Newsletter : 6fax1119.txt
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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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