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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan
May 3, 1996 V4, #81
All the News the Big Guys Missed
Jerusalem Negotiations Will Start Sunday
By Ed Warner (VOA-Washington)
The status of Jerusalem promises to be one of the toughest issues
to resolve in the Middle East peace process. The Palestinian point
of view was explained in some depth and passion at a recent
conference held at the Contemporary Center for Arab Studies
at Georgetown University in Washington.
More than Jerusalem is involved in the question of who will govern
it, said Walid Khalidi. A senior research fellow at the Center for
Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University, Khalidi said the
decision on Jerusalem will affect all Islam, profoundly shaping its
relations with the West.
Khalidi said Muslims consider Israel a Western proxy that has been
given undue advantage in asserting its claim to Palestine. As the
Israel elections approach, he did not see much difference between
the contesting parties in their determination to control Jerusalem:
"Even if Labor wins, given the balance of power on the ground, so
massively in favor of Israel and given the West's policies of
omission and commission in perpetuating the situation, the outcome
most likely to emerge will inevitably do grievous harm to the
interests of Islam and Arab Christianity in the city as well as to
relations between Islam and the West in general."
Khalidi said there should be a search for a middle ground fair to
both sides. In his opinion, that would be, among other things,
making West Jerusalem the capital of Israel and East Jerusalem the
capital of Palestine.
But Israel cites history and tradition to support its control of
Jerusalem, says Alan Malkovsky, a senior fellow at the Washington
Institute for Near East Policy: "Israel takes a very clear line,
both the Labor and Likud Party, that Jerusalem should remain the
undivided, eternal capital of the State of Israel, and I think it
would be very difficult for any Israeli government politically to
compromise on that position. Now there might be ways within the
context of that position to play around the edges. There is
probably some room for flexibility, but it will have to be credibly
seen as undivided and in its entirety under Israeli sovereignty."
Malkovsky says Yasir Arafat and the Palestinians have not
effectively responded to the US congressional legislation. He says
they have somewhat blurred their position on establishing two
capitals in Jerusalem, adding confusion to a highly complex issue.
In fact, he says, it will be the hardest part of the peace process:
"because Palestinians and Israelis live so close together there,
because it is such an important city for economic, political and
historical reasons for both sides and mainly because of the strong
emotional attachment that both sides have, and it is an emotional
attachment that extends beyond the feelings of those two groups
themselves to the greater diaspora."
Walid Khalidi and Alan Malkovsky agree the world will be watching
the settlement of the Jerusalem conflict.
Israel Faxx Medical Briefs
Relief for Slipped Disk Sufferers
A method of using lasers when operating to treat a slipped disk in
the spinal column has been devised in Israel and tried at the Meir
Hospital in Kfar Sava on three patients. Usually, such surgery
needs full anesthetic and can take several hours. The new laser
technique of removing the disk takes about 20 minutes, using a
needle of 1.5 millimeter diameter and an optical fiber of 800
microns, with the laser melting the affected disk to ease quick
Hadassah Develops Skin Cancer Detector
A computerized instrument for detecting skin cancer elements has
been devised by Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem, in
cooperation with the Hebrew University. A digital camera
photographs spots on the body of the person examined where cancer
might be likely and immediately detects clinical signs for the
Heart Disease Tracked by Ultra Sound
A new application of ultra-sound diagnosis is being used at the
Hadassah Hospital and Medical Center, with the instrument usually
used for checking fetuses to check the heart. It has been
discovered it can do this very accurately. A tube is inserted into
the patient's body with an ultra-sound device at its end and it
emits shortwave transmissions and informs the computer exactly
where the arteries may have narrowed to the extent that could cause
a heart attack. When that is determined, an angioplasty can be
performed right away.
Medication for Herpes of the Lips
A new medication, the first of its kind in the world, to treat
herpes of the lips has been developed and successfully tested on
living creatures before being applied to humans. Called "Utravir,"
it will be clinically tested on volunteers at the Rambam Medical
Center in Haifa, after being approved by the Ministry of Health.
The ointment is based on materials that prevent the spread of the
infection, and has had 80 percent success so far in its tests. It
has also prevented recurrence of the ailment.
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