Newsletter : 5fax1212.txt
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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan
Dec. 12, 1995, V3, #225
All the News the Big Guys Missed
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USA will Train Israeli Astronaut
By David McAlary (VOA-Washington)
President Clinton announced Israel will participate in the US space
program. He told reporters during a news conference with visiting
Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres the cooperation would involve
joint scientific research in space, some of it with Israeli
Clinton indicated Israelis would be among the astronauts and
cosmonauts from several countries working aboard the planned
international space station. But before that happens, US and
Israeli crews and scientists will cooperate in preliminary
"As part of our efforts to support Israel's advances in science and
technology, I have today agreed with Prime Minister Peres to
proceed with space-based experiments in sustainable water use and
environmental protection. These experiments would take place in
unmanned space vehicles, in the shuttle program, and in the
international space station. As a part of this effort, we will
also train Israeli astronauts to participate in these programs."
A NASA spokesman says that, at the moment, one Israeli would be
trained for a shuttle mission. News reports in israel identify
him as 31-year-old Eran Schenker, a physician and amateur pilot.
For the past six months, Schenker has been studying space medicine
in a three-year program sponsored by NASA at Wright State
University in Dayton, Ohio. He has also taken flight training at
the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. But despite the
publicity about him, the Israeli physician says his future in the
US and Israeli space programs is uncertain.
"My role is not clear yet. I'm involved in human research
regarding space and earth. It's unclear where it will go. There
[are] no mission dates, and I was not selected to be an
astronaut -- not by NASA, not by Israel. I have to take
consideration if that's really what I want to do in my life. For
now, I'm really enjoying the training and I'm improving myself,
my skills in medicine. When the time comes, I have to decide if
that's the role I want to take."
Clinton Predicts a Middle East 'New Reality'
By David Borgida (VOA-Washington)
President Clinton is expressing optimism that what he calls a
"fundamental new reality" can bring progress to stalled
negotiations on the Israeli-Syria peace process. His comments
came during a joint news conference following talks at the White
House with visiting Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres. The
president is sending Secretary of State Warren Christopher to
Damascus and Jerusalem with the hopes of moving the process
Clinton's first official meeting with Peres since the assassination
last month of Yitzhak Rabin yielded little in the way of specific,
detailed proposals for Christopher to promote. But following talks
that senior US officials say focused almost exclusively on the
Israeli-Syria peace process, new hope was expressed for an improved
After this White House meeting, during which Clinton spoke by
telephone for about 10 minutes with Syrian President Hafez al
Assad, Clinton said all sides want to accelerate their efforts to
break the impasse on the Syrian-Israeli peace track. That impasse
centers on Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights, captured by
Israel in the 1967 Six Day War.
Israel is looking for firm security and diplomatic arrangements
should it withdraw forces from the key border area with Syria.
Assad wants a public commitment by Peres to return all of the
territory Syria lost 28 years ago.
Both Clinton and Peres Monday brushed aside specific questions
about this. But the president spoke of new hope in the Mideast
peace process. "I think the Syrian leader and the Syrian people now
see the exceptional price that former Prime Minister Rabin and
Prime Minister Peres have been willing to pay in their search for
peace. I think that is the fundamental new reality here. I don't
think any of the details matter nearly as much as that fundamental
For his part, Peres, describing Christopher's diplomatic mission as
a "possible new opportunity," expressed the hope that Assad will
"join us soon on this historic journey. There is no time now for a
political vacation. We don't intend to rest. We intend to
continue the momentum, full speed ahead."
Peres delivers a speech to Congress today.
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