Newsletter : 6fax0606.txt
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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan
June 6, 1996 V4, #103
All the News the Big Guys Missed
Yigal Amir Trial Resumes
The Tel Aviv District Court has rejected the claims of Haggai Amir,
brother of Yitzhak Rabin's assassin, that police investigators used
psychological pressure to coerce a confession out of him. The Amir
brothers have been accused of conspiring to kill Rabin and to
attack Arabs living in Judea and
Samaria. The three have pleaded innocent to the charges.
Arafat to Declare Palestinian State with Jerusalem as Capital
By Al Pessin (VOA-Aqaba, Jordan)
Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat says he is prepared to declare the
existence of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its
capital, depending on how negotiations go with the new Israeli
Arafat spoke after meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak
and Jordan's King Hussein at the king's seaside palace in the south
Jordanian town of Aqaba.
Arafat made his announcement at a summit billed as a strategy
session, and at a news conference dominated by talk of commitment
to the peace process and expressions of hope that the new Israeli
government will not be as hard-line as its campaign rhetoric was.
He and the other leaders were asked how serious a problem it is
for them that Israel's Prime Minister-elect Benjamin Netanyahu is
opposed to the creation of a Palestinian state. Arafat said he
believes Israel will accept the idea "sooner or later," but he
said he might declare its existence, with Jerusalem as its capital,
even if the new Israeli government does not agree.
"We are approaching to declare very soon our independent
Palestinian state and it's capital, Il-Quds Ish-Sharif (Holy
Jerusalem). I mean it, I mean it, Il-Quds Ish-Sharif. This is the
desire of the Palestinian people, and nobody can stop it."
A unilateral declaration of statehood has long been a Palestinian
option, and indeed it has already been done to some extent. But
Arafat has resisted pressing the point in negotiations with Israel
in recent years in the hope statehood would come at the end of the
Now that Netanyahu is about to take office with a very different
view of that process, Arafat appeared to be signaling both Israelis
and Palestinians that he has other options.
Mubarak stopped short of endorsing Arafat's plan. But he said he
believes the new Israeli prime minister will have to agree to a
Palestinian state eventually. "The history will prove that the
Palestinians are going to establish a state, now or then. I cannot
foretell now what Mr. Netanyahu means about that, but I think
whenever he takes power and takes the responsibility and starts
negotiating with the Palestinians, he will take his decision, the
decision which will satisfy the needs of both sides to establish
peace in this part of the world."
The summit host, King Hussein, also gave Arafat a boost, declaring
one option favored by some Israelis is not possible -- some type
of joint Jordanian-Palestinian sovereignty in parts of the West
Bank vacated by Israel.
"If it is impossible to see a Palestinian state come to exist, it
is even more impossible to see Jordan involved in this particular
issue. The question is the right of the Palestinians on their soil
and we are for whatever they decide on, and we are fully supportive
of them. We will never, under any condition, be a substitute for
French Discipline Physics Teacher
By Julian Nundy (VOA-Paris)
France's Education Minister has ordered disciplinary proceedings
against a secondary school teacher who used Nazi gas chambers in a
theoretical problem for students.
A French physics teacher asked students how much of the gas used to
exterminate Jews during World War 2 would have been produced by a
truck motor in one hour. The teacher explained the Nazis sometimes
used the exhaust gases of trucks to kill their victims.
The teacher, according to colleagues at the school near Paris, said
she was only trying to make children aware of the realities of the
A French Education Ministry memorandum instructs teachers to ensure
that children are told about the Holocaust and French collaboration
under Nazi occupation. Previously, this memorandum was thought to
apply mainly to history teachers.
The sports daily L'Equipe reports that France's synchronized
swimming team plans to goose-step like Nazi storm-troopers into the
swimming baths at the start of competition at the Atlanta Olympic
The newspaper said the swimmers will enter the baths to the strains
of Nazi music. A spokesman for one French Jewish organization said
the plan showed what he called a lack of sensitivity and knowledge.
But the French swimming federation said the swimmers' march was in
fact planned as a protest against intolerance and was not intended
to make light of Nazi war crimes. The daily Le Monde reported
meanwhile the federation is planning some changes in its
choreography and in its choice of music.
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