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                             ISRAEL
                              FAXX

Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                     Nov. 13, 1995, V3, #206
All the News the Big Guys Missed

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Israel Cracks Downs on Freedom of Speech and the Press

By Patricia Golan (VOA-Jerusalem)

In aftermath of the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, debate is growing in israel about whether Freedom of Speech should be restricted because of allegations vicious hate talk encouraged the Rabin assassin. Efforts are being made to enforce anti-incitement laws, while protecting free speech rights for people like this Jewish settler.

"I am very happy that the dictator Rabin dead. I hope that every dictator dead like Rabin, I hope that the Nazi Arafat and his friends, Arafat dead like Rabin. I feel very good, I feel much more than very good."

Jewish settlers in the West Bank exressed glee about Rabin's assassination, while being filmed by a European television network. Their remarks horrified an already traumatized Israeli public.

These and other statements by right-wing extremists, prompted Justice Minister David Libai to announce he will introduce legislation to prosecute anyone advocating killing or encouraging violence.

Police have detained some Jewish extremists who publicly praised the Rabin assassin. They could be charged with incitement. Although incitement is a crime in Israel, it is a difficult term to define. Attorney Dan Yakir heads the Association for Civil Rights in Israel. He says there are legal tools on the books to deal with incitement.

"Because they are so broad and so anti-democratic, there was a justified reluctance by the authorities, by the prosecution, to use those sections on the books because they are really dangerous and could curtail basic civil liberties."

Fearing the Rabin assassination might inspire more killings, Israel's Attorney General, Michael ben-Yair, has told newspaper editors and the Israel Broadcasting Authority not to publish or broadcast what he calls words of incitement by extremists.

The Israeli Journalists union says the order violates both the public's right to know and the Freedom of the Press.

The executive editor of the English daily Jerusalem Post, David bar Illan, says hiding from the public what people are saying, as obnoxious as some words may be, is a dangerous precedent. "The question is what is the greater danger. Is it more dangerous to muzzle and to start the kind of regime that reminds one of less than democratic regimes? Is that a greater danger, or is it more dangerous to let people talk the way they want to talk, say anything they want to say and recognize what they say for what it is?"

PLO Executive Committee Consults with Arafat

By Laurie Kassman (VOA-Cairo)

PLO Chairman Yasir Arafat was in Cairo Sunday for a one-day meeting with members of the PLO Executive Committee. They are reviewing progress of the second-stage of the autonomy deal signed with Israel.

The Executive Committee is looking over preparations, including voter registration, for Palestinian elections due Jan. 20 In Gaza and the West Bank. International observers are already committed to monitoring the process.

The meeting marks the first time in two years Arafat has mustered more than the minimum nine-member quorum. In the past, most have boycotted to protest the peace deal he has made with Israel. The new show of support comes at a critical time in the peace process.

Arafat was also expected to talk with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak about the possibility of a four-way summit between Jordan, Egypt, Israel and the Palestinian Authority to reaffirm support for the peace process in the wake of the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

Argentina will Deport Nazi Murderer

By George Meek (VOA-Rio de Janeiro)

A former Nazi captain accused of a massacre in Italy during World War 2 is making a last-ditch attempt to block his extradition from Argentina. Argentina's Supreme Court ruled last week that Erich Priebke will be sent to Italy for trial on charges he took part in the slaying of 335 Italians in caves near Rome in 1944.

Priebke's lawyer filed a motion Friday to annul the ruling, on the grounds the genocide convention was not in effect in 1944 and the victims were killed because they were Italians, not because some of them were Jews. The Germans shot the victims in reprisal for the slaying of 33 German soldiers by Italian partisans.

Priebke has admitted involvement in the killings, but said he was following orders and would have been killed himself if he did not. A resident of Argentina since 1949, the suspect was arrested last year.

Sources at Argentina's Supreme Court say the motion for annulment will be rejected and Priebke should be sent to Italy within two weeks.


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