Newsletter : 6fax0130.txt
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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan
Jan. 30, 1996 V4, #17
All the News the Big Guys Missed
Peres Apologizes to Ethiopian Immigrants
"I want to apologize in my name and on behalf of the Government of
Israel. This was not done intentionally. You have always
maintained Jewish traditions and heritage. I understand the depth
of your injury, and that it will not be easily fixed." Prime
Minister Shimon Peres
Barak to PLO: Amend Charter or No Jerusalem Talks
By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)
Israeli Foreign Minister Ehud Barak says Israel will not continue
negotiations with the Palestinians in May, as scheduled, unless the
Palestinian National Council amends its charter to eliminate
several anti-Israel clauses.
Barak says newly-elected Palestinian President Yasir Arafat must do
more to fight violent Palestinian groups. He also said Arafat must
get the charter amended or Israel will not be able to move to the
next and final round of negotiations (Editor: the final status of
Barak says this must include preventive action against militant
groups, particularly Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and a virtual
rewriting of the charter, which the Israeli-Palestinian agreement
requires by mid-April.
"We do feel that he might face certain pressures not to comply with
this commitment, but we think that it became a litmus test to the
seriousness of the Palestinians. We find if very difficult to
proceed to the next phase of permanent status dialogue before
Arafat lives up to this commitment."
Arafat is expected to face serious opposition to amending the
charter when he convenes the PNC for its first meeting in five
years, which is expected in Gaza in February or March.
Israel to Syria: Are You Ready for 'Daring Talks?'
By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)
Israeli Foreign Minister Ehud Barak says peace negotiations with
Syria will likely take a long time and can only be completed this
year if "daring talks begin immediately on a wide range of issues."
Barak says 50-years of conflict can not be settled in a few weeks.
He says talks with Syria will likely take a long time and have ups
and downs along the way. He said it will not be clear whether the
time is right for such talks until after the next visit to the
region by Secretary of State Warren Christopher, expected within
the next two weeks.
Barak listed 15 issues which he said must be addressed immediately
if there is to be a chance for a peace agreement this year. Among
the issues are trade and tourism, water, fighting terrorism,
bi-lateral security arrangements, and an end to the fighting in
"If all these are done in an open manner and a daring readiness to
go ahead, maybe it could be achieved this year. But I can not
answer for the Syrians."
Barak said Israel has not heard enough from Syria about what future
peaceful relations will look like. He said such information must
come before Israel will be willing to address Syria's main concern
-- the depth of an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights.
"It is only if all these elements are solved and good security
arrangements are established that we would be able to consider the
depth of withdrawal. The depth of withdrawal will be commensurate
with the quality of implemented peace and the effectiveness of the
Barak says the current Israel-Syria talks on Maryland's eastern
shore have made modest, but stable progress, and he described the
remaining gaps as too wide to be bridged by US proposals. He said
any US proposals should come later, but he also said he believes an
Israeli-Syrian agreement would have a greater chance of success if
the two countries settle their disagreements themselves.
Israel Editorial Comment on Ethiopian Blood Clash
Ma'ariv calls on the public, the media and the authorities to be
sympathetic to the frustration of the Ethiopian immigrant community
whose violent demonstration yesterday (although inexcusable) was
the outgrowth of what they perceive as humiliating treatment,
culminating in the destruction of their blood donations. At the
same time, the editors call on the Ethiopian community to
understand that the blood bank's policy is not intended to be
racist or to stigmatize them; it is merely based on a statistical
determination that they represent a "high risk" group.
Yediot Ahronot claims that, even if there are proven medical
reasons behind the decision to disqualify the blood donations of
Ethiopians, there can be no justification for the secrecy invoked
in this matter. The paper welcomes the prime minister's apology to
the Ethiopian community, and the creation of a committee to examine
the blood bank affair -- but regrets that this did not come before
the Ethiopians sank into despair.
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