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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                       March 1, 1996 V4, #39
All the News the Big Guys Missed

Rabin Unveiling will be Held Today in Jerusalem

The Rabin family will be joined by Israeli leaders at the Mount Herzl Cemetery today, the same day late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin would have celebrated his 74th birthday, for the unveiling of Rabin's permanent gravestone. The gravestone was designed by architect Moshe Safadiah at the request of Leah Rabin, and is fashioned from black basalt granite from the Golan Heights and white granite from the Galilee.

Entrance into Israel is Eased--Somewhat

By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)

Israel has eased its closure of Palestinian territories, allowing goods to be transferred from Palestinian trucks to Israeli trucks at the Gaza border. The ban on people crossing remains in effect, hurting the Palestinian economy and inconveniencing tens of thousands of people. There have been many closures in the past, each lasting several days or a few weeks, but Israel says this closure could be a long one.

Even in the best of times, Israel's network of checkpoints along its pre-1967 border and around Jerusalem make the movement of Palestinians difficult. Vehicles with Israeli license plates generally pass through without even stopping. But those with Palestinian plates -- or Israeli cars with Palestinians inside -- must stop for the passengers to show identification and special permits to enter Israel, and, sometimes, for the vehicles to be searched.

During closures, the regular permits are not valid. Many people do not even try to get through -- or take back roads in the hope of avoiding Israeli patrols. Those who do try at the checkpoints face long lines, and, often, disappointment.

Ziad Abu Zayyad, a Palestinian journalist and activist who has just been elected to the new Palestinian council from the Jerusalem district rejects Israel's claim that the closure has been imposed for security reasons. He says it is an attempt to cut the links between Palestinians in the autonomous and soon-to-be autonomous territories and those who will remain under Israeli control for the foreseeable future, such as those in Jerusalem. Abu Zayyad says this effort will backfire.

But Israeli Foreign Minister Ehud Barak says Israel is no longer concerned about such a backfire of Palestinian public opinion, as it might once have been. Barak, the former military Chief of Staff, says keeping Israel's borders open is a good neighborly gesture, and that Israel cannot afford to make such a gesture if it is going to result in more terrorist attacks, such as the two bombings last Sunday. Barak says the newly elected Palestinian president, Yasir Arafat, is now in a strong enough position to crack down on the militants whether public opinion supports such a move or not.

Israel has laid out for Arafat exactly what it wants him to do -- the arrest of key activists, closure of offices and other facilities operated by the militants, stopping their sources of funding, ending public demonstrations in support of the militants, and other steps. Barak says Israel will be tough in evaluating whether he has complied, and will link that compliance with specific steps in the peace process.

The Web of Hate

By Penelope Souquet (VOA-New York)

A report released in New York says racist and anti-Semitic ideas are being spread over the internet, the international network of computers.

The report says there are a number of racist and anti-Semitic World Wide Web sites, that is, locations or bulletin boards on the computer internet. The report also suggests ways to counter this new wave of hatred. The hate groups and individuals with homepages on the user-friendly, graphics-oriented part of the internet, include the Ku Klux Klan, the Aryan Crusader and other white supremacist groups.

The 60-page report was published by the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish organization dedicated to combating racial and ethnic discrimination.

The organization says it usually does not publicize the work of such hate groups but has decided to counter this propaganda by publishing its own page on the WWW. Wolf told reporters "The most powerful way to deal with hate speech is more truthful speech."

The ADL says in its report "The Web of Hate" -- that hatred on the internet is not new. What is new, it adds, is the way it is being disseminated: as individuals have more and more access to computers and the internet, these hate messages are delivered directly into their homes, offices, libraries and college campuses.

The organization says it has been negotiating with internet providers such as Prodigy and America Online to ban such hate groups from posting information on their internal bulletin boards. However, it says there is no way to prevent any kind of information from being published directly on the internet.

Israel Develops Inexpensive Communications Satellite

An Israeli company is developing a new remote-controlled airplane that will be able to remain airborne for several years at a time. The plane will be operated by solar energy or by energy beamed from the ground.

The system, named "Rotostar," is intended to be an inexpensive substitute for a communications satellite and can serve as a base for intelligence satellites. Eli Gamzon, the originator of the idea, said that because the unmanned planes utilize aviation technology and satellites require space technology, the Rotostar model is likely to cost only 20 to 25 percent of the cost of an average satellite.

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