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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                     Nov. 30, 1995, V3, #217
All the News the Big Guys Missed

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Barak and Arafat Agree on Need to Combat Terrorism

The first meeting between Foreign Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasir Arafat on Monday was termed successful, fruitful and substantive.

Barak insisted Arafat continue to pressure Hamas and Islamic Jihad. He said it will be easier to implement the Interim Agreement and discuss a permanent agreement if terrorism decreases. The two appeared united on the need to fight terrorism.

"We are firm in our intention to prevent fanatic groups from sabotaging the 'Peace of the Brave'," Arafat said. "The terrible murder of Prime Minister Rabin is a difficult loss, not only for the people of Israel, but also for the Palestinians. It is our obligation to continue in Rabin's path."

Barak said that Israel has no illusions that there will be obstacles on the way -- first and foremost terrorism. Hamas and Islamic Jihad activists were taken into custody Monday by the Palestinian Police in Gaza. The activists are accused of incitement using material published in their organizational bulletins. In addition, the Palestinian Police last week arrested Hamas Sheikh Ahmed Nimar Hamdan.

The arrests have reportedly created stress between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. Talks between the two sides were held Monday in an attempt to defuse the tension and reach a reconciliation.

Postal Stamps to Memorialize Prime Minister Rabin

Israel's Philatelic Service will issue four stamps in memory of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. The campaign will last one week and the stamps will feature portraits of Rabin. A collector's kit will include a memorial sheet, a special envelope and an additional stamp. The stamps will be issued on Dec. 5 -- 30 days after the assassination.

Lost City Found in Syria

By Alan Silverman (VOA-Los Angeles)

An international archaeology team working in northeastern Syria has uncovered the "lost city" of Urkesh, buried for some 25 centuries. The discovery was formally announced recently in Philadelphia at the annual meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research. Urkesh was a bustling religious, political and commercial center 4,300 years ago. But UCLA archaeologist Giorgio Buccellati says it disappeared into the mythology of the ancient Middle East:

"It is -- and was -- a mythical city because it was mentioned in the myths as the seat of the most important god of the Hurrian pantheon: a god by the name of Kumarbi. He receives other gods there, he administers the justice in the land and he goes off from his city and comes back to it...travels back and forth. So the Hurrian myths, which are only known from texts preserved in Hittite archives dating to 1,000 years later, speak about Urkesh. And in that sense, it is a mythical city. In fact, it is the only known Syrian city for which there is such a mythical status. But we also knew it was a political capital because there were a few kings that were reported by texts found elsewhere whose title is "King of Urkesh."

The Hurrian civilization thrived for some 15 centuries, and Buccellati says the place he and co-discoverer Marilyn Kelly-Buccellati found Urkesh -- at Tel Mozan, 397 miles northeast of Damascus -- helps explain why: "The area where Urkesh is located is at the foot of the mountains that go into what is today Turkey. That is where metals were found which had just started being used: copper, in particular, and then tin out of which bronze was made. So what is today Mozan and was then Urkesh was a gateway to this trade.

The discovery reveals Urkesh not only existed, but dates back 300 years earlier than previously believed. Though the Hurrians -- referred to in the Bible as "Horites" -- totally disappeared, Buccellati believes they "speak" across the centuries:

"It is a culture that is totally dead. Why worry about it? It was the beginning of urban life, of great concentrations of wealth and people living together. So, as always with history, we really learn a lot about ourselves; it is the common human past.

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