Newsletter : 6fax0719.txt
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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan
July 19, 1996 V4, #131
All the News the Big Guys Missed
Second Anniversary of Buenos Aires JCC Bombing
By Dawn Makinson (VOA-La Mantza, Argentina)
Argentina's Jewish community is observing a sad anniversary this
week. On July 18, 1994, a terrorist attack on a Jewish Community
Center in Buenos Aires claimed the lives of 86 people. The
government of Argentina has been investigating the attack, but has
been unable to get enough evidence to charge anyone with the crime.
Recently, 12 members of the Buenos Aires police force were arrested
in connection with the bombing.
The community refuses to give up hope their loved ones will
avenged. For the second time, hundreds of their friends and family
have gathered in their communities largest cemetery in La Mantza.
International investigators from the United States and Israel,
along with the Argentine government, say the attack was carried
out by Iran backed Hizbullah terrorists, intent on slowing down
the Middle East peace process of 1994. But investigators also
say the terrorists needed a support group in Argentina to put
their plan into action. That's been a crucial element of the
investigation of the Argentine government, but not one which has
gained them a foothold in solving the crime.
Numerous arrests have been made by the team of Argentine Judge
Juan Jose Galeano. All but one have fizzled out before charges
were laid. The failure to make progress has made Argentine Jews
Earlier this week, more than a dozen Argentine police were detained
for questioning by authorities. The Argentine government says that
may have been part of the crucial local connection for the
terrorists, by supplying them with the van used to bomb the Amia
Center. Leaders of the local Jewish community were cautious in
their reaction to the news, coming as it did so close to the visit
of Argentine President Carlos Menem to the United States. Critics
say Menem may have been looking to smooth the way for a meeting
with President Bill Clinton.
As their memorial service finishes, this community says a prayer
together. The sound of their voices another affirmation of their
unity in the face of danger. Two years before the Amia Center
was blown up, killing 86 and injuring hundreds, the Israeli Embassy
in Argentina was a target. Twenty nine died, scores more were
injured. Terrorists are suspected in that attack as well, but
whoever they may be, they remain free.
Bibi Says He'll Fulfill Existing Agreements
By Laurie Kassman (VOA-Cairo)
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak says he is more relaxed now he has
talked with Israel's new prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to
hear first-hand his position on the peace process.
There were no major changes of positions on either side, but
Mubarak says the get-acquainted session was important to hear
first-hand Netanyahu's attitude toward the peace process. He
describes the talks as candid and open-minded.
"I am very relaxed. I understand his conceptions. And I have
great hopes the peace process will continue." Mubarak stresses the
peace process cannot restart from a vacuum, but must build on what
has been done already.
Netanyahu says he will fulfill existing commitments under treaties
and agreements already signed. He says he is ready to talk to
Syria. But he differs over the interpretation of land for peace as
the basis for negotiations.
"There are differing interpretations on that principle and the way
to apply that principle and the best way to proceed with
negotiations is to go to the last agreed-upon framework and that is
Madrid and we adhere to Madrid."
It was the Madrid conference that launched the current peace
process five years ago. Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa says
Netanyahu's words are a positive step.
"The prime minister has assured the president that he is committed
to the peace process in accordance with the framework of Madrid and
to implement the Oslo agreement. This is a step forward in the
right direction, because saying that we are committed to peace in
general terms is not enough."
Netanyahu says another 10-thousand Palestinians will be permitted
to return to their jobs in Israel. An earlier easing let about
25,000 Palestinians return during the past few weeks.
Netanyahu says more trucks and ambulances would also be allowed to
travel into Israel. "Our intention is to make life easy and to make
an open economy, and open relations rather than a closed one. And
this will accompany our talks with the view of creating good will
and the view that we are progressing first of all a fulfillment of
the existing commitments, and then down the line, of course, a
negotiation for a successful final settlement."
Both leaders expressed guarded optimism the peace talks could get
back on track, but neither one would say when. Netanyahu reminded
a news conference his government has only been in power for three
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