Newsletter : 6fax0703.txt
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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan
July 3, 1996 V4, #119
All the News the Big Guys Missed
Fire marks anniversary of largest fire
A major forest fire is raging south of Beit Shemesh, and has
claimed 150 dunams of forest land. IDF helicopters were called in
to aid in the fire-fighting efforts. The blaze is raising
suspicions it was the act of arsonists. One year ago, a major fire
burned much of the Shaar Hagai forest, west of Jerusalem. The fire
last year was considered the largest fire in the nation's history.
Interview with Rabbi Moshe Levinger
(Released Tuesday From Five Months in Prison)
Q: Five months ago, when you began serving your sentence, the Prime
Minister was Peres, and new elections had not even been announced.
Do you have high hopes and expectations from the new government?
A: If Netanyahu tells the U.S. leadership and everyone else that
the Land of Israel is ours, and that all of our generations have
prayed for it, then they will understand him, and everything will
But if he too lowers himself to only talking about security, and
does not speak with pride about our intrinsic bonds with the Land,
then it may not be any better than with the previous government,
and maybe even worse. So far, Netanyahu has done a good job, and
we pray that he continues to act with wisdom.
Q: Do you expect that the government will totally cancel the plans
for a withdrawal from Hebron, or is there a compromise solution
that you would accept?
A: I am convinced that the plans for withdrawal will lead to the
killing of Jews and the shooting of Jews in Hebron. The Jewish
community is located in a valley, below the areas that are
earmarked for the Arabs, and I emphasize again that they will shoot
at Jews, God forbid. Therefore, these plans that were hastily
formulated cannot serve as a basis for the future arrangements
Bibi Raise Possibility of Compromise with Arabs
By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has raised the
possibility of easing some of his tough positions in future talks
with the Palestinians. But he also indicated he will not
compromise on several key points.
Netanyahu says he will talk about enlarging the autonomous
Palestinian territories, and increasing their autonomy, perhaps to
something close to sovereignty. But he also says he remains
opposed to Palestinian statehood. And he said he will insist on a
tougher Palestinian policy toward militant groups.
The prime minister, who took office two weeks ago, says he has a
"more nuanced" approach toward a broadened Palestinian autonomy
than is usually reported. But his vision still falls far short of
Palestinian demands for a state throughout the West Bank and Gaza,
with Jerusalem as its capital.
"We don't oppose an arrangement whereby the Palestinians would have
an entity, an autonomous entity that would give them all the
freedoms to run their affairs, including through their elected
representatives and institutions, without those aspects of
sovereignty that we believe threaten the existence of Israel."
Netanyahu says those aspects include raising an army and forming
military alliances with foreign countries. But he indicated that
aside from such things, Palestinian autonomy could be extensive.
Still, he ruled out turning all of the West Bank over to the
Palestinians, saying Israel's Arab negotiating partners must also
give some "land for peace." He also said Israel's pre-1967
borders can never be "secure" as called for in the same United
Nations resolutions which demand the surrender of occupied land.
The previous Israeli government had already agreed to withdraw
its troops from most of the West Bank town of Hebron, and to
further withdrawals from other unspecified areas of the West Bank
-- a process which was to have begun about now.
Netanyahu said he is studying the Hebron issue. But he said any
further expansion of the autonomous Palestinian territory could
come only through negotiations and only if the Palestinians live up
to all their previous agreements, particularly on security issues.
"They have begun an effort. The question is, can this effort be
expanded to fulfill all their commitments, and secondly, is it
ephemeral, is it episodic, is it a tactical behavior, or can we
receive some indication that this is a permanent change?"
Netanyahu accused the Palestinian authority of not doing anything
to fight militant groups until the suicide bombings in Israel in
February and March -- and then only to try to help former Prime
Minister Shimon Peres win re-election.
Still, Netanyahu said he hopes that in the future, Israel and the
Palestinian areas will have what he called "an open arrangement" in
which economic interaction can benefit people on both sides and
also make peace more stable.
On other subjects, Netanyahu said he is not concerned about
Israel's relations with the United States, in spite of some
disagreement about the concept of "land for peace." And he said he
supports closer security ties with the United States, particularly
on fighting terrorism, and that he hopes many other Middle Eastern
countries will join in that effort.
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