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                             ISRAEL
                              FAXX

Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                     March 28, 1995, V3, #56
All the News the Big Guys Missed

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PALESTINIANS DISCUSSING WAYS TO ABSORB DISPLACED PERSONS

The joint Israeli-Palestinian committee for displaced persons will meets at the beginning of April in Israel. The Palestinians claim that there are 1 million displaced Palestinians in Jordan, 100,000 in Egypt and several hundred thousand in Syria, Lebanon and around the world. The Palestinian Authority recently held discussions on ways to absorb Palestinians who may wish to return.

New Signs Syria has Changed Stand on Terrorist Groups

For the first time since the peace process began, Jerusalem has received a serious signal that Damascus has changed its position regarding terrorist organizations operating from Syria, Ma'ariv reports.

According to a U.S. assessment recently sent to Jerusalem, high-ranking U.S. officials report terrorist organizations in Syria now fear sponsorship from Damascus will end soon.

The report includes information about a reported meeting between Syrian Vice-President Abed el-Halim Hadam, Hizbullah leaders from Lebanon and Nayef Hawatmeh, George Habash and Abu Marzuk--all leaders of Palestinian terrorist groups in Syria that oppose the peace process.

Hadam reportedly told those at the meeting that they would soon have to leave, and should begin looking for alternative places to operate.

Officials in Jerusalem responded cautiously to the report, but did acknowledge that some of the information correlates to previous reports that the Hizbullah is considering establishing an alternative base in Cyprus. Hizbullah reportedly believes that the possibility of progress in the Israeli-Syrian and Israeli-Lebanese peace talks may result in the disarming of their organization, thus preventing them from operating against Israel.

Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial

By Al Pessin (Jerusalem)

Jerusalem correspondent Al Pessin recently visited Israel's official Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial, one of the many places around the world commemorating the anniversary of the Holocaust which came to an end 50 years ago with the end of World War II.

Yad Vashem is the Israeli equivalent of what many countries have as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It is the place where foreign dignitaries are brought to pay their respect to those who have died. And it's there where various groups will come to offer up their prayers. I went up to this hillside complex -- it almost looks like a college campus -- a collection of museums and memorials dedicated to memorializing and teaching about the Holocaust.

These are mainly groups who may not have relatives or family friends who actually died in the Holocaust who may want to go and pray at a specific spot or pull out a file and read it and learn about the person. But these are groups which want to make a general memorial prayer. They'll go to the Memorial Hall where the ashes are and where the Eternal Flame is and that's where they'll say their prayers. This place serves as a repository for the death certificates and as a symbolic cemetery for those people and their families can go there and offer prayers as a family might do at a regular cemetery.

There are also various statues to women who died, to the partisans who fought against the Nazis in the various ghettoes and camps. There's a rather large section devoted to non-Jews who helped Jews survive the Holocaust. It's called 'the Garden of the Righteous' and each person whose story has been confirmed has a plaque on the wall in that section.

It is a rather sad campus. I would have to say that the most poignant exhibit, the most touching exhibit, is the memorial to the children, which is very new; something like a million and a half children who died in the Holocaust. And there are two tapes which play simultaneously. One is sort of mourning, somewhat musical but very mournful and on top of that is a recording of a man and a woman reading the lists of names and ages and hometowns of children who died in the Holocaust and only several hundred names are known of the 1.5 million but they recorded as many names as they can and they're always changing the tapes so that these names can be read out loud.

There is the museum which attempts to trace the whole history of the Holocaust from the roots of anti-Semitism in Germany in the 1930s all the way through to the end of the war. And in there you have propaganda brochures blown up to many times their original size and it goes through some of the early things that happened that were signals perhaps that were missed in the '30s and '40s. And then as you walk through the museum it proceeds chronologically to some very, very chilling photographs that were taken and preserved by the Nazis themselves as what was to have been the record of this great deed they thought they were doing but in fact ended up being the record of the horrible crimes and murders that were committed. The one I can't get out of my mind is a picture of a mother and a child standing on the edge of a ditch which is to be their grave and the German soldier pointing his gun at them and just about to execute the mother and child together.


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