Newsletter : 6fax0710.txt
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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan
July 10, 1996 V4, #124
All the News the Big Guys Missed
New Find on Massada
For the first time, a find from the Herodian period has been made
on Massada. A wine vessel, inscribed in Latin with the words,
"Herod, King of Judea," was found recently on the Judean Desert
mountain. The vessel was apparently brought to Herod from Italy.
Until now, all of the finds on Massada were from the time of the
destruction of the Temple, some 70 years after Herod, or later.
Clinton and Netanyahu Share a Non-Combustible Chemistry
By David Borgida (VOA-White House)
President Clinton and visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu chose to highlight their shared agenda for peace in the
Middle East not their specific differences on achieving it as they
concluded a day of talks at the White House.
After a joint news conference, the two leaders walked away from
reporters each with one arm wrapped around the other - -
underscoring for all to see that their first meeting since
Netanyahu's election went about as well as could be expected.
There were some high expectations, fueled by news reports, that
the two could narrow differences over the US backed land for
peace approach that has been accepted by previous Israeli
governments but not embraced by Netanyahu.
And there were equally high expectations that Netanyahu might
tell the president he was ready to meet with Palestinian leader
But neither happened, and it was the president who said in careful
diplomatic language, that the two agreed to disagree. "I believe
that the process will go forward and I think we're going to have
necessarily a period of adjustment and those of us who care about
it need to try to minimize the negative and maximize the positive
and get through it as well as possible."
In fact, Netanyahu brought with him twin hard-line messages -- to
the Palestinian Authority and to Syria. He urged the Palestinian
Authority to end what he alleges are violations of peace accords.
"We expect the Palestinian Authority to desist, cease and desist,
from these activities in order to conform with their obligations."
At the same time, the US educated prime minister said he would
keep the lines of communication with the Palestinian Authority
open -- but that he has no immediate plans to meet Arafat. "We will
expand these contacts both in frequency and in the level of the
personnel involved. I said that if I deem it necessary for peace or
for the interest of Israel to meet Arafat I wouldn't rule it out
and I have not changed my position."
As for resuming the Israeli-Syrian peace track, the prime minister
said he is prepared to meet with Syrian President Hafez al Assad -
- but "I can tell you that the first item on my agenda would be
the cessation of all terrorist attacks from Syrian-controlled areas
in Lebanon via Hizbullah, or for that matter, other terrorist
attacks from groups based in Syria. I think it's only right. I
think it's peculiar to have peace talks that are progressing while
you have a terror campaign parallel to it."
For his part, Clinton said he encourages talks between Israel and
the Palestinians and Israel and the Syrians, but he said his role
is not to impose solutions on either track.
So he stuck to the US role as mediator, encouraging and prodding
for peace, just as Netanyahu stuck to his firm position--on which
he was elected May 29 -- on maintaining Israel's security while
searching for peace.
Yet some progress was made. On a personal level, Clinton spokesman
Mike McCurry said Clinton had what he called a "very enjoyable"
encounter with Netanyahu, whom he did not support in Israel's
Their talks went longer than expected, forcing the two to actually
miss the first two courses of a working lunch. And there was some
substantive progress. The president announced the two nations
would soon convene what officials here say will be a
sub-ministerial meeting in Washington on terrorism. And he
announced the US would give Israel constant access to US
intelligence on any missile launches.
The bottom line for both leaders was that despite differences,
the overall bilateral relationship remains unshakable. "The
relationship between our two countries transcends personalities and
politics and parties. It is a bond between two peoples, and a bond
which I think has few equals in the international arena. And I
think and I know that our relationship today is as solid as ever,"
"Those who would try to drive a wedge between us will not succeed,"
In response to an Israeli journalist's question about the personal
chemistry between the two leaders, Netanyahu joked he and Clinton
have a good chemistry, not the kind that sparks combustion.
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