Newsletter : 6fax0117.txt
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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan
Jan. 17, 1996 V4, #8
All the News the Big Guys Missed
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Militants May Disrupt Palestinian Elections
By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)
Israeli police are preparing to block reported plans by some
militant right-wing Jewish groups to disrupt Palestinian voting
Saturday in Jerusalem.
Jerusalem's police commander told Israel Radio Tuesday he believes
many Jewish settlers from the West Bank are planning to spend
Saturday in Jerusalem in order to disrupt voting in five post
offices in the city's mainly-Arab eastern sector.
The commander's spokesman, Shmuel Ben-Rubi, says 3,000 police
officers will be deployed in Jerusalem Saturday to make sure that
does not happen. But he also says the post offices will remain
open for regular business.
"Everyone who wants to go into the postal offices can do it. But if
somebody tries to make any provocations in the post office, we will
not let him. We have some reports extreme groups want to make some
provocations in east Jerusalem. But, as I told you, we are not
going to let them do it."
Leaders of the organization of Israeli settlers in the West Bank
and Gaza acknowledge thousands of their members are planning to
come to Jerusalem Friday, and to stay through Saturday. They
will hold a demonstration late Saturday to protest the expansion
of Palestinian autonomy.
But settler spokeswoman Yehudit Tayar denies any disruption of
the Palestinian voting is planned. "What we do have planned is, of
course, to strengthen the tie that we have with Jerusalem as our
capital and as one of our most holy places. And since we do see
that there are really illegal elections going on there and we
do have a planned demonstration, we do have many hundreds of
families who will be residing over Shabbat in Jerusalem. I do not
anticipate any kind of visitation to post offices. This would
violate the Sabbath."
Israel is keeping the post offices open to emphasize its contention
the voting is being done on an absentee basis. Technically, the
5,000 Palestinians who will vote in the Jerusalem post offices will
be mailing their ballots to the Palestinian authority.
The system was devised as a compromise in last year's
Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. Israel was concerned allowing
Jerusalem Palestinians to vote, or to run for office, would lend
credence to Palestinian claims over the city. Most of the 50,000
registered Palestinian voters in Jerusalem will vote at polling
stations just outside the city, or in their home villages farther
Negotiations about Jerusalem's future and other sensitive
Israeli-Palestinian issues are scheduled to begin in May, and are
expected to last several years.
German Parliamentarians Listen to Weizman in Astonishment
By Kyle King (VOA-Bonn)
Israeli President Ezer Weizman has appealed to German leaders to do
everything in their power to oppose neo-Nazism. The president's
appeal came in a rare address to the German parliament.
Speaking in Hebrew to members of the upper and lower houses of the
parliament, Weizman said it was not easy for him to visit Germany.
During his visit, which began Sunday, he said he heard the voices
of the victims of the Holocaust. He said as president of Israel
he mourned for the 6 Million Jews killed by the Nazis in World
War II, but he said he could not forgive.
In an appeal to the German parliament, Weizman urged the deputies,
who he called his friends, to use their knowledge of the past to
look into the future and to smash every stirring of racism and
neo-Nazism. He said these extremist elements must be torn up by
Many of the deputies appeared subdued as they filed out of the
chamber following the address. One unnamed member is quoted as
saying he had never heard such a speech in the parliament before.
Israel Offers Foreign Aid to America
By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)
Vice President Al Gore canceled plans to visit Tunisia Tuesday in
order to fly directly home from Israel in time for an important
meeting today on the budget crisis. The schedule change and
the budget crisis prompted a light moment at Gore's news conference
with Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres.
Gore said his schedule change will not affect Tunisia's plans to
establish low-level relations with Israel in the near future. He
said he wanted to stop in Tunis to discuss the issue, but the
budget crisis forced him to change his plan, and Peres offered a
lighthearted suggestion of how Israel might help.
Gore: You know our government runs out of money again on the 26th
of this month. It is embarrassing for me.
Peres: You need some foreign aid? (Laughter)
Gore: Write that down, would you please. On the 27th I may be on
the phone to you.
Peres' offer of aid got a big laugh from the Israeli and US
officials and reporters in the room partly because the US
government provides aid to participants in the Middle East peace
process, including $3 billion a year for Israel. In recent months,
some of the aid has been delayed by the budget crisis.
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