Newsletter : 5fax0619.txt
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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan
June 19, 1995, V3, #111
All the News the Big Guys Missed
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Rabin Criticizes Disinformation Campaign Against PLO
Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin criticized Israelis conducting a
campaign of disinformation in the US alleging continued PLO
participation in terrorist acts. Rabin, who spoke recently during
a video conference to the Council of American Jewish organizations,
said that the purpose of this disinformation is to convince the US
government to halt aid to the Palestinians. He said the Hamas and
Islamic Jihad are the organizations committing the terrorists acts,
while Israel and the LO are working to prevent these activities.
PLO says 5,000 Palestinian Prisoners on Hunger Strike
By Susan Sappir (Jerusalem)
Thousands of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails have begun a
hunger strike. The prisoners are demanding their freedom as part of
Israeli-Palestinian peace moves. Taking part in the mass hunger
strike are more than 5,000 Palestinians, according to Palestinian
sources. But Israeli officials say only a few hundred prisoners
are refusing food.
PLO leader Yasir Arafat joined in the prisoner fast. He said the
release of all political prisoners -- including those who are
against his peace plan with Israel -- is a vital step toward the
success of that peace.
Palestinian Authority member Saeb Erakat says the hunger strike
is meant to send a message to the Israeli government to honor its
side of the agreement to extend Palestinian self-rule in the West
Israel and the PLO have set July 1 as the target date for an
agreement on the second phase of their 1993 peace accord, but
Israeli officials have said the date will probably have to be
Arab-Americans Face Violence in U.S.
By Valonda Bruinton (Washington)
A national research institute has released a detailed report about
violence plaguing Arab-American store owners in Cleveland. The
study by the Washington headquartered Arab-American Institute
analyzes the causes and offers solutions to the situation.
Since late 1990, 12 Arab-American shopkeepers have been murdered in
Cleveland. Robbery and random violence have become so common that
many frightened merchants have kept weapons behind their counters
or have carried them in their cars to and from work.
The president of the Arab-American Institute, James Zogby, says
Cleveland has been the focal point of the study because the level
of violence is so significant. But he says there are steps the
city can take to stop what he calls a destructive cycle of
reactionary violence and conflict.
"Cleveland needs -- and other cities need -- to bring recent ethnic
immigrants into the political mainstream more rapidly than they
have in the past. There is a need for someone who is Arabic
speaking to translate the concerns of that community to city
The report says a misunderstanding and miscommunication between
Arab-Americans and blacks in Cleveland have also worsened the
Zogby says African-Americans feel threatened by immigrants who have
come into the community and opened stores and made enough money to
move up the economic ladder -- out of the city and into the
suburbs. He explains, economic growth could help alleviate the
decaying relationship between the two communities. "There is a need
to focus programs on the crisis. Short term summer employment for
African-American youth and possibly partnering those jobs in
Arab-American stores would be a critical way of establishing ties
The report offers other solutions to reduce tension in the city.
They include increased funding to municipal youth centers and
sensitivity training for police and heath inspectors.
European Union Wants Law to Ban Racism and Anti-Semitism
By John Frasier (Brussels)
European Union Social Affairs Commissioner Padraig Flynn is
proposing a new Europe-wide law to stamp out racism. Flynn has
announced that he wants European leaders to agree to the
anti-racism law in next year's EU conference, which is being set up
to revise Europe's Maastricht Treaty.
Flynn says racism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism are evils that have
no place in a civilized society. But he says that, like it or
not, European politicians have to face up to the fact that these
evils are present today right across the European Union.
Flynn gave several examples of how racism is widespread and deeply
rooted in Europe: there is a computer game in circulation, where
the aim is to murder more Jews, more efficiently, in concentration
camps; Turkish women and girls have been attacked and burnt to
death in Germany; black youths have been shot dead by extremists in
France; and four gypsies have been killed by a bomb in Austria. He
also said there is orchestrated racial football hooliganism in many
parts of Europe.
Flynn says Europe's leaders have to educate people against such
racism. They have to promote integration, and they have to fight
discrimination at all levels. That is why, he said, there must be
European legislation against racism.
However, some EU governments -- in particular, the British ---
are expected to resist such legislation, saying that the subject
is best dealt with by national laws, rather than by European
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