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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                       June 24, 1996 V4, #112
All the News the Big Guys Missed

Arab Summit Ends with Threats Against Israel

By Laurie Kassman (VOA-Cairo), Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)

The Arab summit ended in Cairo with a warning to Israel not to change the agreed ground rules for the peace process, which are based on the principle of land for peace. The leaders sent a clear message of their position to the new Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose hard-line policies toward the peace process have worried them.

The summit declaration warns any setback in the peace process will be Israel's responsibility. The Arab leaders say they are willing to continue the process if it is based on the principle of land for peace.

After the summit, Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa repeated the communique's warning that Arab leaders will reconsider their approach to peace, if Israel deviates from the principles established when the peace process was launched five-years ago. Palestinian official Nabil Shaath was more blunt about warning Israel.

"You continue the peace process, we will honor all our past and future commitments. You abort the peace process and the price will be very hard for all of us to pay."

Syria's foreign minister says he is satisfied with the final text. Syria had been pushing for a tougher stand linking normalization to continuing the peace process. The issue of normalization is not mentioned in the declaration.

The summit communique specifically calls for Israel to withdraw from the Golan Heights, Lebanon, and east Jerusalem, which it says should be the capital of a future Palestinian state.

But the leaders do not spell out what actions they will take if Israel "deviates, procrastinates or retreats from its commitments."

Israel reacted strongly to the communique, calling it inconsistent with peace negotiations. A formal statement from Netanyahu's office says the Arab states issued a series of unilateral demands of the type it said must be avoided.

The statement says the Arab countries did not help the peace process move forward. Netanyahu's statement says peace talks must be conducted without preconditions.
Other senior Israeli officials were even more harsh in their reactions to the summit. Foreign Minister David Levy said peace can not be achieved by the kind of dictates and threats he says are in the communique. A senior foreign affairs adviser to the prime minister, Zalman Shoval, called the communique hardline and bellicose, and he said it creates the wrong atmosphere.

Humor: The Heavenly Marriage

There was a young couple, very much in love, who the night before they were to be married, were both tragically killed in an automobile accident. They found themselves at the pearly gates of heaven being escorted in by an angel. After a couple of weeks in heaven, the prospective groom took the angel aside and said, "Listen, my fiance and I are very happy to be in heaven but we miss very much the opportunity to have celebrated our wedding vows. Is it possible for people in heaven to get married?"

The angel looked at him and said, "I'm sorry, I've never heard of anyone in heaven wanting to get married. I'm afraid you'll have to talk to the Almighty about that. I can get you an appointment for two weeks from Wednesday."

Come the appointed day, the couple were escorted by the guardian angels into the presence of God, where they repeat the request. The Lord looked at them solemnly and said, "I tell you what, wait five years and if you still want to get married, come back and we will talk about it again."

Well five years went by, and the couple still very much wanting to get married, came back. Again the God Almighty said, "Please you must wait another five years and then I will consider your request."

Finally, they come before the Lord the third time, 10 years after their first request, and ask God again. This time the Lord answered, "Yes, you may marry. This Saturday at 2:00 p.m., we will have a beautiful chupah in the main sanctuary. The reception will be on me."

The wedding went beautifully, all the guests thought the bride was beautiful. Moses even brought some flowers from the Nile River Delta and Leah and Rachel were in the wedding party. But, you guessed it, the couple was married but a few weeks when they realized they had made a horrible mistake, they just couldn't stay married to one another.

So they made another appointment to see the Lord, this time to ask if they could get a divorce in heaven. When God heard their request, he looked at them and said, "Look, it took us 10 years to find a rabbi up here in heaven; do you have any idea how long it'll take to find a lawyer?"

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