Newsletter : 7fax0311.txt
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>JN March 11, 1997, Vol. 5, Number 42
Chief Rabbi Lau said although there is no specific prohibition
in Jewish Law to utilize artificial genetics to reproduce a human
being, it is entirely against basic Jewish conceptions to do so.
"The Torah gave a specific dispensation for doctors to use their
knowledge to cure, and even to lengthen life, but the formation of
new life goes way beyond that. We have no permission to enter the
domain of the Creator on questions of life and death."
Mubarak Meets with Clinton
By David Borgida (VOA-White House)
President Clinton is meeting with visiting Egyptian President Hosni
Mubarak at the White House -- with Israel's controversial plan to
build a housing project in annexed east Jerusalem at the top of the
agenda. Mubarak said in an interview Sunday the United States had
lost some credibility in the Arab world when it vetoed a UN
Security Council resolution condemning Israel's plan.
But Monday, as the two leaders were preparing to meet at the White
House, he told reporters Clinton's leadership in the Middle East
peace process remains vital. "The president is a full partner in
the peace process and without the United States it would be very
difficult to continue the peace process. So it is very important
to have his influence, his leadership."
Clinton said the veto of the UN resolution does not mean he
sanctions Israel's plan.
Arafat Associate Abbas Resigns
By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)
The chief Palestinian negotiator has resigned in protest of Israeli
policy and Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat says there is a real
crisis in the peace process.
The chief negotiator and number-two official in the Palestinian
Autonomy Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, says he can no longer lead the
Palestinian negotiating team. Abbas, who also is known as Abu
Mazen, was one of the original Palestinian negotiators in the
secret talks in Oslo, Norway, which led to the Israeli-Palestinian
Now, he wants to leave his job as Palestinian officials are saying
Israel has been "dictating" rather than negotiating in recent
weeks, particularly regarding Jerusalem and the extent of the next
Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank. The Palestinians formally
rejected the withdrawal plan Sunday and now it is not clear
whether or when it will happen.
Arafat did not immediately comment on the resignation by Abbas,
but said Israel is violating the peace accords and the Palestinians
will not accept it. "No one can deceive or betray the Palestinian
people. We had agreed upon for just, comprehensive, lasting,
peaceful solution, not conspiracies and tricks."
The Israeli government says the peace accords give it the sole
authority to determine the extent of this and other coming
withdrawals, and it could not give more at this stage because
of opposition from conservatives in the ruling coalition. A senior
Israeli official accused the Palestinians of creating a crisis over
this issue in an effort to gain more Israeli concessions.
Palestinian officials say if Arafat accepts Israel's offer of only
9 percent more of the West Bank at this stage, he will risk the
position of the Palestinian Authority among the Palestinian people.
They say that would create a political opening for militant groups
and could spark violence that would further delay, or possibly
destroy, the peace process.
Netanyahu Meets Russian Leaders
By Peter Heinlein (VOA-Moscow)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in Moscow for a
48-hour official visit. Netanyahu has a number of contentious
issues on his agenda as he meets today with Russian President Boris
Yeltsin, Prime Minister Victor Chernomyrdin and Foreign Minister
Yevgeny Primakov. Among the most difficult questions is Russia's
alleged sale of military technology to Iran.
The Los Angeles Times quoted senior Clinton administration
officials as saying the Kremlin transferred to Iran instructions on
how to build an SS-4 missile delivery system. The SS-4 is said to
have a range almost three times greater than any missile currently
in Iran's arsenal.
Russia denied the newspaper report, calling it rumor. Nevertheless,
an Israeli spokesman Monday said Netanyahu would emphasize his
country's concern about the transfer of advanced military
technologies to both Iran and Syria.
Economic ties between the two countries are booming. Bilateral
trade has jumped from almost nothing to about $500 million a year
since diplomatic relations were reestablished in 1991.
During Netanyahu's visit, he will be looking into the possible
purchase of Russian natural gas. On the eve of his departure, a
spokesman said "Obviously, the energy issue is of tremendous
interest" to Israel.
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