Newsletter : 6fax0614.txt
| Previous file
| Next file
Publisher\Editor Don Canaan
June 14, 1996 V4, #106
All the News the Big Guys Missed
'Windows 95' in Hebrew inaugurated
Sales have begun in Israel of the computer program "Windows 95" in
Hebrew. The system is now in use in more than 20-million personal
computers throughout the world. It has undergone a full adaptation
into Hebrew at the Microsoft center in Seattle. It is expected to
be used in 200,000 personal computers in Israel.
Arafat Arrests Human Rights Activist
By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)
A Palestinian security court in Gaza has ordered human rights
activist Eyad Sarraj held for 15 days for allegedly assaulting a
police officer. He has been detained during the last few days on
drug charges. While entering the court, Dr. Sarraj told reporters
he had been beaten in prison and felt "terrible." Reporters in Gaza
say Sarraj appeared disheveled and distressed. When asked about
reports he had been tortured, he replied "yes."
The physician and human rights activist was arrested Sunday night
when police said they found hashish in his office. His staff says
the drug was planted. A criminal court ordered him freed on the
drug charge Thursday until his trial. But the security court judge
ordered him held on the assault charge.
Palestinian Attorney General Khaled Kidreh said Wednesday Sarraj
had struck a police officer who was taking him into a police
station. The attorney general also denied that the doctor has been
mistreated, or that evidence was planted in his office. Kidreh also
said this arrest is not related to two previous arrests of Sarraj
in the last six months for allegedly slandering the Palestinian
Authority of Yasir Arafat.
An outspoken critic of the authority, Sarraj recently called it
"corrupt and dictatorial," but he has also said Palestinians should
support the authority while trying to improve it.
Weizman Tries Cementing Turkish Pact
By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)
Israel's president, Ezer Weizman, is in Turkey for the UN Habitat
Conference, and for meetings with Turkish officials about the
controversial Israel-Turkey relationship -- particularly their new
defense cooperation agreement.
Turkey is Israel's closest friend among Islamic countries, but the
relationship was held back for years by Israel's conflict with its
Islamic Arab neighbors. That changed with the acceleration of the
Middle East peace process in 1991. And today the two countries
have a thriving relationship.
Turkish Airlines is the largest foreign carrier serving Tel Aviv's
international airport -- mainly ferrying Israeli tourists to and
from Istanbul and Turkey's Mediterranean beaches. When an Iranian
airliner was hijacked to Israel last year, the only way it could
fly home from Israel was through Turkish airspace.
But the latest development in Israel-Turkey relations has angered
other Islamic countries. It is a defense cooperation agreement,
which involves possible high-technology purchases both ways, and
training flights by Israeli and Turkish fighter pilots in each
other's airspace. Such a visit to Israel last week by Turkish
air force pilots sparked criticism from Iran and Syria.
But Turkey's ambassador in Israel, Barlas Ozener, says the critics
have nothing to worry about and he believes the criticism will not
have any long-term impact. "This reaction is off the cuff, a sudden
eruption, and will in time, as people understand what's going on,
it will go down. We see no reason why this thing should be blown
out of proportion. It is a perfectly legitimate agreement between
Turkey and Israel, which is to the good of the security
establishments of both sides. We have lots to learn from each
Ozener says Turkey is very interested in Israeli defense
technology, and is trying to take advantage of what he calls the
"favorable atmosphere" in the Middle East to develop its relations
But two developments, aside from the Arab criticism, threaten to
change that. One is the election of conservative Benjamin
Netanyahu as Israel's next prime minister. Netanyahu will not
take office until next week at the earliest. But Arab countries
which have peace agreements or ongoing talks with Israel are
concerned that his hard-line campaign rhetoric will destroy the
peace process if it becomes policy.
Ambassador Ozener urges a wait-and-see approach on that.
But political change in Turkey also threatens the Israel-Turkey
relationship. That is the emergence once again of the Islamic
Welfare Party as a player in the effort to form Turkey's next
government. The party is opposed to Turkey's relationship with
Israel, and has threatened to cancel the defense pact if it comes
to power. That is a prospect which has Israel concerned.
The Israeli president immediately accepted the invitation to visit
Turkey this week, to see his friend Turkish President Suleiman
Demeriel and to speak at the Habitat Conference.
Both presidents have largely ceremonial jobs. But the visit by
former air force pilot Weizman takes on added significance, coming
at a time of criticism of the new Israel-Turkey defense
relationship, and with the governments of both countries in a state
(All material on these web pages is © 2001-2012
by Electronic World Communications, Inc.)