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>PD Dec. 12, 1994 V2, #222
Arafat's wife is pregnant
Yasir Arafat's wife, Suha, is one month pregnant. "The timing
is good," she said. "It will be the child of peace. I can say it is
a double blessing...the Nobel Prize and the baby." The baby will be
the first child for 65-year-old Arafat and his wife, 31.
Nobel Peace Prize Awarded
By Barry Wood (Oslo)
Yasir Arafat, Yitzhak Rabin, and Shimon Peres Saturday were awarded
the Nobel Peace Price for their efforts to build peace between
Israelis and Palestinians.
Only 81 people have received the Nobel Peace Prize, which was first
awarded in 1901. The prize bears the name of its founder --
Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel -- who died in 1895. Nobel
endowed four other prizes -- for physics, chemistry, medicine, and
literature. In 1968, the Swedish National Bank added a further
Nobel Prize for Economics.
The Peace Prize is the only Nobel not presented in Nobel's native
Sweden. Sensitive to Norwegian resistance to Swedish domination,
Nobel's will decreed that the prestigious Peace Prize should be the
work of the Norwegian parliament. That body appoints the five
members of the Nobel Peace Prize selection committee.
While all of the Nobel Prizes are presented on Dec.10th -- the
anniversary of Alfred Nobel's death -- Oslo, with the Peace Prize,
attracts the most attention. Last year, Nelson Mandela and F.W. de
Klerk received the Peace Prize. Other recent winners include
Mikhail Gorbachev in 1990, the Dalai Lama in 1989, Desmond Tutu in
1984, Lech Walesa in 1983, and Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin in
This year's selection of Arafat was controversial. One member of
the selection committee resigned in protest. In the handsome city
park adorned with a multitude of Christmas lights and displays,
there have been orderly, but noisy, protests. At one end of the
park, a group of Israelis and American Jews shouted that Arafat is
a murderer. At the other end, a group of Norwegians held a
torchlight vigil and sang the John Lennon song, "Give peace a
chance." Dozens of heavily armed police separated the two groups.
There was solemnity in the Nobel ceremony. There was a sense that
this peace process is the capstone in the careers of men who are
growing old. Arafat -- an expectant father at age 65 -- appeared
in his trademark olive military uniform and kafiya. He spoke
somberly and deliberately, praising his Israeli co-recipients, and
almost pleading for more tangible progress in attaining freedom for
Peres, 70, recalled his desperate childhood in White Russia, his
early arrival in Palestine, and the building of the State of
Israel. He outlined a vision of regional peace and cooperation.
But it was the 72-year-old Rabin who consciously embraced centuries
of history. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he said, is the most
difficult in the Middle East, and yet it can and must be
resolved.The solemn ceremony lasted two hours. In the presence of
the Norwegian king and queen, one after another, the peace
laureates delivered their Nobel lectures. The common theme was
peace and remembrance for those who have died during decades of
Israelis/Arabs Equivocal Over Nobel Prize
By Susan Sappir (Jerusalem)
The award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Israeli and Palestinian
leaders was met at home with reactions ranging from lukewarm
support to furious opposition.
A group of Israeli women expressed their opposition in a dramatic
send-up of the Nobel Prize. On a central Jerusalem street they
re-enacted the Oslo ceremony. "Mr. Yasir Arafat, I am giving you a
very long sword because you have been killing Jews for peace. We
would like in the name of the world, in the name of the Nobel
Committee, to give you this very nice sword. May you continue to
kill Jews for peace."
A leading member of Arafat's main opposition group, Hamas, reacted
with equal bitterness. Suaud al-Shawa said he believes this is the
first time the victim and the occupier have been given the prize
together, while the occupier is still occupying the land and the
victim is still suffering.
Rabin Travels to Japan and Korea
Kyoko Kaneko (Tokyo)
Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin arrives in Japan today. It
will be the first visit by an Israeli prime minister to Tokyo since
the 1948 foundation of the Jewish state.
Rabin's official visit to Tokyo marks a departure from the
long-standing pro-Arab stance of Japan, which relies heavily on
Arab crude oil.
During the three-day visit, Rabin will hold talks with Prime
Minister Tomiichi Murayama, other government leaders and Japanese
businessmen. Japanese officials say Rabin and Murayama are to
arrange a deputy prime ministerial-level forum for political
dialogue to discuss bilateral ties, as well as Middle East peace
and other issues of mutual concern.
Japanese officials say the two leaders are likely to discuss
Japanese assistance for Palestinian self-rule in the West Bank
town of Jericho and the Gaza Strip, and Tokyo's role in
multi-lateral Middle East peace talks. Japan is interested in
playing a key role in the Middle East peace process.
Tokyo has pledged a total of about $200 million as start-up costs
for Palestinian self-rule -- about half has already been supplied.
Rabin told Japanese reporters visiting Israel last week that he
wants to discuss North Korea's missile issue with Japan. He
expressed his concern about the possibility of North Korea's
missile technology being exported to Iran. Rabin is scheduled to
visit South Korea after his stay in Japan.
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