Newsletter : 6fax0425.txt
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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan
April 25, 1996 V4, #75
All the News the Big Guys Missed
Full Palestinian Charter Revision in Six Months
By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)
The Palestine National Council has voted to revoke the clauses in
the Palestinian Charter which contradict the peace process;
apparently paving the way for that process to continue. But it is
not clear whether the changes take effect immediately, or whether
the resolution only expressed an intent to revoke the offending
clauses as part of the process of drafting a new charter.
The PNC resolution says members have decided to cancel all the
clauses in the charter which contradict the letters of mutual
recognition exchanged by Israel and the PLO three years ago. It
creates a committee to draft what it calls "a new national program"
-- a process Palestinian officials say will take six months or
A senior Palestinian official says this was the most that could be
achieved at this time, with a closure imposed by Israel still in
effect for the Palestinian territories and with Israel bombing
villages and Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon.
Israeli government spokesman Uri Dromi says the Palestinians made
good on a basic and important promise. "It's a good news to us
because it's a fundamental issue. The whole peace process was based
on this promise. And it shows that they are serious in keeping
Dromi says the vote paves the way for opening talks on Palestinian
statehood and other sensitive issues in the final stage of the
peace process, due to begin by the end of next week.
Christopher Motorcades to Lebanon
By Ron Pemstein (VOA-Shtoura, Lebanon)
Secretary of State Warren Christopher has discussed the US
ceasefire plan for south Lebanon with Syrian President Hafez al
Assad, and then in eastern Lebanon with Prime Minister Rafik
He drove 55 minutes in a motorcade from Damascus where he met Assad
for 4-1/2 hours of talks about the US ceasefire proposal.
Christopher went to the Park Hotel to meet Hariri and Parliament
Speaker Nabih Berri to win their support for the one-page statement
he is negotiating. US officials say Lebanon must be a full partner
with Syria and Israel in endorsing the ceasefire document.
The determined Secretary of State was able to rebound from his
disappointment Tuesday when he did not meet the Syrian president
in Damascus, and was discouraged by the US military from traveling
to Beirut by air. The Secretary said earlier in Damascus -- this
is the time for a conclusion in the negotiations for a ceasefire in
Egyptian Peace Called Superficial
By Laurie Kassman (VOA-Cairo)
Arab anger continues to simmer over Israel's offensive in Lebanon
-- even in Egypt, which has been at peace with Israel for 17 years.
Officially, the neighbors are strengthening their ties, especially
when it comes to the peace process. But on the streets of Cairo
and in remote Egyptian villages, discontent with Israel now
dominates any conversation about bilateral relations.
The Arab media runs scathing attacks and cynical cartoons hitting
at Israel and editorials openly question the future of the peace
Sociologist Sa-ad Eddin Ibrahim explains that the average Egyptian
citizen remembers all the anti-Israeli propaganda of the 1940s,
1950s and '60s, in which Israel was always rumored to desire
military and political control of Egypt.
"Some of these things are exaggerated but for the man in the
street, it rings true, once the Israelis commit one of their
heavy-handed or overkill measures against the Palestinians, or
against another country like Lebanon."
Ibrahim says school books in Egypt and Israel have not yet been
adapted to reflect the peace process, and so still encourage
children to hate and fear each other.
He says it will take at least another generation and a change in
the way politicians, teachers and schoolbooks deal with peace in
order to bridge the gap of hostility and distrust.
Gaddafi: Ron Brown Killed by US Intelligence
By Peyman Pejman (VOA-Tripoli)
It has been 10-years since the US air raid on Tripoli and Benghazi
in Libya. The strike came after a series of allegations Libya was
aiding terrorist groups. There were no public rallies in Libya to
commemorate the anniversary, but the government invited a group of
foreign journalists for a visit that included a news conference
with the country's controversial leader, Col. Muammar Gaddafi.
Gaddafi also appears to view the world in conspiratorial terms.
For instance, he says the death of US Commerce Secretary Ron Brown
was a plot. "He was killed by the American intelligence because he
was black and was against the sanctions imposed against Libya."
As for African-Americans, he says they will create an independent
state. "All black military men will leave the white racist army
and create the biggest black army on earth.
He charges that movement started last year at the Million-Man
March by African-American men at the US Capitol. Gaddafi also says
he is worried the CIA is out to kill president Clinton, as he
claims it did with John Kennedy.
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