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>JN Feb. 28, 1997, Vol. 5, Number 35
Palestinians Demonstrate in Jerusalem
By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem), Laurie Kassman (VOA-Cairo)
Arab neighbors of Israel are expressing outrage and are warning of
serious damage to the peace process after Israel's decision to
construct new housing for Jews in east Jerusalem.
The radical Islamic group Hamas warns of an angry response from
Palestinians in the street. Spokesman Ibrahim Ghosheh says the
decision to build new Jewish housing in east Jerusalem is like a
knife at the hearts of Palestinians.
The English-language Egyptian Gazette has only harsh words for
Netanyahu, who it described as a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The
newspaper complains that he defies the peace process by approving
new settlements. But, as the editorial puts it, he whimpers every
time his shocked Arab neighbors want to slow normalization.
A few hundred Palestinians gathered in two villages near Jerusalem
and marched to one side of the controversial hill. A large force
of Israeli soldiers and police prevented them from crossing the
Jerusalem city limits, and they remained out of sight from the
other side of the hill, where Mayor Ehud Olmert spoke with
"Israel never made any secrets, never, about our intention to keep
the city united and to keep complete freedom for ourselves to
determine when and how and where we develop the city."
On Wednesday, a special committee of Israel's Cabinet approved
the plan to build the first 2,500 homes of a 6,500 home
neighborhood on a hill Israel calls Har Homa, and Palestinians
call Jabal abu Ghaneim. It also approved infrastructure
improvements in Palestinian neighborhoods and promised permits for
more than 3,000 new homes for Palestinians.
Flatow Family Sues Iran
The family of Alyssa Flatow, who was killed in a terrorist
attack in Israel two years ago, filed a lawsuit in the U.S.
District Court in the District of Columbia, naming Iran as the
This will be the first case of its kind ever filed in U.S. courts
under new anti-terrorism statutes, according to which citizens may
sue a country in the case of state-sponsored terrorism. The suit
claims 150 million dollars in damages, but Flatow said, "The sum is
not important. No sum in the world can return my daughter to me.
We only want Iran to know that if they sponsor terrorism, they will
pay a heavy price."
Alyssa and seven others were killed in a terrorist-suicide attack
outside Kfar Darom in April 1995.
A 1996 law allows a suit for "money damages against a
foreign state for personal injury or death that was caused by an
act of torture, extra-judicial killing, aircraft sabotage, hostage
taking, or the provision of material support or resources for such
an act if such act is engaged in by an official...of such foreign
state while acting within the scope of his or her own office."
Iran is charged with civil conspiracy and causing wrongful
death. If the Flatows win, they can seek to attach his judgment to
the blocked assets of Iran being held by the U.S. Treasury, and to
enforce his judgment in foreign countries where Iran may have
ADL Cites Internet Anti-Semitism
By Joe Chapman (VOA-New York)
The Anti-Defamation League says its annual survey shows a decline
in traditional forms of anti-Semitism in the United States. But
the ADL is concerned about the spread of hate and bigotry to the
Internet computer network.
The ADL says the sprawling growth of the Internet computer network
is raising some new concerns about what it sees as an unimpeded
electronic flow of hate-filled vitriol.
Abraham Foxman, national director of the league, says the forces of
hatred are having what he terms "a field day" on the Internet. "In
addition to the actual incidents of anti-Semitism, which can be
quantified, we have a growing concern about what we would say is
the dark side of technology, that the Internet and e-mail has now
become a tool for anti-Semites and haters."
Foxman says the ADL had reports of 1,722 anti-Semitic incidents in
the United States during 1996. The incidents, down in number for
two consecutive years, range from spray painted hate messages on
synagogues to a minor bombing and six arson cases.
Some of the traditional type of anti-Semitic activity is believed
to have shifted to the Internet and its 35 million users. Many
people, Foxman says, are subjected to unwanted, anonymous messages
attacking Jews, African-Americans and other minorities.
But, Foxman says, censorship is not the answer. "As disturbing as
bad speech and hate speech and anti-Semitic speech is, the antidote
is not censorship, is not restricting. It is as I indicated,
good speech, good web sites. This is pure speech. We're not
talking about an e-mail that says, "go commit a crime." We're
talking about e-mail that is hateful; which is bigoted, racist or
anti-Semitic -- which is short of criminality."
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by Electronic World Communications, Inc.)