Newsletter : 5fax1130.txt
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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
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
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
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
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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