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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                       May 6, 1996 V4, #82
All the News the Big Guys Missed

FBI Confirms Possible Attacks on Jews Today

The FBI Saturday urged Jewish groups and law enforcement agencies to use extra caution because of a possible threat against 1,200 Jewish physicians and executives in the United States.

The FBI said it received information concerning a possible murder threat against 1,200 Jewish professionals in the United States unless Israel withdrew its forces from Lebanon by today. The threat also demanded a $12 billion payment to compensate for Lebanese killed in Middle East fighting, the agency said.

Jerusalem Talks Start in the Sinai

By Al Pessin (VOA-Taba, Sinai)

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators began talks on the final stage of their peace process Sunday at the Egyptian resort of Taba. The two delegation leaders spent more than two-hours in private talks before formally starting the negotiations with opening statements in front of reporters and television cameras.

They both spoke about hopes for a peaceful future, but they also began to stakeout their positions on the issues before them, which both said are very tough.

Palestinian delegation leader Mahmoud Abbas said the Palestinians want their own state in Gaza and all the West Bank, including east Jerusalem, up to the border Israel had before it captured the territory in 1967.

The Israeli delegation leader Uri Savir said his country has what he called one eternal issue -- that Jerusalem should be its united capital.

Savir said the two sides may sometimes face deep and bitter differences. But he believes just starting to talk about such difficult and emotional issues less than three years into the often-troubled Israeli-Palestinian peace process is itself remarkable.

The differences are equally stark on the questions of Palestinian refugees and Israeli settlements. But both chief negotiators indicated a commitment to make progress despite the difficulties. During his opening statement, Abbas turned to Savir and said let us be the peacemakers.

Wallenberg Identified as OSS Spy

By Victor Beattie (VOA-Washington)

A published report says Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, credited with saving thousands of Hungarian Jews during World War 2, provided information for US intelligence. Swedish officials are downplaying the story in this week's edition of "US News & World Report," preferring to call him an asset to the United States, but not a spy.

The report centers on recently-declassified CIA documents and, according to the magazine, shows conclusively Wallenberg was a valued asset to US intelligence. The article says the Swedish diplomat's links with what was then the Office of Strategic Services, forerunner of the CIA, prompted Soviet occupation authorities to spirit him out of Budapest in 1945 at the close of the war.

US News says Sweden posted Wallenberg to Nazi-held Budapest in 1944 at the urging of the OSS. It is there that he is credited with saving at least 20,000 Hungarian Jews from concentration camps in part by using funds from the US War Refugee Board to bribe Nazi officials.

The magazine says the Swedish diplomat also seems to have had a broader OSS mandate to collect field intelligence in Hungary. However, it says he was never on the OSS payroll.

Swedish Foreign Ministry official Jan Eliasson calls the article an over-interpretation, insisting Wallenberg was never a spy although he acknowledged he had contact with Americans.

Moscow insists Wallenberg died in a Soviet prison in 1947. However, family members and Western officials have expressed doubts about the Russian explanation. One Swedish official says it is possible he may still be alive today.

The magazine said Washington should describe the true nature of Wallenberg's links to US intelligence and Russia should disclose what his fate was.

Swiss to Allow Investigation of Fate of Jewish Funds

In what was referred to as a "historic agreement," Swiss bankers reneged on their law of secrecy and promised to allow an independent committee investigate the fate of funds deposited during World War 2 belonging to European Jews.

As a result of the agreement and the establishment of the committee, 100,000 Holocaust survivors and their heirs are expected to submit requests to investigate the whereabouts of funds and property. The agreement was signed at the New York offices of the World Jewish Congress.

The understanding is supposed to put to rest the debate surrounding the bank accounts of Jews who deposited money in Switzerland before and during World War 2. Many of the accounts were never reclaimed because the depositors died.

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