Newsletter : 5fax0425.txt
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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan
April 25, 1995, V3, #76
All the News the Big Guys Missed
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The Burdens of Authority
In February 1995 the Palestinian Authority in Gaza took delivery of
10 new Pontiac Grand Prix cars for its leaders, at the same time it
is begging for money throughout the world for its destitute people.
Borders are Partially Reopened
By Patricia Golan (Jerusalem)
Israel has ended the border closure of the West Bank and Gaza Strip
it imposed during the Passover holiday. More than 26,000
Palestinian workers have been allowed into Israel.
The closure, imposed as a security measure, was in effect for 10
days throughout the Jewish holiday of Passover. It banned all
Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip from entering
But, only married people over 30 years old who worked in Israel
before the closure, are being allowed to cross back into Israel
to get to jobs. Still in place is a partial, long term closure
of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, imposed in January after 22
Israelis were killed in a suicide bombing by Muslim militants.
Before the January entry ban, about 60,000 Arabs from the West Bank
and Gaza worked in Israel, mainly in construction and agricultural
jobs. Palestinians have condemned the restrictions as collective
punishment. Many of their jobs have since been taken by workers
recruited by Israel from Romania and Thailand.
Abba Eban: Don't Abandon Peace Movement
By Daud Khan Majlis (Washington)
A veteran Israeli leader and former foreign minister says the
movement for peace in the Middle East is very strong and should
not be abandoned. Abba Eban said he hopes the United States will
be more active and have more input to make the peace process a
Eban said the major obstacle on the road to a lasting Middle East
peace now is the lack of a solution to the security problem. The
main concern of the Israeli authorities, he said, is how well
Chairman Arafat can control the Hamas terrorists who have killed
more than 65 Israelis so far this year.
The former foreign minister, however, said what is really
encouraging is that even the Israeli authorities believe that
Arafat and his colleagues are more effective now than they were
before in preventing these attacks by enemies of the peace process.
Speaking at a (weekend) conference at George Washington University,
in Washington, Eban said despite the obstacles, the peace process
in the Middle East is a success story. He said in three years
there has been an Egyptian-Israeli agreement, an Egyptian-Jordanian
treaty, a Declaration of Principles between the PLO and the Israeli
government, Israeli missions in Morocco and Tunisia, and concrete
discussions about projects of regional cooperation.
Eban noted there is a serious discussion going on in Israel about
whether Israel should opt for separation from the rest of the
region by building barbed wire fences, instituting rigorous border
checks and staying alone or create a community of states in the
region with free movement across the frontiers. Most Israelis,
Eban reiterated, are in favor of the second option.
Remembering Eli Cohen -- Israel's Greatest Spy
In January 1965, Syrian radio announced the capture of an Israeli
spy in Damascus -- Eli Cohen, an Israeli citizen born in Egypt --
thus revealing one of the most daring spy episodes in Israel's
Cohen was born in Alexandria in 1924. After Israel's 1956 campaign
against Arab terror bases in Egyptian-controlled Sinai and Gaza,
Egypt deported most of its Jewish community and Eli came to Israel,
where he was recruited into Israel's Intelligence service.
In 1961 Eli was sent to Argentina to mingle with Syrian emigrants
in Buenos Aires. From then on he was known as Kamal Amin Tabot, a
businessman from Syria and a Syrian patriot. He quickly absorbed
into the Syrian community of Buenos Aires and impressed all who met
him. It was there that he made the contacts that were to become so
valuable in the future. There he befriended General Amin El-Hafez,
who later became President of Syria, as well as prominent Syrian
radio announcer Salim Sayif.
In 1962 Eli was sent to Syria where he continued to act as a rich
and generous businessman and Syrian patriot. After the Baath party
took control in Syria, Eli's position grew in importance due to his
earlier contacts with leading party members. He threw lavish
parties for Baath VIPs and gave them presents and favors. He
befriended the colonel in charge of the Golan Heights and several
times visited Syrian fortifications there, the only civilian
allowed to do so.
Because of his contacts, Eli was able to pass on to Israel a wealth
of information. After his visits on the Golan Heights he
transmitted the Syrian fortification plans to Israel, information
which proved vital in the Six-Day War of 1967. He obtained the
Syrian defense and attack plans, details of their material and
maneuvers, and information on army movements and the type and
number of personnel.
Even at the end of 1964 when the Syrian regime began to suspect
that there was a spy in Damascus, Eli kept delivering information
about various changes in the army and about plans to establish
Palestinian terrorist groups including El-Fatah under Syrian
auspices. Then Eli was caught and suffered terrible torture
without telling his interrogators what they wanted to know.
Thirty years ago, Eli Cohen -- Israel's greatest spy -- was hanged
in Damascus on May 18, 1965 in Damascus. The Syrians refused to
transfer his body to Israel. He died as he had lived -- a Jewish
hero and an Israeli patriot.
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