Newsletter : 5fax0215.txt
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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan
Feb. 15, 1995, V3, #32
All the News the Big Guys Missed
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>JN Feb. 15, 1995, V3, #32
Poll: 46 Percent of Palestinians Favor Armed Attacks on Israel
By David Gollust (Washington)
A new independent poll of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza
indicates continued majority support -- albeit narrow -- for PLO
leader Yasir Arafat and his conduct of the peace process with
Israel. However, Palestinian anger and impatience are also evident
in the polling data.
The polling by the Center for Palestinian Research and Studies --
based in the West Bank city of Nablus -- is considered the most
reliable available measure of Palestinian public opinion. And the
latest survey -- taken earlier this month and released in
Washington -- suggests that Arafat and his mainline Fatah movement
are holding their own against more militant Islamic and secular
About 1,100 Palestinian adults over the age of 18 were interviewed by
the Center in the West Bank and Gaza between Feb. 2th and 4th.
Despite the stalemate in negotiations with Israel on expanding
Palestinian self-rule, Arafat had the support of over 53 percent of
the respondents -- a three percent increase over the previous
survey in December.
Arafat's nearest rivals -- the militant Hamas and Islamic Jihad
movements drew a combined 25 percent in the poll, framed as a
theoretical election in the territories. The secular Popular Front
for the Liberation of Palestine of George Habash had less than 4
percent support, while the rest of those polled backed smaller
factions or had no preference.
Despite the majority support for Arafat, 81 percent of those polled
said they favored a cut-off of talks with Israel if expansion of
Jewish settlements in the territories does not cease. Forty-six
percent of the respondents said they supported armed attacks
against Israeli targets while 34 percent opposed them.
The new poll -- coming in the wake of the closure of the
territories following terrorist attacks in Israel -- indicated that
the unemployment rate in the West Bank and Gaza exceeded 50
Arab League Discusses Nuclear Option
By Laurie Kassman (Cairo)
Experts meeting at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo are
discussing ways to rid the Middle East of weapons of mass
destruction, including nuclear weapons. The group is also talking
about the Arab world's position on renewing the Nuclear
Non-Proliferation treaty -- as long as Israel does not sign it. The
Arab League experts are discussing an Egyptian draft treaty that
would eliminate chemical, biological and nuclear weapons from the
Middle East. Arab League foreign ministers will continue the
discussions when they meet next month.
Egypt first proposed turning the region into a zone free of weapons
of mass destruction back in 1990 during the Gulf War. More
recently, Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak has toughened his
position against renewing the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. He
says Egypt will not vote for renewal until Israel signs on. Israel
has never signed the 25-year-old treaty and says it is not ready
to do so now. The Egyptian stand has strained relations with Israel
and with the United States, which is promoting indefinite renewal.
Other Arab states have not said how they will vote when the treaty
is reviewed in April. Most are likely to renew it while denouncing
Israel for not signing. All but five of the Arab League's 22
members are signatories.
At a summit with Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority two
weeks ago, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin did agree to a
final communique that endorsed Egypt's peacetime goal of a
weapons-free Middle East.
El Al Emerges From Receivership; Stock Offerings Scheduled
Israel's national airline El Al emerged from temporary
receivership Tuesday with the appointment of a board of directors.
The move represents the first step toward privatizing El AL, which
has been under temporary receivership for the past 12 years.
In May, 15 to 25 percent of the company's stock will be offered on
the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. A second offering of 26 to 36 percent
of El Al's stock is scheduled for December in New York and London.
The government will continue to hold 49 percent of El Al's stock,
as well as a "Golden Share" that will ensure that the company
continues to operate in times of national emergency.
Chief Rabbinate Approves Surrogate Motherhood
Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau said the Chief Rabbinate
will approve the practice of surrogate motherhood, but only under
Some of the conditions spelled out by Lau are that the mother
carrying the child not be married, careful records of the
biological and surrogate mother be kept, and each case be approved by
a special committee that includes a religious representative.
The report noted that many rabbis believe the surrogate mother is
the child's real mother and are demanding that the biological
parents go through adoption procedures.
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