them. In autonomous
Jericho, Palestinian policemen joined residents in a street
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