Newsletter : 5fax1211.txt
| Previous file
| Next file
Peres May Discuss Complete Israeli Pullout From the Golan
By Barbara Schoetzau (VOA-New York)
Prime Minister Shimon Peres and Vice President Al Gore were among
those who paid tribute in New York Sunday to Yitzhak Rabin, the
Israeli prime minister who was assassinated one month ago by a Jew
who opposed Rabin's peace policies.
Peres urged Jews both inside and outside of Israel to put unity
ahead of their differences over the peace process. Peres said Rabin
did not want to divide people, but believed he had to lead people
rather than just please them. Differences over the government's
peace policies, Peres said, must be resolved through discussion not
"My dear friends, when you have two views, you do not have to
become two peoples. We are one people. And may I suggest unity to
those who are for the policies that Yitzhak has introduced and
those who are against the policies that he has introduced, provided
that we should also be united against violence, against murder,
against callousness. Let's argue, not hate."
Despite Rabin's many years as a soldier, Peres said the slain
leader undertook the difficult task of making peace with the
Palestinians because he believed it was more important to save the
lives of young Israelis than to win elections. Peres said his
government will continue to seek ways to have a united Israel in a
tranquil Middle East.
"And now, maybe, we can conclude the cycle by making peace with
Syria and Lebanon. (Applause). If we succeed this will be the end
of war in the Middle East."
Gore also urged the audience to renew the commitment to the cause
of peace and fight the forces of hate everywhere. "There is hate
that must be tempered by love. There is pain that must be healed.
There are divisions that must be made whole. Just as Prime
Minister Rabin did with some of his own last words, we too must
summon the courage and the wisdom to sing the song of peace with
our voices and with our lives. We must shout with resolve and
conviction in one steady voice that the enemies of peace will not
deter us from our cause. We will not be daunted. We will not be
The two men made their comments at a memorial rally for Rabin.
Police estimate some 13,000 people attended the rally. But some
Jewish groups opposed to the peace process boycotted the event
because they said it was organized to drum up support for the
government's peace policies rather than as a tribute to Rabin.
As he left Israel, Peres described his meeting scheduled for today
with the president as an important opportunity to explore ways to
achieve progress in negotiations with Syria. The Israeli leader
says President Clinton has indicated a willingness to become more
involved in the peace process.
Israeli officials say Peres will discuss the possibility of a
complete Israeli withdrawal from the disputed Golan Heights. The
Heights, seized by Israel during the 1967 Mideast war, is the key
obstacle to a peace agreement with Damascus. Syria demands their
return and a complete Israeli withdrawal.
Israel has offered to engage in non-stop negotiations with Syria,
aimed at achieving a breakthrough in six months. The last direct
talks between the two countries occurred last June in Washington.
Restarting them has been problematic because of differing views
over the level and format of the negotiations.
The Clinton-Peres talks in Washington follow the latest shuttle
diplomacy by US envoy Dennis Ross, who travelled to both Israel and
Israel Leaves West Bank City; Man and Daughter Shot by Arabs
By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)
Israel withdrew its forces from another West Bank city early
Sunday, as its handover of authority to the Palestinians speeds up
toward an end-of-the-month deadline.
The last Israeli troops rode out of the West Bank town of Tulkarm
before dawn Sunday in a driving rainstorm. They handed the town's
military headquarters to 50 Palestinian police officers, who were
joined at daybreak by 400 more. Jubilant residents poured into the
streets to welcome the officers and to mark their first day of
freedom from Israeli rule in 28 years.
Tulkarm is the second West Bank town to gain autonomy under the
new Israeli-Palestinian agreement. The much larger city of Nablus
is to be handed over Thursday.
The transfer of authority is continuing in spite of a series of
violent incidents in the West Bank. Saturday night, an Israeli
man and his 10-year-old daughter were wounded in a drive-by
shooting near Bethlehem, which is to gain autonomy next week.
Palestinians continue to be angry at the presence of Israeli
settlements in between newly autonomous areas, while settlers are
angry because they see Palestinian autonomy as a threat to their
Israeli and Palestinian officials say it is a situation people on
both sides will have to get used to.
(All material on these web pages is © 2001-2012
by Electronic World Communications, Inc.)