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                             ISRAEL
                              FAXX

Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                      Nov. 19, 1996 V4, #210
All the News the Big Guys Missed

Court Rules Against Father in Surrogate-Mother Case

A Haifa court turned down a petition Monday by Danny Nachmani about the frozen fertilized egg cells of his former wife Ruthie and himself. Nachmani asked that the case be linked to the new surrogate-motherhood law, which makes it mandatory to attain his permission to implant the cells in a surrogate mother. The court ruled Ruthie had the sole legal rights to the frozen fetuses.

Ben Gurion's Contemporary Legacy

By Adam Phillips (VOA-Washington)

David Ben Gurion was 20 in 1906 when he emigrated from his native Poland and fought alongside his Jewish comrades in the Zionist Mule Corps on behalf of the British during World War I.

As a reward for Zionist help during the war, Great Britain issued its "Balfour Declaration," which explicitly called for the establishment of a Jewish Homeland in Palestine. It was to be enacted once the British Empire inherited control of Palestine from the decaying Turkish Empire.

The declaration coincided with one of modern history's most tumultuous moments. The czar of Russia had just been deposed by a communist revolution, whose ideals of social equality, Zionist-socialists like Ben Gurion and his comrades deeply shared. They wanted to build a just society for both Jews and Arabs in the "Holy Land."

The Palestinian Arabs saw the Zionist enterprise differently, of course. Author-historian Shabtai Teveth outlines one of the painful ironies of that time.

"No doubt that the Palestinian Arabs felt themselves being the victims of an invasion. There is no doubt that they thought it was unjust and there is no doubt that to a very, very great extent they are right. At the same time, the Jewish people claimed it was theirs as well. So, in my opinion -- and this is my reading of the situation -- there were two wrongs that met."

In the wake of the widespread Arab rioting of the early 1920s, it appeared as if the British had decided to renege on their promise to establish a Jewish homeland in Palestine. As violence against Jews in Palestine increased, defense -- not utopia -- became the leading Zionist priority in many quarters.

Finally, in 1925, another key Zionist leader, Vladmir Jabotinsky, and his Revisionist Zionists broke away from the Zionist-socialist mainstream as represented by Ben Gurion. Jabotinsky adamantly declared that there could be no hope of a future Jewish majority in Palestine without the force of Jewish arms.

"Thinking that a Jewish army would conquer Palestine. And this became the emblem: that there was a rifle put on the map of Palestine, on the whole of Palestine. This was the origin, the division between Jabotinsky and classical Zionism if you want to say, and between Jabotinsky and Ben Gurion."

Today, this same historic division continues to make itself felt among Israelis over the question of how to enure both peace and security for their nation.

"Present day Likud and its Prime Minister Netanyahu are devout disciples of Jabotinsky in that they are more jealous for the wholeness of Palestine; they are against the division of Palestine and are more ready to accept the use of force as a way of solving things. Former Labor Prime Minister (Shimon) Peres says if we would not strive for peace and work for peace then we will be destroyed."

Whether the burdens of history and the assumptions of the past will continue to haunt the region well into the distant future, or new realities will alter each group's perceptions -- both of each other and themselves -- remains an enduring enigma of the Middle East.

Peres Accused of Advising Arafat

A classified document reached the desk of the prime minister a few days ago, containing a report that former Prime Minister Shimon Peres advised Yasir Arafat not to rush to sign the Hebron agreement. Last night, after learning that this item was leaked to the press, Prime Minister Netanyahu phoned Shimon Peres in Sweden to inform him of the reports, but told him that he did not believe that they were true.

Peres claimed Monday that the whole story was a plot against him, and called upon the "contemptible" minister who started the rumor to step up and identify himself.

Yossi Ben-Aharon, a former director of the Prime Minister's Office, told Arutz Sheva that during the Shamir-led government, Peres would advise the heads of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, then based in Tunisia, on negotiation strategies with Israel.


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