Newsletter : 6fax0510.txt
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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan
May 10, 1996 V4, #86
All the News the Big Guys Missed
USA 'Fair and Honest' to Israelis and Arabs
By David Borgida (VOA-White House)
President Clinton says his Middle East policy remains "fair and
honest" to both Arabs and Israelis. At a joint news conference
with visiting Greek President Constantinos Stephanopoulos, Clinton
responded to Arab concern his policy is tilting toward Israel.
In the aftermath of last month's Israeli bombardment of south
Lebanon, prompted by Hizbullah rocket attacks into Israel, Arab
concern about US objectivity has increased. Such sentiment has
been heard in Syria, but also in Arab countries considered more
friendly to the United States -- Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
Arab concern was heightened dramatically by the Israeli shelling
of a UN refugee camp in south Lebanon. About 100 Lebanese
civilians died in the attack.
Clinton Thursday tried to allay this mounting Arab concern, noting
what he has done in the search for peace in the past, as well as
the US brokered peace agreement ending the violence between Israel
and Hizbullah terrorists in south Lebanon.
"As we move away from the understandable passions that were
inflamed by the violence along the border, as time passes and the
agreement is implemented, the people in the Arab world will look at
what we have done with the Palestinians, with the Jordanians, with
the Egyptians, with the brokering of this agreement and what its
terms are. And I think they will see that the United States
has been fair and honest."
Clinton spoke in firm defense of Israel on the April 18 shelling of
the Qana refugee camp. "People make mistakes in wartime. There's
no such thing as perfect weapons. Everybody thinks just because
we're living in a high-technology age if you think we can have sort
of surgical battles in which there are never any unintended
consequences -- that just doesn't happen. It just doesn't happen."
A United Nations report found it unlikely the Israeli attack was an
accident or a technical failure. In response, the Israeli army
released a video indicating that a pilotless drone reconnaissance
plane was used to target the UN camp. Initially, Israel denied the
drone flew over south Lebanon the day of the shelling. But an
amateur video broadcast Monday showed a drone was present.
Americans Abroad Warned of Attack
By Ron Pemstein (VOA-State Department)
The State Department has warned American embassies to go on special
alert against protests over the possible extradition of a
Palestinian wanted by Israel.
The State Department has not issued a surrender warrant for the
extradition of Mousa abu Marzook who is wanted in Israel on charges
the Palestinian is a leader of Hamas, responsible for suicide
Despite a New York judge's ruling that the US resident can be
extradited, the State Department says he can still file legal
appeals. That will forestall any decision by Secretary of State
Warren Christopher on Marzook's extradition to Israel.
State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns says in any case,
American diplomats and citizens are being advised to take security
precautions. "The Department of State has no specific information
regarding a threat to American citizens or American interests
overseas but we can't discount the possibility of random acts of
Marzook has not denied that he is a leader of the political wing
of Hamas but he insists the branch is opposed to the wave of
suicide bombings that struck Israel earlier this year.
Survey Shows Slight Gain in Support for Peace Process
A poll conducted by a Tel Aviv University institute found that
support for the Oslo peace process rose from 50.5 to 56 points
The "General Peace Index," which is a less specific index of
support for peace negotiations and also administered by the Tami
Steinmetz Center for Peace Studies, registered a gain of 0.8 points
to reach an approval rating of 63.3 percent. According to the
findings, April saw the emergence of a general trend of increased
support for the peace process.
The survey, which has a 4 point margin of error, is comprised of
503 telephone interviews of a representative model of the adult
Jewish population in Israel, including residents of kibbutzes and
Regarding the public's reaction to Operation Grapes of Wrath,
researchers found considerable sensitivity among Jewish Israelis
toward the complicated situation of Israeli Arabs. Of the 64
percent who replied they knew the reaction of Israeli Arabs to the
operation, 22 percent claimed it was not understandable and
justified, 12 percent said it was both understandable and
justified, and 63 percent said it was understandable but not
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